Tibco’s ‘Hybrid Gateway’ for APIs Delivers New-Gen Platform for Digital Business

Tibco Software is unifying API Management, ‘hybrid gateways’ and support for containers with its just-released Tibco Mashery Local 4.0. The product aims to provide a more flexible, secure and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for the digital enterprise -- whether using cloud, on-prem or both. IDN speaks with Tibco’s Ed Julson.

Tags: API, cloud, containers, DevOps, gateway, hybrid, management, Mashery, microservices, on-premises, security, Tibco, transformation,

Ed Julson, Tibco
Ed Julson
sr product marketing
manager
Tibco


"Mashery Local 4.0 is an API Management solution that lets you tether a local solution to a cloud environment -- and get a single management view across it all."

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Tibco Software is unifying API Management, ‘hybrid gateways’ and support for containers – all to provide a more flexible, secure and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for the digital enterprise whether using cloud, on-prem or both.

 

The latest upgrade, Tibco’s Mashery Local 4.0, sports an innovative ‘hybrid gateway’ architecture to support API, which offers both (1) a cloud-based SaaS API solution (for convenience and rapid start-up), as well as (2) on-premises API traffic management (for security and flexibility). It also unifies visibility and management across both environments.

 

Bringing together both cloud and on-premises API management via a ‘hybrid gateway’ in a single platform will provide increased end-to-end security and operational support, Ed Julson, Tibco’s senior product marketing manager told IDN.

 

He explained why this capability is important for today’s digital transformation projects. “Today, companies aren’t quite ready for full cloud consumption, so they have needs and concerns that drive them to also want choices that run on-premises. Companies are looking for transitional options as they move slowly away from having an [on-premises] data center. They’re not ready to move 100% everything to the cloud. They just need capabilities to move more and more of the workloads [to the cloud], at their own pace,” Julson said. 

 

Inside the Architecture, Benefits of Tibco’s ‘Hybrid Gateway’ Approach 

Mashery Local 4.0 is Tibco’s latest offering to deliver on the growing needs for a ‘new age’ in API gateway technology to meet demands of digital transformation. Julson discussed Tibco’s vision for API management and API gateway solutions with IDN last summer.

 

In specific, Tibco’s ‘hybrid gateway’ in Mashery Local 4.0 is designed to be “flexible and not be just as ‘either/or’ approach for where you use and manage your APIs,” Julson said. “You can take everything as a SaaS on the cloud or run the gateway on-premsies with Mashery Local -- or you can split it.  You can have some traffic run on cloud or on-premises. Before this launch [Mashery Local 4.0], you just couldn’t get an API Management solution that lets you tether a local solution to a cloud environment and get a single management view across it all,” Julson said.

 

“The on-prem or cloud question is no longer all black or all white,” Julson said. “It’s becoming less common where a company thinks it’s the best decision is to run all their APIs in one environment or the other. Our ‘hybrid’ approach finally gives users more choice and better options to run and manage APIs where they see fit.”

 

Julson shared a bit of insight on how IT execs decide where and when to use API Management. Today, that decision is often a reflection of company priorities. Using the cloud reflects a choice for lower cost and faster start-up times – without severe regulatory or security requirements. Electing to run on-premises arises often from a focus on control or prohibitions against using the cloud because of data regulations or policies.  

 

Julson shared other perspectives on the need for a ‘hybrid gateway’ approach to API Management in a recent blog post:

“This approach is very different than existing monolithic gateway architectures, which don’t provide any of the benefits of a container based architecture, don’t integrate well with PaaS based DevOps tooling, and don’t replicate easily to provide web scale performance required in modern applications.

This hybrid approach also has some other less obvious benefits; it’s very easy to replicate or cluster gateway instances when working with containers, and the loose coupling to the SaaS environment provides a single management console and policy definition framework, regardless of how many instances of the gateway you have deployed. Basically, your gateway design-time sits in the cloud and your runtime executes on-premise.”

Tibco’s ‘hybrid gateway’ approach also brings in other services and capabilities necessary for enterprise-class end-to-end operations. 

 

Easy To Implement Runtime Policies

“End-to-end runtime policies can be defined in the Mashery portal environment and executed in the API Gateway. The range of policy control is wide, including: security and access control, API call filtering, API throttling, and other operations to define SLA and access privileges,” Julson added. 

 

Central Support for Security and Management

Mashery Local sports enhanced the way security secrets are managed. “Customers now have the option of setting up end-to-end encryption via managing trust certificates and identity stores on premises. This approach provides the advantages of SaaS delivery models, with the added flexibility of managing API security as a hybrid implementation of Tibco Mashery,” he added. Mashery’s API security layer is PCI and HITRUST compliant and supports OAuth and SSL.

