a.. _co-loadbalancers:

Configure Load Balancers to Access Confluent Components

External access to Kafka using load balancers

When a client accesses a Kafka cluster, it first connects to the bootstrap server to get the metadata list of all the brokers in the cluster. Then the client finds the address of the broker it is interested in and connects directly to the broker to produce or consume data. When configured to use load balancers, CFK creates a load balancer for each broker in addition to a load balancer for the bootstrap server. For N number of Kafka brokers, CFK creates N+1 number of load balancer services:

  • One as the bootstrap service for the initial connection and for receiving the metadata about the Kafka cluster.
  • Another N services, one for each broker, address the brokers directly.

To allow external access to Kafka using load balancers:

  1. Set the following in the Kafka custom resource (CR) and apply the configuration:

    spec:
      listeners:
        external:
          externalAccess:
            type: loadBalancer
            loadBalancer:
              domain:           --- [1]
              bootstrapPrefix:  --- [2]
              brokerPrefix:     --- [3]
              advertisedPort:   --- [4]
    
    • [1] Required. Set it to the domain where your Kubernetes cluster is running.

      If you change this value on a running cluster, you must roll the cluster.

    • [2] Optional. Use bootstrapPrefix to change the default Kafka bootstrap prefix. The default bootstrap prefix is the Kafka component name (kafka).

      The value is used for the DNS entry. The bootstrap DNS name becomes <bootstrapPrefix>.<domain>.

      If not set, the default bootstrap DNS name is kafka.<domain>.

      You may want to change the default prefixes for each component to avoid DNS conflicts when running multiple Kafka clusters.

    • [3] Optional. Use brokerPrefix to change the default Kafka broker prefixes. The default Kafka broker prefix is b.

      These are used for DNS entries. The broker DNS names become <brokerPrefix>0.<domain>, <brokerPrefix>1.<domain>, and so on.

      If not set, the default broker DNS names are b0.<domain>, b1.<domain>, and so on.

      You may want to change the default prefixes to avoid DNS conflicts when running multiple Kafka clusters.

      If you change this value on a running cluster, you must roll the cluster.

    • [4] Optional. Use advertisedPort to override the default port (9092) for Kafka external access.

  2. Add DNS entries for Kafka bootstrap server and brokers.

    Once the external load balancers are created, you add DNS entries for Kafka brokers and the Kafka bootstrap service to your DNS table (or the method you use to get DNS entries recognized by your provider environment).

    You need the following to derive Kafka broker DNS entries:

    • Domain name of your Kubernetes cluster (domain in Step #1)

    • The external IP of the Kafka load balancers

      You can retrieve the external IP using the following command:

      kubectl get services -n <namespace> | grep LoadBalancer
      
    • Kafka bootstrap prefix and broker prefix

    The example below shows the DNS table entries, using:

    • Domain: example.com
    • Three broker replicas with the default prefix: b
    • The Kafka bootstrap prefix: kafka
    DNS name               External IP
    b0.example.com         192.50.14.35
    b1.example.com         192.50.28.28
    b2.example.com         192.50.64.18
    kafka.example.com      192.50.34.20
    

External access to MDS using load balancer

When you set up external access to MDS with role-based access control (RBAC) enabled, additional networking configuration steps required.

If you specify external access of the load balancer type, an additional load balancer service for MDS is created in Kubernetes.

To support external access to Kafka Metadata Service (MDS), configure the following in the Kafka custom resource (CR):

To allow external access to MDS using load balancers:

Set the following in the Kafka CR and apply the configuration:

spec
  services
    mds:
      externalAccess:
        type: loadBalancer
        loadBalancer:
          domain:                --- [1]
          port:                  --- [2]
          prefix:                --- [3]
          advertisedURL:         --- [4]
  • [1] Required. The domain name of the MDS.

  • [2] The port to externally access MDS. If not set, the endpoint to externally access MDS uses the default ports as below:

    • The endpoint to externally access MDS over HTTPS using load balancer is https://<prefix>.<domain>:443.
    • The endpoint to externally access MDS over HTTP using load balancer is http://<prefix>.<domain>:80.
  • [3] If set, the MDS endpoint is https://<prefix>.<domain>:<port>. If omitted, the MDS endpoint is `` https://<domain>:<port>`` by default.

