Aiven helps Paf stay ahead with Kafka [Case Study]

CASE STUDY

“...and while [our old] systems work, they’re not so open or easily interfaceable for other parts of the company.”

Robarto Zagni

Head of Data and CRM at Paf

Overview

Paf, or Ålands Penningautomatförening, is a physical and online gambling operator in the Baltics. Find out how they use the Aiven platform to deploy and manage Apache Kafka for building loosely-coupled, flexible, transparent, and secure data pipelines that are compliant with local regulatory requirements and GDPR.

Paf logo

Uses: Aiven for Apache Kafka

Cloud: Amazon Web Services

Products used
Apache Kafka
Hosted on
Amazon Web Services

The Challenge

Paf's work has required a number of disparate teams at the company – with more than 350 employees at last count – to create a variety of data pipelines to support a range of existing and yet-unknown future systems.

Many of Paf’s data pipelines leverage a mix of legacy and current technologies, which requires building loosely-coupled applications and systems to support data schemas. Moreover, the implementation needs to work in real time.

Paf’s Head of Data and CRM, Robarto Zagni explains the difficulty: “Our data warehousing, BI, and CRM applications provide marketing and support teams with the data they need. In that function, we are also the ones building infrastructure to move the data around...and while [our old] systems work, they’re not so open or easily interfaceable for other parts of the company.”

Additionally, Paf needs to be able to quickly handle GDPR - particularly related to identifying information - in data that is both in transit and at rest. A system like Apache Kafka enables this - but how to begin?

Apache Kafka is so important that we had to be sure that the company handling it knows what they’re doing.

Robarto Zagni

Head of Data and CRM at Paf

The Solution

Zagni reported that he viewed running Kafka in-house as a risk primarily because no one in the company had experience in running Kafka clusters. They could either train or hire people, but these were both inefficient routes.

So Paf looked into a third option: buying Kafka as a service. After considering Confluent’s hosted Kafka, they decided to let Aiven handle the SLA, monitor the cluster, and maintain security updates.

Besides competitive pricing, the flexibility of future schemas and the freedom from data setup and management overhead were key factors in deciding to go with Aiven for Kafka. Manager of System Ops, Fredrik Wiklund explains:

“Aiven for Kafka was a really good option for us because, as we’re moving to AWS, we could use the Bring Your Own Account option. We handle the AWS accounts and have more control over our data, while Aiven handles Kafka.”

Wiklund also enjoys the human touch and dedication to security that working with the team entails:

“We can just walk over to them if we have anything we want to discuss. And Aiven is ISO 27001 certified already. We did an external audit on Aiven’s Information Security Management System and were really impressed about how Aiven is taking information security seriously.”

The Outcome

Paf had multiple teams serving a myriad of purposes, not always a clear interface between many functions (and data pipelines), the need to spin up custom pipelines fast, and the scrutiny of both local regulatory requirements and GDPR. They sorely needed a messaging solution that was secure, loosely-coupled, flexible, transparent, and managed, so that they could stay focused on their core business. At the intersection of all of these is Aiven for Kafka.

Aiven for Kafka was a really good option for us because, as we’re moving to AWS, we could use the Bring Your Own Account option.

Fredrik Wiklund

Manager of System Ops at Paf

Check out our other case studies

JobCloudOVO EnergyGoTo FinancialCatalystTalon.OneAlef EducationNetSpyGlassAdeoVidioComcastAivenNorautoSpareOmetria
orange decoration
yellow decoration

Start your free 30 day trial!

Build your platform, and throw in any data you want for 30 days, with no ifs, ands, or buts.

orange decoration
yellow decoration

Start your free 30 day trial!

Build your platform, and throw in any data you want for 30 days, with no ifs, ands, or buts.

Products

Aiven for Apache KafkaAiven for Apache Kafka ConnectAiven for Apache Kafka MirrorMaker 2Aiven for Apache Flink BetaAiven for M3Aiven for M3 AggregatorAiven for Apache CassandraAiven for OpenSearchAiven for PostgreSQLAiven for MySQLAiven for RedisAiven for InfluxDBAiven for Grafana

Let‘s connect

Aiven for Apache Kafka, Aiven for Apache Kafka Connect, Aiven for Apache Kafka MirrorMaker 2, Aiven for Apache Flink Beta, Aiven for M3, Aiven for M3 Aggregator, Aiven for Apache Cassandra, Aiven for OpenSearch, Aiven for PostgreSQL, Aiven for MySQL, Aiven for Redis, Aiven for InfluxDB, Aiven for Grafana are trademarks and property of their respective owners. All product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement.