You are viewing the documentation for the container-native version of IBM Event Streams.
Looking for the managed service on IBM Cloud? Click here.

Creating and testing message loads

IBM Event Streams provides a high-throughput producer application you can use as a workload generator to test message loads and help validate the performance capabilities of your cluster.

You can use one of the predefined load sizes, or you can specify your own settings to test throughput. Then use the test results to ensure your cluster setup is appropriate for your requirements, or make changes as needed, for example, by changing your scaling settings.


You can download the latest pre-built producer application.

Alternatively, you can clone the project from GitHub. However, if you clone from GitHub, you have to build the producer.


If you cloned the Git repository, build the producer as follows:

  1. Ensure you have Java version 8. Also, ensure you have Apache Maven installed on your system.
  2. Ensure you have cloned the Git project.
  3. Open a terminal and change to the root directory.
  4. Run the following command: mvn install.
    You can also specify your root directory using the -f option as follows mvn install -f <path_to>/pom.xml
  5. The es-producer.jar file is created in the /target directory.


The producer application requires configuration settings that you can set in the provided producer.config template configuration file.

Note: The producer.config file is located in the root directory. If you downloaded the pre-built producer, you have to run the es-producer.jar with the -g option to generate the configuration file. If you build the producer application yourself, the configuration file is created and placed in the root for you when building.

Before running the producer to test loads, you must specify the following details in the configuration file.

Attribute Description  
bootstrap.servers The URL used for bootstrapping knowledge about the rest of the cluster. You can find this address in the Event Streams UI as described later.  
ssl.truststore.location The location of the JKS keystore used to securley communicate with your IBM Event Streams instance. You can downloaded the JKS keystore file from the Event Streams UI as described later.  
sasl.jaas.config An API key is needed to authorize production to your topic, and must be added to the ‘password’ string. To generate API keys, go to the Event Streams UI as described later.  

Obtaining configuration details

Obtain the required configuration details as follows:

  1. Log in to your IBM Event Streams UI.
  2. Click Connect to this cluster on the right.
  3. Go to the Connect a client tab.
  4. Locate the details:
    • For the bootstrap.servers, copy the address from the Bootstrap server section.
    • To downloaded the JKS keystore file, go to the Certificates section, and download the server certificate from the Java truststore section. Set the ssl.truststore.location to the full path and name of the downloaded file.
    • To generate API keys, go to the API key section and follow the instructions.

You can secure access to your topics as described in managing access.


Create a load on your IBM Event Streams Kafka cluster by running the es-producer.jar command. You can specify the load size based on the provided predefined values, or you can provide specific values for throughput and total messages to determine a custom load.

Using predefined loads

To use a predefined load size from the producer application, use the es-producer.jar with the -s option:

java -jar target/es-producer.jar -t <topic-name> -s <small/medium/large>

For example, to create a large message load based on the predefined large load size, run the command as follows:

java -jar target/es-producer.jar -t myTopic -s large

This example creates a large message load, where the producer attempts to send a total of 6,000,000 messages at a rate of 100,000 messages per second to the topic called myTopic.

The following table lists the predefined load sizes the producer application provides.

Size Messages per second Total messages
small 1000 60,000
medium 10,000 600,000
large 100,000 6,000,000

Using user-defined loads

You can generate a custom message load using your own settings.

For example, to test the load to the topic called myTopic with custom settings that create a total load of 60,000 messages with a size of 1024 bytes each, at a maximum throughput rate of 1000 messages per second, use the es-producer.jar command as follows:

java -jar target/es-producer.jar -t myTopic -T 1000 -n 60000 -r 1024

The following table lists all the parameter options for the es-producer.jar command.

Parameter Shorthand Longhand Type Description Default
Topic -t –topic string The name of the topic to send the produced message load to. loadtest
Num Records -n –num-records int The total number of messages to be sent as part of the load. Note: The --size option overrides this value if used together. 60000
Payload File -f –payload-file string File to read the message payloads from. This works only for UTF-8 encoded text files. Payloads are read from this file and a payload is randomly selected when sending messages.  
Payload Delimiter -d –payload-delimiter string Provides delimiter to be used when --payload-file is provided. This parameter is ignored if --payload-file is not provided. \n
Throughput -T –throughput int Throttle maximum message throughput to approximately THROUGHPUT messages per second. -1 sets it to as fast as possible. Note: The --size option overrides this value if used together. -1
Producer Config -c –producer-config string Path to the producer configuration file. producer.config
Print Metrics -m –print-metrics bool Set whether to print out metrics at the end of the test. false
Num Threads -x –num-threads int The number of producer threads to run. 1
Size -s –size string Pre-defined combinations of message throughput and volume. If used, this option overrides any settings specified by the --num-records and --throughput options.  
Record Size -r –record-size int The size of each message to be sent in bytes. 100
Help -h –help N/A Lists the available parameters.  
Gen Config -g –gen-config N/A Generates the configuration file required to run the tool (producer.config).  

Note: You can override the parameter values by using the environment variables listed in the following table. This is useful, for example, when using containerization, and you are unable to specify parameters on the command line.

Parameter Environment Variable
Num threads ES_NUM_THREADS

Note: If you set the size using -s when running es-producer.jar, you can only override it if both the ES_NUM_RECORDS and ES_THROUGHPUT environment variables are set, or if ES_SIZE is set.