Deploying Kafka at Dropbox

Kafka Summit 2016 | Operations Track


Sean Fellows

Sean Fellows, Site Reliability Engineer, Dropbox

Mark Smith

Mark Smith, Site Reliability Engineer, Dropbox


At Dropbox we are currently handling approximately 10,000,000 messages per second at peak across our handful of Kafka clusters. The largest of which has hit throughputs of 7,000,000 per second (~30 Gbps) on only 20 nodes. We’ll walk you through the steps we took to get where we are, the design that works for us — and those that didn’t. We’ll talk about the tooling we had to build and what we want to see exist.

We’ll dive deeper into configuration and provide a blueprint you can follow. We’ll talk about the trials and tribulations of using Kafka — including ways we’ve set our clusters on fire, ways we’ve lost data, ways we’ve turned our hairs gray, and ways we’ve heroically saved the day for our users. Finally, we’ll spend time on some of the work we’re doing to handle consumer coordination across our many different systems and to integrate Kafka into a well established corporate infrastructure. (I.e., making Kafka “”play nice”” with everybody.)

Kafka Summit 2016