Kafka Monitoring Extension for AppDynamics

Kafka Monitoring Extension for AppDynamics

Use Case

Apache Kafka® is a distributed, fault-tolerant streaming platform. It can be used to process streams of data in
real-time.The Kafka Monitoring extension can be used with a stand alone machine agent to provide metrics for multiple Apache Kafka servers.


  1. Before the extension is installed, the prerequisites mentioned here need to be met. Please do not proceed with the extension installation if the specified prerequisites are not met.
  2. In order to use this extension, you do need a Standalone JAVA Machine Agent.
    or SIM Agent.For more details on downloading these products, please visit Downloads.
  3. The extension also needs a Kafka server installed.
  4. The extension needs to be able to connect to Kafka in order to collect and send metrics.
    To do this, you will have to either establish a remote connection in between the extension and the product, or have an agent on the same machine running the product in order for the extension to collect and send the metrics.


  1. To build from source, clone this repository and run ‘mvn clean install’. This will produce a KafkaMonitor-VERSION.zip in the target directory Alternatively, download the latest release archive from GitHub
  2. Unzip the file KafkaMonitor-[version].zip into <MACHINE_AGENT_HOME>/monitors/ - In the newly created directory “KafkaMonitor”, edit the config.yml to configure the parameters (See Configuration section below)
  3. Edit the file config.yml located at <MachineAgent_Dir>/monitors/KafkaMonitor. The metricPrefix of the extension has to be configured as specified here. Please make sure that the right metricPrefix is chosen based on your machine agent deployment, otherwise this could lead to metrics not being visible in the controller.
  4. Restart the Machine Agent.
  5. In the AppDynamics Metric Browser,look for: Application Infrastructure Performance|<Tier>|Custom Metrics|Kafka. If SIM is enabled, look for the Metric Browser for the following metric path under the Servers tab: Application Infrastructure Performance|Root|Custom Metrics|Kafka.
1. Configuring ports
  • According to Oracle’s explanation, JMX opens 3 different ports:

    • One is the JMX connector port(the one in config.yml)
    • One for the RMIRegistry
    • The third one is an ephemeral port is RMI registry of the local only server
  • We can explicitly configure the first two ports in the Kakfa start-up scripts to avoid it picking random ports.

  • Here port 9999 is used as JMX Connector port 9998 is used as the JMX/RMI port.

  • The third one, however, is an ephemeral port(that’s how JMX works).

  • Test connection to the Kafka host and ports 9999 and 9998 from the machine where the extension is installed.

        For example, to test connection to the localhost on port 9999, use
         nc -v localhost 9999.
  • If the message Connection to localhost port 9999 [tcp/distinct] succeeded!is displayed, it confirms the access to the Kafka server.

2. Enabling JMX
  • To enable JMX monitoring for Kafka broker, a JMX_PORT has to be configured to allow monitoring on that port.
  • Edit the Kafka start-up script <Kafka Installation Folder>/bin/kafka-server-start.sh to include:
    export JMX_PORT=${JMX_PORT:-9999}
    This configures port 9999 as the JMX port of Kafka.
    • Please note that the Kafka server needs to be restarted once the JMX port is added.
3. Configuring Kafka for non-SSL monitoring

This section outlines the configuration of the Kafka start-up scripts if monitoring is not done over SSL.If SSL is being used please skip to Setting up SSL in Kafka.

  • To enable monitoring, some flags need to be set in the Kafka start-up scripts.
    Edit <Kafka Installation Folder>/bin/kafka-run-class.sh and modify KAFKA_JMX_OPTS variable like below:
    KAFKA_JMX_OPTS="-Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote=true -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.rmi.port=9998 -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.authenticate=false -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.ssl=false"
  • Please also include -Djava.rmi.server.hostname=your.host.ip to the KAFKA_JMX_OPTS variable if you are monitoring Kafka from a remote machine.
  • Also, the changes to kafka-run-class.sh has to be made on all the Kafka servers that are being monitored.
  • Please note that any changes to kafka-run-class.sh needs the Kafka server to be restarted for the changes to take effect.
    4. Monitoring over SSL
    If you need to monitor your Kafka servers securely via SSL, please follow the following steps:
4.1. Generating SSL Keys
  • Providing a Keystore and Truststore is mandatory for using SSL. The Keystore is used by the Kafka server, the Truststore is used by the Kafka Monitoring Extension to trust the server.

  • The extension supports a custom Truststore, and if no Truststore is specified, the extension defaults to the Machine Agent Truststore at <Machine_Agent_Home>/conf/cacerts.jks.

  • You can create your Truststore or choose to use the Machine Agent Truststore at <MachineAgentHome>/conf/cacerts.jks.

