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LP
Owner at Binarylogicworks.com.au
Real User
Top 20
Good performance and resilience, but it is complex and has a learning curve

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the performance."
  • "Kafka is complex and there is a little bit of 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.
SergeyGoncharov
Developer Infrastructure at Outbrain
Real User
Very easy to install, stable, and has good scaling options

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very easy to keep to install and it's pretty stable."
  • "The third party is not very stable and sometimes you have problems with this component. There are some developments in newer versions and we're about to try them out, but I'm not sure if it closes the gap."

How has it helped my organization?

In my previous company, we had a proprietary implementation and we changed it with Kafka. We changed it because we had many different connectors available and it also allowed us to create a window to our products for the client. It was an on-premise product and it allowed the outline to take the data out, without us developing anything.

You can connect in any language and there are a lot of connectors available, it helps a lot. And it creates visibility into the data and stability. There are several alternatives but this is one of the best options for this.

What is most valuable?

It's very easy to install and it's pretty stable.

The possibility to have connectors is very helpful. Another valuable aspect is that it's mature and open-source. 

From a scalability point of view, you just add servers and it's scalable. The whole architecture is very scalable.

What needs improvement?

There is a feature that we're currently using called MirrorMaker. We use it to combine the information from different Kafka servers into another server. It's very wide and it gives a very generic scenario. I think it would be great if the possibility would exist out of the box and not as a third party. The third party is not very stable and sometimes you have problems with this component. There are some developments in newer versions and we're about to try them out, but I'm not sure if it closes the gap.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six months. I also worked with it additionally in my previous company but not so intensively. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never needed to use technical support. I know it's available but we haven't needed it because there's a lot of information on the internet that has helped us to solve our issues. 

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend Kafka. In our current position, we use it to move a lot of data and I think it's definitely working well. I would definitely recommend it.

I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Ravi-Patel
Assistant Professor at CHAROTAR UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Real User
Difficult to configure, lacking automation, but has good community support

Pros and Cons

  • "The valuable features are the group community and support."
  • "The solution can improve by having automation for developers. We have done many manual calculations and it has been difficult but if it was automated it would be much better."

What is our primary use case?

We are in the early stages of testing this solution in our lab as a demo. It is in development and we are not in production at this point.

We are using this solution to relay events when they happen to multiple receivers at once to allow better functionality.

How has it helped my organization?

Apache Kafka has helped our client's online restaurant company by allowing them to take any orders and send the notifications with some other details, such as logic commands, to the different microservices.

What is most valuable?

The valuable features are the group community and support.

What needs improvement?

The solution can improve by having automation for developers. We have done many manual calculations and it has been difficult but if it was automated it would be much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately three months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution's scalability is important for our ability to have more throughput from multiple receivers. If we need more throughput it can deliver.

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

We did use other solutions previously but this solution makes things a lot easier.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is fairly easy. Additionally, there is a cloud-based version available if a use case requires it.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves.

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

The solution is free, it is open-source.

What other advice do I have?

There is a lot of configuration involved in this solution. We have found many configurations that have helped us but it would be beneficial if there was automation. 

I rate Apache Kafka a five 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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Reza Gholami
Senior Technology Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A resilient solution for metrics collection and monitoring

Pros and Cons

  • "Resiliency is great and also the fact that it handles different data formats."
  • "Some vendors don't offer extra features for 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.
WG
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Good support, stable, and it supports a high volume of data

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the support for a high volume of data."
  • "The initial setup and deployment could be less complex."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Apache Kafka is being used in our client's company.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the support for a high volume of data.

What needs improvement?

The initial setup and deployment could be less complex.

Integration is one of the main concerns that we have.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Apache Kafka for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Kafka is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is quite good, and we have no problem with it.

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

We also use IBM MQ. It is also a stable product.

IBM MQ is probably easier to deploy than Kafka.

In addition to these, I have also worked with RabbitMQ.

How was the initial setup?

Deploying Kafka is more complex than IBM MQ.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My customer has asked me to choose between IBM MQ and Apache Kafka. I will be comparing these two solutions in the near future. My impression is that Kafka is going to better suit my customer, but I have to consider their specific needs before I can be sure.

What other advice do I have?

This is a solution that I may recommend, but its suitability depends on the needs and requirements.

I would rate this solution an eight 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.
NC
Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Excellent microservices architecture; integrates very well

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is based on the writing microservices, event architecture and using Kafka as an event bus. We work on distribution - enterprise-grade - and we design, develop and deploy in a confluent environment. We are customers of Kafka and I'm the chief technology officer.

What is most valuable?

In my view, valuable features relate to microservices architecture and working on KStream and KSQL DB as a microservices event bus. The solution integrates very well. 

What needs improvement?

The graphical user environment is currently lacking in Apache. It's not available within the solution and needs to be built from scratch. Some of the open source products of this solution have limitations. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been…

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is based on the writing microservices, event architecture and using Kafka as an event bus. We work on distribution - enterprise-grade - and we design, develop and deploy in a confluent environment. We are customers of Kafka and I'm the chief technology officer.

What is most valuable?

In my view, valuable features relate to microservices architecture and working on KStream and KSQL DB as a microservices event bus. The solution integrates very well. 

What needs improvement?

The graphical user environment is currently lacking in Apache. It's not available within the solution and needs to be built from scratch. Some of the open source products of this solution have limitations. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for four years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are still in phase one so haven't yet tested scalability. That will come when we move to the second phase. We currently have around 15 users of this solution. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is on a subscription-based model but we haven't had any contact with technical support. 

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

The licensing for this solution is pay-as-you-use.

What other advice do I have?

I rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AL
Enterprice Architect
Real User
Top 20
A reliable message delivery system, but more connectors to different systems are needed

Pros and Cons

  • "The most important feature for me is the guaranteed delivery of messages from producers to consumers."
  • "More adapters for connecting to different systems need to be available."

What is our primary use case?

I am an enterprise architect involved in Big Data and integration projects using Apache Kafa. We use it for integrating our different management systems.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature for me is the guaranteed delivery of messages from producers to consumers.

What needs improvement?

More adapters for connecting to different systems need to be available.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Kafka for about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution and we haven't had any complexities.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

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

I have used IBM MQ and it is better in terms of the adapters that are available. However, the price of IBM MQ is very high.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy.

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

Kafka is more reasonably priced than IBM MQ.

What other advice do I have?

Although we are deployed on-premises at the moment, we are looking to have a cloud-based deployment in a year or two.

This is a solution that I can recommend but it will take a lot of time to develop the adapters.

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.
MB
Product Manager at Insightgeeks
Real User
Has amazing throughput, we don't get any delays

Pros and Cons

  • "We get amazing throughput. We don't get any delay."
  • "The manageability should be improved. There are lots of things we need to manage and it should have a function that enables us to manage them all cohesively."

What is most valuable?

We get amazing throughput. We don't get any delay. 

What needs improvement?

The manageability should be improved. There are lots of things we need to manage and it should have a function that enables us to manage them all cohesively. There should be a default property. It's really hard to manage all these things.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Apache Kafka for around six months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really stable. The stability is really good. I just installed it on my local machine. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. 

I use it 24/7. We have to change both packets to Kafka and from Kafka it receives data. We retain the packet for only six seconds.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't needed to contact their customer support. It's quite simple. I didn't need to contact them to manage my application. 

How was the initial setup?

It's wasn't so easy for me to deploy. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to go through the documents and understand the topics. Learn what its effects are and take care of partitioning. 

Based on my experience, I would rate it an eight out of ten. It's quite complicated and the configuration requires a lot of effort. As a developer it is quite hard to go into all these things.

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