API Gateway caching
0  /  100
10 Sep 2023
  • Website Development

Cutting Latency in Half with API Gateway Caching

Start Reading
By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


In an era where every millisecond counts, reducing latency is of paramount importance for organizations aiming to deliver fast and seamless services to their users. One often overlooked but effective approach is leveraging API Gateway caching. According to empirical data, judicious use of this feature can potentially result in a latency reduction of over 50%. This article will elucidate the mechanics behind API Gateway caching, substantiate its impact on latency, and provide guidelines on how to effectively implement it.

The Mechanics of API Gateway Caching

API Gateway caching functions by storing responses from your endpoints and serving these cached responses to subsequent requests if the conditions permit. This mechanism alleviates the need to invoke the backend service repetitively, thereby reducing the latency inherent in such processes. Cache policies can be defined based on query strings, HTTP headers, and other request parameters to ensure that the cached response remains pertinent.

Empirical Data on Latency Reduction

Multiple studies have corroborated that API Gateway caching can significantly lower latency. By circumventing the invocation of backend services for frequently-accessed data, it is plausible to reduce latency by over 50% under optimal conditions. However, it is essential to note that the actual percentage may vary depending on numerous factors, including the complexity of the backend service and the size of the data being retrieved.

Effective Implementation Strategies

  • Identify Cacheable Resources: Start by identifying which API resources would benefit most from caching. Typically, GET requests for data that do not change frequently are prime candidates.
  • Set Appropriate Cache Durations: The cache TTL (Time-to-Live) should be configured judiciously. A longer TTL will reduce latency but might serve stale data, while a shorter TTL could negate the benefits of caching.
  • Implement Cache Control Policies: Utilize cache control headers to manage how responses are cached and served. This provides a granular level of control over caching behavior.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Regularly analyze metrics related to cache hits and misses to understand the efficiency of your cache. Make necessary adjustments to your cache settings based on these metrics.

Caveats and Considerations

While API Gateway caching is efficacious, it's not a panacea. Care should be exercised in handling sensitive data, as caching such data could lead to security vulnerabilities. Moreover, a poorly configured cache could potentially serve incorrect or stale data, leading to compromised user experiences.


API Gateway caching stands as a compelling technique for organizations focused on minimizing latency. While the figure of a 50% reduction in latency serves as a general guideline, the actual impact will be contingent on the specific nature of the API operations and the traffic patterns. By comprehending the underpinnings of API Gateway caching and adhering to best practices for its implementation, organizations can realize tangible improvements in service responsiveness.

Tyrone Showers