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Message partitioning strategies and custom partitioners

Introduction to Message Partitioning Strategies

In this section, we will explore the concept of message partitioning in Apache Kafka and the importance of choosing the right partitioning strategy. Partitioning allows for distributing data across multiple brokers, enabling parallel processing and scalability. Understanding different partitioning strategies is crucial for optimizing data distribution in Kafka.

Topics covered in this section:

  1. Overview of message partitioning and its significance in Kafka.
  2. Understanding the role of partitions and brokers in data distribution.
  3. Default partitioning strategy and key-based partitioning.
  4. Hash-based partitioning and its benefits.
  5. Considerations for choosing the appropriate partitioning strategy.

Code Sample: Sending Messages with Key-Based Partitioning

import org.apache.kafka.clients.producer.*;
import java.util.Properties;

public class KeyBasedPartitioningExample {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Configure Kafka producer
        Properties props = new Properties();
        props.put("bootstrap.servers", "localhost:9092");
        props.put("key.serializer", "org.apache.kafka.common.serialization.StringSerializer");
        props.put("value.serializer", "org.apache.kafka.common.serialization.StringSerializer");

        // Create Kafka producer
        Producer<String, String> producer = new KafkaProducer<>(props);

        // Produce records with keys
        ProducerRecord<String, String> record1 = new ProducerRecord<>("my_topic", "key1", "Message 1");
        ProducerRecord<String, String> record2 = new ProducerRecord<>("my_topic", "key2", "Message 2");
        ProducerRecord<String, String> record3 = new ProducerRecord<>("my_topic", "key3", "Message 3");


        // Close the producer

Reference Link:

  • Apache Kafka documentation on message partitioning: link

Helpful Video:

  • “Kafka Message Partitioning Explained” by Confluent: link

Custom Partitioners in Kafka

In this section, we will explore custom partitioners in Apache Kafka and how they allow for more advanced and flexible data partitioning strategies. Custom partitioners enable you to implement your own logic for determining the partition to which a message should be assigned, based on specific criteria or business requirements.

Topics covered in this section:

  1. Understanding the need for custom partitioners.
  2. Implementing a custom partitioner in Kafka.
  3. Custom partitioning based on message attributes or business logic.
  4. Handling partition assignment and reassignment.
  5. Best practices and considerations for using custom partitioners.

Code Sample: Implementing a Custom Partitioner in Kafka

import org.apache.kafka.clients.producer.*;
import org.apache.kafka.common.Cluster;
import org.apache.kafka.common.PartitionInfo;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;
import java.util.Random;

public class CustomPartitionerExample implements Partitioner {

    private Random random;

    public void configure(Map<String, ?> configs) {
        // Initialize any required configurations
        random = new Random();

    public int partition(String topic, Object key, byte[] keyBytes, Object value, byte[] valueBytes, Cluster cluster) {
        List<PartitionInfo> partitions = cluster.partitionsForTopic(topic);
        int numPartitions = partitions.size();
        // Custom logic to determine the partition based on key or value
        return random.nextInt(numPartitions);

    public void close() {

        // Clean up any resources

Reference Link:

  • Apache Kafka documentation on custom partitioners: link

Helpful Video:

  • “Custom Partitioners in Apache Kafka” by Confluent: link

In this module, we explored message partitioning strategies and custom partitioners in Apache Kafka. Message partitioning allows for scalable and parallel data processing in Kafka by distributing data across multiple partitions and brokers. Choosing the appropriate partitioning strategy is essential for optimizing data distribution and ensuring efficient data processing.

By understanding key-based partitioning, hash-based partitioning, and other partitioning strategies, you have gained insights into how to distribute messages effectively based on specific criteria. Additionally, with knowledge of custom partitioners, you can implement your own logic to determine the partition assignment based on message attributes or business requirements.

With the provided code samples and reference links, you are equipped to configure message partitioning strategies and develop custom partitioners in your Kafka applications. By applying these techniques, you can optimize data distribution, achieve parallel processing, and scale your Kafka-based systems effectively.

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About Author
Ozzie Feliciano CTO @ Felpfe Inc.

Ozzie Feliciano is a highly experienced technologist with a remarkable twenty-three years of expertise in the technology industry.

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