OVO Energy powers up their data with Aiven

OVO is a UK-based energy company. It uses an Apache Kafka-based data infrastructure to meet its sustainability goals.


With Aiven for Apache Kafka®, Aiven helps OVO Energy power up their data and cut carbon emissions. Find out more in our case study!

The Challenge

OVO Energy was founded in 2009 and redesigned the energy experience to be fair, effortless, green and simple for all customers. The company has spent the last decade investing in the market leading technology, customer service operations and digital products to help members cut their carbon emissions. OVO is on a mission through its sustainability strategy Plan Zero to tackle the most important issue of our time; the climate crisis, by bringing customers with them on the journey towards zero carbon living. OVO Energy has committed to being a net zero carbon business and achieve bold science-based carbon reduction targets by 2030, while helping members halve their carbon footprint at the same time.

With the smart meters that OVO continues to install in homes, their customers can take control of their own energy usage. The smart meter data is used to collect metrics that are analysed to gain insights and create energy usage experiences that support their energy and carbon saving goals.

The applications that collect OVO’s business and climate critical data require a robust and reliable underlying data architecture. The Head of Technology, Jon Dodkins, explains:

“It’s vital that the reactive architecture we’re building is flexible, extensible and able to scale rapidly.”

OVO needed a fault-tolerant, high-performing messaging system that was up to the task. The required system would act as a go-between in a system of multiple data-collecting applications. Because the field is in such rapid development, it was always clear that this would include applications that had not even been created yet. In other words, they needed Apache Kafka®.

Given the scope of their ambition for customer service, the chosen provider also needed to offer services they could use to build a “bespoke managed package”. Since they did not want to tie up resources in data infrastructure management, they wanted a fully managed arrangement that would be easy to implement and reliable, including all required extensions and integrations.

The Solution

Going open source is a good answer to the problem of changeability. In terms of actual providers, Aiven offers full support to move to and away from the platform. With Aiven, OVO was able to deploy a Kafka cluster in the cloud and region of their choice and easily integrate Aiven for Kafka at the heart of their architecture.

Implementing the new architecture turned out to be a straightforward process, supported all the way by Aiven engineers whenever need arose.

The next logical step was to integrate Aiven for Kafka with tools that allowed OVO to monitor and set alerts for essential Kafka metrics. The Aiven metrics and logging integration made this simple to do through their API with only a few clicks, allowing OVO to select the best tools for the job at hand.

Aiven’s services have the same user experience regardless of the cloud they are running on, which means they fit seamlessly into OVO’s multi-cloud architecture. With data being processed in pipelines running on one public cloud and later analysed in another cloud, Aiven’s Kafka bridges the gap and enables OVO’s development teams to always select the best tool for any problem.

The Outcome

Using the Aiven platform allows the OVO team to focus their resources on developing and maintaining their applications and business logic, instead of managing software infrastructure.

With their current Aiven for Kafka implementation, OVO has space to grow and add new services and integrations. Because the services Aiven provides are so flexible, they’re also able to experiment with new use cases. Climate science advances in leaps and bounds, and with Aiven, OVO is able not only to keep up but also drive the change in the world.

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