Announcing Ksunami v0.1.x

  • ksunami • kafkesc • apache • kafka • opensource • project • workload • producer • records
  • 894 words

October this year, while I was in the process of changing job, I started working on an open source project to monitor Kafka consumer lag. At New Relic, a previous gig, we used a lot of Kafka, and we cared equally about monitoring its usage: there are some great articles on New Relic own blogs, published over the years.

In the process, I realised that I needed a way to spin up a Kafka cluster for development, and I needed a producer of Kafka records, that was able to behave in accordance to specific scenarios.

I’m also still learning Rust, and so this was the perfect excuse: fresh project, a language I want to become proficient in, and time to learn-by-doing.

Ksunami: waves of Kafka records

From GitHub:

Ksunami is a command-line tool to produce a constant, configurable, cyclical stream of (dummy) records against a Kafka Cluster Topic.

If you are experimenting with scalability and latency against Kafka, and are looking for ways to reproduce a continues stream of records, following a specific traffic pattern that repeats periodically, Ksunami is the tool for you.

Ksunami offers a way to set up the production of records, expressing the scenario as a sequence of “phases” that repeat indefinitely. Records content is configurable but random: the purpose of the tool is to help with performance and scalability testing of your infrastructure.

Ksunami ( is a command line tool, useful to reproduce typical production scenarios that are harder to do artificially without a lot of preparation.

# Example: Low rec/sec, but spike of 1000x once-a-day, lasting 60 seconds
$ ksunami \
    --topic  \
    ... \
    --min-sec 86310 \  # i.e. 24h - 90s
    --min 10 \         # most of the day, this topics sees 10 rec/sec 
    --up-sec 10 \      # transitions from min to max within 10 sec
    --up spike-in \    # sudden jump: 10k rec/sec
    --max-sec 60 \     # a spike of just 60s
    --max 10000 \      # producing at 10k rec/sec 
    --down-sec 20 \    # transitions from max to min within 20 sec
    --down spike-out \ # sudden drop: back to just 10 rec/sec

Ksunami comes from spending a few years managing Kafka infrastructure, and having to address problems that occur in very specific, very high-throughput situations. Situations that… wake you up at night.

In the repo I provided some ideas on how Ksunami can be used. And, even in this early stage, it already provides many options, to tailor to very specific needs.

# Records in a wavy-pattern over the 24h cycle
$ ksunami \
    --topic  \
    ... \
    --min-sec 21600 \    # first quarter of the day
    --min 1000 \         # 1k rec/sec 
    --up-sec 21600 \     # second quarter of the day
    --up ease-in-out \   # stable rise
    --max-sec 21600 \    # third quarter of the day
    --max 3000 \         # 3k rec/sec 
    --down-sec 21600 \   # fourth quarter of the day
    --down ease-in-out \ # stable decline

Ksunami is built around the concept of 4 phases and transitions: in the I provided an extended explaination of its core concepts. And if you want to know how Cubic Bézier curves fit into producing records to Kafka, give it a read.

At the time of writing, Ksunami is at version v0.1.x, and I delineated a bit of a roadmap in the issue tracker.

Even if we are just at 0.1.x, Ksunami is already sporting a multi-threaded async core, based on the superb Tokio, and a rich command line interface, thanks to the awesome clap.

Spinning a Kafka cluster for development

Earlier I was hinting at Kafka Development Cluster:

A battery-included BUT development-only pairing of Makefile & docker-compose.yml, designed to quickly spin-up a Kafka cluster for development purposes.

kafka-dev-cluster has all someone (I?) needs to get a local dev cluster going, and it comes with some super simple Makefile commands, so I can get bytes in and out of Kafka fast.

There is no installation: just clone the repo, and start the cluster.

$ git clone
$ cd kafka-dev-cluster
$ make start

I have half a mind to add a Prometheus instance to it, so that it can spin up a dashboard on a different port. It could help with local monitoring. Ah, and maybe a Schema Registry?

“Wait! What’s”

I created an dedicated GitHub Organization to host what I’m doing. Yes! It was supposed to be called Kafkesque, but someone decide to take that username, and use it to make 2 commits in 5 years ;-(. So I went for a funny alternative: Kafkesc.


In this organization I’m going to host Kafka-related repositories and projects, as the needs arise.

In conclusion

Ksunami is a Records Producer: I can tell it to produce more or less, at specific intervals, with specific spikes and valleys, tailoring its behaviour to the scenarios I want.

I now need a Records Consumer! Something that can be made to misbehave? That every 10 minutes takes a nap and stops consuming? That turns on once a day, consumes a whole topic of records, and then sleeps for 23h, letting records (and lag) accumulate?

Sorry, it will be a while before I can release a consumer lag calculator. But I did write last year a Rust parser for __consumer_offsets: maybe I should take a second and release that as a Rust Crate?