Pulsar uses Apache Bookkeeper (committed by Yahoo to open source in 2011) as its durable storage mechanism. “With Bookkeeper, applications can create many independent logs, called ledgers,” Pulsar’s project page on GitHub says. “A ledger is an append-only data structure with a single writer that is assigned to multiple storage nodes (or bookies) and whose entries are replicated to multiple of these nodes.”
Pulsar uses brokers to serve topics. Each topic is assigned to a broker, and an individual broker can serve thousands of topics, Yahoo says. “The broker accepts messages from writers, commits them to a durable store, and dispatches them to readers,” Yahoo says.
My biases would lead me to still go with Kafka over Pulsar, but it’d be interesting to see a good comp between the two.