What Is Apache Kafka?

Written by Caitlin Davidson

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Apache Kafka Defined

Apache Kafka is a community distributed event streaming platform, which is capable of handling trillions of events a day.

Kafka is used for real-time streams of data, to collect big data and, or to do real time analysis.

It is used with in-memory microservices to provide durability while also being used to feed events to CEP (complex event streaming systems) and IoT/IFTTT-style automation systems.

Kafka is generally used for two broad classes of applications:

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

Advantages of Kafka include:

  •       Low Latency: Theplatform offers low latency value.
  •       High Throughput:  Kafka is able to handle more number of messages of high volume and high velocity.
  •       Fault tolerance: It has an essential feature to provide resistance to node/machine failure within the cluster.
  •       Durability: It offers the replication feature, which makes data or messages to persist more on the cluster over a disk, making it durable.
  •       Reduces the need for multiple integrations: All the data that a producer writes go through Kafka.
  •       Easily accessible: As the data gets stored in Kafka, it becomes democratized and accessible to anyone.
  •       Scalability: The quality of Kafka to handle large amounts of messages simultaneously make it a scalable software product.

Companies currently using Kafka include:

  •       Uber
  •       Spotify
  •       Slack
  •       Shopify
  •       Coursera

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