Connecting to Apache Kafka on Heroku in a Private or Shield Space via PrivateLink
Last updated May 12, 2022
Table of Contents
This article describes how to use AWS PrivateLink to create a secure connection between an AWS VPC and an Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on provisioned in a Private Space or a Shield Private Space. This process involves three high-level steps:
- Creating an Endpoint Service on your Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on running in a Private Space or a Shield Private Space
- Creating an Endpoint Network Interface in your AWS VPC
- Establishing the secure connection between the two endpoints
As part of setting up the connection, you can specify a list of approved accounts to limit access to your Kafka add-on from the VPC.
Note that to use this feature, the Amazon VPC Endpoint you create must be provisioned in a subnet that is in the same region as your Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on.
The following Heroku resources are required to set up a PrivateLink endpoint:
A Private Space. This article describes how to create a Private Space using either the Heroku Dashboard or the Heroku CLI.
A Shield Private Space. This article describes how to create a Shield Private Space using either the Heroku Dashboard or the Heroku CLI.
A Heroku app running in the Private Space or Shield Private Space with an attached Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on. Note that all Apache Kafka on Heroku instances running in a Private Space or Shield Private Space use one of the
shieldplan types, respectively.
Provisioning the Heroku endpoint
Step 1: Install the Heroku Data via PrivateLink CLI plugin
$ heroku plugins:install data-privatelink
Step 2: Obtain your AWS account ID
You can obtain your AWS account ID with the AWS CLI like so:
$ aws sts get-caller-identity --output text --query 'Account' 123456789101
The example command above returns an account ID of
You can also obtain your account ID from the My Account page of your AWS account. The Account ID is shown in the Account Settings section:
Step 3: Create a PrivateLink endpoint
Create a PrivateLink endpoint using the following Heroku CLI command (note the values to substitute below):
$ heroku data:privatelink:create KAKFA_ADDON_NAME --aws-account-id ACCOUNT_ID --app APP_NAME
KAKFA_ADDON_NAMEwith the name of your Kafka add-on (for example,
APP_NAMEwith your app’s name.
ACCOUNT_IDwith the AWS account that should receive access to your Kafka add-on. This ID can match any of the following patterns:
You can specify the
--aws-account-id flag multiple times to include multiple accounts.
Here’s an example command with accompanying output:
$ heroku data:privatelink:create kafka-sushi-12345 --aws-account-id 123456789101:user/abc.xyz --app privatelink-vpc-endpoint-demo Creating privatelink... done Service Name: Provisioning Status: Provisioning The privatelink is now being provisioned for kafka-sushi-12345. Run heroku data:privatelink:wait KAFKA_URL -a APP to check the creation process.
New PrivateLink endpoints typically take between 5 and 10 minutes to become available. You can track your progress with
heroku data:privatelink:wait KAFKA_URL --app APP_NAME.
Step 4: Obtain your endpoint’s service name
When the PrivateLink endpoint finishes provisioning, use the following command to view its details:
$ heroku data:privatelink KAKFA_ADDON_NAME --app APP_NAME
KAFKA_ADDON_NAME with the name of your Kafka add-on, and replace
APP_NAME with your app’s name.
Here’s an example command with accompanying output:
$ heroku data:privatelink kafka-sushi-12345 --app privatelink-vpc-endpoint-demo === privatelinks for kafka-sushi-12345 Service Name: com.amazonaws.vpce.us-east-1.vpce-svc-0410a2e25933fe8ec Status: Operational === Allowed Accounts ARN Status arn:aws:iam::123456789101:user/abc.xyz Active Your privatelink is now operational. You must now copy the Service Name and follow the rest of the steps listed in https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/heroku-kafka-via-privatelink.
Copy the value of the
Service Name field from the command’s output (in the example above, the value is
com.amazonaws.vpce.us-east-1.vpce-svc-0410a2e25933fe8ec). You’ll need this value to provision the Amazon VPC endpoint.
Provisioning the Amazon VPC endpoint
You perform the steps in this section from your Amazon VPC dashboard.
Step 1: Create and configure a security group
Your endpoint requires a security group with appropriate ingress security rules. Click Create security group in the Security Groups tab of the your VPC dashboard:
Specify an appropriate security group name and description and select your desired VPC before clicking Create:
Select your newly created security group from the list and click Actions > Edit inbound rules:
Enable TCP access to ports
10000-11000 from any valid IP address and click Save rules.
Step 2: Create the endpoint
Navigate to the Endpoints tab of your VPC dashboard and click Create Endpoint:
In the Create Endpoint form that appears, select the Find service by name option and paste the
Service Name value you obtained earlier.
Then click Verify to display the list of available subnets:
Attach the security group you created earlier to the VPC Endpoint and click Create endpoint:
The endpoint is created with an initial status of
pending acceptance, which transitions to
available after 5-10 minutes:
Connecting the Heroku and Amazon VPC endpoints
After the Amazon VPC endpoint becomes
available, you can obtain the URL that allows your VPC to communicate with your Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on.
First, obtain your PrivateLink endpoint’s Endpoint ID and extract the 17-character string that appears at the end of it. Convert that string to upper case and use it in the command below.
For example, if the Endpoint ID is
vpce-01c87ae3c05563935, the Endpoint ID is
Run the following command, substituting the obtained string where indicated:
$ heroku config --app your_app_name | grep ENDPOINT_ID_HERE
This command displays the AWS VPC Endpoint connection URL and the corresponding connection string for your Kafka add-on. The connection string has the following format:
You can now use this connection string to connect the applications in your AWS VPC to your Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on. Here’s an example command with accompanying output:
$ heroku config --app privatelink-vpc-endpoint-demo | grep 01C87AE3C05563935 KAFKA_ENDPOINT_01C87AE3C05563935_URL: kafka+ssl://vpc-endpoint-dns-name:10001,kafka+ssl://vpc-endpoint-dns-name:10002,kafka+ssl://vpc-endpoint-dns-name:10003
For any issues or concerns with using this feature, please open a support ticket.
- The Amazon VPC Endpoint you create must be provisioned in a subnet that is in the same region as your Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on.
- You can only connect to your Kafka add-on in Availability Zones that are common between your own VPC and the Heroku Data VPC.
- It is your responsibility to verify the security of your VPC to ensure fully secure access to your Apache Kafka on Heroku add-on.