Apache Kafka with MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) architecture is suitable for the IoT use cases that require real-time data collection, scalability, reliability, and integration. It enables a seamless flow of the data and efficient communication.
Apache Kafka is a distributed streaming platform. It is designed to handle large-scale, real-time data streaming and processing while MQTT is a lightweight messaging protocol for efficient communication between devices in constrained networks.
Challenges met by Apache Kafka + MQTT Architecture
For designing an IoT platform architecture, several challenges arise that need to be addressed:
1. Data storage: IoT devices generate a continuous stream of data, which needs to be stored and managed effectively.
2. Scaling: As the number of devices increases, the architecture must be scalable to handle the growing volume of data generated by IoT devices.
3. Message Throughput: IoT devices generate a vast amount of data in real time, including sensor readings, location information, and so on. The platform architecture must be capable of handling high message throughput to ensure that all data is efficiently collected, processed, and delivered to the appropriate components.
4. Connectivity and network resilience: Critical IoT scenarios, such as Connected Cars, rely on network connectivity to transmit data to the platform. The architecture should be designed to handle intermittent connectivity, network latency, and varying network conditions.
Integrating MQTT with Kafka can help address most of the limitations of Kafka in IoT device connectivity scenarios:
1. Direct addressing: MQTT supports load balancing, enabling IoT devices to connect to Kafka brokers indirectly through load balancers. 2. Topic scalability: MQTT is well-suited for handling many topics, making it an ideal candidate for IoT platform deployments with extensive topic design. 3. Reliable connectivity: MQTT is designed to operate over unreliable networks, making it a reliable messaging protocol for IoT devices and connections. 4. Lightweight client: MQTT clients are designed to be lightweight, making them more suitable for resource-constrained IoT devices.
Custom Development with Open-Source MQTT Broker and Kafka
With the use of an open-source MQTT Broker, users have the flexibility to develop their own bridge service that connects MQTT and Kafka. This bridge service can be built using an MQTT client to subscribe to data from the MQTT Broker and utilize the Kafka producer API to publish the data into Kafka.
This solution requires development and maintenance efforts, as well as significant work to ensure reliability and scalability.