Updates In Apache Kafka

Yeva Byzek announces that Apache Kafka 0.11.0.0 is shipping soon:

We are very excited for the GA for Kafka release 0.11.0.0 which is just days away. This release is bringing many new features as described in the previous Log Compaction blog post.

The most notable new feature is Exactly Once Semantics (EOS).  Kafka’s EOS capabilities provide more stringent idempotent producer semantics with exactly once, in-order delivery per partition, and stronger transactional guarantees with atomic writes across multiple partitions. Together, these strong semantics make writing applications easier and expand Kafka’s addressable use cases. You can learn more about EOS in the online talk on June 29, 2017.

“Exactly once,” if done right, would be crazy—there’s a reason most brokers are either “at least once” or “best effort.”

Spark Streaming Vs Kafka Streams

Mahesh Chand Kandpal contrasts Kafka Streams with Spark Streaming:

The low latency and an easy-to-use event time support also apply to Kafka Streams. It is a rather focused library, and it’s very well-suited for certain types of tasks. That’s also why some of its design can be so optimized for how Kafka works. You don’t need to set up any kind of special Kafka Streams cluster, and there is no cluster manager. And if you need to do a simple Kafka topic-to-topic transformation, count elements by key, enrich a stream with data from another topic, or run an aggregation or only real-time processing — Kafka Streams is for you.

If event time is not relevant and latencies in the seconds range are acceptable, Spark is the first choice. It is stable and almost any type of system can be easily integrated. In addition it comes with every Hadoop distribution. Furthermore, the code used for batch applications can also be used for the streaming applications as the API is the same.

Read on for more analysis.

Kinesis Data Generation

Allan MacInnis shows off a new data generation tool for Amazon’s Kinesis:

Amazon Kinesis Streams and Amazon Kinesis Firehose enable you to continuously capture and store terabytes of data per hour from hundreds of thousands of sources. Amazon Kinesis Analytics gives you the ability to use standard SQL to analyze and aggregate this data in real-time. It’s easy to create an Amazon Kinesis stream or Firehose delivery stream with just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console (or a few commands using the AWS CLI or Amazon Kinesis API). However, to generate a continuous stream of test data, you must write a custom process or script that runs continuously, using the AWS SDK or CLI to send test records to Amazon Kinesis. Although this task is necessary to adequately test your solution, it means more complexity and longer development and testing times.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a user-friendly tool to generate test data and send it to Amazon Kinesis? Well, now there is—the Amazon Kinesis Data Generator (KDG).

Check it out if you’re using Kinesis and need to do some load testing.

Storm In .Net

Ravi Peri explains how to use Apache Storm in .NET code on HDInsight:

Topology submissions can fail due to many reasons:

  • JDK is not installed or is not in the Path
  • Required java dependencies are not included
  • Incompatible java jar dependencies. Example: Storm-eventhub-spouts-9.jar is incompatible with Storm 1.0.1. If you submit a jar with that dependency, topolopgy submission will fail.
  • Duplicate names for topologies

/var/log/hdinsight-scpwebapi/hdinsight-scpwebapi.out file on active headnode will contain the error details.

At one point, I was big on Storm and really wanted a .NET client for Storm to take off.  Nowadays, I’d rather use Spark Streaming or Kafka Streams for the same kind of streaming data work.

Kafka + Spark Streaming

Kunal Khamar, et al, show how to integrate Apache Kafka with Spark’s structured streaming:

Kafka is a distributed pub-sub messaging system that is popular for ingesting real-time data streams and making them available to downstream consumers in a parallel and fault-tolerant manner. This renders Kafka suitable for building real-time streaming data pipelines that reliably move data between heterogeneous processing systems. Before we dive into the details of Structured Streaming’s Kafka support, let’s recap some basic concepts and terms.

Data in Kafka is organized into topics that are split into partitions for parallelism. Each partition is an ordered, immutable sequence of records, and can be thought of as a structured commit log. Producers append records to the tail of these logs and consumers read the logs at their own pace. Multiple consumers can subscribe to a topic and receive incoming records as they arrive. As new records arrive to a partition in a Kafka topic, they are assigned a sequential id number called the offset. A Kafka cluster retains all published records—whether or not they have been consumed—for a configurable retention period, after which they are marked for deletion.

Read the whole thing.

