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Confluent Cloud for Apache Flink Webinar

In this webinar, you’ll get a detailed overview of what’s new with our fully managed Flink service including a technical demo that incorporates all of the latest Flink enhancements on Confluent Cloud.

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We’re excited to share the latest and greatest features on Confluent Cloud, in our first launch of 2024. This Cloud Launch comes to you from Kafka Summit London, where we talked about the latest updates highlighted in our launch, including serverless Apache Flink®, some exciting pricing changes, updates to connectors, and more! We also shared our vision for a future offering, Tableflow.

These updates represent our ongoing commitment to innovation and our dedication to supporting the evolving needs of our customers. We believe these new features will not only enhance your experience with Confluent Cloud but also empower you to unlock new possibilities in data-driven decision-making and innovation.

We started this new year off strong with many exciting new features and enhancements to the key pillars of our cloud-native data streaming platform: Stream, Connect, Process, and Govern. With these improvements, we aim to provide customers with the capabilities to build high-quality, reusable data streams with seamless integrations and enhanced governance. 

Read on for a full overview and insights to help you make the most of these exciting new capabilities.

Simple, serverless stream processing with Confluent Cloud for Apache Flink® (GA)

Our fully managed Confluent Cloud for Flink service is now generally available across all three major cloud service providers, providing customers with a true multicloud solution and the flexibility to seamlessly deploy stream processing workloads everywhere their data and applications reside. Backed by our 99.99% uptime SLA, our platform ensures reliable stream processing with support and services from leading Apache Kafka® and Flink experts.

With Confluent Cloud for Apache Flink®, customers can experience the industry's only cloud-native, serverless Flink service and process data in-flight to create high-quality, reusable streams delivered anywhere in real time. Confluent's fully managed service for Flink enables you to:

  • Effortlessly filter, join, and enrich your data streams with Flink, the de facto standard for stream processing

  • Enable high-performance and efficient stream processing at any scale, without the complexities of infrastructure management

  • Experience Kafka and Flink as a unified platform, with fully integrated monitoring, security, and governance 

If you'd like to learn more about our Flink service, check out the deep dive blog post.

With GenAI apps becoming a top priority for many companies due to the potential benefits of automating tasks, improving efficiency, and gaining insights from large amounts of data, real-time data processing capabilities are more important than ever. 

By leveraging Kafka and Flink as a unified platform, teams can connect to diverse data sources, clean and enrich data streams, and deliver real-time updates to vector databases, ensuring an always up-to-date and complete view of the business. Confluent’s fully managed service for Apache Flink® enables real-time data processing for powerful AI applications. Integrated with leading vector databases, such as Elastic, Pinecone, Rockset, SingleStore, and Zilliz, Confluent simplifies and accelerates the development of real-time GenAI apps. 

In addition, customers can tap into Confluent's global network of system integrators, including Deloitte, Ness Digital Engineering, Somerford Associates, Improving, Psyncopate, Platformatory, Synthesis Software Technologies (Pty) Ltd, and iLink Digital for building, deploying, and fine-tuning Flink-based applications. These certified integrators offer on-site engineering assistance to accelerate stream processing use cases, helping customers reduce costs, accelerate time-to-market, and achieve better outcomes.

Connect with confidence: Platform improvements to 80+ fully managed connectors

We are thrilled to announce new enhancements to our fully managed connector portfolio that brings secure networking paths, improved usability, uptime SLAs, and pricing updates to the cloud connector platform. Additionally, we are reaching a new milestone of offering over 80 fully managed connectors with four new connectors that are coming soon: MySQL CDC (Debezium V2) Source, PostgreSQL CDC (Debezium V2) Source, and Microsoft SQL Server CDC (Debezium V2) Source, and OpenSearch Sink connectors. 

With these enhancements, you’re able to confidently: 

  • Connect securely to critical data systems in private networks using DNS forwarding and Egress Access Points

  • Provision connectors reliably in seconds with real-time configuration validations and a 99.99% uptime SLA

  • Stream data affordably at any scale with up to 50% reduced data transfer costs of $0.025/GB

Secure networking for fully managed connectors

Solving for secure cloud networking when integrating with critical data systems has proven to be one of the most complex challenges we’ve encountered. Two common private networking requirements we’ve observed include resolving private DNS addresses on Peering and Transit Gateway clusters and establishing an outbound networking connection for PrivateLink clusters.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce DNS Forwarding and Egress Access Points. With these networking features, you can leverage fully managed connectors to connect to private endpoints while maintaining security compliance. 

  • DNS Forwarding enables connectors to resolve FQDNs by forwarding the DNS lookup to a customer-hosted or private DNS zone. It’s available now on AWS and Azure for Confluent Cloud Dedicated clusters, with GCP support coming soon. 

  • Egress Access Points enables private connectivity with your source/sink systems by directly connecting to a PrivateLink Service from Confluent to your external data systems. It will be available on AWS in early April, with Azure Private Link and GCP PSC support coming soon.

