Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK)

  • A service that uses fully managed Apache Kafka to ingest and process streaming data in real time.


  • Configuration

    • If you do not specify a custom MSK configuration, a default configuration will be assigned to a cluster.

    • You can use the custom configuration to new or existing MSK clusters.

    • MSK configurations allow you to specify the properties to be set as well as the values to be assigned to them.

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  • MSK Serverless

    • A cluster type that enables you to run Apache Kafka without the need to manage or scale cluster capacity.

    • Automatically provision and scale capacity while managing the partitions in your topic.

    • Integrated with the following services:

      • AWS PrivateLink – provide private connectivity.

      • AWS IAM – for authentication and authorization.

      • AWS Glue Schema Registry – for schema management.

      • Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics – for Apache Flink-based stream processing.

      • AWS Lambda – for event processing.

    • To modify topic-level configuration, use Apache Kafka Commands.

  • MSK Connect

    • Enables you to stream data to and from Apache Kafka clusters.

    • Deploy connectors built for Kafka Connect that allows you to move data into or pull data from data stores (S3 and OpenSearch Service).

    • A connector continuously copies data from a streaming data source or from a cluster into a data sink.

      • Source connectors – import data from external systems into your topics.

      • Sink connectors – export data from your topics to external systems.

    • A worker is a JVM process that runs the connector logic.

      • Each worker creates a set of tasks that can operate in parallel threads and copy the data.

    • The total capacity of a connector is determined by the number of workers and the number of MSK Connect Units (MCUs) per worker.

    • The two capacity modes are:

      • Provisioned – number of workers and MCUs per worker.

      • Autoscaled – minimum and maximum number of workers.

    • A plugin contains the code that defines the logic of the connector. You can use the same plugin to create one or more connectors.

    • A configuration provider allows you to specify variables in a connector or worker configuration instead of plaintext, and workers running in your connector resolve these variables at runtime.

    • To allow Amazon MSK Connect to access the internet, you can use Amazon VPC and set up a NAT gateway or NAT instance.

  • Connecting to an Amazon MSK cluster

    • By default, an MSK cluster can only be accessed by clients who are in the same VPC as the cluster.

    • If you want to connect your MSK cluster from a client that’s outside the cluster’s VPC, you can do the following:

      • Turn on public access to a cluster.

      • Use VPC Peering, Direct Connect, Transit Gateway, VPN connections, REST proxies, multiple Region multi-VPC connectivity, and through EC2-Classic.

      • Use a number of ports that MSK uses.

  • The state of your cluster defines what actions you can and cannot perform.

  • You can migrate your clusters using Apache Kafka’s MirrorMaker.

    • Apache Kafka cluster to Amazon MSK

    • From one MSK cluster to another

  • With LinkedIn’s Cruise Control, you can rebalance the MSK cluster, detect and fix anomalies, and monitor the cluster’s state and health.


  • Use IAM to control who can perform Apache Kafka operations on a cluster.

  • If you add new brokers after changing a cluster’s security group, you must update the new brokers’ ENIs.

  • To limit access to Apache ZooKeeper nodes, you can just assign a separate security group.


  • You can collect metrics, monitor, and analyze clusters using Amazon CloudWatch.

  • To monitor consumer lag and identify slow or stuck consumers, use CloudWatch or open monitoring with Prometheus.

  • You can deliver the Apache Kafka broker logs to the following destination types:

    • Amazon CloudWatch Logs

    • Amazon S3

    • Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose

  • MSK Connector continuously monitors the following:

    • Connector health and delivery state.

    • Patches and manages the underlying hardware.

    • Autoscales connectors to match changes in throughput.


  • You are charged for the following:

    • Every Apache Kafka broker instance.

    • The amount of storage you provide in your cluster.

  • MSK Serverless charges you for cluster, partition, and storage.

  • For MSK Connect, you are charged for the number and size (MCUs) of each Kafka Connect worker.


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