Aiven Blog

Nov 14, 2022

All in for Apache Kafka® and OSS collaboration

Aiven contributes back to the Apache Kafka® community with a dedicated full-time team. Find out more about our work!


Josep Prat

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Open Source Engineering Director

Apache Kafka®, an open source event streaming software, is a powerful tool for those needing to collect, process, store, and analyze data. In a world where data rules all, Apache Kafka is vital. Best known for high performance, low latency, fault tolerance, and high throughput, it's capable of handling thousands of messages per second. In fact, more than 80% of all Fortune 100 companies trust and use Apache Kafka.

In addition to its versatility, Apache Kafka is also open source and has a committed, savvy community behind it. With Aiven’s focus on open source and taking the pain out of managing it, we saw the value of Apache Kafka early on and were the first to offer managed Apache Kafka in the cloud.

As we continue to build our platform and our Apache Kafka capabilities, we also recognize the importance of contributing back. Downloading open source software is free, but the work that goes into maintaining it does not just magically happen. Resources are definitely used to ensure success.

The Open Source Program Office contributes back

At Aiven, we live the values of open source and that's why we have an Open Source Program Office, whose focus is to work on open source sustainability.

Contributing back to open source is a multi-pronged approach:

  • Fostering and boosting open source communities, for example Aiven’s recent acquisition of Klaw, formerly Kafkawize.
  • Employing developers to work on open source projects
  • Compensating employees for contributing to open source projects even if the work doesn’t directly align with their role at Aiven.

Specifically, Aiven has a dedicated team working on open source Apache Kafka full time: Matthew de Detrich, Chris Egerton, and Greg Harris are our tireless champions. This unique approach sets us apart from many other companies where contributors are forced to juggle between product and OSS. Aiven also sees the importance of diversifying open source communities as a key point in keeping them thriving and neutral.

A new Apache Kafka committer

The Project Management Committee for Apache Kafka has invited Chris Egerton as a committer, and we are excited to announce that he accepted. Chris has been contributing to Apache Kafka since 2017. He has made over 80 commits mostly around Apache Kafka Connect.

Chris’s most notable contributions include KIP-507: Securing Internal Connect REST Endpoints and KIP-618: Exactly-Once Support for Source Connectors.

The Exactly-Once KIP is an important change to make sure the delivery of messages in Kafka Connect happens exactly once, as opposed to 'at least once'. At least once protocols make the processing of messages complicated as they need to account for repeated messages. Exactly once allows for an easier logic processing data, as the framework guarantees that each message will be delivered only once.

At Aiven, we are proud of our commitment to open source and see great value in approaching OSS in a community focused way.

Aiven <3 Open Source

Aiven's OSPO works with PGhoard, PGlookout, Karapace, Klaw... Go to our Open Source page to find out more!

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