Kubernetes Ingress or Gateway API, Making the Right Choice for Your Application

3 min readMay 5



Lately, I have been working on various applications. In one of them, we decided to use API Gateway, and in the other, we utilized k8s Ingress, so to understand more about our decision make sure to fasten your belt.

Kubernetes has revolutionized the way we deploy and manage applications in a containerized environment. It offers various features and components to ensure efficient communication between services. Two popular options for managing inbound traffic are Kubernetes Ingress and the newer Gateway API. In this brief blog post, we will delve into the differences, use cases, and considerations for choosing between Kubernetes Ingress and Gateway API.

So Kubernetes Ingress is a core feature that provides a way to expose HTTP and HTTPS routes into a cluster. It acts as a load balancer, routing external traffic to the appropriate services based on the defined rules. Ingress relies on an Ingress Controller, such as Nginx or HAProxy, to handle the actual traffic routing. It supports basic features like path-based routing, SSL termination, and request rewriting. Ingress resources are defined using Ingress YAML files.


The Rise of Gateway API: While Ingress has been widely used, it has certain limitations when it comes to handling more advanced scenarios, such as TCP/UDP protocols, WebSocket support, and complex routing configurations. To address these limitations, the Gateway API was introduced as a Kubernetes-native solution. The Gateway API is an implementation of the Kubernetes API that defines a custom resource for managing ingress-like functionality. It provides a more extensible and flexible approach to handling traffic ingress within Kubernetes.

Key Differences and Benefits:

  1. Configuration Flexibility: The Gateway API allows fine-grained control over traffic routing and advanced features. It supports protocols beyond HTTP and HTTPS, making it suitable for diverse use cases.
  2. Enhanced Security: Gateway API supports end-to-end TLS encryption, enabling secure communication between clients and services.
  3. Simplified Management: With Gateway API, you can define traffic handling logic directly in the Kubernetes API, eliminating the need for external Ingress Controllers.
  4. Standardized Approach: The Gateway API is backed by the Kubernetes community and is being developed as a standard solution, ensuring long-term support and compatibility.

Choosing the Right Approach: When deciding between Kubernetes Ingress and Gateway API, consider the following factors:

  1. Use Case Complexity: If your application requires advanced traffic routing, support for non-HTTP protocols, or more granular control, Gateway API may be the better choice.
  2. Ecosystem Support: Kubernetes Ingress has a more mature ecosystem with numerous Ingress Controllers available, while Gateway API is relatively newer and evolving.
  3. Long-Term Strategy: If you prioritize a standardized approach and anticipate the need for advanced features in the future, adopting the Gateway API early on may be beneficial.

On the other hand if we talk about migration and compatibility, If you’re already using Kubernetes Ingress, migrating to the Gateway API might require some effort. However, the Kubernetes community provides tools and documentation to assist in the migration process. It’s important to evaluate the effort involved and the benefits gained before deciding to migrate an existing deployment.

Ohh Yeah

To summarize, choosing between Kubernetes Ingress and Gateway API depends on the specific requirements of your application. While Kubernetes Ingress is a widely adopted and mature solution, the Gateway API offers enhanced flexibility and advanced features. Assess your use case complexity, future needs, and available ecosystem support before making a decision. Whichever option you choose, Kubernetes provides the necessary tools and resources to ensure seamless traffic management within your containerized environment.