Production Readiness Checklist

Before running a production workload on Redpanda, follow this readiness checklist to ensure that you’re set up for success. Redpanda Data recommends using the automated deployment instructions with Ansible. If you cannot deploy with Ansible, use the manual deployment instructions.

Level 1 production readiness

The Level 1 readiness checklist helps you to confirm that:

  • All required defaults and configuration items are specified.

  • You have the optimal hardware setup.

  • Security is enabled.

  • You are set up to run in production.

Redpanda license

Check that the Redpanda License has been loaded into the cluster configuration. This is required to enable Enterprise features.

Input
rpk cluster license info
Output
LICENSE INFORMATION
===================
Organization:      Redpanda Owlshop LLC
Type:              enterprise
Expires:           Mar 25 2025

Cluster health

Check that all brokers are connected and running. Run rpk cluster info to check the health of the cluster. No nodes should be down, and there should be zero leaderless or under-replicated partitions. Then run rpk cluster health. The cluster should be listed as healthy.

Input
rpk cluster info
Output
CLUSTER
=======
redpanda.be267958-279d-49cd-ae86-98fc7ed2de48

BROKERS
=======
ID    HOST            PORT  RACK
0*    54.70.51.189    9092  us-west-2a
1     35.93.178.18    9092  us-west-2b
2     35.91.121.126   9092  us-west-2c
Input
rpk cluster health
Output
CLUSTER HEALTH OVERVIEW
=======================
Healthy:                          true
Unhealthy reasons:                []
Controller ID:                    0
All nodes:                        [0 1 2]
Nodes down:                       []
Leaderless partitions (0):        []
Under-replicated partitions (0):  []

Production mode enabled

Check that Redpanda is running in production mode. To check the status of a Redpanda broker, check its broker configuration in /etc/redpanda/redpanda.yaml. Both developer_mode and overprovisioned should be false or should not be present in the file. If either configuration is set to true on any broker, then the cluster is not in full production mode and must be corrected.

Input
grep -E 'developer_mode|overprovisioned' /etc/redpanda/redpanda.yaml
Output
    developer_mode: false
    overprovisioned: false

System meets Redpanda requirements

Run sudo rpk redpanda check to ensure that your system meets Redpanda’s requirements.

This command requires sudo because it’s looking in /proc or /sys, which may be read restricted.
Input
sudo rpk redpanda check
Output
System check results
CONDITION                                          REQUIRED      CURRENT          SEVERITY  PASSED
Ballast file present                               true          true             Warning   true
Clock Source                                       tsc           tsc              Warning   true
Config file valid                                  true          true             Fatal     true
Connections listen backlog size                    >= 4096       4096             Warning   true
Data directory filesystem type                     xfs           xfs              Warning   true
Data directory is writable                         true          true             Fatal     true
Data partition free space [GB]                     >= 10         1755.29          Warning   true
Dir '/var/lib/redpanda/data' IRQs affinity set     true          true             Warning   true
Dir '/var/lib/redpanda/data' IRQs affinity static  true          true             Warning   true
Dir '/var/lib/redpanda/data' nomerges tuned        true          true             Warning   true
Dir '/var/lib/redpanda/data' scheduler tuned       true          true             Warning   true
Free memory per CPU [MB]                           2048 per CPU  7659             Warning   true
Fstrim systemd service and timer active            true          true             Warning   true
I/O config file present                            true          true             Warning   true
Kernel Version                                     3.19          5.15.0-1056-aws  Warning   true
Max AIO Events                                     >= 1048576    1048576          Warning   true
Max syn backlog size                               >= 4096       4096             Warning   true
NIC IRQs affinity static                           true          true             Warning   true
NTP Synced                                         true          true             Warning   true
RFS Table entries                                  >= 32768      32768            Warning   true
Swap enabled                                       true          true             Warning   true
Swappiness                                         1             1                Warning   true
Transparent huge pages active                      true          true             Warning   true

Latest Redpanda version

Check that Redpanda is running the latest point release on every node for the major version you’re on.

Input
/usr/bin/redpanda --version
Output
24.1.11 - fd1508a

Correct CPUs and memory configured

Check that you have the correct number of CPUs and sufficient memory to run Redpanda.