Fast, frictionless, and cost-effective integrations 

We’ve also made significant investments in improving usability, security, and reliability for fully managed connectors on a platform level.  

Available now, we’ve introduced:

  • Reduced connectors provisioning time to under 10 seconds for most scenarios

  • Instant configuration validations in the Confluent Cloud UI check inputs and alert you to correct any incorrect fields, enabling you to more seamlessly launch connectors

  • A max 99.99% uptime SLA for fully managed connectors to match the SLA of your Kafka clusters type

Coming over the next month, we’ll release:

  • Offset management, allowing you to specify which offset the connector should start processing from, useful for connector migrations, replaying data during disaster recovery, or skipping bad records during data failures

  • AWS IAM AssumeRole support that simplifies permission access controls during configurations and enhances security when connecting with AWS services

Last but not least, we are excited to announce that coming soon in April, all fully managed and custom connectors will have a $0.025/GB throughput price, up to a 50% reduction. The lower throughput price will enable your teams to leverage connectors for all workloads at any scale while reducing your total cost of ownership.

Additional new features and enhancements

Stream Governance enabled by default in all regions, with a 99.99% SLA for Schema Registry

We continue to evolve our Stream Governance offering to provide the best experience for the Confluent user. Stream Governance is now enabled by default across all environments – making it easier than ever to leverage the industry’s only data governance suite purpose-built for data streaming.

Additionally, regional coverage for Stream Governance will expand to all Confluent Cloud regions, providing more seamless access to Schema Registry, Data Portal, real-time lineage, and more governance features across regions.

Recognizing the critical role Schema Registry plays in governing data, our Advanced package for Stream Governance now offers an improved 99.99% SLA for Schema Registry, so that organizations can continue to confidently govern their Confluent Cloud environments without disruption to critical workflows or compliance concerns. 

Connect with Confluent Expansion

Our Connect with Confluent (CwC) partner program has been rapidly growing since its launch in July 2023. Together with our technology partners, we’re expanding the data streaming ecosystem every quarter with a new batch of fully managed Confluent integrations available from directly within your favorite applications. This brings data streaming to a new set of users across teams and allows for more real-time data products to be instantaneously shared throughout the business. Joining the CwC program in Q1: Advantco, Aklivity, Arroyo, Asapio, Census, EMQX, Kinetica, Nstream, Redis, SingleStore, Squid, and Superblocks 

For more information, visit the Connect with Confluent Q1 announcement blog to learn about how these new technology partners help unlock more real-time use cases and innovation.

Enterprise Clusters deliver more cost savings on more clouds

Last September, we expanded our serverless capabilities to those who need private networking with the introduction of Enterprise clusters—a secure and serverless Kafka cluster powered by the Kora engine. Enterprise clusters provide a more cost-effective private networking option with their ability to instantly autoscale up and down based on the workload without any user intervention. Fast forward six months and we're excited to share that Enterprise clusters can offer even more cost savings with a lower entry point and reduced throughput costs on both AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Enhanced bidirectional Cluster Linking

Introducing Reverse Command for Failover/Failback scenarios as part of our bidirectional Cluster Linking feature we launched last year. This new feature ensures that the services remain available to users and the data is always in sync between the clusters when doing a DR test or a migration from Confluent Platform to Confluent Cloud.

CLI support for Private Networking

Until now, Networking actions could only be done in the GUI, TerraForm, or via our REST API directly. We are launching CLI support for our existing API endpoints. To learn more about which endpoints are supported, please refer to our documentation.

Start building with new Confluent Cloud features

Remember to register for the upcoming Q1 ʼ24 Launch webinar on April 2 and the Flink deep dive webinar on April 16th, where you’ll learn firsthand from our product experts how to put these new features to use. 

Ready to get started? If you haven’t done so already, sign up for a free trial of Confluent Cloud to explore new features. New sign-ups receive $400 to spend within Confluent Cloud during their first 30 days. Use the code CL60BLOG for an additional $60 of free usage.*

The preceding outlines our general product direction and is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described may change. Customers should make their purchase decisions based upon services, features, and functions that are currently available.
Confluent and associated marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Confluent, Inc.
Apache®, Apache Kafka®, and Apache Flink® are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation in the United States and/or other countries. No endorsement by the Apache Software Foundation is implied by the use of these marks. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

  • Olivia Greene is a seasoned senior product marketing manager at Confluent, focused on driving the adoption of Confluent Cloud and Confluent Platform and empowering businesses to harness the full potential of a data streaming platform. Before Confluent, she led programs and go-to-market initiatives across infrastructure, storage, and edge technologies at Red Hat.

Confluent Cloud for Apache Flink Webinar

In this webinar, you’ll get a detailed overview of what’s new with our fully managed Flink service including a technical demo that incorporates all of the latest Flink enhancements on Confluent Cloud.

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