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Announcing the general availability of Azure Event Hubs for Apache Kafka®

Posted on November 7, 2018

Program Manager, Azure Service Bus

In today’s business environment, with the rapidly increasing volume of data and the growing pressure to respond to events in real-time, organizations need data-driven strategies to gain valuable insights faster and increase their competitive advantage. To meet these big data challenges, you need a massively scalable distributed streaming platform that supports multiple producers and consumers, connecting data streams across your organization. Apache Kafka and Azure Event Hubs provide such distributed platforms.

How is Azure Event Hubs different from Apache Kafka?

Apache Kafka and Azure Event Hubs are both designed to handle large-scale, real-time stream ingestion. Conceptually, both are distributed, partitioned, and replicated commit log services. Both use partitioned consumer models with a client-side cursor concept that provides horizontal scalability for demanding workloads.

Apache Kafka is an open-source streaming platform which is installed and run as software. Event Hubs is a fully managed service in the cloud. While Kafka has a rapidly growing, broad ecosystem and has a strong presence both on-premises and in the cloud, Event Hubs is a cloud-native, serverless solution that gives you the freedom of not having to manage servers or networks, or worry about configuring brokers.

Announcing Azure Event Hubs for Apache Kafka

We are excited to announce the general availability of Azure Event Hubs for Apache Kafka. With Azure Event Hubs for Apache Kafka, you get the best of both worlds—the ecosystem and tools of Kafka, along with Azure’s security and global scale.

This powerful new capability enables you to start streaming events from applications using the Kafka protocol directly in to Event Hubs, simply by changing a connection string. Enable your existing Kafka applications, frameworks, and tools to talk to Event Hubs and benefit from the ease of a platform-as-a-service solution; you don’t need to run Zookeeper, manage, or configure your clusters.

Event Hubs for Kafka also allows you to easily unlock the capabilities of the Kafka ecosystem. Use Kafka Connect or MirrorMaker to talk to Event Hubs without changing a line of code. Find the sample tutorials on our GitHub.

This integration not only allows you to talk to Azure Event Hubs without changing your Kafka applications, you can also leverage the powerful and unique features of Event Hubs. For example, seamlessly send data to Blob storage or Data Lake Storage for long-term retention or micro-batch processing with Event Hubs Capture. Easily scale from streaming megabytes of data to terabytes while keeping control over when and how much to scale with Auto-Inflate. Event Hubs also supports Geo Disaster-Recovery. Event Hubs is deeply-integrated with other Azure services like Azure Databricks, Azure Stream Analytics, and Azure Functions so you can unlock further analytics and processing.

Event Hubs for Kafka supports Apache Kafka 1.0 and later through the Apache Kafka Protocol which we have mapped to our native AMQP 1.0 protocol. In addition to providing compatibility with Apache Kafka, this protocol translation allows other AMQP 1.0 based applications to communicate with Kafka applications. JMS based applications can use Apache Qpid™ to send data to Kafka based consumers.

Open, interoperable, and fully managed: Azure Event Hubs for Apache Kafka.

Next steps

Get up and running in just a few clicks and integrate Event Hubs with other Azure services to unlock further analytics.

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Happy streaming!