All about Apache Kafka

What is Apache Kafka?

Apache Kafka is a community distributed event streaming platform capable of handling trillions of events a day. Initially conceived as a messaging queue, Kafka is based on an abstraction of a distributed commit log. Since being created and open sourced by LinkedIn in 2011, Kafka has quickly evolved from messaging queue to a full-fledged event streaming platform.

What is the core API of Kafka

Kafka has five core APIs:

  • The Producer API allows an application to publish a stream of records to one or more Kafka topics.
  • The Consumer API allows an application to subscribe to one or more topics and process the stream of records produced to them.
  • The Streams API allows an application to act as a stream processor, consuming an input stream from one or more topics and producing an output stream to one or more output topics, effectively transforming the input streams to output streams.
  • The Connector API allows building and running reusable producers or consumers that connect Kafka topics to existing applications or data systems. For example, a connector to a relational database might capture every change to a table.
  • The Admin API allows managing and inspecting topics, brokers and other Kafka objects.

What’s the component cluster of Apache Kafka?

The following table describes each of the components shown in the above diagram.

Components and Description
1BrokerKafka cluster typically consists of multiple brokers to maintain load balance. Kafka brokers are stateless, so they use ZooKeeper for maintaining their cluster state. One Kafka broker instance can handle hundreds of thousands of reads and writes per second and each bro-ker can handle TB of messages without performance impact. Kafka broker leader election can be done by ZooKeeper.
2ZooKeeperZooKeeper is used for managing and coordinating Kafka broker. ZooKeeper service is mainly used to notify producer and consumer about the presence of any new broker in the Kafka system or failure of the broker in the Kafka system. As per the notification received by the Zookeeper regarding presence or failure of the broker then pro-ducer and consumer takes decision and starts coordinating their task with some other broker.
3ProducersProducers push data to brokers. When the new broker is started, all the producers search it and automatically sends a message to that new broker. Kafka producer doesn’t wait for acknowledgements from the broker and sends messages as fast as the broker can handle.
4ConsumersSince Kafka brokers are stateless, which means that the consumer has to maintain how many messages have been consumed by using partition offset. If the consumer acknowledges a particular message offset, it implies that the consumer has consumed all prior messages. The consumer issues an asynchronous pull request to the broker to have a buffer of bytes ready to consume. The consumers can rewind or skip to any point in a partition simply by supplying an offset value. Consumer offset value is notified by ZooKeeper.

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