In recent years, the evolution of cloud computing and edge computing paradigms have led to a highly diversified continuum of technologies. The latter include for example various edge/cloud delivery models such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Function as a Service (FaaS). Likewise, it is common for enterprises to leverage hybrid computing infrastructures, including both public and private cloud deployments. Furthermore, many enterprises are turning to multi-cloud infrastructures, to combine best-of-breed cloud offerings from different providers. In this landscape, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and development leads are starving for effective application integration and application deployment approaches. To this end, they can nowadays take advantage of API (Application Programming Interface) management processes.
API management provides the means for creating and publishing APIs, while at the same time applying monitoring and control functions over them. Specifically, API management infrastructures enable the definition and enforcement of usage policies on the APIs, along with the application of access control policies. Likewise, they provide the means for monitoring and auditing the usage of APIs, including the extraction of statistics about their use. The merit of API management infrastructures lies in their ability to centralize control over API integration. This allows CIOs to meet ambitious performance and security objectives by implementing and deploying applications that leverage these APIs.
A typical API management infrastructure comprises the following components:
API Management infrastructures deliver the following benefits to enterprises:
CIOs are gradually acknowledging the benefits of API management, which is the reason why there is a significant number of different API management tools in the market. In several cases, these tools are deployed and used in conjunction with mainstream public cloud infrastructures. The latter provides the means for deploying API gateways and provide a host of tools for testing, managing, and optimizing APIs. In this context, CIOs must consider the technical and business benefits of API management, including how it can help them meet stringent performance, security, and compliance requirements. They must also shape strategies for deploying and adopting API Gateways, and for migrating their services to them. API management will be an integral element of modern enterprise cloud environments, especially for enterprises that leverage hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures. It is therefore a good idea for modern CIOs to prepare for adopting them and for optimizing their use.
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