Apache Kafka Review

Good performance and resilience, but it is complex and has a learning curve


What is our primary use case?

I am a solution architect and this is one of the products that I implement for my customers.

Kafka works well when subscribes want to stream data for specific topics.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the performance.

What needs improvement?

Kafka is complex and there is a little bit of a learning curve.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Apache Kafka for between one and two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Resilience-wise, Kafka is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Kafka is a very scalable system. You can have multiple, scalable architectures.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not seen any problems with technical support. There is licensed support available, which is not the case with all open-source solutions. Open-source products often have issues when it comes to getting support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have customers who were using IBM MQ but they have been switching to open-source.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward for me. However, it is not straightforward for everyone because there are some tricky things to implement. In single-mode it is a little bit easier, but when it is set up as a distributed system then it is more complex because there are a lot of things to be considered.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Kafka is open-source and it is cheaper than any other product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There is a competing open-source solution called NATS but I see that Apache Kafka is widely used in many places.

Performance-wise, Kafka is better than any of the other products.

What other advice do I have?

This is currently the product that I am recommending to customers. Some customers want an open-source solution.

There are some newer products that are coming on to the market that are even faster than Kafka but this solution is very resilient.

In the long run, I think that open-source will dominate the pace.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

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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