Learn about Quotas and how to set them.

For a quick video introduction to quotas, see Quotas.

Kafka can enforce quotas on produce and fetch requests. Producers and consumers can use very high volumes of data. This can monopolize broker resources, cause network saturation, and generally deny service to other clients and the brokers themselves. Quotas protect against these issues and are important for large, multi-tenant clusters where a small set of clients using high volumes of data can degrade the user experience.

Quotas are byte-rate thresholds, defined per client ID. A client ID logically identifies an application making a request. A single client ID can span multiple producer and consumer instances. The quota is applied for all instances as a single entity. For example, if a client ID has a produce quota of 10 MB/s, that quota is shared across all instances with that same ID.

When running Kafka as a service, quotas can enforce API limits. By default, each unique client ID receives a fixed quota in bytes per second, as configured by the cluster (quota.producer.default, quota.consumer.default). This quota is defined on a per-broker basis. Each client can publish or fetch a maximum of X bytes per second per broker before it gets throttled.

The broker does not return an error when a client exceeds its quota, but instead attempts to slow the client down. The broker computes the amount of delay needed to bring a client under its quota and delays the response for that amount of time. This approach keeps the quota violation transparent to clients (outside of client-side metrics). This also prevents clients from having to implement special backoff and retry behavior.

You can override the default quota for client IDs that need a higher or lower quota. The mechanism is similar to per-topic log configuration overrides. Write your client ID overrides to ZooKeeper under /config/clients. All brokers read the overrides, which are effective immediately. You can change quotas without having to do a rolling restart of the entire cluster.

By default, each client ID receives an unlimited quota. The following configuration sets the default quota per producer and consumer client ID to 10 MB/s.


To set quotas using Cloudera Manager, open the Kafka Configuration page and search for Quota. Use the fields provided to set the Default Consumer Quota or Default Producer Quota.