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Running Kafka On Pi4/ARM

« Current 2022

Apache Kafka is starting to be requested and appears more and more on ARM technologies. In some cases, ARM can appear on a developer’s new Apple M1. It can also be found in Amazon, Azure and Oracle datacenters, giving those customers a chance to run this new processor technology, save some money, save some power, maybe save the planet. Lately, I have been working with some partners to see how Kafka runs on a bagful of Pi4s, flung into some ditch, or in the back of an F150. It turns out, with a few tweaks, Kafka on Pi is very capable and opens up a whole new field - sometimes in a field - of real-time processing at the far, disconnected edge.

This talk provides a work-in-progress update of deploying Kafka on aarch64 Linux. Although the new Apple M1 is ARMv8 based, it has a distinct flavor, or ELF format - arm64. Since much of Kafka consists of noarch rpms, or simply, a bag-o-jars, both Linux and macOS have native implementations of Java, and for Kafka Streams users, native implementations of RocksDB.

This talk is intended for an audience that is familiar with emerging hardware, compiler and OS industry trends.

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