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  5. 6.2 Datacenters

6.2 Datacenters

Some deployments will need to manage a data pipeline that spans multiple datacenters. Our recommended approach to this is to deploy a local Kafka cluster in each datacenter with application instances in each datacenter interacting only with their local cluster and mirroring between clusters (see the documentation on the mirror maker tool for how to do this).

This deployment pattern allows datacenters to act as independent entities and allows us to manage and tune inter-datacenter replication centrally. This allows each facility to stand alone and operate even if the inter-datacenter links are unavailable: when this occurs the mirroring falls behind until the link is restored at which time it catches up.

For applications that need a global view of all data you can use mirroring to provide clusters which have aggregate data mirrored from the local clusters in all datacenters. These aggregate clusters are used for reads by applications that require the full data set.

This is not the only possible deployment pattern. It is possible to read from or write to a remote Kafka cluster over the WAN, though obviously this will add whatever latency is required to get the cluster.

Kafka naturally batches data in both the producer and consumer so it can achieve high-throughput even over a high-latency connection. To allow this though it may be necessary to increase the TCP socket buffer sizes for the producer, consumer, and broker using the socket.send.buffer.bytes and socket.receive.buffer.bytes configurations. The appropriate way to set this is documented here.

It is generally not advisable to run a single Kafka cluster that spans multiple datacenters over a high-latency link. This will incur very high replication latency both for Kafka writes and ZooKeeper writes, and neither Kafka nor ZooKeeper will remain available in all locations if the network between locations is unavailable.