Apache Kafka Review

A resilient solution for metrics collection and monitoring


What is our primary use case?

We use Apache Kafka for financial purposes. Every time one of our subscribed customers is due for an insurance payment, Apache Kafka sends an automated notification to the customer to let them know that their bill is due.

What is most valuable?

Resiliency is great and also the fact that it handles different data formats. There is one data format that's universal across multiple application domains — Avro. It's pretty universal compared to JSON, XML, SQI, and other formats.

What needs improvement?

Some vendors don't offer extra features for monitoring. Some come with Linux for default monitoring. Monitoring is very important. If something is not working properly, then our subscribers won't receive a notification. You then have to trace it back to Kafka and find the glitch or the messaging sequence that hasn't been racked up correctly.

It should support Avro — which handles different data formats — as a default data format. It would be much more flexible if it did.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Apache Kafka for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems to be quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Apache Kafka is Scalable. You can actually launch a server node or a broker. Three nodes and Zookeeper (the Kafka server management system) is optimal. If one of them goes down you can automatically launch another one. You can go three servers or brokers back — there's a repetition on each Kafka broker.

How are customer service and technical support?

Apache Kafka is open-source. They don't offer technical support.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Apache Kafka a rating of eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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