So, by now you’re probably wondering – what about this whole multi-cloud deployment thing the API Connect team has been raving about?  How can I deploy API Connect 2018.x anywhere I want, in just about any configuration that I wish?

 

The answer: API Connect 2018.x for Containers.

Background

To run API Connect 2018.x for Containers, it’s helpful to have a solid understanding of Containers, Docker, and Kubernetes.  But in short, here’s what you need to know:


Containers: lightweight, stand-alone, executable package that includes everything needed to run a piece of software

Docker: tool designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications through the use of containers

Kubernetes: container arrangement system that automates container operations

 

I like to think of Containers, Docker, and Kubernetes as components of an orchestra.  Containers are the musicians – without them no music is produced (no application is run) because the core component of the orchestra is missing.  Docker represents the various instruments in the orchestra.  Docker is the tool needed to actually play the music — or run an application.  Kubernetes is the conductor.  It leads the orchestra, telling the musicians what and when to play.  In the same way, Kubernetes allows you to arrange containers across different machines, scale up or scale down by adding or removing containers, distributing load between containers, and much much more.


Deploy Anywhere

The good news is that you can run Kubernetes and Docker containers pretty much anywhere.  This is why we support running API Connect 2018.1 anywhere – on premise or in the cloud.  Not only can you deploy the different components of API Connect anywhere, but you can also co-locate Gateway components with your valuable data, scale different components at will, and do much more to enable success for both your business and the consumers of your APIs.




 

But first, here’s a bit more background.  Our movement from a monolithic architecture to a microservice architecture changes things.  Each microservice uses certificates to securely communicate with other microservices.  Each microservice has certificates and configurations for deployment that can become quite difficult to manage as you scale.  Deployment depends on the user’s environment, so we cannot create a “one size fits all” solution to install the components of API Connect 2018.x for Containers.

 

InstallAssist and Other Requirements

Luckily, the API Connect team has created the pack mule that is InstallAssist.  As a user, you load up InstallAssist with the necessary information based on your environment, and sit back as the pack mule does all the heavy lifting for you.  InstallAssist is a binary that automatically manages certificate creation and configuration for deployment, so the heavy lifting with installation is done for you.  InstallAssist (available as a Mac, Windows, or Linux download), as well as the Docker containers are provided by IBM.  You just need to have your Kubernetes environment up and running with the minimum system requirements needed to run API Connect 2018.x.

 

So what do you need to do to deploy an API Manager component of APIC 2018.1 for Containers?  The process is straightforward:

  1. Ensure your Kubernetes cluster meets the requirements for installation
  2. Download API Connect Container images and InstallAssist
  3. Input characteristics of your environment into the InstallAssist yaml file
  4. Run InstallAssist (and take a look at everything you don’t have to do!)
  5. Start using API Connect!

 

The process for deploying Analytics and Developer Portal Containers follows a very similar process.  For more information on installing DataPower in your environment, please visit our DataPower Knowledge Center here.

The API Connect team has created a walkthrough of the Container installation process.  Please visit our API Connect Knowledge Center for a detailed walk through of individual steps for the Container installation.  Please also visit the Software Product Compatibility Report page for detailed System Requirements of API Connect 2018.x.

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