Why you need Amazon MSK for Apache Kafka

We have been in the era of big data for a while now. From the edge to the cloud and on-premises, data is being generated everywhere. Amidst this, how well it is managed and analyzed can make or break a business. And, if you are looking to make sense of your data, chances are you are already familiar with Apache Kafka. While this open-source distributed event streaming platform has become a boon for those handling large volumes of data, it also comes with its challenges. 

If your business deals with a high volume of Apache Kafka workloads, you’d already know that managing them can be nightmarish. And the costs of it all aren’t easy on the pockets—from resources to teams, it keeps mounting up as your Kafka workloads increase. Add to that user experience and monitoring issues, arranging for server patches or upgrades, data security, and figuring out availability—working on Apache Kafka can feel like a constant one-up situation. 

Apache Kafka clusters- Where the going gets tough

Let’s break the challenges down, shall we?

Most companies use Apache Kafka as a streaming platform that runs as clusters to help businesses process, analyze, and react to a large volume of data at scale. But setting up, scaling, and managing these clusters in production are challenging for most businesses. 

To begin with, there is provisioning for servers and configuring Apache Kafka manually and the immense amount of costs and resources that need to be earmarked for it. Then there is preparing for replacements in case of failures, running server patches and upgrades, ensuring support for load changes, and guaranteeing data security and high availability. Above all, businesses have to set up systems in place for monitoring and alarms. And, as the volume of data increases, it will be all about managing these clusters and infrastructures than building new applications.

Apache Kafka Clusters

And if this struck a chord, we can help you enjoy every benefit of Apache Kafka without any of its shortcomings. How? Say hello to Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka (Amazon MSK).

The Amazon MSK way

Amazon MSK works as a distributed, fully-managed service to run and manage your Apache Kafka clusters better. It manages the provisioning, configuration, and maintenance of Apache Kafka clusters along with Zookeeper nodes. You can track their performance by following key metrics—all inside the AWS console. 

This means you can say goodbye to the overhead costs of operations and focus on creating streaming applications. Above all, Amazon MSK will take care of the infrastructure management for Apache Kafka. 

Fully compatible, highly elastic

The fact that Amazon MSK runs and manages Apache Kafka itself means that you can migrate and run existing applications on AWS without changing a thing in the application code. It will help you manage source compatibility so that even custom and community-built tools like MirrorMaker, Apache Flink, and Prometheus continue working.

Where this compatibility brings a world of difference is by offering you the elasticity you need, particularly with Apache Flink. It’s already a powerful, open stream processing framework for those wanting to compute streaming data. But with Amazon MSK, you can run and scale fully-managed Apache Flink applications written in SQL, Java, or Scala to process data streams.

Amazon MSK Security and Availability

Security and availability? No problem.

The scramble of replacing components if they fail is a key reason why manually managing Apache Kafka clusters can get tiring. With Amazon MSK’s multi-AZ replication, you wouldn’t need to worry about this. While Amazon MSK monitors the health of the clusters, makes sure they run properly, and replaces components automatically if they fail, it also frees up your time to build applications. 

Now comes the question- how secure is your data? Well, Amazon MSK has got you covered there with multiple levels of security and encryptions that keep your data safe and sound. Amazon MSK encrypts your data, both at rest and in transit, has VPC network isolation, private connectivity, TLS-based certificate authentication, and Kafka ACLs for data-plane authorizations.

Easy on the pockets

Another reason these benefits can make a world of difference for companies is the cost savings. Since MSK works as a fully-managed service that works on a pay-as-you-go model, businesses can save up on the costs they would otherwise spend on resources, procurement, labor, and replacements.

If you’re now wondering how to start onboarding Amazon MSK, we would say begin with experts. You can learn more about our Kafka Migration Program in our webinar “Bring the power of now to your applications with Amazon MSK.”