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Thunderain is a Real-Time Analytical Processing (RTAP) example using Spark and Shark, which can be best characterized by the following four salient properties:

  • Data continuously streamed in & processed in near real-time
  • Real-time data queried and presented in an online fashion
  • Real-time and history data combined and mined interactively
  • Predominantly RAM-based processing

For more details, please refer to our presentation at the AMPLab retreat in May 2013.

The Thunderain example provide a basic RTAP framework that

  • Allows multiple application (App) to be defined, each of which is bound to a Kafka topic
  • Fetches data streamed in from the kafka message queue
  • Parses the data stream and then processes the parsed data for counting & aggregation (similar to RainBird) using Spark Streaming
  • Outputs the processed results to a cached table, which can then be queried through Shark

To define an App, the user need to specify

  • The parser (implementing AbstractEventParser) to parse the data stream; several parsers (e.g., ClickEventParser and WebLogParser) are provided in the example
  • One or more jobs, each of which
    • Performs an operation (implementing both AbstractOperator and OperatorConfig) on the streaming data; several operators (e.g., CountOperator, AggregateOperator and DistinctAggregateCountOperator) are provided in the example
    • Writes the processed results using an outputer (implementing AbstractEventOutput); several outputers (e.g., StdEventOutput, TableRDDOutput and TachyonRDDOutput) are provided in the example

For more details, please refer to wiki.

The Thunderain example provides two RTAP applications (i.e., clickstream and weblog), as defined in conf/properties.xml. They have been tested at our internal Spark/Shark deployment (which are available at and To run the applications, one needs to

  • Build the project by sbt package
  • Configure related properties (e.g., log4j, Spark fairScheduler, etc.) in the conf/ directory
  • Launch the framework by run thunderainproject.thunderain.framework.Thunderain <config file list>

The Thunderain example is open sourced under Apache License Version 2.0.


A Real-Time Analytical Processing (RTAP) example using Spark/Shark



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