Kafka connect is a framework that uses Kafka topics for collecting data from various sources and distributing it to different sinks. It comes bundled with Kafka installation but can run independently from Kafka brokers and access them remotely. Here is an explanation about what Kafka connect is and it’s architecture. It is also a good candidate for running on Kubernetes since it only uses outgoing communication.
The framework uses plugins to be able to talk to different sources and sinks. There are many ready plugins for a variety of systems. Some of them are free and some are licensed to companies like Confluent or Debezium. many of them can be found here. Some systems can be a source of data, some can be a sink and some can be both. Basically a source adapter polls the source system for changes, pulls the data and publish it in a Kafka topic. A sink adapter subscribes to a Kafka topic, gets incoming events and exports them into the target system.
As I mentioned, there are several dozens of supported adapters. Just for the demonstration we will capture events from kafka topic and store them in splunk for visualization and investigation.
Click through to see how it all fits together.