Friday 22 March 2024

Throttling vs rate limiting: what's the difference? in MuleSoft 186

Throttling vs rate limiting: what's the difference? in MuleSoft

In MuleSoft 4, both throttling and rate limiting are techniques used to regulate API access and protect your backend systems from overload. However, they differ in their approach and goals:

Rate Limiting:

  • Focus: Rate limiting primarily aims to enforce a hard limit on the number of API requests a client (consumer) can make within a specified time window (e.g., per second, minute, hour).

  • Strict Enforcement: If a client exceeds the defined rate limit, the API rejects the request. This ensures predictable API behavior and prevents resource exhaustion.

  • Use Cases: Ideal for scenarios where you want to prevent abuse, control costs associated with excessive usage, or maintain fair access for all API consumers.

  • MuleSoft 4 Implementation: The Rate Limiting policy within the API Manager component allows you to configure rate limits based on various criteria like IP address, API endpoint, or custom attributes.


  • Focus: Throttling aims to shape and control the traffic flow to your API. It focuses on managing the rate of incoming requests rather than imposing a strict limit.

  • Flexible Handling: When a client exceeds the throttling threshold, the API does not necessarily reject the request. Instead, it might:

  • Queue the request for processing later, potentially leading to some latency for the client.

  • Reduce the priority of the request, prioritizing requests from other clients within the limit.

  • Use Cases: Useful for scenarios where you want to:

  • Prevent sudden spikes in traffic from overwhelming your system.

  • Ensure a smoother user experience by avoiding complete request rejection during peak loads.

  • Gracefully degrade performance when under pressure.

  • MuleSoft 4 Implementation: The Throttling policy within the API Manager component allows you to configure throttling quotas and define behavior upon exceeding those quotas.

Choosing the Right Approach:

The choice between rate limiting and throttling depends on your specific requirements:

  • Strict Control and Predictability: Use rate limiting if you need to enforce absolute limits on API usage and guarantee rejection for exceeding those limits.

  • Traffic Shaping and Graceful Degradation: Utilize throttling if you want to manage traffic flow, avoid complete request rejection during peak loads, and allow for some level of resource queuing or prioritization.

MuleSoft 4 Support:

Both the Rate Limiting and Throttling policies are readily available within the API Manager suite in MuleSoft 4. You can configure these policies within your API flows to effectively control API access and prevent backend overload.

In summary:

  • Rate limiting: Enforces hard limits on API requests, ensuring predictable behavior and preventing resource exhaustion.

  • Throttling: Shapes and controls API traffic flow, allowing for flexible handling of requests exceeding quotas for a smoother user experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.