Tyk: the API manager you want, need and deserve

Evaluating API management vendors for your next project is often complex.

Every vendor offers an opinion. We offer opinions, too. But here’s the truth: we want to help you see why our product best fits your needs. That means we’re biased, however objective we aim to be… but we try!

Don’t rely solely on a vendor’s feature comparison page. Do your research and gather your evidence. Some of the points made on comparison pages can be seen as positive or negative, depending on your use-case or viewpoint, and they rarely keep up-to-date with the changing conditions of the market.

At Tyk, we don’t resort to scare tactics or belittling our competitors. We aim to find the overlap of your needs with our capabilities so that you can achieve your desired outcome. Take us for a test run and explore the entire product at your own pace without any sales pitch. If you need assistance, we’re here to guide you in making your own assessment.

Additionally, we have created a valuable guide to help you evaluate API management vendors and select the best platform for your needs.

To get you started, here are some areas where Tyk shines…

Tyk is simple to install

The full enterprise Tyk stack can be installed with just two commands – it cannot get easier than this.

Additionally, Tyk offers unmatched flexibility, from fully open source, self-managed, consumed as a SaaS, or somewhere in between with a hybrid approach.

Whether you need to deploy Tyk to a constellation of satellites orbiting Earth or a fleet of ocean-going ships, or perhaps you need to power an entire country’s banking system, Tyk has you covered. Sure, the installation gets a bit more complex in these scenarios, but that’s exactly how Tyk is used – check out our case studies.

Databases, yes, they make things a little more complex at scale… but they enable scale. We’re yet to see any DB-less alternative offering distributed rate limiting, quota management, credential management, and clustering across availability zones and regions with some centralised control.

We offer quite a bit of flexibility here, too – because Tyk can quite happily run with NoSQL with MongoDB or SQL such as Postgres, MySql, MariaDB – or even Cockroach as per your team preference.

Tyk has a large, active and growing open source community

Firstly, community size is irrelevant when it comes to resolution time or quality of product. That said, Tyk’s community is large, vibrant and growing. Tyk’s open source project has around 10k stars on GitHub which grows by a steady 10% year-on-year. Tyk’s community forum receives on average 30 new questions per month – which all get responded to within our internal SLA of 48 hours. There is a reason Tyk is rated #1 on G2, and Gartner Peer Insights for customer satisfaction.

Tyk works with your service mesh

Service mesh is important to many of Tyk’s customers. In a 2022 CNCF survey (biassed to the cloud-native community), 47% of respondents use service mesh within their organisation.

According to an older 2020 CNCF survey, the leading service mesh is Istio, with 47% market share. LinkerD and Consul tied at 41% market share each – some organisations utilise multiple mesh technologies which is why the percentages go over 100%.

We believe the combination of API Management from Tyk with an industry leading service mesh from the likes of Istio, LinkerD or Consul is the ideal combination and a far better option than locking into a proprietary “me too” offering by any API management vendor.

Service mesh is a subset of API management. The reason separate products exist, is that both API management and service mesh require optimised solutions for specific purposes. North/South vs East/West. The market for service mesh also is less mature, a prime example being the evolution of service mesh to a sidecarless architecture.

Here’s an article on using Tyk API Management with Istio.

Tyk offers best in-class governance capabilities

Since 2016, Tyk has been delivering API Management for some of the world’s largest banks, telcos and governments. The governance capabilities we’ve developed have resulted from close collaboration with the requirements of those clients.

Tyk has a native, embedded, Open Policy Agent engine for all administrative APIs. This is unique in API Management and means that Tyk Governance and Authorization support is arguably best-in-class.

Policy within Tyk is expressed in a high-level, declarative language (REGO), which promotes safe, performant and fine-grained controls. Open Policy Agent is a Graduated CNCF project by Styra, which you can find out more about here.

