Apache Kafka Reviews

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Michael Silvi
Consultant
Senior Software Engineering Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
May 13 2017

What is most valuable?

Kafka, as compared with other messaging system options, is great for large scale message processing applications. It… more»

How has it helped my organization?

I used Kafka with a client to decouple applications with different availability profiles. Before using a messaging-based… more»

What needs improvement?

Kafka requires non-trivial expertise with DevOps to deploy in production at scale. The organization needs to understand… more»

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

It is open source software.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

No, we did you use a previous messaging system.

What other advice do I have?

Consider using a managed Kafka service, such as from Heroku. If messaging is not a central component of the business and… more»
Sean Hickey
Real User
Solutions Architect at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
May 10 2017

What is most valuable?

Apache Kafka is actually a distributed commit log. That is different than most messaging and queuing systems before it. I… more»

How has it helped my organization?

Kafka has a guaranteed delivery mechanism that is very easy to set up. When starting out with minimal hardware, it can… more»

What needs improvement?

The GUI tools for monitoring and support are still very basic and not very rich. There is no help in determining a shard… more»

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

When starting to look at a distributed message system, look for a cloud solution first. It is an easier entry point than… more»

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We used traditional message queues and file semaphores. There was a lot of overhead with asynchronous messages being put… more»

What other advice do I have?

Be sure to define the use cases as best as possible at first. Kafka is very good, but it is complex to support. It can… more»
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Kevin Quon
Real User
Senior Technical Architect at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Nov 06 2017

What is most valuable?

I like the performance and reliability of Kafka. I needed a data streaming buffer that could handle thousands of messages per second with at least… more»

How has it helped my organization?

Through its publisher-subscriber pattern, Kafka has allowed our applications to access and consume data at a real time pace.

What needs improvement?

As an open-source project, Kafka is still fairly young and has not yet built out the stability and features that other open-source projects have… more»

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We did not have any other previous solutions. Our project was green field and a new type of project development.

What other advice do I have?

Kafka is open source and requires an administrator to maintain the servers.
Anonymous User
Real User
Founder, CEO at a tech vendor with 1-10 employees
May 14 2017

What is most valuable?

The ability to partition data on Kafka is valuable. But Kafka needs support and management. It is better to have it fully… more»

How has it helped my organization?

We have used Kafka for streaming customer web clicks from live sessions to understand customer behavioral patterns.

What needs improvement?

The product is good, but it needs implementation and on-going support. The whole cloud engagement model has made the… more»

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

Licensing issues are not applicable. Apache licensing makes it simple with almost zero cost for the software itself.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We didn’t have a previous solution. We started with Kafka and then switched to Amazon Kinesis (PaaS for Kafka). I think… more»

What other advice do I have?

If you have a dedicated Kafka resource to implement and manage the services, then go for Apache Kafka. Otherwise, do… more»
Anonymous User
Real User
Head of Engineering
May 10 2017

What is most valuable?

* Scalability * Reliability * Ease of use

How has it helped my organization?

Kafka was at the base of our system architecture. The system was designed as an event based architecture. Almost all the… more»

What needs improvement?

Stability of the API and the technical support could be improved. The Kafka API is changing quite radically with the… more»

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

I would not subscribe to the Confluent platform, but rather stay on the free open source version. The extra cost wasn't… more»

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

The previous solution was not really an equivalent one. I have been using several messaging systems, but Kafka fits us… more»

What other advice do I have?

The product is easy to use. However, to leverage its power, there is a need for good knowledge of event based processing… more»
Ivan Dyachkov
Real User
Team Lead at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
May 24 2017

What is most valuable?

* Message Retention: Unlike regular message queues, messages stay in Kafka after clients consume them. A message can be… more»

How has it helped my organization?

It has become dead simple to connect different application and services, saving a lot of development hours.

What needs improvement?

The standard Kafka Java library, which is shipped with the product, is too complex for inexperienced users. At my company… more»

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

There is no pricing and licensing.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We used RabbitMQ before. It does not scale well.

What other advice do I have?

Go ahead. It's a great product.
Chandra Keerthy
Real User
Principal Software Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
May 12 2017

What is most valuable?

Real-time streaming and persistence into distributed nodes. It provides a simple mechanism to create, publish, and… more»

How has it helped my organization?

We are using Kafka as part of our product. It is one of the messaging layers used to interact between various layers of… more»

What needs improvement?

The management tools are getting mature. When we have thousands of topics, it is hard to visualize.

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

With paid support from Confluent, you get the additional benefit of Kafka Connect.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Kafka rendered itself suitable for our product offering. It supports all the necessary requirements for a real-time… more»

What other advice do I have?

Kafka provides distributed persistence and streaming layers. The user has flexibility in managing as a consumer on how to… more»
Dori Waldman
Real User
Big Data Lead at a marketing services firm with 51-200 employees
May 23 2017

What is most valuable?

We are using Kafka consumer and producer.

How has it helped my organization?

We are using Kafka as MQ; our servers generate events which are being sent to Kafka. From Kafka, we have several consumers like Secor… more»

What needs improvement?

* Maintenance: Sometimes brokers disconnect and there are repartitions issues. * Built-in monitoring application for Kafka infrastructure. * UI for… more»

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I used RabbitMQ and ActiveMQ. Kafka is the standard, so there is no question what to use (unless you need better performance, like in ZeroMQ).

What other advice do I have?

Read the documentation and understand the offset issues (where to save them, read from start to end).
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What is Apache Kafka?

Apache Kafka is a distributed streaming platform, with the following capabilities:

  • It lets you publish and subscribe to streams of records. In this respect it is similar to a message queue or enterprise messaging system.
  • It lets you store streams of records in a fault-tolerant way.
  • It lets you process streams of records as they occur.

Apache Kafka gets used for two broad classes of application:

  • Building real-time streaming data pipelines that reliably get data between systems or applications.
  • Building real-time streaming applications that transform or react to the streams of data.
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