CEO focused on the future of streaming data application development


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Confluent’s successful IPO this week highlights event data architectures and high-performance data streaming platforms based on Apache Kafka. Mountain View-based Confluent was co-founded in 2016 by a trio of programmers – Jay Kreps, Neha Narkhede and Jun Rao – who developed the event flow processing (ESP) software that became Kafka while working together. on LinkedIn.

Having raised around $ 830 million on its IPO, Confluent saw its price open at $ 44 and close at $ 45.02 on Thursday, an encouraging figure of 25% above its IPO price in stock Exchange.

As the stars of Confluent and Apache Kafka increasingly shine, other companies relying on the open-source, high-speed, low-latency streaming software platform are stepping up their efforts to put on the market for best streaming apps and tools. One of those startups is Vectorized, a young company of a few dozen employees that has built a Kafka API-compatible streaming platform called Redpanda for mission-critical workloads.

VentureBeat met with Vectorized Founder and CEO Alexander Gallego this week to discuss the future of streaming data application development and real-time contextualization of data as actionable events, such as the metadata surrounding a retail purchase at a certain point in time in a specific store. .

Gallego believes the market is hungry to make the most of data streaming capabilities – much more. Businesses want faster access to the rich business intelligence that can be generated from the massive amounts of data captured and set in motion by the ever-growing number of sensors and endpoints that populate our world. But for that to happen, Gallego said, the tools used to build ESP apps need to be drastically simplified.

Simpler tools for harnessing data in motion

“Streaming has finally reached exhaust speed. Banks now offer us real-time fraud detection. We are emerging from the experimental and testing phases of autonomous vehicles, which rely on contextualizing streaming data instantly to operate effectively, ”said Gallego.

“Now we need to give simpler tools to developers who want to create new ways to use streaming but who are drowning in complexity. We can’t build great apps if we have to look through huge portfolios for products that don’t work well together and are too heavy to be used effectively.

The first production version of Redpanda, released in January, is Vectorized’s attempt to create this streamlined open-source streaming toolkit. Although it has ambitions to eventually replace Kafka, which Gallego says is already proving too cumbersome for the development of cutting-edge streaming applications, Redpanda is currently fully compatible with Kafka and aims to develop more applications. efficiently and more easily in Kafka environments.

For example, Redpanda does without Zookeeper, a configuration management tool for Kafka applications which Gallego says is difficult and complicated to use. Redpanda also adds native support for the Prometheus event monitoring and alerting application.

Have data, will travel

Industry watchers are optimistic about the growth of the event flow processing market. Zion Market Research has forecast that the global ESP market will reach $ 2.6 billion by 2025 at a five-year CAGR of 21.2%.

Gartner began producing dedicated ESP market guides a few years ago. In its most recent Market Guide for Event Flow Processing, the research firm said the growing demand for real-time business intelligence is shifting the field of data analytics “from transactional to continuous. “.

The impact of this situation is being felt in several sectors. Confluent and Vectorized are strongest in areas such as retail, finance, social media, and CRM. Companies like Adapdix are focused on improving manufacturing processes, shortening the time between data generation at the edge of the network, and AI-based instructions to optimize equipment performance in response to changing demands. needs.

Investors are taking note. Confluent’s first successful day of trading is a testament to this. The same is true of the $ 15.5 million Vectorized raised in its Seed and Series A funding rounds led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google Ventures.

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