The CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) has voted to accept Strimzi as a CNCF incubating project. 

Strimzi is focused on deploying and running Apache Kafka clusters on Kubernetes. Apache Kafka is a leading platform for building event-based microservices architectures and real-time data pipelines, and it is horizontally scalable and fault-tolerant by design. Running Apache Kafka on Kubernetes can be complicated, but Strimzi reduces the complexity by using the operator pattern. This includes the initial installation as well as the day-2 operations for upgrades and security. 

Strimzi was developed by Red Hat in 2017 and entered the CNCF Sandbox in August 2019.  The project now has more than 1600 contributors from 180+ organizations and 15 public adopters using Strimzi in production environments, including Axual, Atruvia, Decathlon, LittleHorse, and SBB, among others. 

“Strimzi does an excellent job of making Kafka easy to install and manage on Kubernetes. The project has matured to the point where it has gained the trust of numerous production users. The community around it continues to grow and the processes are set up to handle that. I’m happy to see Strimzi move to the Incubation level.” – Matt Farina, Strimzi TOC Sponsor

“I feel quite humbled, but also proud that what we’ve created is working for so many people and I think Strimzi has a bright future. Adoption of data streaming architectures, and Apache Kafka, is still growing at a very significant rate. The more we can do to lower the operational costs and burdens of these technologies the more people and organizations will be able to benefit from them. There’s a lot of work to do to deliver such a vision but with Strimzi being part of the CNCF Incubator, I’m really optimistic that we can broaden the user base, the contributor base, and also the maintainers as a result of the progress we’re announcing today.” – Tom Bentley, Founder and Maintainer of the Strimzi project

“Running an Apache Kafka cluster on Kubernetes is not easy but since its inception, Strimzi has been acting as a game changer in this area. The opportunity to deal with the day-2 operations burden by leveraging an operator-based approach, together with the declarative nature of Kubernetes by using custom resources, has been very well received. Together with the users, Strimzi has been growing for years with new features, improvements, and bug fixes to make it stable and production-ready. The community is always at the core of a successful open source project, and Strimzi has a really engaged one. I am very proud that Strimzi has been accepted as a CNCF incubating project because it will enable even more people to trust it, and see the opportunities it opens for developing production grade data and event streaming architectures running in cloud-native environments.” – Paolo Patierno, Founder and Maintainer of the Strimzi project. 

Main Components:

Strimzi provides three different operators:


Notable Milestones:

Thanks to enabling a ‘cloud native’ way to run Apache Kafka on Kubernetes, Strimzi is integrated with other CNCF projects including Prometheus, OpenTelemery, KeyCloak, OPA, Helm, and more. 

Strimzi continues to add new features and functionality, including:

The Strimzi community has also announced StrimziCon, an event for developers, DevOps engineers, and solution architects who want to learn about Strimzi and event streaming. The virtual conference will take place on May 22nd and the call for papers is open until March 10th.

As a CNCF-hosted project, Strimzi is part of a neutral foundation aligned with its technical interests, as well as the larger Linux Foundation, which provides governance, marketing support, and community outreach. For more information on maturity requirements for each level, please visit the CNCF Graduation Criteria.

Supporting End User and Partner Quotes

“I’ve been using Strimzi since early 2020, at multiple companies. When I first started with Strimzi I was also just starting in Apache Kafka, so I knew almost nothing about how to operate a cluster. However, the kube-native Kafka CRD made it easy to quickly deploy a robust cluster relying on my previous K8s knowledge. Managing topics was also easy with the KafkaTopic CRD. And for security, Strimzi made life easy with KafkaUser. When running Kafka in production, dealing with cluster balancing, scaling, and monitoring is a daunting task, but the native Cruise Control integration with the KafkaRebalance CRD and the provided example metrics configurations (Grafana + Prometheus) made it possible for me as a Kafka novice to get something production-ready. As my Kafka experience has grown, I’ve been able to appreciate more and more advanced features of Strimzi such as the new KafkaNodePool CRD, rack awareness, and others.” – Colt McNealy, Founder & Leader of Technical Staff, LittleHorse

“Atruvia started using Strimzi in production nearly 4 years ago. Adopting Strimzi has enabled two and a half team members time to scale up to support 150 teams using Kafka managed by Strimzi. This includes time spent supporting those teams which is beyond the technical work to manage Strimzi. The two main aspects operating Kafka via Strimzi are: the cloud native design fits in well with their systems architecture and the rate at which Strimzi keeps up with support for new Kafka versions.” – Philipp Böcker, Product Owner & Enabler for Event Streaming, Atruvia

“Strimzi allows us to send hundreds of millions per day into production. It has significantly improved data pipeline delivery time and integrates seamlessly with our cloud-native stack. It meets our need to connect a large number of data systems with a high level of scalability, security and reliability.” – Thomas Dangleterre, Software Engineer, Decathlon