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Aiven’s first acquisition is Kafkawize, an open source data governance tool for Kafka • londonbusinessblog.com

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Aivenwhich provides fully managed and hosted services for major open source projects including Kafka, Cassandra and Grafana, has announced its first-ever acquisition – the Finnish company has Kafkawizea self-service open source data governance tool for: Apache Kafka. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The acquisition comes amid a renewed focus on open source software security, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently warning of legal action against any organization that failed to patch the much-discussed Log4j flaw that surfaced last year. Elsewhere, a new bipartisan US Senate bill called the Securing Open Source Software Act upcoming last week to help strengthen open source software, particularly with regard to how it is used in federal agencies.

Securing open source

Founded in Helsinki in 2016, Aiven essentially solves many of the problems related to running open source software, which permeate just about every modern technology stack. From scripts that speed up servers to databases and much more, open source is what drives the modern software world. But open source software is time-consuming to configure, deploy, and maintain, and that’s where Aiven competes by taking on much of the heavy lifting involved in running and securing open source data infrastructure across all major public services. clouds, allowing companies to focus on building their “differentiated” core products.

Fresh from a $210 million fundraising that valued it at $3 billionAiven is now doubling its existing support for Kafka, an open source data streaming project that grew out of LinkedIn back in 2011. Some 80% of Fortune 100 companies apparently use Kafka to access real-time data in their applications, essential for use cases such as matching passengers with drivers in ride-sharing apps or processing e-commerce payments.

Kafkawize, for its part, is an open source project started in 2018 by Murali Basani to help companies embed good data governance into their Kafka implementations, especially around the hundreds of “topics” Kafka generates – a topic is basically a category name in which records are organized and stored. This raises important security questions, including who is authorized to create and use a topic — and who owns it? In addition, how does a company back up their Kafka configuration?

And that’s essentially what Kafkawize does: it’s designed to fill the data management gaps in Kafka.

What this acquisition means is that Aiven now owns the intellectual property (IP), including the Kafkawise trademark, and has hired Basani to continue working on the project as part of Aiven’s open source program office (OSPO). And Aiven’s first step as owner was to rebrand Kafkawize as Klaw.

“We were looking for an open source tool that could provide self-service governance with enterprise-grade security and user management functionality,” Aiven CEO Oskari Saarenmaa told londonbusinessblog.com. “We believe that the Kafka community deserves open source tooling, so we hired the creator and administrator of Klaw, placed these responsibilities in our Open Source Program Office, and properly provided the technology to support its continued open source development. to ensure.”

While any open source project that joins a commercial venture often raises eyebrows about what will eventually become of the community-driven project, joining Aiven is one way to ensure its future viability. Funding continues to be a major problem for open source projects, which in turn creates barriers in terms of scalability – companies may be hesitant to put their trust in a product that has limited support.

As Basani noted: in his own blog post today: “This project was developed entirely by me in my spare time … with the support of Aiven, Klaw can reach its full potential in the coming years.”

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