Amazon MSK service makes it easy for developers to build and run secure, scalable applications based on Apache Kafka

Amazon Web Services Inc., an company announced general availability of Amazon MSK, a fully managed service for Apache Kafka that makes it easy for developers to build and run highly available, secure, and scalable applications based on Apache Kafka without having to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure.

Amazon MSK is fully compatible with Apache Kafka, enabling customers to easily migrate their on-premises or Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2) clusters to Amazon MSK with no code changes. There are no commitments or upfront investment required to run Amazon MSK, and customers only pay for the capacity they use.

Users use Apache Kafka to capture and analyze real-time data streams from a range of sources, including IoT devices, website clickstreams, financial systems, and database logs. While many customers chose to self-manage their Apache Kafka clusters, they often spend a lot of time and expense securing, scaling, patching, and ensuring high availability for Apache Kafka and Apache ZooKeeper clusters, which Apache Kafka depends on for resource management.

Apache Kafka is a streaming data store that decouples applications producing streaming data (producers) into its data store from applications consuming streaming data (consumers) from its data store. Organizations use Apache Kafka as a data source for applications that continuously analyze and react to streaming data.

With a few clicks in the Amazon MSK Console Amazon MSK provisions Apache Kafka cluster and manages Apache Kafka upgrades so that users are always using secure and fast version of Apache Kafka. Once the clusters are configured, the applications can stream data from producers to a topic, where this data is read in real-time by consumers.

Amazon MSK provides multiple levels of security for Apache Kafka clusters including VPC network isolation, AWS IAM for control-plane API authorization, encryption at rest, TLS encryption in-transit, TLS based certificate authentication, and Apache Kafka Access Control Lists (ACLs) compatibility.

Amazon MSK gives customers all of the attributes of Apache Kafka combined with the availability, security, and scalability of AWS. With just a few clicks, customers can create Apache Kafka clusters designed for high availability that span multiple Availability Zones (AZs).

Amazon MSK continuously monitors underlying server health, automatically replacing servers when they fail and patching servers in need of updates. Amazon MSK also runs highly available Apache ZooKeeper nodes at no additional cost. Amazon MSK provides multiple levels of security for Apache Kafka clusters, including VPC network isolation, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for AWS Application Programming Interface (API) authorization, encryption at rest, encryption in-transit, TLS based certificate authentication, and authorization using Apache Kafka access control lists (ACLs).

Customers can scale out cluster storage with a few clicks in the AWS management console to meet changes in demand. Amazon MSK is fully compatible with Apache Kafka, allowing customers to continue to run applications built on Apache Kafka, use Apache Kafka compatible tools and frameworks, and take advantage of new Apache Kafka innovations, without having to change their code.

“Customers who are running Apache Kafka have told us they want to spend less time managing infrastructure and more time building applications based on real-time streaming data,” said Rajesh Sheth, General Manager of Amazon MSK, AWS. “Amazon MSK gives these customers the ability to run Apache Kafka without having to worry about managing the underlying hardware, and it gives them an easy way to integrate their Apache Kafka applications with other AWS services. With Amazon MSK, customers can stand up Apache Kafka clusters in minutes instead of weeks, so they can spend more time focusing on the applications that impact their businesses.”

Vonage is a global business cloud communications leader providing integrated communications solutions that improve how business gets done by enhancing a company’s customer and employee experience. Vonage uses Apache Kafka for real-time communication between various micro-services.

“By using Amazon MSK, we reduced our maintenance overhead and built a micro-services-based platform that enables businesses to collaborate more productively and engage their customers more effectively,” said Venkatesh Ennala, a software engineer with Vonage. “We can now set up new Kafka clusters more quickly and scale these clusters as our demands increase. Amazon MSK has removed the complexity of set up and maintenance, allowing us to focus on what’s most important – building innovative new capabilities for our customers.”

Secureworks is a technology-driven cybersecurity leader that protects organizations in the digitally connected world.

“When developing and launching our security analytics application, Secureworks chose Amazon MSK service to accelerate time to market and reduce infrastructure and management overhead,” said Wendy Thomas, senior vice president of business and product strategy at Secureworks. “This allowed us to focus on innovation and our unique differentiators, helping protect our customers from cyber threats.”

Poshmark is a social commerce platform for the next generation of retailers and shoppers.

“Through technology, our mission is to build the world’s most connected shopping experience, while empowering people to build thriving retail businesses. Amazon MSK has made it easy to setup, maintain and scale Kafka clusters, enabling an end-to-end data ingestion pipeline supported by a fully-managed service,” said Mahesh Pasupuleti, Senior Director of Data Engineering at Poshmark. “As our demands increase, we feel confident that we will be able to scale at ease and expand our streaming ingestion pipelines for data enrichment and real-time machine learning, providing an enhanced experience for our customers.”

Nutmeg is Europe’s largest digital wealth manager, helping consumers to grow their wealth and reach their financial goals by using cost effective technology to boost returns. Nutmeg uses Apache Kafka to underpin their journey towards an event driven architecture.

“Since adopting Amazon MSK, we’ve been able to significantly increase the efficiency of our teams and reduce time spent maintaining our cluster,” said Matt Gatrell, CTO of Nutmeg. “As our data requirements and use cases grew, we started to experience considerable overhead and complexity in managing our Kafka clusters. Amazon MSK has allowed us to manage our clusters with confidence, spend less time verifying the performance of the clusters, scale with ease, and focus more time on innovating and building exciting real-time applications.”

Compass is a real estate technology company with a powerful end-to-end platform that supports the entire buying and selling workflow. Compass uses Apache Kafka to provide its agents with quick access to fresh and accurate data from hundreds of real estate data sources nationwide.

“Streaming technology is an important part of what we do as a business, but managing streaming technology involves a lot of heavy lifting by our software developers,” said Joseph Sirosh, CTO of Compass. “Amazon MSK has allowed us to eliminate a lot of this heavy lifting. By using Amazon MSK we no longer need to spend effort on ensuring data durability, cluster availability, and scalability, and can now focus on building applications. Amazon MSK relieves our team from the burden of operating and maintaining Kafka and at the same time, we experience less downtime as our clusters are fully-managed.”

Customers start by creating a cluster in Amazon MSK using the AWS Console or the AWS CLI, and Apache Kafka clients can connect to a cluster using Apache Kafka’s open-source APIs. Amazon MSK is available in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), EU (London), EU (Frankfurt), EU (Paris), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Singapore), and Asia Pacific (Sydney), and will expand to additional AWS Regions in the coming year.

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