Input
journalctl -u redpanda | grep "System resources"
Output
Mar 25 12:16:18 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3957]: INFO  2024-03-25 12:16:18,105 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:350 - System resources: { cpus: 8, available memory: 55.578GiB, reserved memory: 3.890GiB}

Disks correctly mounted

Check that the correct disks are mounted, and if multiple devices are used, they are configured as RAID-0. Other RAID configurations can have significantly worse latencies. The file system should be type XFS. If XFS is unavailable, ext4 is an appropriate alternative.

Input
grep data_directory /etc/redpanda/redpanda.yaml
    data_directory: /var/lib/redpanda/data
df -khT /var/lib/redpanda/data
Output for NVMe with XFS
Filesystem     Type  Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/nvme0n1   xfs   1.8T   14G  1.8T   1% /mnt/vectorized
Output for madm RAID mount point
Filesystem     Type  Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/md0       xfs    14T   99G   14T   1% /mnt/vectorized

Example for how to get more details about the RAID array:

Input
mdadm --detail /dev/md0
Output
/dev/md0:
           Version : 1.2
     Creation Time : Thu Apr 18 11:03:46 2024
        Raid Level : raid0
        Array Size : 14648172544 (13969.59 GiB 14999.73 GB)
      Raid Devices : 2
     Total Devices : 2
       Persistence : Superblock is persistent

       Update Time : Thu Apr 18 11:03:46 2024
             State : clean
    Active Devices : 2
   Working Devices : 2
    Failed Devices : 0
     Spare Devices : 0

            Layout : -unknown-
        Chunk Size : 512K

Consistency Policy : none

              Name : ip-172-31-24-82:0  (local to host ip-172-31-24-82)
              UUID : e9574118:10d562bf:ed3ca2d9:68ccc3a6
            Events : 0

    Number   Major   Minor   RaidDevice State
       0     259        2        0      active sync   /dev/nvme2n1
       1     259        0        1      active sync   /dev/nvme1n1

Use these results to verify that the expected disks are present and the expected RAID level is set. (Typically, this would be raid0 in a production system, as data resilience is provided by Raft across Redpanda brokers, rather than by RAID.)

Authentication enabled

Check that authentication is set up (or other mitigations are in place). Without SASL authentication enabled, anybody can potentially connect to the Redpanda brokers.

Input
rpk cluster config get kafka_enable_authorization
Output
true

Superusers configured

Check that the Admin API is secured, and any users defined in the superusers configuration are appropriately protected with strong credentials.

See also: Create superusers

TLS enabled

Check that all public interfaces have TLS enabled.

Input
journalctl -u redpanda.service | grep tls
Output
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,513 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - redpanda.cloud_storage_disable_tls:0        - Disable TLS for all S3 connections
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,514 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - redpanda.kafka_mtls_principal_mapping_rules:{nullopt}        - Principal Mapping Rules for mTLS Authentication on the Kafka API
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,514 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - **redpanda.admin_api_tls:{{name: , tls_config: { enabled: 1** key/cert files: {{ key_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.key cert_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.crt }} ca file: {/etc/redpanda/certs/truststore.pem} client_auth_required: 0 }}}        - TLS configuration for admin HTTP server
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,515 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - **redpanda.kafka_api_tls:{{name: , tls_config: { enabled: 1** key/cert files: {{ key_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.key cert_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.crt }} ca file: {/etc/redpanda/certs/truststore.pem} client_auth_required: 0 }}}        - TLS configuration for Kafka API endpoint
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,515 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - **redpanda.rpc_server_tls:{ enabled: 1** key/cert files: {{ key_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.key cert_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.crt }} ca file: {/etc/redpanda/certs/truststore.pem} client_auth_required: 0 }        - TLS configuration for RPC server
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,515 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - pandaproxy.pandaproxy_api_tls:{}        - TLS configuration for Pandaproxy api
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,515 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - **pandaproxy_client.broker_tls:{ enabled: 1** key/cert files: {{ key_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.key cert_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.crt }} ca file: {/etc/redpanda/certs/truststore.pem} client_auth_required: 0 }        - TLS configuration for the brokers
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,515 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - **schema_registry.schema_registry_api_tls:{{name: , tls_config: { enabled: 1** key/cert files: {{ key_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.key cert_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.crt }} ca file: {/etc/redpanda/certs/truststore.pem} client_auth_required: 0 }}}        - TLS configuration for Schema Registry API
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,515 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - **schema_registry_client.broker_tls:{ enabled: 1** key/cert files: {{ key_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.key cert_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.crt }} ca file: {/etc/redpanda/certs/truststore.pem} client_auth_required: 0 }        - TLS configuration for the brokers
Jun 06 12:41:35 ip-172-31-31-199 rpk[9673]: INFO  2024-06-06 12:41:35,515 [shard 0:main] main - application.cc:772 - audit_log_client.broker_tls:{ enabled: 1 key/cert files: {{ key_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.key cert_file: /etc/redpanda/certs/node.crt }} ca file: {/etc/redpanda/certs/truststore.pem} client_auth_required: 0 }        - TLS configuration for the brokers

