Configuration Options for Cluster Linking

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Using Cluster Linking with Confluent for Kubernetes

You can use Cluster Linking with Confluent Platform deployed with Confluent for Kubernetes.

Confluent for Kubernetes 2.2 released built-in Cluster Linking support, as described in this section of the CFK documentation: Cluster Linking using Confluent for Kubernetes.

To configure Cluster Linking on earlier versions of CFK, use configOverrides in the Kafka custom resource. See Configuration Overrides. in the CFK documentation for more information about using configOverrides.

Also, pre Confluent Platform 7.0.0 releases required that you include a configOverrides section on the server to specify "true". For Confluent Platform 7.0.0 and later releases, Cluster Linking is enabled by default, so this element of the configuration is no longer needed, regardless of the Confluent for Kubernetes version.

For example:

kind: Kafka
  name: kafka
  namespace: confluent
  replicas: 3
    application: confluentinc/cp-server:7.2.10
    init: confluentinc/confluent-init-container:2.0.1
      - # Enable Cluster Linking

Using Cluster Linking with Ansible

You can use Cluster Linking with Confluent Platform deployed with Ansible.

Starting in Confluent Platform 7.0.0, Cluster Linking is enabled by default, so no changes are needed to the configuration file.


Pre Confluent Platform 7.0.0 releases required that you add a broker configuration property to the kafka_broker_custom_properties section in the inventory as described in Configure Confluent Platform with Ansible, to set "true". If you are upgrading from an earlier release, this configuration can be deleted, as it is no longer needed.

Common Configuration Options

The following subset of common properties, although not specific to Cluster Linking, may be particularly relevant to setting up and managing cluster links. These are common across Confluent Platform for clients, brokers, and security configurations, and are described in their respective sections per the links provided.

Client Configurations

For a full list of AdminClient configurations, see Kafka AdminClient Configurations for Confluent Platform.

  • bootstrap.servers
  • client.dns.lookup

Client SASL and SSL Configurations

  • sasl.client.callback.handler.class
  • sasl.jaas.config
  • sasl.kerberos.kinit.cmd
  • sasl.kerberos.min.time.before.relogin
  • sasl.kerberos.ticket.renew.jitter
  • sasl.kerberos.ticket.renew.window.factor
  • sasl.login.callback.handler.class
  • sasl.login.class
  • sasl.login.refresh.buffer.seconds
  • sasl.login.refresh.min.period.seconds
  • sasl.login.refresh.window.factor
  • sasl.login.refresh.window.jitter
  • sasl.mechanism
  • security.protocol
  • ssl.cipher.suites
  • ssl.enabled.protocols
  • ssl.endpoint.identification.algorithm
  • ssl.engine.factory.class
  • ssl.key.password
  • ssl.keymanager.algorithm
  • ssl.keystore.location
  • ssl.keystore.password
  • ssl.keystore.type
  • ssl.protocol
  • ssl.provider
  • ssl.trustmanager.algorithm
  • ssl.truststore.location
  • ssl.truststore.password
  • ssl.truststore.type

Required Configurations for Control Center

Cluster Linking requires embedded v3 Confluent REST Proxy to communicate with Confluent Control Center and properly display mirror topics on the Control Center UI. If the REST configurations are not implemented, mirror topics will display in Control Center as regular topics, showing inaccurate information. (To learn more, see Known Limitations and Best Practices.)

Configure REST Endpoints in the Control Center properties file

If you want to use Control Center with Cluster Linking, you must configure the Control Center cluster with REST endpoints to enable HTTP servers on the brokers. If this is not configured properly for all brokers, Cluster Linking will not be accessible from Confluent Control Center.

In the appropriate Control Center properties file (for example $CONFLUENT_HOME/etc/confluent-control-center/ or, use confluent.controlcenter.streams.cprest.url to define the REST endpoints for controlcenter.cluster. The default is http://localhost:8090, as shown below.

# Kafka REST endpoint URL

Identify the associated URL for each broker. If you have multiple brokers in the cluster, use a comma-separated list.

See also

confluent.controlcenter.streams.cprest.url in the Control Center Configuration Reference

Configure authentication for REST endpoints on Kafka brokers (Secure Setup)


  • Cluster Linking does not require the Metadata Service (MDS) or security to run, but if you want to configure security, you can get started with the following example which shows an MDS client configuration for RBAC.
  • You can use confluent.metadata.server.listeners (which will enable the Metadata Service) instead of confluent.http.server.listeners to listen for API requests. Use either confluent.metadata.server.listeners or confluent.http.server.listeners, but not both. If a listener uses HTTPS, then appropriate SSL configuration parameters must also be set. To learn more, see Admin REST APIs Configuration Options.

To run Cluster Linking in a secure setup, you must configure authentication for REST endpoints in each of the Kafka broker files. If the Kafka broker files are missing these configs, Control Center will not be able to access Cluster Linking in a secure setup.

At a minimum, you will need the following configurations.

# EmbeddedKafkaRest: HTTP Auth Configuration

Here is an example of an MDS client configuration for Kafka RBAC in a broker file .

# EmbeddedKafkaRest: Kafka Client Configuration<host:port>, <host:port>, <host:port>

# EmbeddedKafkaRest: HTTP Auth Configuration<rbac_enabled_public_pem_path>

# EmbeddedKafkaRest: MDS Client configuration<host:port>, <host:port>, <host:port><truststore_location><password><user:password>

See also

Disabling Cluster Linking

To disable Cluster Linking on a cluster running Confluent Enterprise version 7.0.0 or later, add the following line to the broker configuration on the destination cluster (for example $CONFLUENT_HOME/etc/

This will disable creating cluster links with that cluster as the destination, or “source initiated cluster links” with that cluster as the source. Note: this will not disable creating a destination-initiated cluster link with this cluster as its source.

Cluster Linking is not available as a dynamic configuration. It must either be enabled before starting the brokers (it is on by default starting with Confluent Platform 7.0.0), or to enable it on a running cluster where it was previously turned off, set the configuration on the brokers and restart them to perform a rolling update.

Understanding Listeners in Cluster Linking

For a forward connection, the target server knows which listener the connection came in on and associates the listener with that connection. When a metadata request arrives on that connection, the server returns metadata corresponding to the listener.

For example, in Confluent Cloud, when a client on the external listener asks for the leader of topicA, it always gets the external endpoint of the leader and never the internal one, because the system knows the listener name from the connection.

For reverse connections, the target server (that is, the source cluster) established the connection. When the connection is reversed, this target server needs to know which listener to associate the reverse connection with; that is, for example, which endpoint it should return to the destination for its leader requests.

By default, the listener is associated based on the source cluster where the link was created. In most cases this is sufficient because typically a single external listener is used. On Confluent Cloud, this default is used and you cannot override it.

On self-managed Confluent Platform, you have the option to override the default listener/connection association. This provides the flexibility to create the source link on an internal listener but associate the external listener with the reverse connection.

The configuration refers to source cluster listener name. By default, this is the listener that was used to create the source link. If you want to use a different listener, you must explicitly configure it. If Confluent Cloud is the source, then it would be the external listener (default) and cannot be overridden.

For the destination, the listener is determined by bootstrap.servers and cannot be overridden.