Product updates

Introducing DigitalOcean Managed Kafka

Neel Chopra

Posted: September 26, 20234 min read

Startups and SMBs in growing industries including streaming, the Internet of Things, and data analytics often need to process and analyze large amounts of data in real time to meet customer demand. Apache Kafka is an open-source event streaming platform that has become extremely popular among businesses in these fields as it can enable businesses to make more insightful, data-driven decisions in real time. However, it can be complex to manage and maintain, especially for those with small teams. Many startups and SMBs self-manage Kafka, which has a high operational overhead and comes with risks including potential customer data loss if misconfigured.

To enable small businesses to leverage the power of Kafka without the administrative burden and the associated costs, we are excited to announce the launch of DigitalOcean Managed Kafka, a fully managed event streaming platform as a service. DigitalOcean Managed Kafka removes the complexities associated with self-managing Kafka and has an all-inclusive, flat-rate pricing model starting at just $147/month to help you avoid unexpected costs.

Remove the challenges of self-managed Kafka

For small businesses, the time spent configuring and maintaining Kafka themselves can often outweigh the cost savings of a self-managed version. The initial setup has a high overhead cost as Kafka is often provisioned as a multi-node cluster with numerous parameters that require proper tuning. After setup, overall management is arduous for a small business as manual updating, securing, scaling, and logging resources are required to prevent issues. When an issue does occur, it can be challenging to troubleshoot due to the system complexity of a multi-node architecture. Any mistake can result in data loss, operational downtime, and security issues, any of which can be devastating to a growing business.

DigitalOcean Managed Kafka is built to alleviate these challenges while enabling even small teams to utilize Kafka. Benefits of DigitalOcean Managed Kafka include:

  • Simple, all-inclusive, fixed pricing: Starting at only $147 a month, Managed Kafka provides you with simple, predictable pricing, allowing you to control costs and avoid any surprise bills.

  • Easy scalability: As your customer base grows, it’s important to have a system that can keep up with increased demand. With Managed Kafka, businesses can save time and reduce operational overhead by having the option to scale up or down with a single setting.

  • Spin up a cluster in minutes: Provision highly available, three-node Kafka clusters quickly via the UI, CLI, or API. This saves time and reduces the operational overhead required for setting up and connecting three individual nodes, as well as a separate Zookeeper node.

  • Monitor and maintain with ease: Set alerts so you can take better-informed actions to optimize cluster performance and react faster to issues. Logging information can be combined with other DigitalOcean products on a single dashboard for fast and easy troubleshooting.

  • Get automatic and scheduled updates: DigitalOcean keeps your clusters updated, and you can schedule version updates, keeping Kafka clusters stable and secure. This makes it easy to take advantage of the latest functions of Kafka with minimal disruption to customers.

  • High availability: In the event of a node failure, Managed Kafka will automatically swap in a healthy node while the rest of your nodes push and pull messages without downtime.

  • End-to-End Security - Since data is critical, it also needs to be secure. Data is encrypted data at rest with LUKS and in transit with SSL. Clusters run on DigitalOcean are in a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) by default making them unreachable via the public Internet unless the source is whitelisted.

  • Stable-performance - You can provision Kafka clusters on virtual machines with 100% dedicated vCPUs. Dedicated vCPUs have guaranteed access to the entire hyper thread at all times, delivering a consistently high level of performance for your apps and your customers.

DigitalOcean customers, such as Datacake who have already implemented Managed Kafka, love the benefits that Kafka brings to their applications.

“DigitalOcean’s managed Kafka offering has been a game-changer for us at Datacake. By taking care of the operational aspects of running our Kafka cluster, we have been able to focus our attention on what really matters - building a great product. With this new service, we were able to migrate seamlessly to an event-based architecture while maintaining the highest levels of operational security.” Lukas Klein, Chief Technical Officer, Datacake

Try Managed Kafka today

DigitalOcean Managed Kafka is designed for SMBs with simplicity, easy scalability, and affordable, flat-rate pricing, starting at $147 a month. Learn more about Managed Kafka in our docs, and start taking advantage of the benefits of Managed Kafka today by signing up for a DigitalOcean account.

Need help regarding Managed Kafka? Contact our sales team or connect with a DigitalOcean Partner who can advise you on architecture reviews, deployments, migration support, and other infrastructure assistance.


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