Using the logs on each broker, check to verify that the following interfaces have TLS enabled:

  • Kafka API

  • Admin REST API

  • Internal RPC Server

  • Schema Registry

  • HTTP Proxy (Pandaproxy)

In the logs, verify enabled: 1.

See also: Multiple listeners

Run Redpanda tuners

Check that you have run tuners on all cluster hosts. This can have a significant impact on latency and throughput. Redpanda tuners ensure that the operating system is configured for optimal performance. In Kubernetes, you may need to run the tuners on the hosts themselves, rather than in containers.

Input
systemctl status redpanda-tuner
Output
redpanda-tuner.service - Redpanda Tuner
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/redpanda-tuner.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (exited) since Mon 2024-03-25 12:03:51 UTC; 48min ago
    Process: 3795 ExecStart=/usr/bin/rpk redpanda tune all $CPUSET (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 3795 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)

Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: cpu                    true     true     true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: disk_irq               true     true     true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: disk_nomerges          true     true     true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: disk_scheduler         true     true     true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: disk_write_cache       false    true     false      Disk write cache tuner is only supported in GCP
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: fstrim                 false    false    true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: net                    true     true     true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: swappiness             true     true     true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 rpk[3795]: transparent_hugepages  false    false    true
Mar 25 12:03:51 ip-172-31-10-199 systemd[1]: Finished Redpanda Tuner.

Check that rpk iotune has been run on all hosts. Ensure that the mountpoint listed in this configuration file matches the mountpoint for Redpanda’s data directory, usually /var/lib/redpanda. See Generate optimal I/O configuration settings.

See also:

Input
cat /etc/redpanda/io-config.yaml
disks:
  - mountpoint: /mnt/vectorized
    read_iops: 413115
    read_bandwidth: 1882494592
    write_iops: 182408
    write_bandwidth: 788050688

Check disk performance

Run rpk cluster self-test status to ensure that disk performance is within an acceptable range.

Input
rpk cluster self-test status
Output
NODE ID: 1 | STATUS: IDLE
=========================
NAME        512KB sequential r/w throughput disk test
INFO        write run
TYPE        disk
TEST ID     e13b2c93-2417-458b-87be-fac409089513
TIMEOUTS    0
DURATION    30000ms
IOPS        984 req/sec
THROUGHPUT  492.1MiB/sec
LATENCY     P50     P90     P99     P999    MAX
            4095us  4095us  4351us  4607us  5119us

Advertised hostnames use correct interfaces

Check that the advertised hostnames are operating on the correct network interfaces. For clusters with multiple interfaces (for example, a public and private IP address), set advertised_kafka_api to the public interface and set advertised_rpc_api to the private interface. These should be hostnames, not IP addresses.

Example
grep -A2 advertised /etc/redpanda/redpanda.yaml
    advertised_kafka_api:
    -   address: myhostname.customdomain.com
        port: '9092'
    advertised_rpc_api:
        address: myinternalhostname.customdomain.com
        port: '33145'

Confirm Continuous Data Balancing configuration

Input
rpk cluster config get partition_autobalancing_mode
Output
continuous

Generate debug bundle

Check that you can generate a debug bundle from each host and upload it to Redpanda support. This is how you can collect data and export it to Redpanda support.

Input
sudo rpk debug bundle
Output
Creating bundle file...
Debug bundle saved to '1711372017-bundle.zip'

See also:

Topic replication factor

Check that all topics have a replication factor greater than one.

