A Guide to Apache Kafka for High-performance Companies

There are a number of tools and programs that teach students should familiarize themselves with. Given its numerous applications across a variety of industries, Apache Kafka should certainly be a priority, especially for those interested in data science and information technology. Businesses are starting to move away from traditional databases and towards event-based logging, which makes it all the more likely that Apache Kafka will become more popularly used. Preparing yourself to use the tools you’ll need in your career should be one of your primary goals as a student, which means you should get to know Kafka. If you’re planning to work in a field that makes use of Apache Kafka, read on to learn more about how it’s used by high-performance companies.

What is Apache Kafka?

It’s important to have a basic understanding of what Kafka is before discussing how it can be used. At its core, Apache Kafka is an open-source-distributed, publish-subscribe messaging platform. Built for the purpose of handling real-time streaming data, it can use that data for distributed streaming, pipelining, and replay of data feeds. This makes it ideal for operations that require both speed and scalability.

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As you might imagine, the software was named after the author Franz Kafka, a German-speaking novelist and short story writer. Franz Kafka’s Die Verwandlung (Metamorphosis) remains one of the most famous manuscripts of the 20th century. Other famous works include Das Schloss (The Castle) and Der Process (The Trial). One of the co-creators of Kafka, Jay Kreps, chose the name Kafka for the program due to the fact that the system is optimized for writing. Kreps was also a lifelong fan of Kafka’s work.

How can high-performance companies utilize Apache Kafka?

There are a number of ways that corporations and businesses can make use of Apache Kafka, especially by connecting it to external systems and programs that can take full advantage of its capabilities. For customer-facing enterprises, one benefit of Kafka is the ability to react to and engage with customers in real-time. Stream processing reduces the time between an event occurring and the system processing and reacting to that event.

Kafka and its use of data streams organized into topics can also enable your company to find and organize the right data quickly. Collecting data is essential, but the most productive and successful companies know how to turn that data into a concrete action plan that can be implemented. Apache Kafka is capable of website activity tracking, monitoring data pipelines, aggregating logs, and stream processing, all of which enhance your organization’s ability to obtain quality data and use it effectively.

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One example of a company that runs on Kafka is the networking platform LinkedIn. LinkedIn was actually responsible for originally developing Kafka, which was later open-sourced. It powers its activity tracking, message exchange, and metric gathering, and is responsible for performing a number of other functions across its platform. Many businesses and companies make use of Kafka, but LinkedIn is one of the largest.

Drawing inspiration from Kafka’s writing, the Apache Kafka program is ideal for businesses that handle and process streaming data. Developed by LinkedIn, it is now used by thousands of businesses and corporations worldwide for a variety of functions, including activity tracking, log aggregation, and stream processing. If you’re planning a career in a field that requires advanced knowledge of data science and information technology, it’s likely that you’ll have to make use of Apache Kafka at some point. Kafka’s wide adoption and a high number of real-world applications make it a smart program for any tech student to prioritize mastering before the end of their degree program.

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