How to guarantee zero downtime migration to Apache Kafka

Zero Downtime Migration to Kafka

Published October 2023

One of the emerging trends we’ve observed in the data architecture space is the growing interest in moving from externally hosted Kafka to companies running Kafka in their own environments. 

In this post, we’ll detail why companies are migrating Kafka to their internal environments, the importance of zero downtime migration, and how we ensure a seamless Apache Kafka migration.

Why Migrate Kafka to Run in Your Own Environment?

Running Kafka in your own environment, whether cloud or on-prem, has multiple benefits.

Speed:  Building Kafka alongside your infrastructure guarantees to reduce latency in your system.  When we refer to building alongside your infrastructure we mean running Kafka in your cloud or on-prem environment.  On the contrary, when Kafka is hosted in a third party’s cloud (i.e. hosted Kafka), there is unnecessary latency.

Data Authority & Security:  With Apache Kafka hosted on a third party’s cloud, your company’s and customers’ data is exposed to additional risk for breach.  

Ownership:  By running Kafka in your environment, you have an easier time changing how you manage your Kafka service as your team grows or changes. You also have more autonomy to move to a new managed Kafka provider should your current provider not live up to your expectations.

Pricing:  By hosting your Apache Kafka service in their environment, hosted Kafka can end up costing you more in cloud fees because the host provider is incentivized to increase cloud costs and over-build your cluster to charge you more.

Check out this detailed review of hosted Kafka vs Kafka expertly managed in your environment.

Why Zero Downtime Migration to Kafka Matters

Downtime is more than just an inconvenience; it’s a significant business risk. For many companies, even a few minutes of downtime can result in substantial financial losses, and potential damage to reputation and customer trust. 

Zero downtime is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. This is especially true when migrating critical systems like messaging platforms, where data integrity and availability are paramount.

Achieving Zero Downtime Migration to Apache Kafka in Your Environment

So, how do we ensure a smooth Kafka migration with zero downtime? While each migration can have its unique requirements, here is our general approach:

Dual Writing: If migrating from another Kafka cluster, we can set up replication of messages and cursor positions from the original to the new Kafka cluster. If migrating from another messaging application, we can set up an intermediary application that copies all messages from the original messaging application to Kafka.  This approach ensures that even as we transition, there’s no loss of data.

Incremental Migration: Instead of a wholesale switch, we migrate topics incrementally. This phased approach allows us to monitor and address any issues that arise during the migration process without affecting the entire system.

Thorough Testing: Before fully switching over to Kafka in your environment, we conduct extensive testing in a testing environment. This method makes certain that when the switch happens, it’s seamless and without surprises.

Expertise and Support: Our team of experts is with you every step of the way through the preparation, migration, and ongoing management.  We monitor Kafka 24×7 to catch any emerging issues early before they become problems in production. 

As your trusted partner, we’re here to ensure that your migration to Kafka is seamless, efficient, and sets your business up for future success.

Published by

Dattell - Kafka & Elasticsearch Support

Benefit from the experience of our Kafka, Pulsar, Elasticsearch, and OpenSearch expert services to help your team deploy and maintain high-performance platforms that scale. We support Kafka, Elasticsearch, and OpenSearch both on-prem and in the cloud, whether on stand alone clusters or running within Kubernetes. We’ve saved our clients $100M+ over the past six years. Without our guidance companies tend to overspend on hardware or purchase unnecessary licenses. We typically save clients multiples more money than our fees cost in addition to building, optimizing, and supporting fault-tolerant, highly available architectures.