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Confluent Announces New Strategic Alliance with Microsoft, Providing a Fast Path to Building Real-Time, Event-Driven Applications for Microsoft Azure Customers

Confluent’s fully managed Apache Kafka service is now seamlessly embedded into the Azure platform with cloud-native capabilities

Mountain View, Calif. – January 26, 2021 – Confluent, Inc., the event streaming pioneer, today announced a new strategic alliance with Microsoft that establishes Confluent Cloud as a fully managed Apache Kafka® service directly available on Microsoft Azure. Through this alliance, Confluent and Microsoft are furthering their product collaboration and have released a new single sign-on capability from Azure Active Directory to Confluent Cloud that significantly streamlines the experience of getting started with event streaming. Azure customers can now access an extensive library of pre-built connectors, a unified billing model with options to use Azure committed spend on Confluent Cloud, and deeper integrations with Azure services. Now, organizations can leapfrog operational burdens of event streaming to build modern, real-time applications faster.

As businesses shift away from 24-hour batch processing and move toward real-time event streaming, they face growing technical complexities around adopting, scaling, and maintaining Kafka. This often hinders them from having the infrastructure needed to support the modern, real-time applications their customers are demanding. With Confluent Cloud’s seamless integration on Azure, it’s now easier than ever to start using Kafka to stream events across Azure services to power real-time applications throughout a business.

“Real-time data is one of the biggest competitive advantages for modern businesses today, but also one of their biggest challenges, with data sprawling across so many different environments. Which is why we are pleased to work with Confluent to enable our mutual customers to quickly provision and manage Confluent resources within their familiar Azure environments through the all-new seamless integration service built on Microsoft Azure,” said Julia Liuson, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Developer Division.

Today’s businesses are accelerating their data modernization efforts in order to meet demands for highly personalized, responsive, real-time applications. In fact, 80% of the Fortune 100 have adopted Kafka, the de facto open source event streaming platform, to power their real-time applications. However, successfully operating Kafka deployments at scale is challenging, expensive, and dependent upon an experienced team of Kafka experts. Founded by the original creators of Kafka, Confluent provides the industry’s only fully managed, cloud-native Kafka service to ensure that any organization can harness the full power of event streaming. Many of today’s leading companies, such as Bosch Power Tools, Catalina, Nuuly, and Recursion are using Confluent Cloud to power parts of their business. With Confluent Cloud, organizations can offload the burdens of managing Kafka and instead focus on building mission critical applications to drive their business.

“Many organizations are undergoing rapid transformations to stay competitive in our increasingly digital world, and cloud and event streaming are playing critical roles in their success,” said Vinod Devan, VP and global head of ecosystems and business development, Confluent. “Through our strategic alliance with Microsoft, we ensure that Microsoft Azure customers can easily jumpstart event streaming and gain the high level of scalability, flexibility and agility needed for today’s winning applications.”

Confluent’s Fully Managed Apache Kafka Service Now Seamlessly Available on Azure

For Azure customers, we’re making the process of adopting event streaming easier than ever by alleviating the typical infrastructure management needs that often pull developers away from building critical applications. With Confluent Cloud seamlessly available on Azure, we’re also introducing single-sign-on through Azure Active Directory, which enables customers to seamlessly manage their Confluent Cloud clusters on Azure. Together with pre-built connectors and simplified billing and procurement processes, organizations can now bring real-time, event-driven applications to market faster without extra operational burdens.

Quickly Stream Events Across the Azure Ecosystem, Confluent Cloud and the Entire Business with Fully Managed Connectors

Manually connecting data from across an organization can quickly become a mess of point-to-point solutions that need to be constantly maintained and fixed. To solve this issue, Confluent has developed an extensive library of pre-built connectors that seamlessly integrate events from many different environments. With Confluent Cloud, Azure customers access fully managed connectors to popular Azure and Microsoft services, including Azure Functions, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Event Hubs, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, and Microsoft SQL Server. More real-time data can now easily flow to applications for smarter analytics and more context-rich experiences.

Get Started with Event Streaming Fast with Unified Billing and No Extra Procurement Steps

Adopting new technologies often involves long, cumbersome procurement processes that slow down application development. In addition, there’s also another bill the organization has to manage. With Confluent Cloud available within Azure, there’s no need for an additional bill or procurement steps. Confluent Cloud will simply appear as a line item on monthly Azure bills with the option to reallocate existing Azure commits towards Confluent Cloud. And as always, Confluent Cloud only charges for what is actually streamed and can scale dynamically based on business needs.

Supporting Customer Quotes

  • “Today, exceptional online shopping experiences and speedy curbside pickups are no longer an option; they are paramount to any retailer’s success,” said Jay Piskorik, Director of Platform Engineering, DICK’S Sporting Goods. “Confluent Cloud on Azure has given us the power of real-time data to ensure inventory and orders are consistently tracked across our growing number of customer touchpoints. By removing the technical burdens of Apache Kafka, we’re able to focus on creating more innovative ways to stay connected with our customers.”
  • “As a global leader in supply chain, real-time information processing is crucial for staying on top of the world’s most complex and constantly evolving industries,” said Pierre-Raymond Pouligny, Head of Architect and Cloud, Bollore Transport & Logistics. “Confluent Cloud on Azure for us, not only provides a highly scalable platform that fosters data flow distribution, but also gives us a strong system integration platform, fully managed, that simplifies our day-to-day operations and activities.”

To learn more, check out Confluent CEO Jay Kreps’ blog: https://www.confluent.io/blog/confluent-microsoft-announce-strategic-alliance/

Additional resources

About Confluent

Confluent, founded by the original creators of Apache Kafka®, pioneered the enterprise-ready event streaming platform. With Confluent, organizations benefit from the first event streaming platform built for the enterprise with the ease of use, scalability, security, and flexibility required by the most discerning global companies to run their business in real time. Companies leading their respective industries have realized success with this new platform paradigm to transform their architectures to streaming from batch processing, spanning on-premises and multi-cloud environments. Confluent is headquartered in Mountain View and London, with offices globally. To learn more, please visit www.confluent.io. Download Confluent Platform and Confluent Cloud at www.confluent.io/download.

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.

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