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tl;dr: The Supertubes approach to handling Kafka ACLs in Kubernetes provides a clearer way of seeing what’s actually happening by introducing a logical separation of ACL components under the names: KafkaACL, KafkaRole and KafkaResourceSelector. That way we get reusable parts that help maintain the system in the long term, allowing us to handle ACLs with a declarative approach, and overcoming the difficulties inherent in handling ACLs in a Kubernetes environment.
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Running Kafka on Istio with mTLS is, in of itself, an interesting topic, but before we can talk about how Banzai Cloud’s Supertubes allows us to do that, let’s take a step back and look at how SSL works in Kafka. Maybe then we can answer the question, why do we need Kafka in Istio with mTLS at all? Supertubes is Banzai Cloud’s Kafka as a Service, which runs on Kubernetes inside an Istio service mesh.
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Our thinking that there was a hunger for an operator that makes easy the provisioning and operating Kafka clusters on Kubernetes which is not based on Kubernetes stateful sets, proved to be correct as shortly after we released the first version our open-source Banzai Cloud Kafka Operator a community started to build around it. We received lots of valuable feedback that helps to shape the future of the Kafka operator and also feature contributions from the community.
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