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DataStax enters event streaming market with Apache Pulsar

DataStax is getting into the event streaming market with the acquisition of Kesque, which uses the open source Apache Pulsar project as the foundation for its platform.

DataStax announced today the acquisition of privately held event streaming vendor Kesque, bringing capabilities from the open source Apache Pulsar project to its portfolio. Financial terms of the acquisition were not publicly disclosed.

DataStax is one of the leading supporters of the open source Apache Cassandra database and provides enterprise support and a cloud service for it. Apache Pulsar is an event streaming platform, also sometimes referred to as data streaming by some vendors. Pulsar is often compared with Apache Kafka, which provides a similar set of capabilities. Though the acquisition was just announced, DataStax already has made the Kesque technology available under the rebranded name DataStax Luna Streaming.

Matt Aslett, research director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said the acquisition will help move DataStax firmly into the event streaming space. He added that while Kesque is not a well-known entity, it does have an installed base of customers and established Apache Pulsar expertise.

"We have seen growing interest in Apache Pulsar over the past 18 months or so, thanks to its breadth and depth of features," Aslett said.

He added that DataStax's new Luna Streaming distribution and support subscription will provide a complement to the company's existing database business. He also said he expects that the streaming service can be used to expand DataStax technology usage among existing customers, as well as to attract new prospects.

We have seen growing interest in Apache Pulsar over the past 18 months or so, thanks to its breadth and depth of features.
Matt AslettResearch director, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Apache Pulsar event streaming with Kesque at DataStax

Kesque certainly isn't the only vendor in the Apache Pulsar space. In 2019, Splunk acquired event streaming data vendor Streamlio, which is also a leader in the Apache Pulsar project. Privately held StreamNative is also an active contributor to Apache Pulsar and has its own Pulsar as a service platform.

Chris Latimer, product manager at DataStax, said the team at Kesque has been at the forefront of Pulsar and was one of the first companies to launch a generally available SaaS Pulsar offering in the cloud.

"They augmented this SaaS offering with enterprise support services for customers who wanted to self-manage their Pulsar deployments," Latimer said. "This combination, coupled with active involvement in the open source community, creates a near-perfect technological and cultural fit between Kesque and DataStax."

What's inside DataStax Luna Streaming service

With the new DataStax Luna Streaming service, DataStax has taken the core Kesque SaaS offering and made it available for anyone to use, free of charge as an open source offering from DataStax.

Latimer said Luna Streaming optionally includes enterprise support for Apache Pulsar with multiple subscription tiers that offer support and expertise from DataStax. The Luna Streaming service is only a first step by DataStax, with plans for a fully managed cloud offering under the DataStax Astra database as a service (DBaaS) platform, at a future point that has yet to be determined.

"Astra Streaming will offer customers a multi-cloud, multi-tenant, cloud-native, event streaming service with seamless integration to DataStax Astra," Latimer said. "This service will enable enterprises to build mission-critical microservices applications, and manage data real time at scale."

Connecting Pulsar with Cassandra

Pulsar event streaming can be a useful complement to DataStax's Cassandra database technologies. Latimer noted that DataStax has built the Apache Pulsar Connector, which allows users to stream messages from Pulsar and persist them in Cassandra.

As an example use case, Latimer explained that users could use change data capture streams from various databases within their enterprise as message sources. Those streams could then be used to create read-optimized views in Cassandra for fast data access using a combination of Luna Streaming and the DataStax Apache Pulsar Connector.

While DataStax is investing heavily in Pulsar and believes that it represents the future of streaming technologies, Latimer said the company will continue to support customers who want to use Kafka. He added that in DataStax's view, Pulsar is a better option for performance and scalability than Kafka for some users.

"DataStax provides the DataStax Kafka Connector for Cassandra users who need to integrate streaming with Cassandra use cases, such as persisting streamed data for long-term storage, or creating read-optimized views of that data," Latimer said.

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