Input
rpk topic list
Output
NAME   PARTITIONS  REPLICAS
bad    1           1
good   1           3

Redpanda Data recommends that you set minimum_topic_replications and default_topic_replications to at least 3.

rpk cluster config set minimum_topic_replications=3
rpk cluster config set default_topic_replications=3

No brokers in maintenance mode

Check that no brokers are in maintenance mode.

Input
rpk cluster maintenance status
Output
NODE-ID  ENABLED  FINISHED  ERRORS  PARTITIONS  ELIGIBLE  TRANSFERRING  FAILED
1        false    -         -       -           -         -             -
2        false    -         -       -           -         -             -
3        false    -         -       -           -         -             -

No brokers in decommissioned state

Check that no brokers are in a decommissioned state.

Input
rpk redpanda admin brokers list
Output
NODE-ID  NUM-CORES  MEMBERSHIP-STATUS  IS-ALIVE  BROKER-VERSION
0        1          active             true      v24.1.6 - 5e880f6fd1a610d0991b00e32c012a03b14888ca
1        1          active             true      v24.1.6 - 5e880f6fd1a610d0991b00e32c012a03b14888ca
2        1          active             true      v24.1.6 - 5e880f6fd1a610d0991b00e32c012a03b14888ca

Level 2 production readiness

The Level 2 readiness checklist confirms that you can monitor and support your environment on a sustained basis. It includes the following checks:

  • You have adhered to 2-day operations best practices.

  • You can diagnose and recover from issues or failures.

Environment configuration

Check that you have a development environment or test environment configured to evaluate upgrades and new versions before rolling them straight to production.

Monitoring

Check that monitoring is configured with Prometheus, Grafana, or Datadog to scrape metrics from all Redpanda brokers at a regular interval.

System log retention

Check that system logs are being captured and stored for an appropriate period of time (minimally, 7 days). On bare metal, this may be journald. On Kubernetes you may need to have fluentd or an equivalent configured, with logs sent to a central location.

See also: rpk debug bundle

Upgrade policy

Check that you have an upgrade policy defined and implemented. Redpanda Enterprise supports rolling upgrades, so upgrades do not require downtime. However, make sure that upgrades are scheduled on a regular basis, ideally using automation such as Ansible or Helm.

High availability

If you have high availability requirements, check that the cluster is configured across multiple availability zones or fault domains.

Input
rpk cluster info
Output
CLUSTER
=======
redpanda.be267958-279d-49cd-ae86-98fc7ed2de48

BROKERS
=======
ID    HOST            PORT  RACK
0*    54.70.51.189    9092  us-west-2a
1     35.93.178.18    9092  us-west-2b
2     35.91.121.126   9092  us-west-2c

Check that rack awareness is configured correctly.

Input
rpk cluster config get enable_rack_awareness
Output
true

See also:

Level 3 production readiness

The Level 3 readiness checklist ensures full enterprise readiness. This indicates that your system is operating at the highest level of availability and can prevent or recover from the most serious incidents. The Level 3 readiness confirms the following:

  • You are proactively monitoring mission-critical workloads, business continuity solutions, and integration into enterprise security systems.

  • Your enterprise is ready to run mission-critical workloads.

Configure alerts

A standard set of alerts for Grafana or Prometheus is provided in the GitHub Redpanda observability repo. However, you should customize these alerts for your specific needs.

See also: Monitoring Metrics

Backup and disaster recovery (DR) solution

Check that you have a backup and disaster recovery (DR) solution in place. You can configure backup and restore using Tiered Storage Whole Cluster Recovery.

Be sure to confirm that the backup and DR solution has been tested.

For disaster recovery, confirm that a standby cluster is configured and running with replication (such as MirrorMaker2). Also verify that your monitoring ensures that MirrorMaker2 is running and checks replication traffic. See High-availability deployment of Redpanda: Patterns and considerations for more details about HA and DR options.

Deployment automation

Review your deployment automation. Specifically, if you need to reprovision a cluster, ensure that cluster installation is managed using automation such as Terraform, Ansible, or Helm, and that the configuration is saved in source control.

Audit logs

Check that your audit logs are forwarded to an enterprise security information and event management (SIEM) system.