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Creating Connector to Bridge the Worlds of Kafka and gRPC at Wework

Anoop Dixith, Wework

What do you do when you've two different technologies on the upstream and the downstream that are both rapidly being adopted industrywide? How do you bridge them scalably and robustly? At Wework, the upstream data was being brokered by Kafka and the downstream consumers were highly scalable gRPC services. While Kafka was capable of efficiently channeling incoming events in near real-time from a variety of sensors that were used in select Wework spaces, the downstream gRPC services that were user-facing were exceptionally good at serving requests in a concurrent and robust manner. This was a formidable combination, if only there was a way to effectively bridge these two in an optimized way. Luckily, sink Connectors came to the rescue. However, there weren't any for gRPC sinks! So we wrote one.

In this talk, we will briefly focus on the advantages of using Connectors, creating new Connectors, and specifically spend time on gRPC sink Connector and its impact on Wework's data pipeline.