Confluent for Kubernetes delivers on-premises Kafka cloud service


Confluent has released Confluent for Kubernetes, a repackaging of its cloud-based streaming data platform that enables customers to build and operate their own on-premises Apache Kafka service.

Announcing the new product on the Confluent Blog, product manager Rohit Bakhshi said that Confluent for Kubernetes provides a complete declarative API-driven experience for deploying and managing the Confluent Platform. It is intended to let customers enjoy the benefits of the Confluent cloud service, but with the additional control and customisation offered by self-managing clusters on their private infrastructure.

This may look like Confluent is bucking the cloud trend by creating an on-premises version of an already successful cloud service. However, many organisations have huge volumes of data held in their data centres and it may not be desirable for them to simply move it all to the cloud.

“You might have data accumulated on-premises that needs to be set in motion. You might have application architectures in your own data centre environments that need to be transformed to a real-time paradigm. You might have regulatory requirements that mandate controls for data, systems, and applications to stay within your own isolated environments,” said Bakhshi.

Instead, Confluent is aiming to replicate the convenience of using a cloud service in its on-premises version, providing the components of a complete Kafka platform with ready-made enterprise-grade configurations and automation using declarative APIs to enable customers to quickly deploy clusters and get started using the platform.

“With Confluent for Kubernetes, you can achieve the same simplicity, flexibility, and efficiency of the cloud without the headaches and burdens of complex, Kafka-related infrastructure operations,” Bakhshi claimed.

According to the firm, Confluent for Kubernetes provides its high-level declarative APIs by extending the Kubernetes API through CustomResourceDefinitions to enable the management of Confluent services and data plane resources, such as Kafka topics. Users just define a CustomResource that specifies the desired state, and Confluent for Kubernetes will take care of the rest.

Confluent reckons that Confluent for Kubernetes provides reliability through the ability to detect if a process has failed, and will automatically restart processes or reschedule as necessary. It also spreads replicas of a partition across different racks, improving the availability of brokers and limiting the risk of data loss.

Confluent claims the new release allows organisations to achieve faster time to value and reduce operational burdens, while reducing risks and costly resource investments.

Organisations can try out Confluent for Kubernetes and Confluent Control Center for a 30-day trial period, after which both products require a license key. Confluent issues keys to subscribers, along with providing enterprise-level support.