Listener configuration

Client access to your cluster is set up in CSM Operator by configuring listeners in your Kafka resource. Listeners can be used to expose your brokers, allowing clients to access them.

Each listener is configured as an array in your Kafka resource. For example:

#...
kind: Kafka
spec:
  kafka:
    version: 3.7.0.1.0
    replicas: 3
    listeners:
      - name: plain
        port: 9092
        type: internal
        tls: false

You can configure any number of listeners as long as their names and ports are unique. Their configuration is also highly customizable. For an exhaustive list of accepted properties, see the GenericKafkaListener as well as other listener schema references in the Strimzi API reference.

Listener categories and types

In CSM Operator, there are two categories of listeners, internal and external. Internal listeners are used to expose Kafka to clients that are internal to the Kubernetes cluster. External listeners provide a way to expose Kafka to the outside world.

Listeners are further categorized by their type. The different listener types expose Kafka with different connection mechanisms. The types of listeners available are as follows.

Internal listener types
  • internal

    An internal type listener uses a Kubernetes headless Service that gives each broker pod a stable hostname. These hostnames are set as advertised listeners for Kafka. In addition, a ClusterIp Kubernetes Service is set up that acts as the Kafka bootstrap. The initial connection is done using the bootstrap, subsequent connections are opened using the hostnames given to the pods by the headless Kubernetes Service.

  • cluster-ip

    With a cluster-ip type listener, individual ClusterIP type Kubernetes services are set up for each broker. The hostnames of the ClusterIP services are configured as the advertised listeners for Kafka. In addition, another ClusterIP is provisioned that acts as the Kafka bootstrap. The initial connection is done using the bootstrap, subsequent connections are opened using the ClusterIP Services corresponding to each broker.

All Kafka resources that you create with CSM Operator most likely contain an internal listener by default. This means that you can test your cluster and connect your client as soon as the cluster is up and running. To connect a client, direct it to the address of the bootstrap service that was set up by the listener. From there Kubernetes and CSM Operator handle everything else ensuring that connection requests are sent to the appropriate brokers.

External listener types
  • nodeport

    A nodeport type listener sets up NodePort type Kubernetes Services to provide external access to Kafka.

  • route

    A route type listener uses OpenShift routes and the default HAProxy router to provide external access to Kafka.

  • loadbalancer

    A loadbalancer type listener sets up LoadBalancer type Kubernetes Services and cloud provider or infrastructure managed load balancers to provide external access to Kafka.

  • ingress

    An ingress type listener uses Kubernetes Ingress and the Ingress-NGINX controller to provide external access to Kafka.

Which of the available external listener types you choose will depend on your requirements and infrastructure. Each external listener type is further documented in their dedicated section. See these sections for more information on how they work as well as instructions on how to set them up.