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Why developers use Confluent to manage Apache Kafka

Think about you’re getting groceries delivered, or searching for a suggestion on what to look at subsequent on TV, or utilizing a bank card with out worrying an excessive amount of about fraud. The purposes that energy these interactions all depend on information in movement, and there’s an honest probability Apache Kafka powers the purposes.

Greater than 80% of the Fortune 100 use Kafka because the occasion streaming substrate to energy real-time, user-facing purposes and software-driven again ends. Kafka has turn into the go-to for any group seeking to combine more and more numerous portfolios of purposes and microservices by immutable occasion logs somewhat than mutable information shops. The advantages are manifold, however recall that Kafka is a distributed system, and volunteering to function a distributed system your self is an more and more controversial selection.

For this reason the cloud exists. By means of absolutely managed cloud companies, distributors bear the capital bills and accumulate the operational experience essential to run infrastructure nicely. Confluent, the primary absolutely managed Kafka service in the marketplace, allows you to concentrate on constructing purposes and including worth to the enterprise somewhat than turning dials on operationally complicated infrastructure layers. I’d wish to stroll you thru how Confluent can deliver peace and ease to the lives of the individuals who work with Kafka.

Cloud-native is the way forward for infrastructure

There may be at all times a better demand for utility performance than there’s the capability to ship it. This suggests that utility groups ought to concentrate on the actions that create probably the most worth that they probably can. Usually, this implies offering new options that straight give a aggressive edge to clients and customers.

After all, all purposes require storage and compute infrastructure to perform with ongoing improvement and upkeep, distracting from value-creating function improvement. That is very true for Kafka, as a result of distributed information infrastructure imposes a big alternative value on groups deciding to function it themselves. Put merely: Your job is in the end to care for your clients. Whereas operating Kafka could also be a method to that finish, it’s probably not probably the most sensible method to get the job achieved. This problem is one in all many causes that led to the rise of managed cloud companies.

Elastic scaling for reals this time

Elastic scalability has at all times been an inherent a part of the cloud’s mythology however has been sluggish in coming to actuality. Early on within the cloud’s historical past, database innovators utilized new approaches to horizontal elastic scalability of huge datasets. Extra not too long ago, microservices and container orchestration have helped deliver utility scalability to the plenty. Nevertheless, information infrastructure typically has remained notoriously immune to straightforward scalability.

Kafka has a superb horizontal scale story: subjects are partitioned, particular person partition logs are assigned to totally different brokers, then consumed by scalable clusters of shopper purposes. There are some scriptable instruments to manage these scale-oriented capabilities, however self-managed clusters nonetheless require vital operational and technical experience. For instance, partition logs don’t stay evenly distributed on brokers as a cluster modifications over time. Additional, new subjects are added, and partitions obtain doubtlessly uneven learn and write site visitors, as enterprise circumstances evolve. That’s only one instance of one thing cluster directors should attend to over time.

Confluent has built-in elastic scalability. Clusters scale from zero to 100MBps throughput with no intervention and as much as 11GBps (the present file as of this writing) by a easy net UI—no transferring partitions round, no rebalancing brokers. Because the world slowly catches as much as the cloud’s authentic guarantees of elastic scale, Confluent brings scale to information infrastructure in a very cloud-native approach.

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Connecting your information all over the place

Your life will probably be multicloud anyway, so information infrastructure layers should be multicloud-capable to be severe contenders. Confluent is multicloud, natively supporting AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. This flexibility is important when you must run on a couple of cloud, or a minimum of be capable of threaten to. Confluent makes this straightforward through the use of a single administration net UI and a unified management airplane abstracted from the actual cloud infrastructure.

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However multicloud isn’t at all times sufficient! Generally you don’t wish to transfer every little thing to the cloud. Many firms wish to keep a mixture of on-prem, personal cloud, or public cloud companies. This hybrid cloud expertise is high of thoughts for Confluent, making it attainable to keep up backup companies, segregate merchandise, and handle a complicated Plan B by the Confluent UI.

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Don’t get misplaced within the ecosystem, get the entire package deal

Because the Kafka group has found within the 10 years since its start, you want greater than distributed logs to construct a profitable event-driven system. You additionally want dependable and safe connections between all of your techniques and streams, which is not any imply feat. Then you can begin to extract worth from the entire system with real-time stream processing.

A number of parts have emerged round core Kafka performance to assist ship on these wants, each from the open supply ecosystem and from Confluent:

  • Kafka Join: The common information integration framework that gives an ecosystem of connectors. It removes the necessity to re-write connectors for each new information supply.
  • Kafka Streams: A stream processing framework that enriches the present Kafka shopper framework with subtle stream processing performance, somewhat than offloading stream processing to a different distributed system.
  • Confluent Schema Registry: Helps keep compatibility between evolving purposes as message codecs change over time.
  • ksqlDB: The occasion streaming database for Kafka utilizing SQL to construct stream processing purposes you may in any other case have constructed with Kafka Streams.
  • Confluent Metrics API: Unifies most of the particular person metrics you possibly can gather by the JMX interface on varied system parts right into a single, queryable stream of JSON information.

The very fact of parts like these is that groups will finally want them. They’ve emerged from the Kafka group and from Confluent for that very motive. It’s practically inconceivable to be proficient sufficient in every of those areas to construct an answer that doesn’t require continuous consideration for easy operation.

With Confluent, you may have all of the instruments you must achieve success with Kafka at your fingertips. You should use one platform, and every little thing you want is there in a seamless, built-in approach, together with hundreds of connectors to standard information sources.

Knowledge safety at scale is a should

Kafka has a minimal viable safety story: It gives sturdy encryption of information in flight and ACL-based authentication and authorization as choices. Confluent expands on these options within the methods enterprises count on.

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For instance, all information in Confluent is encrypted at relaxation in addition to in flight. On high of that, purposes additionally require authentication with each name, eradicating the specter of unintentionally having “vast open” ports.

A wide range of different Confluent options assist hold safety easy, together with SAML-based single sign-on and safe entry to different cloud assets in your VPCs.

As proof of those safe capabilities, Confluent meets many business requirements and certification achievements, assembly necessities for PCI, HIPAA, and GDPR in addition to SOC1, SOC2, SOC3, and ISO 27001 certifications.

It’s a problem to attain all of those certifications whereas additionally offering many different safe and handy options out of the field. Builders can construct with confidence whereas leaving the heavy safety elevate to the managed platform.

However don’t simply take my phrase for it. You possibly can strive our absolutely managed Kafka service for free by Confluent or your cloud supplier of selection.

Tim Berglund is senior director of developer advocacy at Confluent.

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