Kafka vs Redpanda - the realistic, no marketing sugar comparison

Some time ago, I’ve searched for a simple alternative to Kafka, that I can use in a container, deployed in Kubernetes.
To give more context on what I needed, I’ll have to mention the complexity of setting up Kafka, as it has a dependency on Zookeeper, and having an extra layer to manage is costly.
However, I had one more requirement for the replacement - it has to be compatible with the Kafka protocol, as our systems were already integrated with Kafka.

Here comes Redpanda by Vectorized. It promised 100% Kafka compatibility, Kubernetes support, no Zookeeper and no JVM and 10x faster speed.
At first glance this solution seemed perfect, but when I went deeper into the rabbit hole, I’ve found a ton of issues.

Let’s look at some of charts Redpanda proudly presents on their website

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