Amazon MSK vs. Calisti: Which one is right for you?

Silesh Bijjahalli

Thursday, Jul 6th, 2023

Apache Kafka is an open-source platform with significant popularity for its ability to handle large-scale, real-time data streaming. It provides a publish-subscribe message broker with high throughput, scalability, and fault tolerance. Organizations widely use it for various use cases, including Real-time analytics & Streaming.

There are various options for managing Kafka deployments on Kubernetes, including Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) and Calisti. This blog post will compare the two platforms and help you decide which is right.

Amazon MSK

Amazon MSK is a managed service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that simplifies the deployment and management of Kafka clusters. It eliminates the need for organizations to handle the underlying infrastructure and enables them to focus on their applications and data.

Amazon MSK offers seamless integration with other AWS services, such as Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Elasticsearch, making it a convenient choice for organizations already using AWS.

The advantages of Amazon MSK include:

  • Managed Service: Amazon MSK takes care of the infrastructure, including provisioning, scaling, and patching, allowing organizations to focus on their applications.
  • Integration with AWS: Amazon MSK seamlessly integrates with other AWS services, enabling easy data ingestion, processing, and analysis.
  • Simplified Operations: With Amazon MSK, organizations can benefit from automated tasks, such as cluster scaling and failure recovery, reducing the operational burden on DevOps teams.
  • High Availability and Durability: Amazon MSK provides built-in replication and fault tolerance mechanisms to ensure data availability despite failures.

However, organizations should also consider the following factors when choosing Amazon MSK:

  • Vendor Lock-in: As a proprietary service, Amazon MSK may raise concerns about vendor lock-in. Organizations should evaluate their long-term strategy and consider the potential challenges of migrating away from the service if needed.
  • Cost: Amazon MSK pricing is based on factors like the number of brokers, storage, and data transfer, which organizations should consider when estimating the overall cost of their Kafka deployment.
  • Limited Control: While Amazon MSK simplifies management, it may restrict configuration changes and fine-tuning options for advanced users requiring granular control over their Kafka clusters.

Calisti – Kafka on Kubernetes Simplified


Calisti offers a solution for organizations that prefer the flexibility and control of self-managed Kafka deployments while leveraging the benefits of Kubernetes orchestration. Calisti enables easy deployment, configuration, and management of Kafka clusters on Kubernetes.

Here are the key benefits of using Kafka on Kubernetes with Calisti:

  • Cloud Native Integration: Calisti seamlessly integrates Kafka on Kubernetes, allowing organizations to take advantage of the scalability, portability, and flexibility of Kubernetes.
  • Rapid Deployment: With Calisti, organizations can operationalize a Kafka cluster on Kubernetes in minutes, thanks to the simplified deployment of Calisti.
  • Enhanced Security: Calisti simplifies security management by providing features like managing Kafka ACLs (Access Control Lists) and enabling mutual TLS (mTLS) for secure connections.
  • Deep Insights: Calisti offers comprehensive monitoring and observability capabilities, providing insights into the Kafka cluster's performance, health, and resource utilization.

Which platform is right for you?

The best platform for you will depend on your specific use cases and needs. If you are looking for a fully managed service that is easy to use and integrates with other AWS services, then Amazon MSK is a good choice. If you require greater flexibility, control, and the ability to operate on hybrid multi-cloud environments, Calisti is a suitable choice.

Here is the table that summarizes the key features of each platform:

FeatureAmazon MSK Calisti
PurposeReal-time data streaming and processingReal-time data streaming and processing
Managed serviceYesNo
PlatformAWSHybrid Multicloud including AWS
Data sovereigntyCan be a concernSupported
ScalabilityYes - Horizontally scalable with AWS auto-scalingYes - Horizontally scalable (with Calisti, automated scaling)
Data retentionLimited number of daysInfinite with proper configuration
Supported languagesJava, .NET, Node.js, Python, Ruby, and moreKafka-supported languages e.g Scala, Python, and more
Data ingestionMultiple sources, including AWS servicesMultiple sources, including non-AWS services
Pricing & supportPay-per-usage, SLA-based supportSubscription, community support, or enterprise version with support
SecurityYes – IAM, RBAC, Audit logging and moreYes, ACL, mTLS and more

Integrations & configurationsBuilt-in integration with AWS servicesThird-party connectors and integrations are available; configurations are customizable and give better control of the environment
Ease of useEasy to set up and useAutomates setup and deployment of Calisti – Faster to operationalize

In summary, Organizations choosing between Amazon MSK and Calisti should consider factors such as:

  • Managed service vs managing own Kafka clusters.
  • Data sovereignty requirements.
  • Scalability needs.
  • Usability & integration needs.
  • Hybrid Multicloud support

Organizations can determine which solution best aligns with their specific use case and preferences by evaluating these factors.

For more information on Calisti, visit

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