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Apache Kafka and the Data Mesh

Data mesh is a relatively recent term that describes a set of principles that good modern data systems uphold. A kind of “microservices” for the data-centric world. While the data mesh is not technology-specific as a pattern, the building of systems that adopt and implement data mesh principles have a relatively long history under different guises.

In this talk, we share our recommendations and picks of what every developer should know about building a streaming data mesh with Kafka. We introduce the four principles of the data mesh: domain-driven decentralization, data as a product, self-service data platform, and federated governance. We then cover topics such as the differences between working with event streams versus centralized approaches and highlight the key characteristics that make streams a great fit for implementing a mesh, such as their ability to capture both real-time and historical data. We’ll examine how to onboard data from existing systems into a mesh, modelling the communication within the mesh, how to deal with changes to your domain’s “public” data, give examples of global standards for governance, and discuss the importance of taking a product-centric view on data sources and the data sets they share.


Michael Noll

Michael is a principal technologist in the Office of the CTO at Confluent, the company founded by the creators of Apache Kafka. He focuses on longer-term product and technology strategy. Previously, Michael was the lead product manager for stream processing at Confluent, where his team created Kafka Streams and the streaming database ksqlDB. He is a well-known technology blogger in the big data community ( and a committer/contributor to open source projects such as Apache Storm and Apache Kafka.

Ben Stopford

Ben is a technologist in the Office of the CTO at Confluent where he has worked on a wide range of projects, from implementing the latest version of Kafka’s replication protocol through to developing strategies for streaming applications. Before Confluent Ben led the design and build of a company-wide data platform for a large financial institution, as well as working on a number of early service-oriented systems, both in finance and at Thoughtworks.