Enterprise API Management Glossary


APIs, or application programming interfaces, are a set of software functions that specify how software applications should interact with each other.

API Gateway

“An API gateway is a reverse proxy that allows your organization to offer APIs as a product to internal and external clients via a centralized ingress point.” – Kong


APIOps is the complete end-to-end automation of the API lifecycle, combining DevOps and GitOps. – Kong

Control Plane

A control plane is responsible for creating and enforcing policy. It enables an administrator establish configurations and guarantee consistency at scale. For example, the Kubernetes control plane is responsible for making “global decisions about the cluster (for example, scheduling), as well as detecting and responding to cluster events (for example, starting up a new pod when a deployment’s replicas field is unsatisfied)”. The kubve-apiserver, etcd and kube-scheduler are control plane components.

Data Plane

A data plane is responsible for executing or carrying out policy. For example, in Kubernetes node components that provide the runtime environment, such as the kubelet, kube-proxy and container runtime constitute the data plane.

Reverse Proxy

“A reverse proxy server is a type of proxy server that typically sits behind the firewall in a private network and directs client requests to the appropriate backend server.” – NGINX

Service Mesh

“A service mesh is a configurable, low‑latency infrastructure layer designed to handle a high volume of network‑based interprocess communication among application infrastructure services using application programming interfaces (APIs). A service mesh ensures that communication among containerized and often ephemeral application infrastructure services is fast, reliable, and secure. The mesh provides critical capabilities including service discovery, load balancing, encryption, observability, traceability, authentication and authorization, and support for the circuit breaker pattern.” – NGINX

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