What is Supertubes? πŸ”—︎

Banzai Cloud Supertubes (Supertubes) is the deployment tool for setting up and operating production-ready Kafka clusters on Kubernetes, leveraging a Cloud Native technology stack. Supertubes includes Zookeeper, the Banzai Cloud Kafka operator, Envoy, and many other components hosted in a managed service mesh. All components are automatically installed, configured, and managed in order to operate a production-ready Kafka cluster on Kubernetes.

What are the key features? πŸ”—︎

  • Designed for Cloud Natives, Supertubes provides declarative topic and user management through custom resources (CRs), and automates the setup and management of Apache Kafka on Kubernetes. It also allows you to fine-tune the configurations of your brokers individually for heterogeneous cluster layouts.
  • You can deploy managed Kafka in your own environment, including on-premises, cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid-cloud scenarios. Supertubes can automatically scale and self-heal your cluster based on Prometheus alerts. To minimize downtime and keep your operations functional, Supertubes provides rolling upgrades and advanced Grafana dashboards to monitor all Supertubes components.
  • Our products focus on secure operations, so Supertubes automatically uses mTLS-based encrypted and authenticated communication between all components. It also provides Kubernetes-native RBAC access control, integration with Kafka ACLs, and supports multi-tenant operation.
  • To keep your services highly availability, you can deploy and manage cross-cluster replication using MirrorMaker2, and also use Kubernetes-native volume snapshots for disaster recovery. Up- and down-scaling your brokers and volumes automatically allows you to use optimal resources for the incoming traffic without manual intervention.

What does the Supertubes architecture look like? πŸ”—︎

Supertubes allows you to run large Kafka clusters not only in the cloud, but also on-premises, multi-cloud, and hybrid-cloud environments.

Supertubes architecture

Why is Supertubes using Istio? πŸ”—︎

Running Kafka over Istio brings additional security benefits, scalability and durability, locality based load balancing, and many other useful features, including:

  • Out of the box tracing and monitoring within a Kafka mesh
  • Consumer group metrics
  • Information about apps and their version of the client libraries
  • Request validation
  • Protocol version translations
  • Automatic topic name conversions without having to modify the clients
  • Mirroring topics to another clusters (we run many hybrid Kubernetes clusters)
  • Functional parity across runtimes
  • External Access via a single LoadBalancer

What is the Banzai Cloud Kafka operator? πŸ”—︎

The Banzai Cloud Kafka operator is a Kubernetes operator to automate provisioning, management, autoscaling and operations of Apache Kafka clusters deployed to K8s.

Should I use Supertubes or the Kafka operator? πŸ”—︎

The Banzai Cloud Kafka operator is an open-source component of the commercial Supertubes product. In addition to the Banzai Cloud Kafka operator, Supertubes installs, configures, and manages several other components that are needed for the reliable operation and management of a Kafka cluster, and also provides several other features, including commercial support.

How does Supertubes help me scale? πŸ”—︎

Supertubes exposes Cruise-Control and Kafka JMX metrics to Prometheus, and acts as a Prometheus Alert Manager. It receives alerts defined in Prometheus, and creates actions based on Prometheus alert annotations, so it can handle and react to alerts automatically, without having to involve human operators.

Supertubes can gracefully scale your Kafka clusters both up and down, and also supports vertical capacity scaling individually for each broker, including adding new disks.

Does Supertubes support SSL? πŸ”—︎

Supertubes fully automates managed mutual TLS (mTLS) encryption and authentication. You don’t need to configure your brokers to use SSL, as Supertubes provides mTLS out-of-the box at the network layer (implemented through a light-weight, managed Istio mesh). All services deployed by Supertubes (Zookeeper, Kafka operator, the Kafka cluster, Cruise Control, MirrorMaker2, and so on) interact with each other using mTLS.

Kafka SSL

How does Supertubes protect my data? πŸ”—︎

Nowadays every enterprise must be prepared for an eventual service disruption. Supertubes provides multiple ways for you to get your Kafka clusters ready for disaster recovery, including MirrorMaker2 and Container Storage Interface (CSI).