Load test your Kafka Deployment with IoTIFY

Apache Kafka is one of the most popular messaging platform for high throughput, high-availability messaging. It is a distributed streaming platform that is often used for building real-time streaming data pipelines and applications. In the Internet of Things (IoT) context, Kafka is typically deployed after an MQTT broker or Protocol gateway and is used to process and analyze data from connected devices in real-time.

Some of the key benefits of using Kafka for IoT applications include the following:

  • Scalability: Kafka can handle high volumes of data from many different sources, making it well-suited for large-scale IoT deployments.
  • Real-time processing: Kafka allows for real-time processing of data streams, making it useful for applications that require timely analysis of data from IoT devices.
  • Durability: Kafka has a distributed architecture that is designed to be highly fault-tolerant, ensuring that data is not lost even if individual nodes fail.
  • Flexibility: Kafka allows for the creation of custom data pipelines and supports a wide range of use cases, making it a versatile tool for IoT applications.

One of the key concepts in Kafka is the “topic.” A topic is a named feed of messages that are published to Kafka. Producers publish messages to topics, and consumers subscribe to one or more topics to receive the messages. This allows for a flexible and scalable messaging system, where producers and consumers can be added or removed without disrupting the overall flow of data.

Another important concept in Kafka is the “partition.” A topic is divided into one or more partitions, which allows for parallelism in the consumption of messages. Each partition is an ordered, immutable sequence of messages that is continually appended to. This means that once a message is added to a partition, it cannot be changed or deleted.

In addition to topics and partitions, Kafka also uses “brokers” to manage the storage and distribution of messages. A Kafka cluster typically consists of multiple brokers, which form a distributed system that is highly available and fault-tolerant. Each broker is responsible for storing a portion of the data in the Kafka cluster, and they communicate with each other to ensure that data is replicated and available for consumption.


Why load test Kafka?

We know that Kafka is scalable to support the world’s largest deployments. However, load testing Kafka brokers is still a good idea to find an ideal deployment size. Besides, load testing a Kafka instance also ensure that the system behind it (consumers) can handle the expected volume of data and maintain good performance as the load increases. This is especially important in scenarios where Kafka is being used to support mission-critical IoT applications or large-scale deployments. By load testing Kafka broker in a real-world deployment, we could indirectly achieve end-to-end test of the consumer applications, thereby ensuring end-to-end system reliability. 


Load testing Kafka brokers is also essential to identify potential bottlenecks or performance issues due to topic partitioning or clustering before affecting your applications. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments to the configuration or setup of your Kafka cluster to ensure that it can handle the expected load. 


Setting up IoTIFY for load testing Kafka broker


In this example, we will use a default sample template available with IoTIFY. We will set up a free Kafka cluster with Confluent cloud. (confluent.cloud) however, the guide could also be used with any other kafka deployment. Feel free to try this with your own Kafka cluster. 



Setup a free account with confluent cloud. You could setup a basic kafka cluster in any region of your choice. Generate the credential for Kafka client which would be used in the second step.

Setup a free account with IoTIFY at nsim.iotify.io if you haven’t done so. This will enable you to generate traffic for kafka cloud.

In your default workspace, import the kafka producer template

Import Kafka template into your workspace


Update the Kafka credentials obtained in Step 1 in your IoTIFY template. 


Hit the preview button to ensure everything is fine.


In order to run the template, you will need to create a run setting. By default, there is a run setting already created for you. You could update the run setting to setup required number of clients and interval. 

The number of client in the run settings will generate an individual client for Kafka broker with the client id pattern iotify_%d

you could change this pattern in the template Init code. 

Start the load Test by hitting run test button and selecting the run settings. The test should get started in a minute and you would be able to see traffic coming in the Kafka cluster.



Hope you found it helpful to simulate IoT workload in Kafka broker. Need some more information? We will be happy to help you out.