Kafka vs Confluent
Apache Kafka is an open-source stream-processing software platform developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It is written in Scala and Java and designed to provide a unified, high-throughput, low-latency platform for handling real-time data feeds. Its key capabilities include fault-tolerant storage, processing streams of records, and performing real-time analysis.
Confluent is a commercial company that provides a more polished and extended version of Kafka, known as Confluent Platform. It is built on top of Kafka and extends its capabilities with additional tools and services, including a schema registry, connectors for various data systems, and enterprise-level features for security, monitoring, and support.
Origin and Base Technology:
- Kafka: An open-source project, primarily meant for stream processing.
- Confluent: A commercial offering that builds on Kafka, adding more features and services.
- Kafka: Core features include publish-subscribe messaging, fault tolerance, and high throughput.
- Confluent: Offers all features of Kafka, plus additional tools like a schema registry, REST proxy, and various connectors.
Ease of Use and Setup:
- Kafka: Requires manual setup and configuration, which can be complex.
- Confluent: Provides a more user-friendly experience with additional tools and pre-built connectors, making setup and operations easier.
Support and Services:
- Kafka: Community support is available; professional support depends on third-party vendors.
- Confluent: Offers professional support, training, and consultancy as part of its commercial package.
- Kafka: Suitable for organizations with the capability to manage and configure Kafka clusters by themselves.
- Confluent: Aimed at enterprises looking for a comprehensive solution with support and additional features.
- Kafka: Free and open-source.
- Confluent: Has a free, open-source version, but the enterprise features come with a subscription cost.
Practical Use Cases
- Building high-throughput, scalable messaging systems.
- Real-time analytics and monitoring systems.
- Log aggregation and stream processing in distributed systems.
- Enterprises requiring robust, scalable Kafka deployments with additional tools and support.
- Scenarios where integration with a wide range of systems and data sources is needed.
- Companies looking for advanced security, monitoring, and administration features.
Apache Kafka is a powerful, open-source stream processing platform ideal for handling large volumes of data. Confluent, on the other hand, provides a more comprehensive and enterprise-ready solution built on Kafka. It simplifies the use of Kafka and adds useful features, but at a cost. The choice between Kafka and Confluent depends on the specific needs, budget, and technical expertise of the organization.