Resurrecting In-Sync Replicas with Automatic Observer Promotion ft. Anna McDonald
Play • 25 min

As most developers and architects know, data always needs to be accessible no matter what happens outside of the system. This week, Tim Berglund virtually sits down with Anna McDonald (Principal Customer Success Technical Architect, Confluent) to discuss how Automatic Observer Promotion (AOP) can help solve the Apache Kafka® 2.5 datacenter dilemma as a feature now available in Confluent Platform 6.1 and above. Many industries must have a backup plan not only to do the right thing by the data that they collect but because they are regulated by law to do so. 

Anna has a knack for preparing operations that makes replication of data possible both synchronously and asynchronously. To avoid roadblocks in stretch clusters, she’s found that you need both a replication factor and a minimum in-sync replica (ISR). There needs to be a consideration for not just one but multiple copies for the protection of your data criteria. Not replicating the correct number on the datacenter can mean that your application is down, and there’s no way to retrieve vital information during this outage. The presence of observers enables asynchronous replicas that don’t count towards that minimum ISR. 

These ISRs work because they help recover data without invalidating any other standards. Architects should try to maintain topic availability during an event in a two-zone configuration. This assures that the writes go to both zones during normal operation without compromise. With the newest version of Confluent, you can get data in sync and within the minimum ISR. AOP is an excellent solution for developers who want to prepare for the unexpected and maintain accessibility across zones. When you can avoid manual interruption, you’re more likely to avoid errors and tedious operations, which would otherwise lead to a higher probability of data loss. 

In other exciting news, Anna shares about discovering patterns in order to make the entire Confluent ecosystem more automatic. 


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