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Confluent OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Confluent is #6 ranked solution in Streaming Analytics tools. IT Central Station users give Confluent an average rating of 8 out of 10. Confluent is most commonly compared to Amazon MSK:Confluent vs Amazon MSK. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 27% of all views.
What is Confluent?

Confluent Platform is the complete streaming platform for large-scale distributed environments. Unlike a traditional messaging system or stream processing API, Confluent Enterprise enables all of your interfaces to the world to be connected to and make decisions with all of your internal systems in real time.

Confluent and partner vendors offer tested and secure connectors for many popular data systems. Connectors make it quick and easy to start setting up reliable data pipelines.

Our connectors are all fully integrated with the platform, namely the schema registry.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Streaming Analytics Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Confluent Customers

ING, Priceline.com, Nordea, Target, RBC, Tivo, Capital One, Chartboost

Confluent Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Confluent pricing:
  • "You have to pay additional for one or two features."
  • "Confluent is expensive, I would prefer, Apache Kafka over Confluent because of the high cost of maintenance."

Confluent Reviews

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AmitSahu
Consultant at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Scalable, flexible, open source solution

Pros and Cons

  • "The design of the product is extremely well built and it is highly configurable."
  • "It would help if the knowledge based documents in the support portal could be available for public use as well."

What is our primary use case?

Our use cases include data streaming, enterprise architecture, integrations, and complete data saving needs, some AI workloads, and standardization. We work on all of these.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest benefit is that it is open source. You have the flexibility of opting or not opting for enterprise support, even though the tool itself is open source. 

The second benefit is it's very modern and built on Java and Scala. You can extend the features very well, and it doesn't take a lot of effort to do so.

Then the performance and community support, which we get while we do any POT, proof of theory work. The community support we receive is also really good.

The knowledge base on the Confluent website is also a good benefit. 

What is most valuable?

In terms of the valuable features, first would be scalability, then open source. You can use it for POCs, and if you are going to production with this technology, then you can opt for platinum support. The design of the product is extremely well built and it is highly configurable.

Whether you have a custom use case or out-of-the-box implementation, you can configure it according to your needs. The tool is very flexible, so you can configure it according to your use case and it's easy to administer. Because it's open-source, you're transparent as well. Nothing is a black box when you are working with Confluent.

You can extract and look at the code of what's happening. You can customize the code also because it's open source. I find all these features very interesting and appealing.

What needs improvement?

It would be great if the knowledge based documents in the support portal could be available for public use as well. If Confluent would publish the knowledge base, best practices, proper documentation; that would be helpful for folks who do not have support lines or are just assessing whether they can fit Confluent into their use case.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Confluent for more than four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Confluent is a reliable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have been working on Confluent with two companies and around ten people. We use it on a daily basis. It's basically a vertical and it integrates all the sources.

How are customer service and support?

We use the solution on-premise with enterprise support. This is an open-source technology and the setup I was working on was on-premise. There are various features of the platinum enterprise support with Confluent.

We can go to them for knowledge modules and best practices. We can reach out to Confluent regarding any product which is currently active or if we identify a bug in any product. We reach out with a support request. I'm satisfied with the support.

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

While I was using Confluent, I worked on use cases involving other traditional message use and conventional streaming platforms. The Confluent platform actually outlines everything, so it's a great product in this field.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is somewhere in between simple to moderate. It depends on the use cases, but it is not a very difficult tool to handle. If you have a team of IT professionals then it takes less time to scale to Confluent. The setup is rather simple and the architecture is microservices-based.

A team of three to five people would easily implement. Again, I'm talking about designing and a POC implementation. So whenever you move to production or scalability, you just have to replicate the configurations.

For a general mini architecture, you can deploy very easily with three to five people.

The timeframe to implement depends on the complexity of the use cases. Sometimes it takes a month or two; sometimes it can take a week or two. 

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

You have to pay additional for one or two features. The monitoring simple solution call conference control center and Confluent replica for disaster recovery. You have to pay for these two use components, but it is included in the support package.

What other advice do I have?

The solution requires a support team. A minimum of two people are required to administer and handle the support activities in the event of outage. So any service will need, so Confluent is not no different in that perspective.

The support is very good and it's open source. Companies can easily pre-assess whether it fits their needs. They can even do performance benchmarking. 

I would give the solution a nine 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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SB
Senior Distributed Platform Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Beneficial data replication, effective self balancing, and stable

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature that we are using is the data replication between the data centers allowing us to configure a disaster recovery or software. However, is it's not mandatory to use and because most of the features that we use are from Apache Kafka, such as end-to-end encryption. Internally, we can develop our own kind of product or service from Apache Kafka."
  • "They should remove Zookeeper because of security issues."

