Data streaming emerged as a new software category. It complements traditional middleware, data warehouse, and data lakes. Apache Kafka became the de facto standard. New players enter the market because of Kafka’s success. One of those is Redpanda, a lightweight Kafka-compatible C++ implementation. This blog post explores the differences between Apache Kafka and Redpanda, when to choose which framework, and how the Kafka ecosystem, licensing, and community adoption impact a proper evaluation.