  • Keytool is a utility that comes with the JDK. Please use the following commands to generate a keystore, and import the certificates into the Truststore.

  • To use the custom Truststore, please follow steps 1, 2 and 3a listed below.

  • To to use the Machine Agent Truststore cacerts.jks, please follow the steps 1, 2 and 3b listed below to import the certs into cacerts.jks.

       #Step #1
       keytool -keystore kafka.server.keystore.jks -alias localhost -validity 365 -genkey
       #Step #2 
       openssl req -new -x509 -keyout ca-key -out ca-cert -days 365
       #Step #3a: if you are creating your own truststore 
       keytool -keystore kafka.client.truststore.jks -alias CARoot -import -file ca-cert
       #Step #3b: or if you are using Machine Agent truststore 
       keytool -keystore /path/to/MachineAgentHome/conf/cacerts.jks -alias CARoot -import -file ca-cert
4.2. Configuring Kafka for monitoring over SSL

Edit <Kafka Installation Folder>/bin/kafka-run-class.sh and modify KAFKA_JMX_OPTS variable, as listed below:

KAFKA_JMX_OPTS="-Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote=true -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.rmi.port=9998 -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.authenticate=false -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.ssl=true -Djavax.net.ssl.keyStore=/Absolute/path/to/keystore -Djavax.net.ssl.keyStorePassword=password -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.registry.ssl=false"
  • Please also include -Djava.rmi.server.hostname=your.host.ip to the KAFKA_JMX_OPTS variable if you are monitoring Kafka from a remote machine.
4.3. Configuring the Extension to use SSL
  • The extension also needs to be configured to use SSL. In the config.yml of the Kafka Extension, uncomment the connection section.
              socketTimeout: 3000
              connectTimeout: 1000
              sslProtocol: "TLSv1.2"
              sslTrustStorePath: "/path/to/truststore/client/kafka.client.truststore.jks" #defaults to <MA home>conf/cacerts.jks
              sslTrustStorePassword: "test1234" # defaults to empty
              sslTrustStoreEncryptedPassword: ""
  • Please note that any changes to the connection section of the config.yml, needs the Machine Agent to be restarted for the changes to take effect.
  • If you need username/password authentication, please set the flag -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.authenticate=true
    in the KAFKA_JMX_OPTS variable.Please refer to Password Settings for further steps.
    5. Password Settings
    If you need password authentication, the password needs to be set in the JVM of the Kafka server.
    To know more on how to set the credentials, please see section Using Password and Access Files in this link.
6. Config.yml

Configure the Kafka monitoring extension by editing the config.yml file in <MACHINE_AGENT_HOME>/monitors/KafkaMonitor/

  • Configure the “tier” under which the metrics need to be reported. This can be done by changing the value of <Component-ID> in
    metricPrefix: "Server|Component:<Component-ID>|Custom Metrics|Kafka".
    Please refer this link to find Component-ID of your tiers.
    For example,

    metricPrefix: "Server|Component:19|Custom Metrics|Kafka"
  • Configure the Kafka servers by specifying <b>either</b> serviceUrl or <host,port> of all Kafka servers.

    • Here, host is the IP address.
      of the Kafka server to be monitored, and port is the JMX port of the Kafka server.
    • Please provide username & password (only if authentication enabled).
    • encryptedPassword(only if password encryption required).
    • If SSL is being used to securely monitor your Kafka servers, please set useSsl as true.
      For example,
      - serviceUrl: "service:jmx:rmi:///jndi/rmi://localhost:9999/jmxrmi" #provide service URL or the <host,port> pair
            host: ""
            port: ""
            username: "monitorRole"
            password: "QED"
            encryptedPassword: ""
            displayName: "Local Kafka Server"
            useSsl: true # set to true if you're using SSL for this server
  • Configure the encyptionKey for encryption of passwords(only if password encryption required).

      For example,
      #Encryption key for Encrypted password.
      encryptionKey: "axcdde43535hdhdgfiniyy576"
  • Configure the connection section only if you are using monitoring over SSL for ANY of Kafka server(s).