 

Users can easily set up end-to-end encryption by controlling identity stores and trust certificates on the premises. This way, users not only get the advantage of delivery models from SaaS but also get a flexible API security management which acts as Tibco Mashery’s hybrid application.

 

Data-Level Security

Beyond securing APIs, it also offers data-centric security features such as ‘secure tagging’ to allow management of sensitive and non-sensitive data coming from an API call. Further, it automatically enforces a high standard of encryption and even lets users set and receive alerts to track and manage API security threats.

 

Tibco’s Support for Microservices, Containers Looks To API’s Future 

Beyond today’s advantages from a ‘hybrid gateway’, Julson also sees future use cases where the approach will pay deeper dividends.  “As companies become more committed to running their apps in the cloud (for web, mobile and IoT), these innovative apps will often need to tap into business-critical services which often run locally on-premises,” Julson said.   

 

“To bring on-prem and cloud together for this use case requires an app-centric way to ensure apps can readily access a number of critical services,” Julson added. “You’ll need policy management, traffic management, and other services to support heavy-weight business-critical operations. Those will often need to run locally. But for innovation, you’ll need ways to work to the cloud for flexibility, portability and speed,” he said.   

 

“Tapping into the needs of composite apps is a major reason Tibco Mashery Local 4.0 married API Management with container support to expand the options for how IT designs, configures and runs their API-driven digital transformation programs,” Julson added. 

 

“Today’s architecture needs to combine the best of core [on-prem] and edge [cloud],” Julson told IDN. . “Running your business happens with heavy-weight services that can’t break and will scale. That’s often going to run on-premises. But innovation needs flexibility, portability and speed. All that happens at the ‘edge,’” he noted, [which in many cases, means the cloud. “To have them both work well together you need a light-weight, hybrid-style approach.”

 

Tibco’s Mashery Local hybrid architecture solution integrates with the numerous Mashery Local gateways, supporting a multi-cloud and mixed container environment. Further, it will unify the management of these hybrid environments from a single administrative console.

 

Further, Tibco Mashery Local 4.0 can be deployed to any cloud environment that supports Docker containers such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Kubernetes, or Microsoft Azure, Julson said. “This makes it much easier to incorporate into leading edge IT architecture and DevOps practices. This also sets the stage for another big trend – microservices,” he added.

 

“Microservices are becoming more and more mainstream. Leading Internet companies like Amazon and Netflix have proven out these concepts and also shown how to deliver what people want with composable APIs and lower level microservices,” Julson explained.   

 

“Using containers in combination with microservices delivers a huge benefit to the new-gen digital business – unmatched flexibility,” Julson said. “You can change your apps on a dime and be more responsive to meet changing requirements, and that makes using microservices a style that proves really significant.” Leading Internet companies like Amazon and Netflix have proven out these concepts. “Today, microservices are becoming more and more mainstream because they can deliver what people want – flexible apps.” he told IDN. 

 

The first step toward that super-flexible use case, Julson said, comes thanks to container-based deployments. “You can change priorities, funding levels, organizational structures and easily and quickly have IT follow what those decisions are because containers are so simple – abstracted,” he said. 

 

Container-based deployment can also ease the pain for many working with mobile apps, he added. . “You cannot build and deploy high-performance mobile apps on a first-gen SOA architecture. When you build and update a mobile app, you’re really doing ‘fine-grained thinking, that’s just not possible with SOA,” he said. “In runtime, performance is important, and it will suffer with a first-gen SOA architecture.”

 

As customers become more aware of the benefits of microservices / container trends, they will pressure vendors for more choices. “Rather than buy a monolithic ‘product x’ with 10 pieces of functionality, companies will be looking to choose from a collection of functionalities designed to work together,” he said.  

 

“Today’s architecture needs to combine the best of core [on-prem] and edge [cloud],” Julson told IDN. . “Running your business happens with heavy-weight services that can’t break and will scale. That’s often going to run on-premises. But innovation needs flexibility, portability and speed. All that happens at the ‘edge,’” he noted, [which in many cases, means the cloud. “To have them both work well together you need a light-weight, hybrid-style approach.”

 

Tibco’s Mashery Local hybrid architecture solution integrates with the numerous Mashery Local gateways, supporting a multi-cloud and mixed container environment. Further, it will unify the management of these hybrid environments from a single administrative console.

 

Readers can view a demo of Tibco’s Mashery Local 4.0 here.




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