Setup a Kafka Environment using Confluent Cloud

Setup a Kafka Environment using Confluent Cloud

This post provides a step-by-step guide with a list of commands on how to setup a Kafka environment using the Confluent Cloud solution..

This guide aims to provide you with a step-by-step process to set up a Kafka environment using Confluent Cloud. You will learn to install the Confluent CLI with Homebrew and create your Kafka cluster on major cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

This introduction will help you experience a hassle-free setup, enabling you to unleash the full potential of Kafka without the complexities of manual configuration. Whether you are an experienced developer or a beginner, this guide will assist you in efficiently and effectively using Kafka in the cloud.

Step 1: Sign up for a Confluent Cloud Account

First sign up for a free Confluent Cloud account. After you have registered and created your Confluent account, you can log into your account here: Confluent Cloud

Note: Get $100 of free usage with the promo code 100DAYSKAFKA. This can be applied in the Billing & Payment section of your account.

Step 2: Setup Confluent CLI

The setup of the Confluent CLI begins with its installation, a straightforward process that integrates seamlessly into your existing system. Once installed, you simply use your Confluent account credentials to log in through the CLI, establishing a secure and personalized connection to Confluent’s services.

For alternative options or a more detailed solution, please refer to the Confluent CLI documentation for more details.

Command: Install Confluent CLI

$ brew install confluent-cli

To access Confluent Cloud, log in using your email and password, ensuring a secure entry into the platform. For added convenience, your email and password can be stored locally with the --save flag, enabling non-interactive re-authentication for future sessions.

Command: Log Into Confluent Cloud account

$ confluent login --prompt --save

You will be prompted for your email and password and logged in for the default organisation you have created.

Step 3: Create a Kafka cluster

Creating a Kafka cluster is done using the confluent kafka cluster create command, where specifying the cloud provider (aws, azure, or gcp) and the respective cloud region ID is mandatory, ensuring the cluster is set up in your desired cloud environment.

# Use the following template 
# confluent kafka cluster create <name> --cloud <provider> --region <region>

# Create Kafka Cluster called my_first_cluster on AWS in the us-east-1 region.
$ confluent kafka cluster create my_first_cluster --cloud aws --region us-east-1

It takes a few minutes for the cluster to be created and provisioned. Use the following command to determine if the cluster is available.

$ confluent kafka cluster list

It is important to set the created cluster as the active cluster. Setting the Kafka cluster as the default streamlines operations by automatically directing commands to it, saving time and reducing errors in environments with multiple clusters.

# Replace the <cluster ID> with the ID listed as part of the list command.
$ confluent kafka cluster use <cluster ID>

Step 4: Create a Kafka Topic

Creating a Kafka topic is accomplished using the confluent kafka topic create <topic> [flags] command, allowing for customized topic configuration through various optional flags.

# Create a Kafka topic with the name my_first_topic
$ confluent kafka topic create my_first_topic --partitions 1

Step 5: Create an API Key

Confluent API keys are used for authentication and authorization purposes, providing secure access to Confluent Cloud services. They enable clients to produce and consume messages from Kafka clusters and interact with other Confluent Cloud resources, ensuring that these interactions are both secure and restricted to authorized users and applications.

These keys play a critical role in managing access control in distributed systems, maintaining the integrity and security of data flows within Kafka environments.

# Replace the <cluster ID> with the ID listed as part of the list command.
$ confluent api-key create --resource <cluster ID>

Set the API Key as the active API key to be used in subsequent commands which support passing an API key with the --api-key flag.

# Replace the <API Key> and <cluster ID> with values from previous commands.
$ confluent api-key use <API key> --resource <cluster ID>

Step 6: Produce a Message

Starting a Kafka producer is executed with the confluent kafka topic produce <topic_name> command, enabling the sending of messages to a specified Kafka topic. Use Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D to exit.

$ confluent kafka topic produce my_first_topic
> Hello 1
> Hello 2
> Hello 3
> ^C

Step 7: Consume a Message

Starting a Kafka consumer is streamlined with the confluent kafka topic consume command, and by using the --from-beginning flag, you can retrieve messages from the very start of the topic, ensuring no data is missed from the time the topic was created. Use Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D to exit.

$ confluent kafka topic consume my_first_topic --from-beginning
Hello 1
Hello 2
Hello 3
> ^C

Step 9: Delete API Key

To delete a Confluent API key, use the confluent api-key delete <API key> command, which effectively removes the specified key from your Confluent environment. This action ensures that the key is no longer active or usable for authentication, enhancing the security and management of your Kafka configurations.

$ confluent api-key delete <API key>

Step 9: Delete Kafka Topic

Deleting a Kafka topic in your Confluent environment is straightforward with the confluent kafka topic delete <name> command, where you specify the exact name of the topic you want to remove.

$ confluent kafka topic delete my_first_topic

Step 10: Delete Kafka Cluster

To remove a Kafka cluster from your Confluent environment, you can use the confluent kafka cluster delete <Cluster ID> command, specifying the unique ID of the cluster you wish to delete. This command permanently deletes the specified Kafka cluster, terminating all associated services and data storage within that cluster.

# Replace the <cluster ID> with the ID listed as part of the list command.
$ confluent kafka cluster delete <cluster ID>


In conclusion, setting up a Kafka environment using Confluent Cloud represents a streamlined, efficient approach for both beginners and experienced users. This guide demonstrated the ease of installing the Confluent CLI via Homebrew, creating an account with Confluent, and setting up a Kafka cluster on your choice of cloud provider—AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.

This method significantly simplifies the Kafka deployment process, eliminating the complexities of manual configuration and offering a robust, scalable solution. With Confluent Cloud, users gain the flexibility and power of Kafka combined with the convenience of a managed service, making it an ideal choice for modern data streaming and processing needs.

Happy streaming!