Apache Kafka to Amazon MSK – Migration Strategy and Best Practices

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A fully-managed service, Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka, facilitates organizations in building and running applications to process the streaming data. Amazon MSK helps organizations boost their productivity and uptime through continuous alerting and monitoring of their infrastructure operations. As organizations grow aware of the need to shift from monitoring metrics to business outcomes and performance, connecting the data source and extracting data in real-time to add value is becoming imperative.

Digital transformation is witnessing a significant rise, enabling organizations with on-demand infrastructure and high availability. This has further brought new challenges and complexities in infrastructure operations. Amazon MSK can help organizations in getting real-time statistics of their infrastructure and make faster, more informed decisions.

Key Challenges Associated with the On-Prem Apache Kafka

Apache Kafka offers organizations optimized, distributed data storage for effective processing and ingestion of streaming data. It enables implementing data pipelines with real-time streaming and smooth processing of events. However, there are some key challenges faced by organizations when it comes to Apache Kafka deployed on-premises

  • Organizations face significant difficulties in setting up Apache Kafka on the on-premise cluster along with scalability issues.
  • Achieving disaster recovery and high availability is challenging in the case of on-premise infrastructure.
  • On-premises deployment of Apache Kafka results in the need for greater administration efforts.
  • Specialized skills are required for managing the Apache Kafka clusters on-premises

Suggested Strategy for Migrating Apache Kafka to Amazon MSK

Amazon MSK is a dependable implementation option for Apache Kafka, particularly when it comes to a long-term approach. It helps organizations in achieving fast scalability and flexibility coupled with improved utilization of cluster resources. This further facilitates organizations in realizing cost optimization. As Amazon MSK is a fully-managed service it eliminates the efforts for infrastructure management and maintenance.

The following diagram shows the most effective Apache Kafka to Amazon MSK migration strategy.

There are some key considerations to be taken into account by organizations while migrating Apache Kafka to Amazon MSK, which include

  • Migrating individual Kafka topics individually and validating the data after each migration.
  • Performing the activity of cluster sizing before migrating to Amazon MSK.
  • Following the cluster sizing guidelines.
  • Building highly available clusters to prevent any downtime.
  • Enabling low, granular monitoring for each broker and topic.
  • Writing logs to CloudWatch and S3 for data validations during the initial phases of migration.

Organizations can continue using their native Kafka APIs as no major code changes are necessary after migrating to Amazon MSK.

Benefits of Migrating Apache Kafka to Amazon MSK

  • Managed streaming.
  • Fully-managed workloads.
  • Automatic provisioning and management of clusters.
  • High availability of clusters at a few clicks.
  • Highly secured clusters with encryption for data at rest or transit.
  • Effort reduction, which enables directing resources to work more on development.
  • Open source compatibility.
  • Multi-AZ replication.

Key Best Practices for Apache Kafka to Amazon MSK Migration

  • Ensuring that the Kafka clusters are right-sized
  • Giving thorough attention while deciding the number of partitions per topic.
  • Setting the CloudWatch alarms on disk utilizations.
  • Building highly available clusters for faster provisioning of resources to rolling updates in the case of upscaling.
  • Eliminating the unused Kafka topic to prevent exhaustion of the storage space.
  • Setting the retention period only to the required time duration.
  • Enabling encryption for data in transit for enhanced security.
  • Using the auto-scaling policies for automatic expansion of the cluster’s storage in the case of workload hikes.

To Sum UP

Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka is a boon for businesses, streamlining their applications and simplifying the management of workloads. Implementing Apache Kafka on Amazon MSK will not only enhance the efficiency of your infrastructure with modernization but also can help in real-time analytics and incisive insights, in turn improving the decision making.