Is there anything one can do to "defend" from:

"Trying to push more data than the brokers can handle for any sustained period of time has catastrophic consequences, regardless of what timeout settings are used. In our use case this means that we need to either ensure we have spare capacity for spikes, or use something on top of Kafka to absorb spikes."

Performance Monitoring for Solr / ElasticSearch / HBase - http://sematext.com/spmĀ 

NEW: Monitor These Apps!
elasticsearch, apache solr, apache hbase, hadoop, redis, casssandra, amazon cloudwatch, mysql, memcached, apache kafka, apache zookeeper, apache storm, ubuntu, centOS, red hat, debian, puppet labs, java, senseiDB