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A trio of LinkedIn engineers led by Jay Kreps — the person behind a good deal of LinkedIn’s recent infrastructure advances — is leaving the company to start their own business, called Confluent. Confluent is centered around the open source Apache Kafka real-time messaging technology that Kreps and his co-founders, Neha Narkhede and Jun Rao, created and developed. They have raised $6.9 million in venture capital from Benchmark, LinkedIn and Data Collective.

Kreps describes Kafka as a « central nervous system » for [company]LinkedIn[/company] and other companies that already use it, managing the streams of information that feed into it from various applications, processing each piece of data and then sending them where they need to go next. That might be Apache Storm, DataTorrent or, in the case of LinkedIn, Samza (which Kreps also built) for stream processing; Hadoop for batch processing; or just to a database to be served up later.

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