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I haven't used Kafka yet, but a Kafka partition is roughly the same as a Kinesis shard, right?

Yes, but you have to set them up upfront and there is no API to split and merge partitions. If you add more partitions, it doesn't automatically re-shard for you either. I don't think it should automatically re-shard as it would cause a ton of disk and network IO, but just something to be aware of.

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