  • [4] If set, instead of using the internal endpoint, the MDS advertised listener for each broker will be set to: <httpSchema>://<advertisedUrl.prefix><podId>.<domain> where <podId> ranges from 0 to replicaCount -1.

    Use this property only if you cannot add internal SANs to the TLS certificates for MDS, and the external DNS must be resolved inside the Kubernetes cluster.

External access to other Confluent Platform components using load balancers

The external clients can connect to other Confluent Platform components using load balancers.

Note

Kafka brokers and ZooKeeper maintain a constant connection that can be broken if a load balancer is used for ZooKeeper. Do not configure a load balancer for ZooKeeper.

The access endpoint of each Confluent Platform component is: <component CR name>.<Kubernetes domain>

For example, in the example.com domain with TLS enabled, you access the Confluent Platform components at the following endpoints:

To allow external access to Kafka using load balancers:

  1. Set the following in the component CR and apply the configuration:

    spec:
      externalAccess:
        type: loadBalancer
        loadBalancer:
          domain:                 --- [1]
          prefix:                 --- [2]
    
          sessionAffinity:        --- [3]
          sessionAffinityConfig:  --- [4]
            clientIP:
              timeoutSeconds:     --- [5]
    
    • [1] Required. Set domain to the domain name of your Kubernetes cluster.

      If you change this value on a running cluster, you must roll the cluster.

    • [2] Optional. Set prefix to change the default load balancer prefixes. The default is the component name, such as controlcenter, connect, replicator, schemaregistry, ksql.

      The value is used for the DNS entry. The component DNS name becomes <prefix>.<domain>.

      If not set, the default DNS name is <component name>.<domain>, for example, controlcenter.example.com.

      You may want to change the default prefixes for each component to avoid DNS conflicts when running multiple Kafka clusters.

      If you change this value on a running cluster, you must roll the cluster.

    • [3] Required for consumer REST Proxy to enable client IP-based session affinity.

      For REST Proxy to be used for Kafka consumers, set to ClientIP. See Kubernetes Service for more information about session affinity.

    • [4] Contains the configurations of session affinity if set sessionAffinity: ClientIP in [3].

    • [5] Specifies the seconds of ClientIP type session sticky time. The value must be bigger than 0 and less than or equal to 86400 (1 day).

      Default value is 10800 (3 hours).

  2. Add a DNS entry for each Confluent Platform component that you added a load balancer to.

    Once the external load balancers are created, you add a DNS entry associated with component load balancers to your DNS table (or whatever method you use to get DNS entries recognized by your provider environment).

    You need the following to derive Confluent Platform component DNS entries:

    • Domain name of your Kubernetes cluster as set in Step #1

    • The external IP of the component load balancers

      You can retrieve the external IP using the following command:

      kubectl get services -n <namespace> -ojson
      
    • The component prefix if set in Step #1 above. Otherwise, the default component name.

    A DNS name is made up of the prefix and the domain name. For example, controlcenter.example.com.

For a tutorial scenario on configuring external access using load balancers, see the quickstart tutorial for using load balancer.

Internal access to Confluent components using load balancers

If Kubernetes is running in private subnets or within VPC peered clusters, you can configure an internal load balancer for VPC-to-VPC peering connections among Kafka and other Confluent Platform components.

To set internal load balancers, use the external listener with the internal annotation.

In the Kafka CR:

spec:
    listeners:
      external:
        externalAccess:
          loadBalancer:
            annotations:         --- [*]

In the other Confluent component CRs:

spec:
  externalAccess:
    type: loadBalancer
    loadBalancer:
      annotations:               --- [*]

[*] Add the following provider-specific annotation to create an internal load balancer that works for the provider.

Azure
service.beta.kubernetes.io/azure-load-balancer-internal: "true"
AWS

service.beta.kubernetes.io/aws-load-balancer-internal: "0.0.0.0/0"

You can specify more restrictive CIDRs if you don’t want to create a security group that allows all traffic from the internet.

GCP
cloud.google.com/load-balancer-type: "Internal"

For the other load balancer settings, see External access to Kafka using load balancers for accessing Kafka and External access to other Confluent Platform components using load balancers for accessing other Confluent Platform components.