How an IT services group implements an API-first strategy with Apigee and Anthos

Modern Application Development - Case Study API Management and Hybrid Cloud Environment

Applications and their interaction through APIs play a crucial role in networking business processes and services. With the goal of making the development of enterprise applications more efficient, enabling further integrations and improving the interaction of systems, the management of an international IT group issued an API First strategy. Thanks to Cloudworthy’s support, the Apigee Hybrid API management platform was successfully introduced and the appropriate infrastructure solution was created for it with Anthos GKE On-Prem.

 

Company profile

The Group is one of the world’s leading providers of IT services with a broad range of technology products, solutions and services. With over 100,000 employees, the company serves customers in more than 100 countries and has several locations in Germany.

Challenge – Implementing an API-First Strategy

The demand for a better API strategy had several reasons:

  • Lack of monitoring and control mechanisms
  • Lack of visibility of internal APIs
  • Lack of standardized processes
  • No full CI/CD process

To solve these problems, an API management platform needed to be implementedunder the highest security and process management requirements. The goal was to keep API management internally consistent and to improve machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. In addition, a “single-pane-of-glass” solution had to be created to clearly display data from various sources in a dashboard.

For regulatory reasons, the API platform should be hosted in the company’s own data center. Since an API management system is not a purely technical solution, but changes the way many employees work, it was also necessary to align the implementation with existing processes. At the same time, there needed to be flexibility for future process improvements, and the existing infrastructure and expected usage needed to be taken into account when designing the solution. At the end of the transformation, there should be standardized, verifiable and automatable processes. To achieve this, the entire API landscape had to be analyzed, prioritized and grouped.

 

Solution – API First with Apigee Hybrid and Anthos

The decision an API management platform fell on Apigee Hybrid. The user-friendly platform offers the possibility to map hybrid processes and was thus ideally suited for the requirements of the IT group.

Prerequisite for the installation in this hybrid scenario was first the construction of a suitable infrastructure. Cloudwürdig implemented this with the hybrid cloud management platform Anthos. More specifically, Apigee was deployed on Anthos GKE On-Prem, a hybrid cloud software that embeds Google Kubernetes Engine in on-premises data centers, making it possible to run Kubernetes clusters anywhere.

For the implementation of the API management platform, company guidelines were created in the further course and the following points were defined:

  • Access permissions: How should they be designed, which teams work on which APIs and how does cross-team cooperation take place?
  • Security standards: Which ones do the APIs have to fulfill, which control mechanisms are there and what does security monitoring look like?
  • Guide for developers “Working with Apigee
  • Deployment and testing processes

In order to implement the guidelines, Apigee Hybrid’s technical circumstances had to be taken into account. Cloudwürdig was able to support the company in this process by identifying and discussing best practices in the respective areas in a series of workshops. Suitable guidelines were then jointly formulated on this basis. In an agile process, Cloudwürdig also accompanied the technical implementation and thus helped to combine the possibilities of the API management platform with the process requirements.

Apigee with CloudwürdigAnthos with Cloudwürdig

 

Results

The introduction of the API management platform greatly simplifies the IT group’s work with APIs. Processes for creation, security and monitoring have a significantly higher degree of standardization and automation, which accelerates the processes and minimizes errors. With Cloudwürdig’s expertise, the IT group’s corporate strategy was combined with the requirements of the Apigee Hybrid API management platform.

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