Nationwide Building Society, a financial institution in the United Kingdom with 137 years of history and over 18,000 employees, relies on Apache Kafka® for their event streaming needs. But how did this come to be? In this episode, Tim Berglund talks with Rob Jackson (Principal Architect, Nationwide) about their Kafka adoption journey as they celebrate two years in production.
Nationwide chose to adopt Kafka as a central part of their information architecture in order to integrate microservices. You can't have them share a database that's design-time coupling, and maybe you tried having them call each other synchronously. There's a little bit too much runtime coupling, leading to the rise of event-driven reactive microservices as a stable and extensible architecture for the next generation.
Nationwide also chose to use Kafka for the following reasons:
Rob explains to Tim that now with the adoption of Kafka across other use cases at Nationwide, he no longer needs to ask his team to query their APIs. Kafka has also enabled more choreography-based use cases and the ability to design new applications to create events (pushed into a common/enterprise event hub). Kafka has helped Nationwide eliminate any bottlenecks in the process and speed up production.
Furthermore, Rob delves into why his team migrated from orchestration to choreography, explaining their differences in depth. When you start building your applications in a choreography-based way, you will find as a byproduct that interesting events are going into Kafka that you didn’t foresee leveraging but that may be useful for the analytics community. In this way, you can truly get the most out of your data.