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Apache Kafka is being widely adopted by some of the biggest companies on the planet because of its capabilities. Find out more about what makes this technology so popular.

Let’s break down what Apache Kafka is and what it does

Apache Kafka is an open source distributed streaming platform designed to handle complex information streams efficiently. In short, the platform can publish & subscribe to information streams, store them and process them in real-time. What makes Kafka so great at what it does is that the platform provides pipeline and handling tools to structure data into the exact template requirement and transport it between your line-of-business systems. Additionally, Apache Kafka can be used to build real-time streaming applications that can react and transform according to the data.

In a nutshell – it is an incredibly powerful tool to move information around to where it is needed.

Here’s a high-level overview of how it works:

Apache Kafka is deployed into its own cluster environment and comprises of a set of APIs to gather, mold and stream to and from wherever your data is needed. It serves as a middleware tool that moves information streams from their producers into different repositories, but with a sophisticated pipeline tool in the middle to customise it to the variety of mediums used by your consumers.

How would you use Apache Kafka?

Pretty simple really – wherever you need to move information around and tweak it to whatever your consumer needs. Here are a couple of my favourite examples that are prime Apache Kafka use cases:

  • Messaging Platform: Kafka is great at handling trillions of records – as evident in the use case of LinkedIn using Kafka to handle 7 trillion messages a day. Check out their case study on how they implemented their solution.
  • Metrics: Consolidate metrics from all of your sources so that the information consumer has everything they need. Use it to get your ecommerce stats, website analytics, CPC analytics and social stats from all of their producers and output a customised version to consumers in real-time.
  • Stream Processing: Sometimes Apache Kafka is used purely for it’s information pipeline processing tools to shape information into the required format. As simple as that.
  • Log aggregation: So simple, yet so powerful. Aggregate all of your log files into whatever state you need them in.

Hopefully this quick overview made it a little easier to wrap your head around the technology and perhaps inspired some use cases of your own to experiment with. For more information, please visit the official Apache Kafka website.

Can you think of any other use cases that Apache Kafka would be perfectly suited to? Let us know in the comments below or on any of our social channels.

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