Tyk has had a separate control-plane and data-plane since its inception, meaning that the hybrid deployment option has been available for Tyk customers since 2016. Tyk’s multi-region and hybrid modes are advanced, mature, battle-tested and particularly well suited to core API platform engineering teams who require governance in agile and federated API Management capabilities.

Tyk Gateway has advanced customisation capabilities

Tyk gateway has an embedded Javascript, Python and Lua interpreter. This facilitates the creation of middleware and custom plugins, and even virtual endpoints which enables serverless-like functionality.

In addition, we support plugin authoring using Tyk’s native language, Go, for ultimate performance and even any language which supports gRPC for ultimate governance and flexibility.

That said, you won’t need to customise Tyk too much because 95% of what you will need to do will be available out of the box. You see, Tyk is Open Source. There are no strings attached; we are not open core, and we don’t have any paid-for plugins.

With our open source licensing model, our community users are never faced with a paywall – they get exactly the same features and functionality as our paying customers. What’s more, the same plugins work irrespective of your deployment topology – whether Full-SaaS, Hybrid or Self-Managed.

Tyk makes automation trivial

Tyk is the only API Management solution which utilises the Open API Specification as its native API definition format.

Import your OAS, make changes, and export again, seamlessly integrating with your PlatformOps, APIOps, GitOps, DevOps, and *Ops workflows.

With traditional Git workflows, you can utilise Tyk Sync to help you synchronise and migrate between environments, or even deploy it within your CI/CD pipelines.

In the following 5-minute demo, you can see how Tyk Sync makes it trivial to automate Tyk, using Gitea and Jenkins as part of your CI/CD workflow.

In Kubernetes, you might prefer a declarative approach. In this short video, you can see how Tyk Operator enables you to package your API configurations, security policy, documentation, and even create API products using Kubernetes custom resources. That’s right, you can package your Tyk CRDs with your regular microservice helm deployments – and it really is that simple.

In this blog, one of our customers, Realtor.com, talks about how Tyk enables federation and automation at scale.

Tyk is lightweight, fast and scales reliably

Tyk consistently benchmarks as one of the fastest solutions on the market.


Consuming just 50 MB in disk space and just 20 MB of RAM at rest means that Tyk is super light and can be (and is!) deployed almost anywhere.


Our benchmarks demonstrate that for vanilla HTTP requests, a single gateway can handle in excess of 85k transactions per second whilst introducing just 1.4ms of latency at the 99th percentile. On a commodity $30 per month t2.medium AWS EC2 instance, a Tyk gateway can still comfortably handle 6.5k transactions per second. If you enable auth, rate limits, quotas as well as capture request analytics, and Tyk can still process in excess of 65k transactions per second.

Scales reliably

We have many clients processing tens or even hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. They achieve this by horizontally scaling their fleets. Having multiple smaller instances of Tyk Gateway provides the added benefit of introducing resilience to the whole cluster.

Speed isn’t everything, though. A drag racer can go fast in a straight line, but it can’t do much else. Try turning a corner or drive further than the drag strip without running out of fuel or avoiding a crash.

Tyk Gateways have been designed to load thousands of APIs concurrently, each with tens, hundreds and thousands of endpoints. Aside from policy enforcement, such as authentication, authorization, and analytics, the gateway also processes different kinds of traffic profiles. This ranges from hundreds or thousands of connected clients, long-running connections like Kafka topics, websockets and GraphQL subscriptions and long-poll through to your regular short-lived http request/responses.

All the above happens concurrently and fluidly within your API ecosystem, while being hot-reloaded as new APIs and policies are created, updated and deleted without negatively impacting your API consumers. Tyk gateway can do all these things and more in the most demanding of environments for the most demanding of customers.

Don’t just take my word for it – check out this short demonstration of Tyk at 1M transactions per second:

Your partner in API management

We are committed to providing fair, unbiased guidance to help you make informed decisions. We want to assist you in finding the right solution for your project, even if it’s different from ours.

Keen to take Tyk for a test run? Speak to an engineer now to see Tyk in action.