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May 30, 2024
4
min read

Decoding the Top 4 Real-Time Data Platforms Powered by Apache Flink

In recent years, the landscape of data infrastructure technology has witnessed a transformative shift as companies tap into new workloads to power real-time applications. From process automation to personalizing customer experiences or optimized experiences for critical business applications, organizations are increasingly harnessing the power of data to drive efficiency, innovation, and competitive advantage. Within this rapidly evolving ecosystem, navigating the myriad of service providers and solution offerings can be daunting. To aid in this decision-making process, we have created a buyer's guide to help you select the right solution for your specific requirements, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a relative newcomer exploring the realm of real-time data processing.

The Rise of Apache Flink

Apache Flink has emerged as the de facto standard for stream processing, gaining widespread adoption among some of the industry's most prominent innovators, including Alibaba, Uber, and Netflix. Continuously growing in adoption due to its performance, fault tolerance, and scalability, Flink has become the backbone of many real-time data processing pipelines.

The open-source nature of Flink offers unparalleled flexibility and innovation potential, but it also presents a significant challenge for organizations: the need for a highly skilled and specialized workforce to effectively use its capabilities. Many companies turn to vendors and service providers who offer tailored solutions to simplify the adoption and management of Flink-based applications. By using the expertise and resources of these vendors, organizations can overcome the barriers posed by Flink's complexity and focus on using its capabilities to drive innovation and growth.

Selecting the Right Service Provider for Your Needs

In order to run a successful data infrastructure technology stack at scale in production, there are many different component areas which are required beyond the fundamental core open-source software provided by Flink and companion projects such as Debezium for change data capture (CDC). Different service providers have created offerings that target a wide range of these needs, from the lowest infrastructure layer which can be used to support a DIY approach, all the way up to a fully-managed platform offering, with multiple levels of cloud-hosted options in the middle.

  • Cloud Infrastructure / Do It Yourself. At this level, you're getting the raw compute, storage, and networking services, as well as provisioning capabilities such as Kubernetes. The rest of the architecture, including deploying Flink as well as building and managing all the other aspects of your data platform, is entirely up to you. 
  • Flink-as-a-Service. While useful, this is not generally sufficient for the majority of customers and leaves quite a number of challenges for teams to solve on their own. You are being asked to handle the connections to external data systems, to make sure you get the versions right while keeping up with security patches, and to configure many of the details of Flink. 
  • Managed Provider. In addition to Flink, managed providers may offer Debezium and other data system connectors, and they can provide services such as job control, resource management, and security features. Again, while these are good offerings, they still do not provide the complete picture that customers want and need in order to be successful.
  • Fully-Managed Real-Time Data Platform. The most complete solutions for real-time data are provided by those who can offer a fully-managed platform, one that integrates all the necessary components so that your stream processing jobs just work. In addition to Flink as the base layer, they provide the observability that production environments demand, the security features that protect your data, and expose the controls you need to run your workloads efficiently, allowing you to focus on implementing your business logic.

Download our Buyer’s Guide: Decoding the Top 4 Real-Time Data Platforms Powered by Apache Flink today to learn more about these options along with what is offered at the different levels, what remains for you and your team to create and manage, the pros and cons of each, and how Decodable can help you achieve your real-time ELT and stream processing goals.

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David Fabritius

In recent years, the landscape of data infrastructure technology has witnessed a transformative shift as companies tap into new workloads to power real-time applications. From process automation to personalizing customer experiences or optimized experiences for critical business applications, organizations are increasingly harnessing the power of data to drive efficiency, innovation, and competitive advantage. Within this rapidly evolving ecosystem, navigating the myriad of service providers and solution offerings can be daunting. To aid in this decision-making process, we have created a buyer's guide to help you select the right solution for your specific requirements, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a relative newcomer exploring the realm of real-time data processing.

The Rise of Apache Flink

Apache Flink has emerged as the de facto standard for stream processing, gaining widespread adoption among some of the industry's most prominent innovators, including Alibaba, Uber, and Netflix. Continuously growing in adoption due to its performance, fault tolerance, and scalability, Flink has become the backbone of many real-time data processing pipelines.

The open-source nature of Flink offers unparalleled flexibility and innovation potential, but it also presents a significant challenge for organizations: the need for a highly skilled and specialized workforce to effectively use its capabilities. Many companies turn to vendors and service providers who offer tailored solutions to simplify the adoption and management of Flink-based applications. By using the expertise and resources of these vendors, organizations can overcome the barriers posed by Flink's complexity and focus on using its capabilities to drive innovation and growth.

Selecting the Right Service Provider for Your Needs

In order to run a successful data infrastructure technology stack at scale in production, there are many different component areas which are required beyond the fundamental core open-source software provided by Flink and companion projects such as Debezium for change data capture (CDC). Different service providers have created offerings that target a wide range of these needs, from the lowest infrastructure layer which can be used to support a DIY approach, all the way up to a fully-managed platform offering, with multiple levels of cloud-hosted options in the middle.

  • Cloud Infrastructure / Do It Yourself. At this level, you're getting the raw compute, storage, and networking services, as well as provisioning capabilities such as Kubernetes. The rest of the architecture, including deploying Flink as well as building and managing all the other aspects of your data platform, is entirely up to you. 
  • Flink-as-a-Service. While useful, this is not generally sufficient for the majority of customers and leaves quite a number of challenges for teams to solve on their own. You are being asked to handle the connections to external data systems, to make sure you get the versions right while keeping up with security patches, and to configure many of the details of Flink. 
  • Managed Provider. In addition to Flink, managed providers may offer Debezium and other data system connectors, and they can provide services such as job control, resource management, and security features. Again, while these are good offerings, they still do not provide the complete picture that customers want and need in order to be successful.
  • Fully-Managed Real-Time Data Platform. The most complete solutions for real-time data are provided by those who can offer a fully-managed platform, one that integrates all the necessary components so that your stream processing jobs just work. In addition to Flink as the base layer, they provide the observability that production environments demand, the security features that protect your data, and expose the controls you need to run your workloads efficiently, allowing you to focus on implementing your business logic.

Download our Buyer’s Guide: Decoding the Top 4 Real-Time Data Platforms Powered by Apache Flink today to learn more about these options along with what is offered at the different levels, what remains for you and your team to create and manage, the pros and cons of each, and how Decodable can help you achieve your real-time ELT and stream processing goals.

📫 Email signup 👇

Did you enjoy this issue of Checkpoint Chronicle? Would you like the next edition delivered directly to your email to read from the comfort of your own home?

Simply enter your email address here and we'll send you the next issue as soon as it's published—and nothing else, we promise!

David Fabritius

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