Why You Should Get Excited About Running Kafka on Kubernetes

Brianna Blacet

Monday, Apr 10th, 2023

Recently, we posted a blog about the release of Calisti v 1.11, which enables you to leverage enterprise-grade Istio to securely run Apache Kafka on Kubernetes. (See “Announcing Calisti v1.11: Deep Visualization and Management for Event-Driven Applications In this blog, I’ll explain why and how this open-source distributed streaming data platform might be a game changer for your cloud-native applications.

Kafka enables your microservices to exchange information by publishing and/or subscribing to Topics—categories that help organize messages. A good metaphor for a Kafka Topic is a database table that contains a specific data set. Certain people add data to the table and others consume that data. Kafka Topics work in a comparable way. They are available to multiple subscribers.

It’s useful for a wide range of applications, such as real-time data processing, stream analytics, website activity tracking, data ingestion, and log aggregation. Its high throughput, low latency, and fault tolerance makes it a perfect fit for many cloud-native applications.

Kubernetes simplifies Kafka deployment and management

Although Kafka is a powerhouse, it can be challenging to deploy and manage. Kubernetes can help by providing the ability to spin up, scale out, and manage your Kafka clusters.

The Kafka operator on Kubernetes can act as an automated lifecycle manager for your Kafka clusters, providing health checks and rolling updates. It enables you to deploy Kafka clusters across multiple cloud environments or on-premises data centers. It enhances security for Kafka clusters by enforcing access-control lists (ACLs) as Kubernetes role-based access control.

You can also use Kubernetes for monitoring and management Kafka clusters. It can provide insight into the clusters’ performance, as well as enabling you to view and manage the different components of the Kafka cluster, such as brokers, Topics, and connectors.

But the advantages don’t stop there. Kubernetes lets you easily scale up Kafka clusters to accommodate increased demand or scale down when traffic is low—critical when dealing with high volumes of data. It ensures high availability, automatic failover, and data replication across multiple nodes.

How Kafka fits into your service mesh environment

Calisti's enterprise-grade Istio service mesh provides the infrastructure necessary for Kafka to secure communications from microservices-based applications publishing and subscribing to Kafka Topics. It enables a simple, declarative approach to deploying and operating production-ready Kafka clusters on Kubernetes—in minutes. It also has an interface for CRUD (create/read/update/delete) operations, which can help you build Topics, manage ACLs and brokers, and automatically secure traffic between Kafka components and clients with Istio-mTLS integration.

The trifecta of Calisti, Kafka, and Kubernetes forms a powerful solution that gives you efficient and secure communication between services. Calisti takes the pain and complexity out deploying and managing this combined solution.

Ready to check it out? Sign up for the free tier or contact us for a customized demo.

The most advanced service mesh management,
now free for everyone.

Get Started free