Traefik Labs Adds API Hub for Kubernetes Environments

Traefik Labs has launched a hub for Kubernetes environments that makes it simpler to publish, secure and manage application programming interfaces (APIs).

Traefik Labs CEO Emile Vauge says Traefik Hub is compatible with both the lightweight proxy software the company created and the more widely used NGINX proxy software. That approach provides a simpler alternative for managing APIs that are based on Envoy proxy software that is much more challenging to deploy and complex to manage, he notes.

Currently available as a closed beta, Vauge says Traefik Labs is working to make Traefik Hub publicly available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform on May 16, 2023. It requires each cluster to be running an instance of Traefik agent software.

Traefik Hub provides a centralized control plane that simplifies the configuration of the fleet of API gateways. That approach eliminates misconfigurations that would otherwise result from common mistakes made when manually provisioning API gateways. Once the control plane is in place, it then becomes possible to automatically manage access control, rate limiting and certificate management based on API management best practices.

There is, of course, no shortage of platforms for managing APIs, but Vauge notes that rival platforms based on, for example, a service mesh, are more difficult to deploy and have steeper learning curves. The Traefik Hub provides an alternative approach to modernize how APIs are managed that provides faster time to value, says Vauge.

With the rise of cloud-native applications, it’s now becoming increasingly apparent there is a greater need to centralize the management of APIs through which cloud-native applications’ microservices communicate with one another. Proxy software and API gateways can easily be used to manage smaller numbers of APIs, but as the number of APIs running in production environments increases, the need for an alternative API management approach becomes more pressing.

Traefik Labs is betting that API life cycle management will become an established IT discipline as more organizations embrace digital business transformation initiatives. Historically, the developers that created an API managed it, but as the number of APIs proliferate, it’s becoming apparent that a centralized team should assume responsibility—especially as the number of dependencies between microservices steadily increases.

Regardless of approach, a new era of application connectivity has arrived. Cloud-native applications are more resilient than monolithic applications because in the event of any kind of disruption, calls can be rerouted to other microservices. However, managing all the APIs used to invoke those microservices makes cloud-native applications more difficult to deploy and manage. The issue now is finding a way to manage them at a level of unprecedented scale in the simplest way possible.
Less clear is whether those APIs will be managed by a DevOps team or a network operations team that may assume more responsibility for application networking as IT environments continue to evolve. One way or another, networking will never be the same again.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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