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InfoQ Homepage News Digital Ocean Launches its Managed Kafka Service

Digital Ocean Launches its Managed Kafka Service

Digital Ocean enters the arena of fully-managed Kafka services with its new offering aimed at simplifying management and maintenance of the popular event streaming platform. Digital Ocean Kafka targets startups and SMBs by offering them an all-inclusive, flat-rate pricing model.

According to Digital Ocean product marketing manager Neel Chopra, the time spent configuring and maintaining Kafka themselves can often outweigh the cost savings of a self-managed version. Indeed, to configure a Kafka service you usually need to provision a multi-node cluster with many fine-tuned parameters. Management is made complex by the need for manual updating, securing, scaling, and logging. Additionally,

When an issue does occur, it can be challenging to troubleshoot due to the system complexity of a multi-node architecture. Any mistake can result in data loss, operational downtime, and security issues, any of which can be devastating to a growing business.

Chopra lists a number of advantages provided by Digital Ocean managed Kafka service over a self-managed deployment, including ease of scalability, fast node provisioning, easy monitoring and logging, automated updates, and more. To ensure stable performance it is also possible to use a dedicated vCPU with guaranteed hyper-thread access. Additionally, Digital Ocean provides a flexible and predictable pricing, which starts at $147/month for a three-node cluster using shared vCPUs with 6GB of memory.

Digital Ocean is not the first Cloud provider to launch a fully-managed Kafka solution. Alternative offerings from other providers are AWS Managed Kafka, Amazon MKS Serverless, Upstash Kefka, Ubuntu Managed Kafka, while Confluent provides Kafka services for both Azure and Google Cloud. All of the here mentioned managed Kafka services claim to provide benefits similar to Digital Ocean Kafka's.

Originally developed at LinkedIn and now under the Apache Software Foundation, Kafka is an open-source distributed event store and stream processing platform aiming to enable processing real-time data at scale. Kafka architecture rests on three key concepts: producers, consumers, and topics, which are streaming channels which producers and consumers can publish or subscribe to. To get started with Digital Ocean Managed Kafka, Digital Ocean provides a series of how-tos explaining a number of basic tasks, such as creating and connecting clusters, creating topics, securing clusters, and so on.

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