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Amazon CTO Werner Vogels speaks at Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2018. (GeekWire Photo / Tom Krazit)

LAS VEGAS – Yet another popular open-source project is now available as a managed service from Amazon Web Services with the addition of Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka, announced Thursday at re:Invent 2018.

Kafka is a widely-used open-source project that allows companies to analyze and process streams of data, used in applications such messaging apps or infrastructure monitoring tools. During his developer-oriented keynote Amazon CTO Werner Vogels announced that AWS would offer a managed version of that service, which removes a lot of the heavy lifting companies need to do to get Kafka working in their apps.

AWS already supported Kafka as a package that AWS customers could run on its public cloud infrastructure hardware, but managed services are intriguing to customers that are just getting up and running on the cloud or considering such a move. The move is also another development from the world’s leading cloud computing company that will directly impact a smaller tech company built around an open-source project.

Confluent, founded by Kafka creators Jay Kreps and Neha Narkhede, sent me a classic “thanks for validating our approach” statement within minutes of Vogels’ announcement, which generally signals that a company is worried about the impact of an 800-pound gorilla wandering into their space.

“While AWS’s offering helps organizations get started with Kafka, we’ve found this is just the beginning of the journey. For companies taking streaming applications to production, Confluent offers Confluent Cloud, a complete streaming platform centered around Kafka,” the company said. It’s just another example of why some open-source companies are thinking about changing the licensing requirements around their projects to avoid cloud vendors swooping in and potentially taking away a significant part of the market.

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