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WarpStream: Affordable Cloud Data Stream

WarpStream Introduces an Affordable Cloud-Native Data Streaming Service
WarpStream Unveils Cloud-Native Data Streaming Service, Secures $20 Million Investment When Apache Kafka, the open-source streaming service, emerged in 2011 at LinkedIn, the technology landscape was vastly different. Most businesses were still reliant on on-premises infrastructure, with cloud computing only beginning to gain traction. Recognizing the significance of streaming in a cloud-native environment, early-stage startup WarpStream has developed a new solution tailored for the modern era, leveraging the Apache Kafka protocol as its foundation but reimagined for cloud-native operations. Today, the company announced a substantial $20 million investment to further advance its mission. WarpStream CEO Richard Artoul, along with co-founder CTO Ryan Worl, identified challenges in their previous roles surrounding the complexity and costliness of integrating data into Kafka. Artoul explained to TechCrunch, “If you were building something today that looked like Apache Kafka like we did with WarpStream, you would take a really different approach than was taken back in 2011 when Kafka was first designed, and so that’s why we think now’s a really good time for us to build something new that can actually meaningfully drive down costs and operational burden for people.” The key to their approach lies in leveraging the capabilities of today’s cloud infrastructure, separating compute from storage by utilizing object storage services such as Amazon S3. This strategy enables WarpStream to circumvent inter-zone networking costs, a significant portion of the expenses associated with running large-scale Kafka workloads. By interacting with and storing data in cloud object storage, WarpStream mitigates the networking fees inherent in traditional big data systems when migrated to the cloud. Moreover, complex data durability and replication challenges inherent in Kafka are offloaded to the object storage layer, streamlining operations and reducing costs. Artoul and Worl drew inspiration from their experience at Datadog, where they contributed to the development of the storage system Husky, now a foundational component of Datadog’s offerings. Building on this experience, they recognized the potential for streaming systems to operate similarly, prompting them to embark on developing WarpStream. WarpStream offers two deployment options: a bring-your-own-cloud model and a fully managed serverless option. The BYOC version is available immediately, accompanied by a pricing calculator on the company’s website for cost estimation. With a team comprising individuals who contributed to building Husky, WarpStream currently employs nine individuals. They plan to double their headcount by the end of the year, supported by the recent $20 million investment led by Greylock and Amplify Partners, alongside contributions from notable figures in the data industry.

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