Confluent has presented the new version 6.2 of its eponymous Kafka platform for event streaming. In addition to the current Apache Kafka 2.8.0, clients for Go, Python and .NET and new features for dealing with clusters, the company particularly highlights the new monitoring capabilities in the Health + dashboard.
Health + supplements real-time monitoring with comparative data
A new dashboard is designed to help administrators reduce the risk of downtime in their Kafka infrastructure and make a better estimate of the general health of the system. In addition, Confluent Platform 6.2 now offers “intelligent” warning messages that are supposed to recognize possible incidents before they occur. The messages are fed from a set of rules and algorithms that the provider derives from the operation of clusters on its Confluent Cloud and which are now also made available to users of self-administered clusters as a best practice.
Health + accesses the metadata of a cluster in encrypted form and compares it with similar data for which empirical values are already available from the Confluent Cloud. Confluent emphasizes that no topic or payload data is tapped here, but values such as the number of active controllers, memory usage, how strongly the request handler and network processor are idle and others.
Together with new, cloud-based dashboards, this should further simplify the handling of infrastructure for event streams. At this point, Health + wants to go well beyond what other monitoring tools can do for Kafka. In particular, Confluent wants to collect and visualize data in real time. Here, too, the Confluent Platform should supplement comparative data from the Confluent Cloud, including recommendations on how an assumed ideal state can be achieved.
More effective support for self-managed clusters
Since Health + accesses cluster metadata, Confluent can use this to streamline its support services for corporate customers. The provider promises that this data no longer has to be manually transferred to a support ticket, which is prone to errors. Especially in self-administered Confluent environments, this should significantly accelerate the identification and resolution of problems. as the provider explains in his blog.
Confluent Platform 6.2 is available as a free Community Edition and as a paid subscription with additional, commercial features available for download. As usual with Confluent releases, this also relies on the current Kafka version 2.8, which for the first time works without Apache ZooKeeper as a service for distributed systems in the background and thus allows more partitions per cluster, easier operation and stricter security.