More funding news this morning for Confluent, the company that is wrapping commercial offerings around Apache Kafka. Kafka is an open source technology that offers real-time messaging services. While this may sound like a pretty boring piece of inconsequential technology, the way modern applications and infrastructures are built means that tools such as Kafka are increasingly important.
As organizations move to more distributed applications and architectures, they need tools that help them capture insights across all of that myriad of component parts. This is the problem that Kafka aims to resolve. It is widely adopted for use cases ranging from collecting user activity data, logs, application metrics, stock ticker data, and device instrumentation.
Kafka's key strength is its ability to make high-volume data available as a real-time stream for consumption in systems with very different requirements—from batch systems like Hadoop to real-time systems that require low-latency access to stream processing engines that transform the data streams as they arrive. This infrastructure lets you build around a single central nervous system, transmitting messages to all the different systems and applications within a company.
Kafka isn't just being used for website and application data streaming, but is seeing some adoption from the nascent, but highly promising, sensor data space. Companies such as LinekdIn, Netflix and Uber are using Kafka. The technology is already enabling the transfer of trillions of messages per day and sees usage as a high-capacity data ingestion route. The heightened attention of the Internet of Things plays right into Kafka's value proposition.
Where an Open Source initiative exists, a commercial entity is not far behind. Confluent wraps a scalable supported and "enterprises-ready" commercial offering around Kafka. The company is backed by Benchmark Capital, Data Collective, Index Capital and LinkedIn. Confluent is based in Mountain View. Confluent's founders created Apache Kafka while working at LinkedIn, where it was used to handle large-scale data ingestion.
The company is today announcing a $24 million Series B fundraising event led by Index Ventures and with participation from Benchmark. Interestingly, Index also backs some similarly focused open source companies - in particular Hortonworks and Elastic. Mike Volpi, a partner at Index Ventures, is joining the Confluent board.
Kafka is an important piece of technology and the deep history that Confluent has with this tech will stand them in good commercial stead.
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