Big Data

Aiven extends managed open source service to Apache Flink


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Aiven, the freshly-minted unicorn behind a suite of managed and hosted services for open source data infrastructure projects, now supports Apache Flink.

Companies including Uber, Comcast, and Capital One use Apache Flink to process and manage their data streams at scale and build real-time dashboards of their streaming data. Stream data processing, for the uninitiated, is all about harnessing “unbounded” data in real time as it’s created — this could prove useful if a company wants insights into sales as they’re happening, for example, or to ensure that product inventory is kept up-to-date in relation to sales. However, there are many applications for Flink in the real world, including “extract, transform, load” (ETL) when companies want to convert data from applications on arrival in a data warehouse.

Lower the barrier

Open source software such as Flink lowers the barrier to entry for companies developing new applications, saving them from having to develop everything from scratch while also given them greater flexibility and control over their technology stack — this is why businesses across the spectrum have embraced open source software as part of their digital transformation efforts. However, managing open source projects is often fraught with complexity, while security issues can also be cause for concern when supply chain attacks are abundant — this is where Aiven enters the mix.

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The open source services market is pegged as a $21.7 billion industry, though this is predicted to more than double within five years, which bodes well for companies such as Aiven. Founded in 2016, Aiven previously offered a “database-as-a-service” for nine popular open source data technologies, including Apache Kafka, Apache Cassandra, MySQL, OpenSearch (Elasticsearch fork), and Grafana, with hosting available across all the major public clouds.

Flink represents the tenth open source project that Aiven supports, and is available in beta now, which means that companies can use it for development and testing work, but it’s not yet ready for full production use-cases.

Flink has been an Apache top-level project since 2014, while the original creators also founded a commercial company on top of the project called Data Artisans. Alibaba acquired the company for for $103 million in 2019, with Data Artisans later changing its name to Ververica.

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