Streaming Data Pipelines, Simplified with Amazon MSK

- Sneha Shankaranarayanan

For those working with data, Apache Kafka is a well-known term. After all, it did change the world for businesses by making applications a lot faster.

How? It is an open-source event streaming platform that helps businesses handle data feeds with a unified, high-throughput, and low-latency platform. How does it do that? It connects to other systems and deals with data in sets. This process ultimately cuts out the overhead of the data passing through multiple networks. This means faster responses to inputs and the ability to build real-time streaming data pipelines and applications faster.

While all of this seems hunky-dory, there’s also a catch. Managing workloads on Kafka can get strenuous — especially with the volumes of these workloads increasing rapidly. To handle them, businesses have to add in more resources, time and effort. Above all, if you are trying to manage it on your own, you need to provision for servers, replace them when they fail and plan scaling events extremely carefully. Then comes the issue of handling the infrastructure — from arranging for server patches and upgrades and strengthening data security to making sure that the servers are highly available, there’s a lot to consider.

So, here’s where the question lies — as the workloads increase, how do businesses manage their workloads efficiently? How do they modernize their older applications quickly without hassles in a fast-paced world? How do you make sure that the data remains safe but highly scalable, while allowing room for scalability?

Well, this is where Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka (MSK) comes into play. How? That’s what we’ll cover in this blog.

Streaming Data Pipelines, Simplified with Amazon MSK

What is Amazon MSK

Amazon MSK works as a fully-managed service to help you build and run applications on Apache Kafka efficiently. This means you can bid goodbye to the hassles of procuring and managing servers – Amazon MSK will come loaded with it already. It will take care of managing the provisioning, configuration and maintenance of the clusters and Zookeeper nodes.

The heart of Amazon MSK lies in streamlining. As your Apache Kafka clusters get collated, Amazon MSK amplifies its efficiency and streamlines them better. Here’s how it works.

Streaming Data Pipelines, Simplified with Amazon MSK

All it takes to create clusters, with all the settings and configurations of Kafka’s best practices, are a few clicks. You don’t even have to worry about downtime — Amazon MSK will monitor the health of your clusters and will replace unhealthy nodes automatically for you. As for the security of the data that’s at rest, Amazon MSK will take care of that too by encrypting it.

Here’s how this will help your business.

Uncluttered Migration and Experience

Migration — that’s where Amazon MSK shines brightest in. When you onboard to Amazon MSK you can migrate and run your existing Apache Kafka applications to AWS, without making any changes to the code. This makes it easier for you to use your custom, community tools like MirrorMaker, Apache Flink, and Prometheus while keeping your open source compatibility intact.

What more? You no longer have to worry about repairs or the health of your Kafka clusters, Amazon MSK will do that for you. From monitoring the health of your Kafka clusters to replacing a component if it fails, Amazon MSK will handle it all. This way, you don’t just save an immense amount of time, costs, and efforts for your team but can focus on business-critical things as well.

And at the end of the day, that’s what businesses need – an easier way to streamline monolithic structures by modernizing applications. It’s just that with Amazon MSK, you also get to boost your customer experience and efficiency.

Streaming Data Pipelines, Simplified with Amazon MSK

Unhinged Security

When businesses take their applications to the cloud, one of the biggest concerns they have is of security. And it is understandable too. With cyberattacks soaring in 2020, cybersecurity has taken center stage.

To prevent these fears, Amazon MSK offers several layers of security including VPC network isolation, AWS IAM for control-plane API authorization, encryption at rest, TLS encryption in-transit, TLS-based certificate authentication, SASL/SCRAM authentication secured by AWS Secrets Manager. It also lets businesses do data-plane authorization by supporting Apache Kafka Access Control Lists (ACLs).

You can also keep data losses at bay with Amazon MSK since it replicates data and auto-balances itself. Additionally, it holds on to messages on disks for intra-cluster replication and to make sure that your disaster recovery strategy is always prepared.

Streaming Data Pipelines, Simplified with Amazon MSK

Taking the Leap

Solutions like these work well only when they’re implemented right. From guidance to support, every little bit counts in making the solution work seamlessly. This is why we launched an Amazon Kafka Migration Program, which will help you get started with Amazon MSK hassle-free.

It works in three phases, with the first one beginning with a half-day executive briefing to learn about Amazon MSK features, migration use cases, cost benefits, implementation and a high-level migration plan from experts. Then, we’ll help you with beginning to migrate your Kafka workloads to Amazon MSK, with full support from our certified consulting teams that have expertise in SaaS applications, mobility, data integration, hands-on technical assets and migration incentives.

We’ll also help you with your modernization journey by adding newer application and data sources to the platform, all while setting best practices for security and data management.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with Amazon MSK and kickstart your journey to modernize your applications.

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