The following article appeared originally on the JAX Magazine website in the lead-up to the JAX Finance event in London, April 27-29, 2016, republished here courtesy of JAX Magazine.
We’ve certainly heard the chorus of voices discussing APIs and API management of late. We are convinced, though, that we are singing a solo with our focus on the areas that we think are most important in API management: performance, scalability and stability. These are all crucial elements for implementing a successful API-first approach and API strategy, not to mention critical for the proliferation and maturation of the world of mobile apps and the internet of things (IoT). As essential as performance is, it has not been a priority in developing API management solutions - but failure to perform will not only be a showstopper but may have significant effects on the bottom line.
Over the last couple of years we’ve seen an explosion in the use of HTTP-based APIs. We’ve seen them go from being a rather slow and useless but interesting technology fifteen years ago to today's current, high performance RESTful interfaces that powers much of the web and most of the app-space.
Varnish Cache has been used for HTTP-based APIs since its inception. The combination of caching, high performance and the flexibility brought by VCL makes it an ideal proxy for APIs. We’ve seen people doing rather complex protocol negotiations in VCL to do interesting things like matching frontend and backend protocols.