Amazon has announced Kinesis, a fully managed service for real-time processing of high-volume, streaming data.
The new service means it should be easier to write apps that interact with real-time data feeds such as click-streams from websites, social media feeds, or financial transaction logs.
According to its web page, Amazon Kinesis lets you store and process terabytes of data an hour from hundreds of thousands of sources. Apps that use Kinesis will be able to show data on real-time dashboards or send data to other big data services such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Map Reduce (Amazon EMR) or Amazon Redshift. The service deals with scaling to manage and process data streams of nearly any size. It also replicates the data across multiple Amazon Availability Zones to help ensure high durability and availability.
The advantage the new service offers over systems such as Hadoop is the support for streaming feeds of real time data. If you need to manage such data, there are open-source options such as Storm and Kafka, and commercial systems including Google BigQuery. Kinesis goes further in streaming than BigQuery, and takes care of the infrastructure and provisioning which you have to manage yourself with the open-source alternatives. What you get instead is a service where you only have to specify the data you want to work with, how much data you expect, and where the data should be sent to. Kinesis comes with a client library that takes care of aspects such as load balancing, coordination and fault tolerance, and you can use AWS Auto Scaling to create elastic, high-performance Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) processing clusters.
You can work with Kinesis either from the AWS Management Console, or by making an API call. Either way creates a data stream that captures and stores data as it is submitted. The data is then available to applications, open source streaming tools, and data stores such as Amazon S3 or DynamoDB.
As with the other two cloud-based services Amazon announced last week at its AWS re:Invent conference, Kinesis is currently only available as a limited preview and developers are with AWS accounts are invited to sign up to join a waiting list.