What is our primary use case?

I work in the insurance domain. We stream data in and out Confluent. If financial data is being used most organizations prefer to stay on-premise with their data, but there is a cloud version available. These are the features that Confluent provides.

How has it helped my organization?

Confluent has benefited our company because it provides granular access, enterprise support, self-balancing cluster. If there is any data skewness or one server is busy doing some processing, it shifts to the other processor and balances the data between them. There are auto data balances, self-balancing clusters, replication, and role-based access controls.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature that we are using is the data replication between the data centers allowing us to configure a disaster recovery or software. However, is it's not mandatory to use and because most of the features that we use are from Apache Kafka, such as end-to-end encryption. Internally, we can develop our own kind of product or service from Apache Kafka.

What needs improvement?

They should remove Zookeeper because of security issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Confluent within the last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The latest version of 6.2.0, has almost everything and it's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. If you have good hardware, especially for Kafka then it will perform very well. It's easy to scale up, but there are issues scaling down, which may result in losing data.

I don't know exactly how business is doing. We currently are supporting, and we are running up to the threshold of the solution. I'm not sure about the future if we will increase usage.

We have approximately 250 applications running.

How are customer service and support?

We have contacted technical support. We create support tickets, in case of emergencies or when any support is required.

I've been working with the support team for four years. They are good. The level one team will go around the issue by gathering information, but the next level, and the third level development team, are very good.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward and we use our own ansible-playbook, which was designed similar to CP ansible which is supported by Confluent.

What about the implementation team?

We have two people that do the implementation. We manage four clusters which include integration tests, reproduction, and production. We did the installation with some simple scripts and designing the script takes a couple of weeks.

Confluent requires maintenance because we might see issues with the applications and need to support them. We need to keep checking the performance and we should keep on monitoring them because high critical data will be passing through. There is a need for regular OS patching and any upgrades that Confluent provides. 

Not everybody will be aware of Kafka's technology which means we educate the developers. For example, the properties to be used and what makes optimum performance from the solution.

What was our ROI?

I have had a return on investment by using Confluent. It's faster than any other technology in real-time. You don't have to wait for your transactions to happen overnight.

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

The license Confluent is server-based. It depends on the number of services that you are running in the cluster. 

Confluent is expensive, I would prefer, Apache Kafka over Confluent because of the high cost of maintenance. 

Large organizations, prefer to use open-sourced solutions because they provide a cost reduction. Apache Kafka is open source and there are many other open-source security tools, which can be used that provide features that Confluent offers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated Apache Kafka.

What other advice do I have?

Confluent has improved a lot and they're currently working on version 7.0 where they're removing Zookeeper, which is highly vulnerable to security attacks.

My advice to others wanting to use this solution is for them to use automation wherever it is required and it is a very stable product, not many issues arise If you know how to manage them. Overall, it's a great company and they have excellent software.

I rate Confluent a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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TS
Project Management Officer at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Top 5Leaderboard
Scalable, easy to use, and very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "A person with a good IT background and HTML will not have any trouble with Confluent."
  • "In Confluent, there could be a few more VPN options."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Confluent for documentation. We use it to have documentation for the Agile team, as a reference or to share it with the stakeholders. It holds the project data, and what's happening right now. 

At a higher level, the business initiative and all things related to tracking high-level, enterprise-level tasks is something we are not doing it right now. We are doing that part in a very traditional way using Excel sheets, which is very manual work. We haven't automated it yet. 

What is most valuable?

A person with a good IT background and HTML will not have any trouble with Confluent.

The solution is stable. 

The scalability is good.

The solution offers good dashboards for the team they are easy to navigate and you can install them on your desktop or the local machine.

What needs improvement?

The beginner who doesn't know how to work on HTML will struggle as when you create spaces in the Confluent, if you want to have some meeting notes or anything else, you need to know HTML and which HTML tags to include. In my earlier organization, people used to struggle in adding the HTML tags to the Confluent. However, if a person is from an IT background, and he or she knows how to add the tags and browse product documentation, for them it is easy. A new user must go through the few training sessions for Confluent.

In Confluent, there could be a few more VPN options. I remember in my previous company, I had an issue in adding a query where I could pull down information from Jira. The product, the team productivity, the team timesheets, et cetera. A few of those plugins must be more advanced in Confluent.

The plugin options need to be improved. I don't know whether we have something in Confluent where we can have a plugin for support teams. If not, that would be ideal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about six years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product can scale. However, the person must be used to that tool. It depends on how quickly the user can pick up working on that.

We likely have as many as 300 people using the solution.

I'm not sure if the organization intends to increase usage in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't directly deal with technical support. That's all handled by our backend team, and therefore I leave it to them. Without any direct experience, I can't speak to how knowledgeable or responsive they are. 

