Confluent has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Immerok, a leading contributor to Apache Flink. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Apache Flink is used for querying streaming data, operating as a service at the cloud layer, and is a popular open source option for building stream processing applications. Immerok has developed a cloud-native and fully managed Flink service for large-scale data stream processing. Confluent noted in a release that Immerok leadership, including multiple Flink Project Management Committee members and committers, would add extensive stream processing expertise to the Confluent team.
Driven by this acquisition, Confluent has plans to accelerate the launch of its own fully managed Flink service that will be compatible with its managed Kafka service, Confluent Cloud: “Thanks to Flink, Kafka Streams, and ksqlDB offerings available natively on Confluent, customers are expected to soon have access to the three leading stream processing tools designed specifically to process and enrich data in real time,” the company said in a statement. Confluent will launch the first version of its Flink offering in Confluent Cloud later this year, according to Kreps, and will start with SQL support that will eventually extend to the full Confluent platform. A public preview of the Flink offering for Confluent Cloud is planned for 2023.
“Stream processing plays a particularly critical role in data streaming,” said Jay Kreps, co-founder and CEO of Confluent. “Stream processing enables organizations to clean and enrich data streams to derive actionable insights from their data in real time. Our planned acquisition of Immerok will accelerate our ability to bring one of the most popular and powerful stream processing engines directly into Confluent. Soon, customers will be able to leverage the power of Apache Flink natively in Confluent to quickly and easily build the real time applications that are required to win.”
Kreps penned a blog post explaining the choice to add Flink to Confluent’s Kafka stream processing ecosystem, noting that growing excitement around Flink and increasing adoption among Confluent customers factored into the decision. “Flink has the best multi-language support with first class support for SQL, Java, and Python. It has a principled processing model that generalizes batch and stream processing. It has a fantastic model for state management and fault tolerance. And perhaps most importantly, it has an incredibly smart, innovative community driving it forward,” he said. “In short: we believe that Flink is the future of stream processing.”
Apache Flink is supported by commercial vendors like Aiven and Ververica. Ververica was formerly known as DataArtisans and was purchased by Alibaba in 2019 for $103 million. DataArtisans’ founders were the original creators of Flink, many of whom left Ververica in 2022 to join Immerok. Kreps notes that he believes this acquisition and Immerok’s knowledge surrounding Flink will enable Kafka and Flink to work seamlessly together, like the query and storage layer of a database.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this direction and the addition of the Immerok team to Confluent. We think the deep expertise and technology they have around Flink, and our ability to integrate that into our service put us in a position to continue to redefine the standard for what a data streaming platform is,” said Kreps.
“I’m deeply excited about the opportunity to combine our deep Flink expertise with the world’s foremost Kafka experts,” said Holger Temme, co-founder and CEO of Immerok. “Together, we can deliver a cloud-native data streaming platform that gives customers the combined power of the best of the stream processing layer, with the best of the data movement and storage layer, so they can unlock new insights from data in real time.”