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Best practices for changing partition numbers

We have found that, for our application, having a number of total
partitions as a multiple of the number of consumer hosts is beneficial.
Because of this, whenever we add or remove consumer hosts, we have to
change the number of partitions in the server config.

What are best practices for changing the number of partitions? It seems
like adding partitions is fine but removing partitions would result in data
loss - am I right? Is that avoidable? Is it preferable to bring in new
servers with new partitions? Anything else I should keep in mind on this