Ingest data from Apache Kafka into Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra using Kafka Connect

APPLIES TO: Cassandra

Existing Cassandra applications can easily work with the Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra because of its CQLv4 driver compatibility. You leverage this capability to integrate with streaming platforms such as Apache Kafka and bring data into Azure Cosmos DB.

Data in Apache Kafka (topics) is only useful when consumed by other applications or ingested into other systems. It's possible to build a solution using the Kafka Producer/Consumer APIs using a language and client SDK of your choice. Kafka Connect provides an alternative solution. It's a platform to stream data between Apache Kafka and other systems in a scalable and reliable manner. Since Kafka Connect supports off the shelf connectors which includes Cassandra, you don't need to write custom code to integrate Kafka with Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra.

In this article, we will be using the open-source DataStax Apache Kafka connector, that works on top of Kafka Connect framework to ingest records from a Kafka topic into rows of one or more Cassandra tables. The example provides a reusable setup using Docker Compose. This is quite convenient since it enables you to bootstrap all the required components locally with a single command. These components include Kafka, Zookeeper, Kafka Connect worker, and the sample data generator application.

Here is a breakdown of the components and their service definitions - you can refer to the complete docker-compose file in the GitHub repo.

  • Kafka and Zookeeper use debezium images.
  • To run as a Docker container, the DataStax Apache Kafka Connector is baked on top of an existing Docker image - debezium/connect-base. This image includes an installation of Kafka and its Kafka Connect libraries, thus making it really convenient to add custom connectors. You can refer to the Dockerfile.
  • The data-generator service seeds randomly generated (JSON) data into the weather-data Kafka topic. You can refer to the code and Dockerfile in the GitHub repo


Create Keyspace, tables and start the integration pipeline

Using the Azure portal, create the Cassandra Keyspace and the tables required for the demo application.


Use the same Keyspace and table names as below

CREATE KEYSPACE weather WITH REPLICATION = {'class' : 'NetworkTopologyStrategy', 'datacenter1' : 1};

CREATE TABLE weather.data_by_state (station_id text, temp int, state text, ts timestamp, PRIMARY KEY (state, ts)) WITH CLUSTERING ORDER BY (ts DESC) AND cosmosdb_cell_level_timestamp=true AND cosmosdb_cell_level_timestamp_tombstones=true AND cosmosdb_cell_level_timetolive=true;

CREATE TABLE weather.data_by_station (station_id text, temp int, state text, ts timestamp, PRIMARY KEY (station_id, ts)) WITH CLUSTERING ORDER BY (ts DESC) AND cosmosdb_cell_level_timestamp=true AND cosmosdb_cell_level_timestamp_tombstones=true AND cosmosdb_cell_level_timetolive=true;

Clone the GitHub repo:

git clone
cd cosmosdb-cassandra-kafka

Start all the services:

docker-compose --project-name kafka-cosmos-cassandra up --build


It might take a while to download and start the containers: this is just a one time process.

To confirm whether all the containers have started:

docker-compose -p kafka-cosmos-cassandra ps

The data generator application will start pumping data into the weather-data topic in Kafka. You can also do quick sanity check to confirm. Peek into the Docker container running the Kafka connect worker:

docker exec -it kafka-cosmos-cassandra_cassandra-connector_1 bash

Once you drop into the container shell, just start the usual Kafka console consumer process and you should see weather data (in JSON format) flowing in.

cd ../bin
./ --bootstrap-server kafka:9092 --topic weather-data

Cassandra Sink connector setup

Copy the JSON contents below to a file (you can name it cassandra-sink-config.json). You will need to update it as per your setup and the rest of this section will provide guidance around this topic.