Real-Time Weather With HDF

Balaji Kandregula shows how to use Hortonworks Data Flow components to process weather events in real time:

It’s live weather reporting using HDF, Kafka, and Solr.

Here are the environment requirements for implementing:

  • HDF (for HDF 2.0, you need Java 1.8).
  • Kafka.
  • Spark.
  • Solr.
  • Banana.

Now let’s get on to the steps!

There are a lot of moving parts there, but the pieces do plug in well enough and there are a lot of screen shots to guide you along the way.

Pipeline Architecture With Kafka

Alexandra Wang describes how Pandora Media has used Apache Kafka for real-time ad serving using Kafka Connect:

Our ad server publishes billions of messages per day to Kafka. We soon realized that writing a proprietary Kafka consumer able to handle that amount of data with the desired offset management logic would be non-trivial, especially when requiring exactly-once-delivery semantics. We found that the Kafka Connect API paired with the HDFS connector developed by Confluent would be perfect for our use case.

We’ve also found it painful not having a central authority on data structures that can share their respective schemas across all services and applications. Without a central registry for message schemas, data serialization and deserialization for a variety of applications are troublesome and the pipeline is fragile when schema evolution happens. We found Schema Registry is a great solution for this problem.

To address the above two problems, we integrated the Kafka Connect API and Schema Registry into our Kafka-centered data pipeline.

Well worth reading, especially the difficulties that they’ve had during maintenance periods and in lower environments.

Architecting Kafka Streams

Bill Bejeck walks through a scenario in which one might use Kafka Streams:

Now, you’ve defined your source and we can start creating processors that’ll do the work on the data. The first goal is to mask the credit card numbers recorded in the incoming purchase records. The first processor is used to convert credit card numbers from 1234-5678-9123-2233 to xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-2233. The Stream.mapValues method performs the masking. The KStream.mapValues method returns a new KStream instance that changes the values, as specified by the given ValueMapper, as records flow through the stream. This particular KStream instance is the parent processor for any other processors you define. Our new parent processor provides the masked credit card numbers to any downstream processors with Purchase objects.

Unfortunately, this article seems like a mixture of high-level and low-level information that appeals more to people who already know how Kafka Streams works, but it is nevertheless interesting.

Introduction To Amazon Kinesis

Jen Underwood describes Amazon Kinesis:

Amazon Kinesis is a fully managed service for real-time processing of streaming data at massive scale. Amazon Kinesis is ideal for Internet of Things (IoT) use cases. It can collect and process hundreds of terabytes of data per hour from hundreds of thousands of sources, allowing you to easily write applications that process information in real-time, from sources such as web site click-streams, Raspberry Pi gadgets, devices, social media, operational logs, metering data and more.

With Amazon Kinesis, you can build real-time dashboards, capture exceptions, execute algorithms, and generate alerts. With point-and-click menus, you can ingest data, query it and then send output to a variety of destinations including but not limited to Amazon S3, Amazon EMR, Amazon DynamoDB, or Amazon Redshift.

Kinesis is powerful, especially if you’re already locked into the AWS platform.  My preference is Apache Kafka, but Kinesis is definitely worth learning about.

Structured Streaming With Spark

Tathagata Das, et al, discuss enterprise-grade streaming of structured data using Spark:

Fortunately, Structured Streaming makes it easy to convert these periodic batch jobs to a real-time data pipeline. Streaming jobs are expressed using the same APIs as batch data. Additionally, the engine provides the same fault-tolerance and data consistency guarantees as periodic batch jobs, while providing much lower end-to-end latency.

In the rest of post, we dive into the details of how we transform AWS CloudTrail audit logs into an efficient, partitioned, parquet data warehouse. AWS CloudTrail allows us to track all actions performed in a variety of AWS accounts, by delivering gzipped JSON logs files to a S3 bucket. These files enable a variety of business and mission critical intelligence, such as cost attribution and security monitoring. However, in their original form, they are very costly to query, even with the capabilities of Apache Spark. To enable rapid insight, we run a Continuous Application that transforms the raw JSON logs files into an optimized Parquet table. Let’s dive in and look at how to write this pipeline. If you want to see the full code, here are the Scala and Python notebooks. Import them into Databricks and run them yourselves.

This introductory post discusses some of the architecture and setup, and they promise additional posts getting into finer details.

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