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Gateway Service Options

Date: 2018/02/15

Business Case

In the top-level microservice architecture for Brewblox, there are some supporting services.

One of them is the gateway. This gateway should function as a unifying API, reverse-proxying all calls to the relevant services.

A quick stab at implementing it ourselves revealed that doing so would be non-trivial. That means we're looking at option two: finding a library or application that has already done this.


Options will be shortlisted based on the must haves, and then compared on could have, and non-functional requirements.

Must haves

  • support encrypted traffic.
  • reverse proxy calls to known services
  • configuration hot reload or runtime registration
  • support HTTP communication
  • free (as in beer)
  • actively maintained
  • support multiple instances of services at different end points

Could haves

  • support multiple instances of services (load balancing)
  • service auto-discovery
  • login redirection for authorized endpoints
  • Docker container version
  • automatic traffic logging
  • endpoint simulation
  • open source
  • add CORS headers
  • rate limiting
  • support a heterogenous set of services
  • service health checking

Nonfunctional requirements

  • easy to set up
  • easy to configure
  • easy to debug
  • good examples
  • lightweight
  • works equally well in and outside docker context
  • scalability
  • Actively developed by a large community or company



These options did not meet must-have requirements

  • Caddy: paid for business users


Supports every single requirement.


Seems capable, but documentation needs some more detailed attention.


  • Free up to 50 000 API calls per day.
  • Only hosts the gateway, not the services
  • Bad documentation - low on technical info, high on sales pitches


  • Nginx based.
  • Seems to lack auto service discovery.