    "name": "kafka-cosmosdb-sink",
    "config": {
        "connector.class": "com.datastax.oss.kafka.sink.CassandraSinkConnector",
        "tasks.max": "1",
        "topics": "weather-data",
        "contactPoints": "<cosmos db account name>",
        "port": 10350,
        "loadBalancing.localDc": "<cosmos db region e.g. Southeast Asia>",
        "auth.username": "<enter username for cosmosdb account>",
        "auth.password": "<enter password for cosmosdb account>",
        "ssl.hostnameValidation": true,
        "ssl.provider": "JDK",
        "ssl.keystore.path": "/etc/alternatives/jre/lib/security/cacerts/",
        "ssl.keystore.password": "changeit",
        "datastax-java-driver.advanced.connection.init-query-timeout": 5000,
        "maxConcurrentRequests": 500,
        "maxNumberOfRecordsInBatch": 32,
        "queryExecutionTimeout": 30,
        "connectionPoolLocalSize": 4,
        "": "station_id=value.stationid, temp=value.temp, state=value.state, ts=value.created",
        "": "station_id=value.stationid, temp=value.temp, state=value.state, ts=value.created",
        "key.converter": "",
        "value.converter": "org.apache.kafka.connect.json.JsonConverter",
        "value.converter.schemas.enable": false,
        "": 10000

Here is a summary of the attributes:

Basic connectivity

  • contactPoints: enter the contact point for Azure Cosmos DB Cassandra
  • loadBalancing.localDc: enter the region for Azure Cosmos DB account e.g. Southeast Asia
  • auth.username: enter the username
  • auth.password: enter the password
  • port: enter the port value (this is 10350, not 9042. leave it as is)

SSL configuration

Azure Cosmos DB enforces secure connectivity over SSL and Kafka Connect connector supports SSL as well.

  • ssl.keystore.path: path to the JDK keystore in the container - /etc/alternatives/jre/lib/security/cacerts/
  • ssl.keystore.password: JDK keystore (default) password
  • ssl.hostnameValidation: We turn own node hostname validation
  • ssl.provider: JDK is used as the SSL provider

Generic parameters

  • key.converter: We use the string converter
  • value.converter: since the data in Kafka topics is JSON, we make use of org.apache.kafka.connect.json.JsonConverter
  • value.converter.schemas.enable: Since our JSON payload doesn't have a schema associated with it (for the purposes of the demo app), we need to instruct Kafka Connect to not look for a schema by setting this attribute to false. Not doing so will result in failures.

Install the connector

Install the connector using the Kafka Connect REST endpoint:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" --data @cassandra-sink-config.json http://localhost:8083/connectors

To check the status:

curl http://localhost:8080/connectors/kafka-cosmosdb-sink/status

If all goes well, the connector should start weaving its magic. It should authenticate to Azure Cosmos DB and start ingesting data from the Kafka topic (weather-data) into Cassandra tables - weather.data_by_state and weather.data_by_station

You can now query data in the tables. Head over to the Azure portal, bring up the hosted CQL Shell for your Azure Cosmos DB account.


Query data from Azure Cosmos DB

Check the data_by_state and data_by_station tables. Here is some sample queries to get you started:

select * from weather.data_by_state where state = 'state-1';
select * from weather.data_by_state where state IN ('state-1', 'state-2');
select * from weather.data_by_state where state = 'state-3' and ts > toTimeStamp('2020-11-26');

select * from weather.data_by_station where station_id = 'station-1';
select * from weather.data_by_station where station_id IN ('station-1', 'station-2');
select * from weather.data_by_station where station_id IN ('station-2', 'station-3') and ts > toTimeStamp('2020-11-26');

Clean up resources

When you're done with your app and Azure Cosmos DB account, you can delete the Azure resources you created so you don't incur more charges. To delete the resources:

  1. In the Azure portal Search bar, search for and select Resource groups.

  2. From the list, select the resource group you created for this quickstart.

    Select the resource group to delete

  3. On the resource group Overview page, select Delete resource group.

    Delete the resource group

  4. In the next window, enter the name of the resource group to delete, and then select Delete.

Next steps