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  • KIP-631: The Quorum-based Kafka Controller

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As described in KIP-500, the controller will store its data in the internal @metadata topic__cluster_metadata topic.  This topic will contain a single partition which is managed by Raft, as described in KIP-595: A Raft Protocol for the Metadata Quorum.

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Metadata changes need to be persisted to the @metadata __cluster_metadata log before we apply them on the other nodes in the cluster.  This means waiting for the metadata log's last stable offset to advance to the offset of the change.  After that point, we are guaranteed not to lose the change as long as we uphold the Raft invariants.

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However, this "future state" may never be committed.  For example, the active controller might fail, truncating some of its future state.  Therefore, the active controller must not make this future state "visible" to the rest of the cluster until it has been made persistent – that is, until it becomes current state.  In the case of the @metadata topic__cluster_metadata topic, the replication protocol itself neatly takes care of this for us.  In the case of controller RPCs like AlterIsr, the controller handles this by not sending back a response until the designated change has been persisted.

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