What is a Gateway, and what can it do for you?

Since I sell Gateways every day, I thought I would tackle this question. I’ll begin by stating that a Gateway is perhaps one of the most misunderstood and yet most powerful technology component available in a technologist’s arsenal. If you think of a Gateway only as an instrument to secure Web Services, a Gateway is considerably more versatile and is also extremely adept at handily solving a broad array of complex technical challenges. To use an analogy, don’t just think of a car, think Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang.

To understand what makes a Gateway such a powerful tool and to shed some light as to just how it works, it’s first helpful to know where it is most often installed within your technical architecture.  A Gateway is typically installed at the edge of your network inside what techies call the DMZ, which is an acronym that stands for Demilitarized Zone.  Techies use that term because it’s the frontline defense for all Internet traffic flowing into and out of your enterprise. As such, the Gateway operates as a High Performance Input/Output device that can apply operations to traffic in near real-time passing into and out of your network.  One of the most important functions a Gateway is its ability to stop bad traffic (schema bombss, SQL injections, etc.) from ever making its way into your enterprise.

Since application traffic flows through the Gateway on it’s way to your enterprise systems, the Gateway gets first crack at doing something meaningful with this information.  You can define a whole series of operations or policies that the Gateway can apply to this traffic. How you define your policies and the conditional instructions you define can completely alter your perception of just what a Gateway is and does. To use an analogy, if you saw the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flying, you would think it was only an airplane, but if you instead saw the automobile racing across the water, you would think boat, and if you only saw the car on the road you would think of just as an automobile.   Now, if you were to combine all three perspectives, you would likely scratch your head and say to yourself, that’s one hell of a machine, whatever it is.  Well, unlike the movies, a Gateway is the very real equivalent of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang automobile. Only, the Gateway can perform ten or more tasks extremely well instead of only three.

The operations a Gateway can perform are things such as:


  • Inspect
  • Verify
  • Transform
  • Redact
  • Enrich
  • Encrypt
  • Block
  • Route
  • Throttle
  • Analyze
  • Log
  • Report


Each operation, when performed stand alone or combined with other operations can quite literally change your perception of the technology. A Gateway can:

  • Prevent unauthorized application access into your network
  • Thwart Denial of Service Attacks
  • Integrate On-Premise with cloud based applications across your entire enterprise
  • Operate as a Cloud Service Broker
  • Serve as a unified policy enforcement point – enforce IdM entitlements
  • Provide federated access
  • Re-purpose web services by redacting responses
  • Provide real-time insight as to how all your composite applications are performing
  • Transform application data from one language to another, and back again (SOAP to REST) – Go Mobile Quickly, without added time or expense
  • Throttle certain network traffic to meet SLA requirements
  • Serve as a simple Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) or front-end an existing ESB to improve its performance by as much as 8X
  • Send alerts to management and much, more…

In short, a Gateway is a very powerful tool that can solve numerous complex technical challenges and should be a core component of your infrastructure.  And of coure, the most powerful, flexible, and easy to use Gateway on the market is hands down Vordel.

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