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  • KIP-333: Add faster mode of rebalancing

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Currently, in Kafka, when a consumer falls out of a consumer group, it will restart processing from the last checkpointed offset. However, this design could result in a lag which some users could not afford to let happen. For example, lets say a consumer crashed at offset 100, with the last checkpointed offset being at 70. When the consumer recovers at a later time, the offset log being consumed has grown to offset 120. Consequently, there is a lag of 50 offsets (120 - 70). This is because the consumer restarted at 70, forcing it to start processing at a point far behind the end of the log. This lag is not acceptable in some computing applications (e.g. traffic control) who needs information by the millisecond, therefore, they will need a faster option for processing the offset lags that results from a crash. For example, after a consumer thread fails, the offsets after the crash point will have a longer latency before it is processed. Meanwhile, offsets before the crash point but after the last committed offset will be reprocessed to ensure that there is no data loss. We propose a new design to avoid the latency described by using two new threads instead of one. These two threads will process the offsets in such a way that it guarantees the user the data after the crash point with vastly reduced delay.

It has been noted that this is a relatively uncommon case among Kafka users. However, among streaming jobs which uses Kafka as a sink or source, this is a sought-after capability. Some streaming jobs such as Spark's Structured Streaming might have need for this proposal.

Public Interfaces

This new mode (name is enable.parallel.rebalance) will by default not be used by KafkaConsumer (e.g. will be by default equal to false). If the user chooses, he or she can activate this mode by setting the config's value to true.