Configuring secure JMX connections

Java Management Extensions (JMX)

Java Management Extensions (JMX) is a way of retrieving metrics from your specific processes dynamically at runtime. This can be used to get metrics that are specific to Java operations on Kafka

To manage resources, management beans (MBeans) are used. MBeans represent a resource in the JVM. There are specific MBean attributes you can use with Kafka.

Metrics can be retrieved from applications running inside your Kubernetes cluster by connecting to an exposed JMX port.

Exposing a JMX port on Kafka

You can expose the JMX port (9999) of each Kafka broker to be accessible to secure connections from within the Kubernetes cluster. This grants applications deployed inside the cluster read-only access to Kafka metrics. To expose the JMX port, set the spec.strimziOverrides.kafka.jmxOptions value to {}. This will create an open JMX port allowing any pod to read from it.

The JMX port can be password-protected to prevent unauthorized pods from accessing it. It is good practice to secure the JMX port, as an unprotected port could allow a user to invoke an MBean operation on the Java JVM. To enable security for the JMX port, set the spec.strimiziOverrrides.kafka.jmxOptions.authentication.type field to password. For example:

          type: "password"

This will cause the JMX port to be secured using a generated username and password. When the JMX port is password protected, a Kubernetes secret named <clustername>-jmx is created inside the Event Streams namespace. The secret contains the following content:

Name Description
jmx_username The user that is authenticated to connect to the JMX port.
jmx_password The password for the authenticated user.

Connecting internal applications

To connect your application to the Kafka JMX port, it must be deployed running inside the Kubernetes cluster.

After your application is deployed, you can connect to each Kafka broker with the following URL pattern: <cluster-name>-kafka-<kafka-ordinal>.<cluster-name>-kafka-brokers.svc:9999

To connect to the JMX port, clients must use the following Java options:

  •<path to trustStore>
  •<password for trustStore>

In addition, when initiating the JMX connection, if the port is secured then clients must provide the username and password from the JMX secret. For example, the JConsole UI provide a username/password box to enter the credentials.

Retrieving the truststore

Using the Event Streams UI:

  1. Log in to your Event Streams UI as an administrator from a supported web browser (see how to determine the login URL for your Event Streams UI).
  2. Click Topics in the primary navigation.
  3. Click Connect to this cluster.
  4. In the certificates section, click download certificate. You will now have the required certificate and the password will be displayed in the UI.

Using the Event Streams CLI:

  1. Initialize the Event Streams CLI by following the instructions in logging in.
  2. Run the command kubectl es certificates to download the certificate. The password is displayed in the CLI.

Retrieving the JMX username and password

Using the Kubernetes command-line tool (kubectl)

  1. Log in to your Kubernetes cluster as a cluster administrator by setting your kubectl context.
  2. Run the following commands:

    kubectl get secret <clustername>-jmx -o jsonpath='{.data.jmx\-username}' -namespace <name_of_your_namespace> | base64 -decode > jmx_username.txt
    kubectl get secret <clustername>-jmx -o jsonpath='{.data.jmx\-password}' -namespace <name_of_your_namespace> | base64 -decode > jmx_password.txt

These will output the jmx_username and jmx_password values into the respective .txt files.

Mounting the JMX secret directly into a pod

Mounting the secret will project the jmx_username and jmx_password values as files under the mount path folder.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: example-pod
    - name: jmx-secret
        secretName: <clustername>-jmx
    - name: example-container
      image: example-image
      - name: jmx-secret
        mountPath: /path/to/jmx-secret
        readOnly: true

For more information, see Kubernetes Secrets.

If the connecting application is not installed inside the Event Streams namespace, it must be copied to the application namespace using the following command:

kubectl -n <instance_namespace> get secret <clustername>-jmx -o yaml --export | kubectl -n <application_namespace> apply -f -