Using Kafka Tiered Storage

Please note that Kafka Tiered storage is currently offered with Instaclustr for Apache Kafka as Public Preview and therefore comes with certain limitations. Refer to our SLAs for service level applicable to Preview features and applications. We will continue to work to making this feature available in General Availability soon.  

For Instaclustr for Apache Kafka clusters, tiered storage can be enabled for new cluster via console, terraform or Instaclustr API.  

To enable Tiered storage on an existing cluster, please reach out to our support team. 


Tiered Storage for Instaclustr for Apache Kafka is currently available in Preview, and can only be enabled on clusters meeting certain criteria:  

  • Cluster must be running in your AWS provider account  
  • The cluster must run Apache Kafka 3.6.1 or greater 
  • The SLA Tier must be Non Production 
  • PCI compliance mode must not have been enabled. (It is disabled by default.) 
  • Kafka node size must be a production type node size 


In addition to tiered storage limitations mentioned here, Instaclustr’s implementation of tiered storage has some limitations: 

  • Only AWS S3 can be used as remote storage at this stage. 

Configuring AWS S3 as the remote storage tier 

Before enabling the tiered storage on a cluster, an AWS S3 bucket must be set up according to specific requirements. 

Prerequisites for setting up the AWS S3 bucket  

In addition to the prerequisites mentioned earlier in the page, AWS S3 bucket must meet the following conditions : 

  • It must be in the same region as the cluster. 
  • It must be in the same account as the cluster is provisioned in, or if it is in different account, it must have bucket policy to allow the IAM role of the CDC (which would be created after the cluster has been provisioned) access. More information is available here.   
  • It must not have versioning enabled.  
  • It must not have object-lock enabled.  
  • It must not have lifecycle rules or, have lifecycle rules that do not conflict with Kafka’s retention management.  
  • It must not have Intelligent-Tiering Archive configuration enabled.
  • It must not use AWS Key Management Service (KMS) managed keys for server-side encryption.  

Steps for setting up the AWS S3 bucket 

Setup the AWS S3 bucket in your account as per the steps mentioned below: 

  1. Login to AWS account. Go to S3 > Create a bucket in the same region as cluster 
  2. Enter the bucket name.  
  3. Select Disable for Bucket Versioning because for remote storage bucket, versioning is not supported.

  4. For encryption, only Amazon S3 managed keys are supported. We are working on adding support for more encryption options, and support for AWS Key Management Service keys (AWS KMS) will be possible soon.

  5. In the advanced settings, make sure the Object Lock is disabled.

  6. Proceed ahead and create a bucket.  

Once the remote storage bucket is set as per Tiered storage requirement. Next step is to create a cluster.

Create a cluster with Tiered storage 

On the console, if you want to create a new cluster with Tiered storage enabled, check the Tiered storage option in the Enterprise Add-Ons on the Kafka Setup page.  


Once this option is checked, it requires S3 bucket name for remote storage. Make sure bucket exists and meets all the requirements as mentioned in the bucket setup. Enter a valid bucket name and create a cluster.  

Instaclustr for Apache Kafka cluster with tiered storage can be created via Instaclustr API and via Terraform provider by adding tiered storage details in the request body.  

Enabling Tiered storage on existing cluster 

To enabled Tiered storage on an existing cluster, please reach out to our support team.  

Enabling Tiered Storage on topic level

After enabling Tiered Storage on a cluster level, there are further settings that need to be specified on a topic level, for any topic which needs to be tiered. Most importantly, to ensure Tiered Storage is enabled for a specific topic, set that topic’s config to true. Next, you need to consider what the duration is for which logs should be retained in local storage before being moved to remote storage and then being deleted. This is controlled using a pair of configs for local and total retention: 

  • local.retention.bytes 
  • retention.bytes 

Those prefixed with “local” dictate the duration/size for the local log segment is allowed before the topic is moved to remote storage and eventually deleted. If these are not specified, the default values are used resulting in no topic data being moved to remote storage, even if Tiered Storage has been enabled. For more broker and topic configurations, refer to Apache Kafka documentation here. 


Please contact [email protected] for any further inquiries. 

By Instaclustr Support
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