After breaking their monolithic applications into more granular microservices-based systems, Freeus was struggling to keep track of not just the services but the information flowing between them via Apache Kafka. Their senior architect found himself using a clumsy combination of Visio diagrams, Excel spreadsheets and whiteboard drawings to communicate the system’s architecture to developers and line of business stakeholders across the organization. This approach made it impossible to provide reliably up to date information about the schemas for a given topic, for example, or what versions of a topic were active in dev, test and production environments.
One particular problem with that was the inability to understand the downstream impact of changes. They needed to see the microservices affected by a given event before deploying a new feature or function to make sure the new thing they’re adding wouldn’t bring down that system; even for as few as five seconds.
When Freeus discovered and conducted a trial of Event Portal for Kafka, they realized it solved the exact problems they were having. Senior architect Caleb New – who had been manually diagraming event streams between microservices in Visio – was amazed that Event Portal for Kafka was able to automatically scan their system and create a more complete map of endpoints and event streams than what he’d assembled across 5 Visio documents and 3 spreadsheets.
Being able to define their applications and event streams, along with the versions of them they’re running, and the layer of other things they can communicate with all-in-one place has helped them become way more agile in their release process. They are now deploying new services much more quickly – a release every two weeks in 2023, compared to just four in all of 2022.