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Setting up your first Kafka development environment in Google Cloud in 15 minutes

Here I am writing my first post, I posponed it for a long time… In this article I would like to share my experience installing and testing basic Apache Kafka features. If you are new in the Big Data ecosystem let me give you some short concepts.

Kafka is a distributed streaming platform which means is intended for publish and subscribe to streams of records, similar to a message queue or enterprise messaging system [1]

Kafka has four core APIs but in this post I will test 2 of them:

  • The Producer API allows an application to publish a stream of records to one or more Kafka topics. [2]
  • The Consumer API allows an application to subscribe to one or more topics and process the stream of records produced to them.  [3]

Another important concept necessary for this article is Topic. A topic is a category or feed name to which records are published. Topics in Kafka are always multi-subscriber; that is, a topic can have zero, one, or many consumers that subscribe to the data written to it. [4]

[Kafka schema] kafka-apis

After this brief introduction we can start the tutorial.

1. Google Cloud account: create a google cloud account is free and you will get $300 of credit to try any of their products for one year.

[Google Cloud account] 


2. Creating a project : a project is necessary to create the VM

[Image Creating a project] 


3. Creating VM instance : in this occasion I used Debian OS and the default parameters, then we need to connect using the web SSH.

[Creating VM instante 1]


[Creating VM instante 2]


[Starting SSH]


4. Installing Java 8

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

sudo add-apt-repository “deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu xenial main”

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

javac -version

[Oracle will prompt some terms and conditions to install ]


5. Installing and starting Zookeeper

wget http://www-eu.apache.org/dist/zookeeper/zookeeper-3.4.10/zookeeper-…

tar -zxf zookeeper-3.4.10.tar.gz

sudo mv zookeeper-3.4.10 /usr/local/zookeeper

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/zookeeper

cat > /usr/local/zookeeper/conf/zoo.cfg EOF

> tickTime=2000

> dataDir=/var/lib/zookeeper

> clientPort=2181


export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/jdk1.8.0_181

sudo /usr/local/zookeeper/bin/zkServer.sh start





6. Installing and starting Kafka

wget http://www-eu.apache.org/dist/kafka/2.0.0/kafka_2.12-2.0.0.tgz

tar -zxf kafka_2.12-2.0.0.tgz

sudo mv kafka_2.12-2.0.0 /usr/local/kafka

sudo mkdir /tmp/kafka-logs

export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/jdk1.8.0_181

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-server-start.sh -daemon /usr/local/kafka/config/server.properties



7. Creating a topic

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-topics.sh –create –zookeeper localhost:2181 –replication-factor 1 –partitions 1 –topic llamada


8. Verifying a topic

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-topics.sh –zookeeper localhost:2181 –describe –topic llamada


9. Producing a message (ctrl+c to end producing messages)

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-console-producer.sh –broker-list localhost:9092 –topic llamada

>hello kafka

>second message


10. Consuming messages

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-console-consumer.sh –bootstrap-server localhost:9092 –topic llamada –from-beginning


11. Listing topics

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-topics.sh –list –zookeeper localhost:2181


12. Getting details about a topic

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-topics.sh –zookeeper localhost:2181 –describe –topic llamada


*If you get error about replication factor, please try starting Kafka 

sudo /usr/local/kafka/bin/kafka-server-start.sh -daemon /usr/local/kafka/config/server.properties


Finally I encourage to check the web https://kafka.apache.org/ there you will find excellent information about other Kafka’s capabilities to go further. Also I recommend you to read Kafka: The Definitive Guide by Neha Narkhede; Gwen Shapira; Todd Palino.

See you in the next article!

[1] https://kafka.apache.org/intro

[2] https://kafka.apache.org/documentation.html#producerapi

[3] https://kafka.apache.org/documentation.html#consumerapi

[4] https://kafka.apache.org/intro#intro_topics

[5] https://www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/kafka-the-definitive/9781491936153/ch11.html

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