I'm going through a series of tests with Kafka 0.8 to see what the failure cases are. One simple scenario is this:

1. Launch Zookeeper
2. Launch my consumer (written in scala) but don't launch a Kafka broker (I am not using replication in my configuration).

What happens in this particular scenario is that my consumer hits the createMessageStreams which internally makes 4 failed attempts and then it raises a ConsumerRebalanceFailedException:

kafka.common.ConsumerRebalanceFailedException: zfilter_vm-florin-ubuntu-d-12-1373675347482-ff93b841 can't rebalance after 4 retries
at kafka.consumer.ZookeeperConsumerConnector$ZKRebalancerListener.syncedRebalance(ZookeeperConsumerConnector.scala:397)
at kafka.consumer.ZookeeperConsumerConnector.kafka$consumer$ZookeeperConsumerConnector$$reinitializeConsumer(ZookeeperConsumerConnector.scala:681)
at kafka.consumer.ZookeeperConsumerConnector.consume(ZookeeperConsumerConnector.scala:205)
at kafka.consumer.ZookeeperConsumerConnector.createMessageStreams(ZookeeperConsumerConnector.scala:133)
at kafka.consumer.ZookeeperConsumerConnector.createMessageStreams(ZookeeperConsumerConnector.scala:126)
I was expecting a more specific exception - something like NoBrokerAvailable instead of this. I can add a catch clause for this exception and retry the operation in a loop until the broker comes online but I dislike the approach because I am making an assumption here - that ConsumerRebalanceFailedException means "no broker available". Is there a better way to do this? Do you have a pattern for consumers for when brokers go offline and come back up?

Thanks a lot!

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