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The emergence of streaming and use cases such as IoT brings with it the need for a traffic cop that can operate at massively distributed scale. Apache Kafka emerged quietly and today has been adopted by nearly a third of the Fortune 500.


  • Apache Kafka is an open-source project that takes PubSub messaging and blows it up to massively distributed scale.
  • Kafka has drawn wide support for messaging, but not for the Streaming and Connect APIs of the Apache open-source project.
  • Kafka’s prime competition is not messaging busses per se, but data flow engines that manage downstream integration of ingested data

Features and Benefits

  • Explores Kafka's technology and level of market maturity.
  • Analyzes Kafka's benefits for fast-data use cases, especially its ability to operate at massive scale, serving multiple targets, with very high performance.
  • Discusses requirements for bolstering Kafka's security.

Key questions answered

  • Why has Kafka become popular as the next-generation distributed messaging engine for big-data and fast-data use cases?
  • What are Kafka's strengths and shortcomings?
  • What is the competitive landscape for Kafka?
  • What security issues remain to be addressed by Kafka?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Reinventing messaging for massive, distributed environments

  • What is Kafka?
  • Not your father’s messaging middleware
  • Kafka’s architecture
  • How Kafka is being used

Competitive landscape

  • Commercial support is wide but shallow
  • Confluent addresses Kafka management tooling gap
  • Kafka’s teething issues


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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