Pulsar as a Service vs Managed Pulsar in Your Environment

Comparing Pulsar as a Service and Managed Pulsar in Your Environment

Published September 2023

Apache Pulsar is a multi-tenant, high-performance data streaming and messaging technology.  Its capabilities make it a go-to choice for businesses looking to make real-time, data-driven decisions. However, the way you choose to implement Apache Pulsar can significantly impact your operations. The two primary options are Pulsar as a Service and Managed Pulsar in your environment. 

In this article we offer a detailed comparison of the two approaches.

Both Pulsar as a Service and Managed Pulsar in your environment are maintenance-free and include 24/7 troubleshooting. In both cases, the service provider takes care of updates, patches, and troubleshooting.  However, there are important differences that should be considered.

Pulsar as a Service: An Overview

Pulsar as a Service is a cloud-based solution where a third-party provider hosts and manages your Apache Pulsar environment. This service model is often appealing for its quick setup and hands-off maintenance. Businesses can essentially “rent” the capabilities of Apache Pulsar without worrying about the nitty-gritty details of its implementation.


– Quick Deployment: Get up and running quickly.


– Limited Control: You have to work within the constraints set by the service provider.

– Security Concerns: Your data is hosted on third-party servers, potentially exposing it to risks.

– Vendor Lock-in: Migrating to another service or back to an on-premises solution can be complicated and costly.

Learn more about security concerns with hosted Pulsar here.

Managed Pulsar in Your Environment: An Overview

In contrast, Managed Pulsar in your environment means that Apache Pulsar is hosted on your own servers, whether on-premises or in a cloud environment that you control. Then you either have in-house expertise or an experienced Managed Pulsar company who is responsible for the setup and maintenance.  

This approach allows you to have complete control over the system’s configuration, security, and data management.


– Complete Control: Customize Apache Pulsar to fit your specific needs.

– Enhanced Security: Keep your data within your own secure environment.

– Long-Term Investment: Build a system that evolves with your business.

– No Vendor Lock-in: You’re free to change your setup or switch providers without major hurdles.


– Initial Setup: Requires an upfront investment in infrastructure (if running on-prem) and expertise.

If you’re new to Pulsar and want a beginner course, check our Pulsar tutorial series.

Why Managed Pulsar in Your Environment is the Better Choice

Enhanced Security

When it comes to data security, nothing beats having your own controlled environment. With Managed Pulsar in your environment, you have the freedom to implement security protocols that align with your organization’s policies. You’re not sharing resources with other businesses, which minimizes the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.

Complete Control Over Your Data

Data is often considered the new oil, and for a good reason. It powers insights, decisions, and ultimately, success. Having complete control over your data is not just about security; it’s about ownership. With Managed Pulsar in your environment, your data never leaves your controlled ecosystem.

Long-Term Investment

While the initial setup cost of Managed Pulsar in your environment might be higher, it’s a long-term investment that pays off. You’re building an asset that is entirely under your control and can be tailored to meet your evolving business needs. This is not just an operational advantage; it’s a strategic one that positions your business for long-term success.

Flexibility Without Vendor Lock-in

One of the significant downsides of Pulsar as a Service is the potential for vendor lock-in. You’re often limited to the tools, integrations, and configurations that the service provider offers. Switching providers or moving to an in-house solution can be a complex, costly affair. With Managed Pulsar in your environment, you have the flexibility to adapt your setup as needed, without the constraints of vendor-specific limitations.

TLDR on Pulsar SaaS vs Managed Pulsar in Your Environment

Both Pulsar as a Service and Managed Pulsar in your environment are maintenance-free and include 24/7 uptime support, but there are important differences between the approaches.

While Pulsar as a Service offers the allure of quick setup and hands-off maintenance, Managed Pulsar in your environment provides unparalleled advantages in terms of security, data control, long-term investment, and flexibility.

For businesses that view data as a strategic asset and are willing to invest in a solution that offers complete control and adaptability, Managed Pulsar in your environment is the clear winner. It’s not just about meeting your needs today; it’s about building a robust, secure, and flexible system that evolves with your business in the long run.

Read about expertly managed Pulsar in your environment. 

Published by

Dattell - Kafka & Elasticsearch Support

Benefit from the experience of our Kafka, Pulsar, Elasticsearch, and OpenSearch expert services to help your team deploy and maintain high-performance platforms that scale. We support Kafka, Elasticsearch, and OpenSearch both on-prem and in the cloud, whether on stand alone clusters or running within Kubernetes. We’ve saved our clients $100M+ over the past six years. Without our guidance companies tend to overspend on hardware or purchase unnecessary licenses. We typically save clients multiples more money than our fees cost in addition to building, optimizing, and supporting fault-tolerant, highly available architectures.