Understanding SRM properties, their configuration and hierarchy

There are a number of configuration properties that Streams Replication Manager (SRM) accepts, but are not exposed directly in Cloudera Manager. You can configure these properties with the Streams Replication Manager's Replication Configs property. Additionally, these properties can be configured on different levels allowing for granular control over how an when they are applied.

SRM supports various configuration properties. With the exception of adding and enabling replications, all fundamental properties required to set up and start data replication between clusters are available for configuration directly through Cloudera Manager, or are configured automatically by Cloudera Manager.

In addition to these properties, SRM accepts and supports a number of additional properties including Streams Replication Manager specific properties, Kafka Connect worker properties as well as Kafka properties available in the version of Kafka that you are using. These however are not directly available for configuration in Cloudera Manager, and do not have dedicated configuration entries on the UI. Properties like these are configured through the Streams Replication Manager's Replication Configs property

The configuration properties that you add to Streams Replication Manager's Replication Configs can be set on multiple levels with the help of property prefixes. These prefixes allow you to exercise control over when and where (at what level) a configuration is be used by SRM. This gives you fine grained control over how data is replicated.

The prefixes that you can use and the configuration levels they correspond to are as follows:

  • Global level - no prefix
    For example:
    offset.flush.timeout.ms
  • Cluster level - prefixed with cluster alias

    For example:

    [***ALIAS***].offset.flush.timeout.ms
  • Replication level - prefixed with a replication name
    For example:
    [***ALIAS***]->[***ALIAS***].consumer.max.poll.records

Properties follow a hierarchy, which is based on what prefix they have. In general, prefixed properties take precedence over non-prefixed properties, and more specific prefixes take priority over less specific ones. That is, replication level properties take precedence over both cluster and global level configurations. Cluster level properties take precedence over global level configurations. Lastly, global level configurations are overridden by both replication and cluster level properties.

Not all prefixes and configuration levels are valid for all properties. For example, most properties related to Kafka client connections (bootstrap servers, aliases, security configurations and so on) are not relevant on a replication level. While they can be set, they will not have an effect.

The following sections give more information on the available configuration levels/prefixes, give examples of what types of properties can be set at each level, as well as recommendations on when and how to use each.

Global level

Global configuration is achieved by adding the property on its own, without a prefix. This is the most generic configuration, with the lowest priority level. Global level configurations can also be regarded as fallback configurations. This is a result of the property hierarchy. SRM will fall back and use a global level configuration if there are no cluster or replication level configurations set for a specific property.

The following types of properties are accepted at this level by SRM:
SRM service level properties
These are SRM-specific configurations that are applied to SRM as a whole. For example, mm.rest.protocol is a property typically set at this level, as it allows configuring the protocol used by all replication specific Connect REST Servers run internally by the SRM Driver to use the same protocol.
Kafka client connection properties
Client connection properties are used by SRM when it connects to a Kafka cluster. Client connection properties can be set on a global level, however, not all connection related properties are compatible with this level. For example, you can set bootstrap.servers on a global level, but because in the majority of cases you will have a unique bootstrap server set for each individual connection, setting this property on a global level is redundant.

As a result, Cloudera recommends that you only configure security related connection properties at this level and only if you have multiple clusters in your deployment that use the same security configuration. For example, you might have a deployment where SRM connects to many Kafka clusters, and all of them use the same cipher suite. In a case like this you can set ssl.cipher.suites at the global level a single time instead of configuring it on a per cluster basis.

Kafka Connect worker properties
These configurations are applied to all Kafka Connect workers run internally by the SRM Driver. Any Connect worker property is supported at this level as long as it uses one of the following prefixes:
  • offset.storage
  • config.storage
  • status.storage
  • key.converter
  • value.converter
  • header.converter
  • task
  • worker
  • listeners.https

For example, you can configure offset.storage.replication.factor at this level to specify the replication factor of the internal topic used to track the source offsets of SRM in all target clusters.

Connector properties
These configurations are applied to all Connectors in all replications run internally by the SRM Driver. For example, you can configure emit.heartbeats.enabled at this level to control heartbeat emission on all replications.

Cluster level

Cluster level configuration is achieved by prefixing the configuration property with a cluster alias specified in Streams Replication Manager Cluster alias. Cluster level configurations have a higher priority than global configurations. As a result, cluster level configurations take precedence over global configurations.

The following types of configurations are accepted at this level by SRM:
Kafka client connection properties

These configurations are used by SRM to connect to the Kafka cluster identified by the alias. SRM is capable of generating connection configurations securely for most use-cases and Kafka clusters either through automation, or with Kafka Credentials (Administration > External Accounts > Kafka Credentials). Cloudera recommends that you only use automation or Kafka credentials to configure these properties.

For advanced use-cases, or when a specific connection configuration property is not available through Kafka credentials, the cluster prefix can be used to specify the configuration property. For example, the sasl.login.callback.handler.class property cannot be set using Kafka credentials. If in your deployment you are using a third-party callback handler and need to specify it for SRM, you can do so by adding sasl.login.callback.handler.class with the appropriate cluster prefixes to Streams Replication Manager Replication Configs.

Kafka Connect worker properties
These configurations are applied to Kafka Connect workers which correspond to a replication targeting the Kafka cluster identified by the alias prefix. On this level, all Connect worker configurations are supported. For example, you can use offset.flush.timeout.ms to increase the flush timeout to support high-traffic replication flows.

Replication level

Replication level configuration can be achieved by prefixing the configuration property with the name of the replication. Replication level configurations have a higher priority than cluster or global level configurations. As a result, replication level configurations take precedence over both cluster and global configurations.

The following types of configurations are accepted at this level by SRM:
Connect worker properties using the cluster->cluster.worker.prefix
These properties are applied to the Kafka Connect workers which correspond to the replication identified by the prefix. On this level, all Connect worker configurations are supported. For example, offset.flush.timeout.ms can be specified to increase the flush timeout to support high-traffic replication flows.
Connector properties

These configurations are applied to all Connectors in the replication identified by the prefix.

In addition to the replication specific Connector configurations, you can also tweak the consumers and producers that are used within a specific replication. For example, by using the cluster->cluster.consumer. prefix, any consumer property can be specified to tweak the consumers used in the replication. Similarly, the cluster->cluster.producer.override. prefix can be used to override producer configurations in the replication flow.