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Is Kafka free?

Updated September 2023

Apache Kafka is available under the Apache License v2.0, and is completely free.  The license is extremely permissive, allowing for users to include Kafka in consumer products and edit the code.

Confluent Kafka is available either free under their community license (not open source) or a paid version.  The paid version of Confluent Kafka includes additional features such as a control center.  

We have an entire post dedicated to comparing Apache Kafka vs. Confluent Kafka. Check it out if you’re interested in learning more about their similarities and differences.  

At Dattell, we support the free version of Kafka, Apache Kafka.

Choosing a free software, like Kafka, does not mean compromising performance.  For instance, read here about how Kafka guarantees message order.

Read more about why companies choose free, open source software here.

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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.