Bookkeeper autoscaler

In a Pulsar cluster managed by KAAP, BookKeeper nodes are scaled up in response to running low on storage, and because of Bookkeeper’s segment-based design, the new storage is available immediately for use by the cluster, with no log stream rebalancing required.

When KAAP sees low storage usage on a Bookkeeper node, the node is automatically scaled down (decommissioned) to free up volume usage and reduce storage costs. This scale-down is done in a safe, controlled manner which ensures no data loss and guarantees the configured replication factor for all messages. For example, if your replication factor is 3 (write and ack quorum of 3), 3 replicas are maintained at all times during the scale down to ensure data can be recovered, even if there is a failure during the scale-down phase. Scaling down bookies has been a consistent pain point in Pulsar, and KAAP automates this without sacrifing Pulsar’s data guarantees.

Install Operator with Bookkeeper autoscaler enabled

helm install pulsar-operator helm/pulsar-operator \
    --values helm/examples/bookie-autoscaling/values.yaml

Bookkeeper autoscaler configuration

The operator will scale the number of bookies pods in a cluster up and down based on current disk usage. The operator checks the disk usage percentage of all bookies at a regular interval. If all of the bookies' memory is over a percentage threshold, the operator will add bookies, and if under the low threshold, will decommission a bookie to save resources. When a bookie’s memory is underutilized, you want to decommission it to save resources. The scaling behavior is similar to the Kubernetes Horizontal Pod Autoscaler. The operator’s thresholds are set in the values.yaml file.

      replicas: 2
        enabled: true
        periodMs: 10000
        diskUsageToleranceHwm: 0.8
        diskUsageToleranceLwm: 0.2
        minWritableBookies: 1
        scaleUpBy: 1
        scaleDownBy: 1
        stabilizationWindowMs: 30000
Bookkeeper autoscaler configuration
Name Type Description Notes



The threshold to trigger a scale up. The autoscaler will scale up if all the bookies' disk usage is higher than this threshold.

Default is 0.75. Min 0.0d, Max 1.0d.



The threshold to trigger a scale down. The autoscaler will scale down if all the bookies' disk usage is lower than this threshold.

Default is 0.92d. Min(0.0d), Max(1.0d)



Enable autoscaling for bookies.



Minimum number of writable bookies. The autoscaler will scale up if not enough writable bookies are detected. For example, if a bookie goes to read-only mode, the autoscaler will scale up to replace it.

Default is 3. Min 1.



The interval in milliseconds between two consecutive autoscaling checks.

Minimum value is 1000 ms.



The number of bookies to remove at each scale down.

Default is 1. Min 1.



The number of bookies to add at each scale up.

Default is 1. Min 1.



Max number of bookies. If the number of bookies is equal to this value, the autoscaler will never scale up.

Min 1.



The stabilization window restricts rapid changes in replica count when the metrics used for scaling are fluctuating. The autoscaling algorithm uses this window to infer a previous desired state and avoid unwanted changes to workload scale.

Default value is 5 minutes after the pod’s state is Ready.

Test bookie autoscaler

Once you’ve deployed a Pulsar cluster with bookie autoscaling enabled, test it by adding load to the cluster and watching the operator pod’s logs.

If you don’t have a bastion pod, you can add it to your cluster in the same values.yaml file you used to deploy the operator.

  replicas: 1
      cpu: "0.1"
      memory: "128Mi"
  1. Exec into your bastion pod.

    kubectl exec --stdin --tty <pulsar-bastion-74777cbbf9-blb4t> -- /bin/bash
  2. Run a Pulsar perf test in your deployment, and follow the operator’s logs to see the autoscaler in action.

    • Bastion pod

    • Result

    bin/pulsar-perf produce topic
    2023-05-19T14:39:34,726+0000 [pulsar-perf-producer-exec-1-1] INFO  org.apache.pulsar.testclient.PerformanceProducer - Created 1 producers
    2023-05-19T14:39:34,778+0000 [pulsar-client-io-2-1] INFO  com.scurrilous.circe.checksum.Crc32cIntChecksum - SSE4.2 CRC32C provider initialized
    2023-05-19T14:39:43,190+0000 [main] INFO  org.apache.pulsar.testclient.PerformanceProducer - Throughput produced:     817 msg ---     81.7 msg/s ---      0.6 Mbit/s  --- failure      0.0 msg/s --- Latency: mean:  12.008 ms - med:  10.571 - 95pct:  20.821 - 99pct:  32.194 - 99.9pct:  46.759 - 99.99pct:  56.243 - Max:  56.243
  3. The operator notices the differing values and patches the bookkeeper-set to keep up with the increased memory usage of the bookkeeper pods.

    | 14:41:07 INFO  [com.dat.oss.pul.crd.SpecDiffer] (ReconcilerExecutor-pulsar-bk-controller-69) 'bookkeeper.replicas' value differs:
      was: 7
      now: 8
    │ 14:41:07 INFO  [com.dat.oss.pul.con.AbstractResourceSetsController] (ReconcilerExecutor-pulsar-bk-controller-69) bookkeeper-set 'bookkeeper' patched                 │
    │ 14:41:07 INFO  [com.dat.oss.pul.con.AbstractResourceSetsController] (ReconcilerExecutor-pulsar-bk-controller-69) All bookkeeper-sets ready                           │
    │ 14:41:07 INFO  [] (ReconcilerExecutor-pulsar-bk-controller-69) Cleaning up orphan PVCs for bookie-s
  4. Cancel the Pulsar perf test with Ctrl-C. The operator will notice the decreased load and scale down the number of bookies. Notice that the operator scales down the number of bookies by 1 at a time, as specified in the scaleDownBy parameter, and properly decommissions them.

    │ 15:32:19 INFO  [com.dat.oss.pul.aut.BookKeeperSetAutoscaler] (pool-9-thread-1) isDiskUsageAboveTolerance: false for pulsar-bookkeeper-8 (BookieAdminClient.BookieLed │
    │ 15:32:19 INFO  [com.dat.oss.pul.aut.BookKeeperSetAutoscaler] (pool-9-thread-1) Some writable bookies can be released, removing 1                                     │
    │ 15:32:19 INFO  [com.dat.oss.pul.aut.BookKeeperSetAutoscaler] (pool-9-thread-1) Bookies scaled up/down from 10 to 9                                                   │
    │ 15:32:19 INFO  [] (ReconcilerExecutor-pulsar-bk-controller-74) Start decommissioning bookies: pulsar-bookkeeper-9.puls │
    │ 15:32:19 INFO  [] (OkHttp Bookie pulsar-bookkeeper-9 is set to read-only=true                 │
    │ 15:32:22 INFO  [] (ReconcilerExecutor-pulsar-bk-controller-74) Attempting decommission of bookie pulsar-bookkeeper-9 w │
    │ 15:32:22 INFO  [] (ReconcilerExecutor-pulsar-bk-controller-74) Starting bookie recovery for bookie pulsar-bookkeeper │

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