API Connect is excited to announce enabling its customers to manage their runtimes using containers. Starting from API Connect v5.0.7, our customers can run their APIs using the open industry standard Docker containers, design their runtime management fabric with the ever growing pool of container management tools, and independently move their deployment across servers and locations. The best part is they don’t need to be tied to any proprietary technology or a company to do any of these.

There is nothing that the API Connect team loves more than listening to our customers and watching the market trends closely. And, our decision to enable container usage originated from the market direction towards the microservices based architectures. In this architecture, applications are structured in independently deployable, small, and modular services. Each of these services runs a unique process and seamlessly integrate and interact with each other to constitute an application end-to-end. This blog and this website have detailed information on this architectural style if you would like to learn more about it.



Microservices architecture

Organizations have been designing their new applications or redesigning their old applications in the microservices style to take advantage of the re-usability, technology stack freedom, and autonomous development and QA teams that this style enables. Docker containers with their massive scalability, independent deployment, fault isolation, and technology stack agnosticism are the natural enablers of the microservices architecture. And, container orchestration tools Google Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Apache Mesos provide production level container management capabilities to ensure seamless and highly available API operation.

In order to enable our customers to take advantage of the open industry standard of containers and all the great benefits they provide, API Connect is evolving its runtime management strategy from API Connect Collective Controllers towards running microservices in containers. For a fully managed hosted platform, API Connect customers can deploy their microservices in IBM Containers on Bluemix which has integrated logging, monitoring, load balancing, and auto-scaling functions, and advanced security features. For a customer managed platform, customers can use any of the container orchestration tools available in the market. API Connect will provide documentation and sample scripts to get a container cluster started, and customers can use these samples as a foundation to build on top of them for designing their container architecture. This approach enables organizations to create a custom solution using any and only the container management tools they see fit in their topology to handle their unique workload. Organizations can then use API Connect’s market leader API management tools to perform all the steps required for the lifecycle management for the APIs that these microservices constitute.

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