    • Please remove this section if SSL is not required to connect to any of your servers.
    • If you are using the Machine Agent Truststore, please leave the sslTrustStorePath as "".
        socketTimeout: 3000
        connectTimeout: 1000
        sslProtocol: "TLSv1.2"
        sslTrustStorePath: "/path/to/truststore/client/kafka.client.truststore.jks" #defaults to <MA home>conf/cacerts.jks
        sslTrustStorePassword: "test1234" # defaults to empty
        sslTrustStoreEncryptedPassword: ""
  • Configure the numberOfThreads according to the number of Kafka instances that are being monitored on one extension.Each server needs one thread.
    For example, If number Kafka servers that need to be monitored by one extension is 10, then number of threads is 10 numberOfThreads: 10

  • Configure the metrics section.
    For configuring the metrics, the following properties can be used:

    Metric PropertyDefault valuePossible valuesDescription
    aliasmetric nameAny stringThe substitute name to be used in the metric browser instead of metric name.
    aggregationType“AVERAGE”“AVERAGE”, “SUM”, “OBSERVATION”Aggregation qualifier
    timeRollUpType“AVERAGE”“AVERAGE”, “SUM”, “CURRENT”Time roll-up qualifier
    clusterRollUpType“INDIVIDUAL”“INDIVIDUAL”, “COLLECTIVE”Cluster roll-up qualifier
    multiplier1Any numberValue with which the metric needs to be multiplied.
    convertnullAny key value mapSet of key value pairs that indicates the value to which the metrics need to be transformed. eg: UP:0, DOWN:1
    deltafalsetrue, falseIf enabled, gives the delta values of metrics instead of actual values.

    For example,
    objectName: "kafka.server:type=BrokerTopicMetrics, * will fetch metrics of all objects nested under BrokerTopicMetrics.

         - objectName: "kafka.server:type=BrokerTopicMetrics,*"
                  - Count:
                     alias: "Count"
                     multiplier: ""
                     delta: false
                     aggregationType: "OBSERVATION"
                     timeRollUpType: "AVERAGE"
                     clusterRollUpType: "INDIVIDUAL"
                  - MeanRate:
                     alias: "Mean Rate"
                     multiplier: ""
                     delta: false
                     aggregationType: "AVERAGE"
                     timeRollUpType: "AVERAGE"
                     clusterRollUpType: "INDIVIDUAL"

    All these metric properties are optional, and the default value shown in the table is applied to the metric(if a property has not been specified) by default. If you need a metric from a specific object under an mBean, objectName: kafka.server:type=ReplicaManager,name=IsrExpandsPerSec will return only those metrics corresponding to the IsrExpandsPerSec object.

7. Validating config.yml:
  • Please copy all the contents of the config.yml file and go to YamlLint.

  • On reaching the website, paste the contents and press the “Go” button on the bottom left.

  • If you get a valid output, that means your formatting is correct and you may move on to the next step.

8. Metrics
  • This extension collects metrics via JMX and can be configured to report any of the metrics that Kafka exposes. It provides metrics on Kafka server, controller and the network.
  • In addition, it also provides the JVM metrics:
    HeapMemoryUsage.committed, HeapMemoryUsage.max, NonHeapMemoryUsage.committed, NonHeapMemoryUsage.max
  • There is also a HeartBeat metric underkafka.server which denotes whether the connection from the extension to the Kafka server was successful(1 = Successful, 0 = Unsuccessful).
  • By default, a Machine agent or a AppServer agent can send a fixed number of metrics to the controller.
    To change this limit, please follow the instructions mentioned here.

Credentials Encryption

Please visit this page to get detailed instructions on password encryption. The steps in this document will guide you through the whole process.

Extensions Workbench

Workbench is an inbuilt feature provided with each extension in order to assist you to fine tune the extension setup before you actually deploy it on the controller. Please review the following
document for how to use the Extensions WorkBench


Please look at the troubleshooting document and make sure that everything is followed correctly. These are a set of common issues that customers might have faced during the installation of the extension. If these don't solve your issue, please follow the last step on the troubleshooting-document to contact the support team.

Support Tickets

If after going through the Troubleshooting Document you have not been able to get your extension working, please file a ticket and add the following information.
Please provide the following in order for us to assist you better.

  1. Stop the running machine agent.
  2. Delete all existing logs under <MachineAgent>/logs.
  3. Please enable debug logging by editing the file <MachineAgent>/conf/logging/log4j.xml. Change the level value of the following <logger> elements to debug.
    <logger name="com.singularity">
    <logger name="com.appdynamics">
  4. Start the machine agent and please let it run for 10 mins. Then zip and upload all the logs in the directory <MachineAgent>/logs/*.
  5. Attach the zipped <MachineAgent>/conf/* directory here.
  6. Attach the zipped <MachineAgent>/monitors/<ExtensionMonitor> directory here.
    For any support related questions, you can also contact help@appdynamics.com.


Always feel free to fork and contribute any changes directly via GitHub.


Extension Version:2.0.3
Controller Compatibility:4.0 or Later
Tested On:Apache Kafka 2.0.0
Operating System Tested On:Mac OS, Linux
Last updated On:Feb 22, 2019
List of changes to this extensionChange log