Real-time streaming is a business imperative for digital transformation
Customers are undergoing rapid transformations to stay competitive in an increasingly digital world with cloud design patterns and event streaming playing critical roles in their success. They depend on real-time event streaming and data processing to simplify, automate, and combine real-time results with the historical data stored in data repositories for driving business innovation. Major trends like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous mobile devices, and IoT have caused an explosion of data leading customers to modernize their data platforms and embrace fully managed offerings that relieve them from operational complexities.
The Azure cloud platform offers a rich set of capabilities and services in this regard, but we are always looking for ways to offer you more choice, ease of use, and delightful experiences. We are announcing the collaboration with Confluent, a popular provider of managed Apache Kafka service for event streaming. This service will enable you to provision Confluent Cloud resources using Azure client interfaces like Azure portal, command line interface (CLI), and software development kits (SDK)s. The other integration points include single sign-on using Azure Active Directory and unified billing through Azure. You have the option to draw down on existing Azure commitments towards Confluent Cloud service usage.
“The urgency for real-time applications has grown exponentially and will only continue to accelerate as more businesses transform their digital services. Event streaming powers modern applications with real-time events from across an organization. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to help companies stay ahead of rapid demand with Confluent Cloud seamlessly available on the Azure platform. Now, event-driven applications leveraging Apache Kafka can be built faster and easier than ever.” – Jay Kreps, Co-founder and CEO, Confluent.
Quickly provision Confluent Cloud resources within the Azure ecosystem
Azure customers who want to use third-party managed offerings, such as Confluent’s Kafka service, face challenges of having different workflows like creating and managing resources and users separately in Azure and the third-party managed offering. This process can be complex and time-consuming. Such customers expect to provision and manage Confluent Cloud resources along with their Azure resources as part of a unified workflow.
Confluent and Microsoft have worked together to build a new integration capability between Azure and Confluent Cloud which makes the customers’ journey simpler, safer, and more seamless. This service is now available as Apache Kafka on Confluent Cloud via Azure Marketplace.
The integrated streamlined experience between Azure and Confluent Cloud
The new integration enables you to create and manage Confluent organizations from the Azure client interfaces like Portal, command line interface, and Azure SDKs. You can now leverage existing Azure Active Directory identities to single-sign-on (SSO) to Confluent Cloud directly from Azure. Confluent Cloud usage can be invoiced as part of your monthly Azure bill with an option to draw down existing Azure commits. There is no additional bill or procurement steps needed. Confluent Cloud organizations can be tracked and managed with the rest of your Azure resources.
Confluent still runs and supports their SaaS application hosted on Azure which comes with environments, clusters, topics, API Keys, and managed connectors. This integration combines Azure’s global presence, flexibility, security, and compliance with Confluent’s managed Kafka capabilities to create a seamless experience for enterprise customers.
Manually connecting data from various systems across an organization can quickly become challenging due to the development efforts and maintenance involved. With Confluent Cloud, you can leverage fully managed connectors built for popular Azure and Microsoft services including Azure Functions, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Event Hubs, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Get started to provision Confluent Cloud resources from Azure
Here is the step by step process to configure Confluent Cloud resources from Azure portal.
Setup and subscribe for Apache Kafka on Confluent Cloud. Easily discover the service in the Azure Marketplace.
Provisioning in Azure: Seamlessly provision Confluent organizations through Azure portal.
Single-sign on to Confluent Cloud: Login directly to the Confluent Cloud service without an additional sign up or login needed.
- Subscribe to the "Apache Kafka on Confluent Cloud" available in the Azure Marketplace.
- Create an instance of Apache Kafka for Confluent Cloud, see QuickStart: Get started with Confluent Cloud on Azure.
- Review documentation about creating solutions through the Azure Marketplace, in Pay-As-You-Go Confluent Documentation and Commitments – Confluent Documentation.