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

I've used other project management-related products and document repository kinds of products like SharePoint or Microsoft Project.

Having used SharePoint in the past, when I compare with traditional, old document repositories, like SharePoint, I would definitely recommend Confluent. Confluent have many options compared to SharePoint.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the installation, for us, we have an Agile admin person that handled the setup. I wasn't a part of the process. I can't directly speak to the experience. I remember creating the project, however, I did not do the deployment part. 

I'm not sure how many people you need to handle the deployment. It might be four or five individuals.

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

I don't directly handle the licensing. My license is given to me. Therefore, I don't know the terms of the licensing or the exact costs.

What other advice do I have?

We're customers and end-users.

The end products we have are Jira, Confluent, Bitbucket as well as Dynatrace. I'm not sure which plugins we use. Confluent we are using just for the documentation. 

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. It's been very handy for me and the team.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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RB
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Provides the data availability that we need with good features; visualization could be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "Kafka Connect framework is valuable for connecting to the various source systems where code doesn't need to be written."
  • "there is room for improvement in the visualization."

What is our primary use case?

We're currently working on one of our largest implementations with 500 billion-plus records in real-time and 100 billion on a daily basis. The client aggregates the reports. I'm a solution architect and we are customers of Confluent. 

How has it helped my organization?

As an enterprise organization, data availability is critical and Confluent provides that SLA support. It's very important for us to have this.

What is most valuable?

KSQL is a valuable feature as is the Kafka Connect framework for connecting to the various source systems where you need not write the code. We get great support from Confluent because we're using the enterprise version and whenever there's a problem, they support us with fine-tuning and finding the root cause.

What needs improvement?

From the control center perspective, there is a lot of room for improvement in the visualization. They're now aggressively pushing the Cloud version which is good, but there are still a lot of features missing there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If you take the version prior to the latest one, then it will be stable. We have a team of around 10 people working on the solution. Maintenance needs an operations team and admin availability in the event of performance degradation. It needs to be monitored 24/7.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is highly scalable. 

How are customer service and support?

Customer support is very good - we can raise a ticket through the portal and they get us on a video-sharing app to help solve the problem. 

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

We previously used the open-source version of Apache which doesn't have automated deployment using Ansible or even through Confluent Operator for Kubernetes. It required a lot of installation maintenance which can be tricky sometimes.

How was the initial setup?

If you go for Confluent Cloud, then the deployment is just a plug-and-play. If it's on-prem and you're looking to deploy on a non-containerized platform, then there are very good Ansible scripts, which can be completely deployed. If you're going with Kubernetes, then they have something called Confluent Operator. Deployment requires an online admin and a minimum of three people for on-prem deployment. Implementation time depends on the cluster size. For eight nodes, deployment takes around 20 minutes but for a larger cluster with around 30 nodes, it can take an hour and a half. 

What other advice do I have?

I think this is a very good solution and if there's no need to specifically take the on-prem version then in terms of maintenance and scalability, the cloud version would be the preferred option. If the organization has a very high volume of data then on-prem is preferable. In terms of performance, I believe Confluent is the market leader in streaming platforms.

I rate the solution seven out of 10. 

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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AG
Delivery Head IT & IS at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to set up, scalable, and competitively-priced product

What is our primary use case?

Confluent is an amazing tool. It gives you the ability to basically create nice documentation for various products. It is highly configurable and integrates very well with Jira. You can use it for reporting as well. When it comes to hosting online content, it is in competition with SharePoint.

What needs improvement?

It could have more themes. The themes in the version I'm using are very limited; they offer two to three themes.  They should have more reporting-oriented plugins as well. It would be great to have free custom reports that can be dispatched directly from Jira.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Confluent for 15 years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Confluent is scalable. 

How are

What is our primary use case?

Confluent is an amazing tool. It gives you the ability to basically create nice documentation for various products. It is highly configurable and integrates very well with Jira. You can use it for reporting as well. When it comes to hosting online content, it is in competition with SharePoint.

What needs improvement?

It could have more themes. The themes in the version I'm using are very limited; they offer two to three themes. 

They should have more reporting-oriented plugins as well. It would be great to have free custom reports that can be dispatched directly from Jira.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Confluent for 15 years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Confluent is scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their tech support is amazing; they are very good, both on and off-site. Whenever we have a query for them, they got back to us in time and with the information that we needed. 

How was the initial setup?

I think the documentation that Atlassian provides has all the information you need to carry out the installation. The installation is very straightforward; I didn't come up against any challenges. 

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

I think Confluent's pricing is very competitive compared to other products on the market. This is especially considering its configurability and extensibility.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this product. 

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