Self-managing a distributed system like Apache Kafka®, along with building and operating Kafka connectors, is complex and resource-intensive. It requires significant Kafka skills and expertise in the development and operations teams of your organization. Additionally, the higher the volumes of real-time data that you work with, the more challenging it becomes to ensure that all of the infrastructure scales efficiently and runs reliably.
Confluent and Microsoft are working together to make the process of adopting event streaming easier than ever by alleviating the typical infrastructure management needs that often pull developers away from building critical applications. With Azure and Confluent seamlessly integrated, you can collect, store, process event streams in real-time and feed them to multiple Azure data services. The integration helps reduce the burden of managing resources across Azure and Confluent.
The unified integration with Confluent enables you to:
Confluent has developed an extensive library of pre-built connectors that seamlessly integrate data from many different environments. With Confluent, Azure customers access fully managed connectors that stream data for low-latency, real-time analytics into Azure and Microsoft services like Azure Functions, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Event Hubs, Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) Gen2, and Microsoft SQL Server. More real-time data can now easily flow to applications for smarter analytics and more context-rich experiences.
In today’s rapidly evolving business ecosystem, organizations must create new business models, provide great customer experiences, and improve operational efficiencies to stay relevant and competitive. Technology plays a critical role in this journey with the new imperative being to build scalable, reliable, persistent real-time systems. Real-time infrastructure for processing large volumes of data with lower costs and reduced risk plays a key role in this evolution.
Apache Kafka often plays a key role in the modern data architecture with other systems producing/consuming data to/from it. These could be customer orders, financial transactions, clickstream events, logs, sensor data, and database change events. As you might imagine, there is a lot of data in Kafka (topics), but it’s useful only when processed (e.g., with Azure Spring Cloud or ksqlDB) or when ingested into other systems.
Let’s investigate an architecture pattern that transforms an existing traditional transaction system into a real-time data processing system. We’ll describe a data pipeline that synchronizes data between MySQL and RediSearch, powered by Confluent Cloud on Azure. This scenario is applicable to many use cases, but we’ll specifically cover the scenario where batch data must be available to downstream systems in near real-time to fulfill search requirements. The data can be further streamed to an ADLS store for correlation of real-time and historic data, analytics, and visualizations. This provides a foundation for other services through APIs to drive important parts of the business, such as a customer-facing website that can provide fresh, up-to-date information on products, availability, and more.
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