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Unlocking Application Modernization with Microservices and APIs

If you build apps and services that your customers consume, two things are certain: 

You’re exposing APIs in some form or the other. 

Your apps are made by multiple functions working together to deliver products and services. 

As you scale up and grow, your enterprise architecture can benefit from a sound strategy for both API management and service management, both of which impact your customer and developer experience. In this article, we’ll explore how these two technologies fit into your application modernization strategy, including how we’re seeing our customers use Anthos Service Mesh and Apigee API Management together. 

How APIs, microservices, and a service mesh are related

APIs accelerate your modernization journey by unlocking and allowing legacy data and applications to be consumed by new cloud services. As a result, organizations can launch new mobile, web, and voice experiences for customers. 

The API layer acts as a buffer between legacy services and front-end systems and keeps the front-end systems up and running by routing requests as the legacy services are migrated or transformed into modern architectures.  In addition, an API management platform, like Apigee, manages the lifecycle of those APIs with design, publish, analyze, and governance capabilities.

Once microservices architectures become prevalent in an organization, technical complexity increases and organizations find a need for deeper and more granular visibility into their applications and services. This is where a service mesh comes into play. 

A service mesh is not only an architecture that empowers managed, observable, and secure communication across an organization’s services, but also the tool that enables it. Anthos Service Mesh lets organizations build platform-scale microservices with requirements around standardized security, policies, and controls, and it provides teams with in-depth telemetry, consistent monitoring, and policies for properly setting and adhering to SLOs. 

How API management and a service mesh compliment one another

Many organizations ask themselves, “Do I really need both an API management platform and a service mesh? How do I manage them together?” 

The answer to the first question is yes. These two technologies focus on different aspects of the technology stack and are complementary to each other. A service mesh modernizes your application networking stack by standardizing how you deal with network security, observability, and traffic management. An API management layer focuses on managing the lifecycle of APIs, including publishing, governance, and usage analytics. 

Most organizations draw a logical boundary at business units or technology groups. Sharing these microservices outside that boundary with other business units or with partners is where Apigee plays a significant role. You can drive and manage the consumption of those services through developer portals, monitoring API usage, providing authentication, and more, with Apigee. 

Google Cloud offers Anthos Service Mesh for service management and Apigee for API management. These two products work together to provide IT teams with a seamless experience throughout the application modernization journey. The Apigee Adapter for Envoy enables organizations that use Anthos Service Mesh to reap the benefits of Apigee by enforcing API management policies within a service mesh. 

Accelerate your application modernization journey

Though the journey to application modernization doesn’t always follow a clear-cut path, by adopting API management and a service mesh as part of a modernization journey, your organization can be better equipped to rapidly respond to changing markets securely and at scale. 

Wherever you are on your application modernization journey, Google Cloud can help. To learn more about how service management and API management can be part of your application modernization journey, read this whitepaper.

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