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May 21, 2020

Increasing API ROI With Cloud and Hybrid Deployment

API management

This blog accompanies our series of webinars on the ROI of API Management. This fourth edition discusses how cloud and hybrid deployments increase the return on your API initiatives.

Benefits of Cloud Deployment

The growth in the usage of APIs has created an entirely new landscape. In former years, with a small number of APIs, an on-premises data center and enterprise firewall was sufficient. Now, with API portfolios growing, the use of cloud and hybrid cloud environments has become more of a necessity.

While there are certainly advantages of on-premises deployments, there are just as many reasons as to why migrating to the cloud may be the right choice to get the most out of your API initiatives. The cloud offers lower costs, greater flexibility, and an acceleration of your enterprise's digital transformation efforts.

The cloud offers:

  • Less on-premises hardware and software to install and maintain.
  • Greater flexibility in software deployment capabilities: Automation of resource provisioning and operations.
  • Ability to take advantage of Cloud provider services: User Authentication, Key Management Services, Serverless Computing.
  • Compliance with many different mandates: PCI, ISO, SOC, PSD2, GDPR, UK Open Banking, HIPAA, FedRAMP, HITRUST, DPC, CIS.
  • More cloud providers are offering some type of managed service for provisioning, deployment, security, operations, etc.
  • Cloud provider provides various tools and support services so the customer does not need to have skilled staff to do them.
  • Enables core staff to focus on implementing new business functionality - not infrastructure provisioning, app deployment, Ops.

In February 2020, Forrester detailed the results of a study in The Total Economic Impact™ of AWS Managed Services after following six AWS Managed Services customers for an average of two years. At the conclusion of the study, they were able to document significant advantages, such as:

  • 243% ROI
  • $10.8M in Benefits Present Value
  • $7.7M Net Present Value

The customers were also able to reduce staffing costs, cloud migration costs, and infrastructure costs. In addition, they realized resource efficiency gains and reduced their risk of a major security breach. Less quantifiable benefits include enabling innovation, adherence to best practices, infrastructure cost optimization, and “peace of mind” from the elimination of many operational worries.

Are you getting the most out of your managed environments? Discover how the Akana Cloud Native solution helps you scale and optimize your API strategy.

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API Management Deployment Types

The Akana API management platform is offered in three deployment types, each of which has benefits and trade-offs.

On-Premises

In an on-premises deployment, all software components are deployed on machines in the customer data center(s). The customer installs, operates, and maintains the software on these machines.

Benefits:

  • Customer has complete control over all aspects of the API management deployment.
  • Customer can decide when to apply API management software updates or configuration changes.
  • Customer can decide what database and other infrastructure components the API management software will use.
  • Customer can tightly control all security for the API management system.

Trade-Offs:

  • Customer installs and maintains the infrastructure: VMs, load balancers, databases, ElasticSearch, etc.
  • Customer installs and maintains the API management software: applying patches, performing release updates, etc.
  • Customer operates the API management system: ongoing operations and monitoring, periodic backups, etc.
  • Customer provides the security environment: LDAP, configuring OIDC providers, etc.

Cloud-Based (SaaS)

In a cloud deployment, all components are run in a cloud environment. The SaaS vendor installs, operates, and maintains all software – the customer simply uses it.

Benefits:

  • Customer simply uses the SaaS service to define APIs, apply policies, and deploy the APIs to the SaaS API gateways.
  • Customer can be up and running almost immediately.
  • The SaaS provider provides all hardware and software resources.
  • The SaaS provider performs all software installation, configuration, and maintenance.
  • The SaaS operates the API management software – including monitoring, backups, etc.

Trade-Offs:

  • Customer does not have direct control of the operating environments – they cannot apply patches, etc.
  • Customer cannot use custom Java extensions such as Java custom policies.
  • Network propagation delays for APIs to customer back-end apps might be longer than on-premises API gateways.
  • Customer cannot directly access the various API management components – such as the database(s) used.
  • Customer will need to whitelist the SaaS API gateways in their firewalls, so API calls can be passed to back-end applications.

Hybrid

In a hybrid deployment, some components are run in a cloud environment, while others are run in the customer data center(s). The SaaS vendor installs, operates, and maintains all software in the cloud environment, while the customer installs, operates, and maintains the software components installed in their data center(s).

Benefits:

  • “Best of Both Worlds” – SaaS provider installs, maintains, and operates all components except the on-premises API gateways.
  • Customer gets the benefits of a powerful API management platform, and the speed of local API gateways.
  • Customer can deploy different APIs to on-premises API gateways, to SaaS API gateways, or to both.
  • Low network propagations delays from on-premises API gateways to back-end applications.

Trade-Offs:

  • SaaS provider still operates the system, and decides when software patches and release updates will be applied.
  • Customer installs, configures, and operates the on-premises API gateways.
  • Customer will need to whitelist the SaaS components in their firewalls, to allow communication to on-premises API gateways.
  • Cost are higher than pure SaaS, but lower than pure on-premises.

Which Is Right For You?

For greater detail on the benefits of cloud and hybrid cloud deployment, and how they can contribute to the bottom-line and improve the ROI of your API initiatives, view our recent webinar.

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Find Your ROI

To discover how your API strategy measures up against our benchmarking repository, begin your analysis with our KPI Test Drive.

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Learn more in our complete guide to API ROI.