The Evolution of Confluent

By John Santaferraro, CEO and Head Research Consultant

· Streaming Data,Kafka,Flink,Iceberg,Confluent

What happens when the dominant Kafka commercializer sets their sites on Flink and Iceberg? They form the trifecta necessary to create a unified streaming platform...

I had the privilege of attending Kafka Summit London 2024 where Confluent announced that Apache Flink is generally available on their cloud platform with all of the enterprise capabilities afforded Kafka after a decade of maturing the product. To expand on their vision to deliver a unified streaming platform, Confluent also announced plans to extend their cloud offering to also include Apache Iceberg, a high-performance format for data stored in object storage. To unify their offerings, they also announced an early version of TableFlow, a software product that takes streaming data, reads the schema, and transforms the data into an Iceberg table.

This signifies a rapid expansion in product mix and addressable market for the already dominant data streaming platform company, giving them an opportunity to deliver on the promise of unified analytics, as well as unified data engineering. CEO, Jay Kreps, has often talked about the fact that data is data, it doesn’t matter whether it is in motion or at rest. These announcements show us exactly what he meant with those often repeated comments.

John Santaferraro, CEO and Head Research Analyst at Ferraro Consulting, recently published a point of view paper covering the recent Confluent announcements, articulating what this means for customers, and identifying the potential future for the new trifecta: Kafka, Flink, and Iceberg. The independent Ferraro Consulting POV, The Evolution of Confluent - The Revolution of Universal Open-Source Data Platforms, agrees that this new move toward an expanded data platform is a major building block in Confluent’s growth strategy.