Presented By O’Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
March 5–6, 2018: Training
March 6–8, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Streaming big data in the cloud: What to consider and why

Bill Chambers (Databricks), michael dddd (Databricks)
11:50am12:30pm Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Secondary topics:  Graphs and Time-series
Average rating: ****.
(4.60, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Software engineers, data engineers, and streaming data engineers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of Spark, streaming and stream processing concepts, and big data

What you'll learn

  • Explore considerations for leveraging Apache Spark's Structured Streaming processing engine


Running streaming workloads successfully is a challenge regardless of whether you’re deploying on-premises or in the cloud. While buying a managed service is an option, it’s usually quite expensive. Therefore, many companies opt for open source streaming engines like Apache Spark’s Structured Streaming.

Apache Spark’s Structured Streaming consolidates all big data processing under a unified API. Built on the foundation of the Spark SQL engine, not only does Structured Streaming allow developers to express the same queries for batch as for streaming, but it also allows for different execution strategies for streaming processing, including microbatching for high throughput or continuous processing for low latency.

William Chambers and Michael Armbrust discuss the motivation and basics of Apache Spark’s Structured Streaming processing engine and share lessons they’ve learned running hundreds of Structured Streaming workloads in the cloud. Along the way, William and Michael deep dive into the internals of the Structured Streaming engine and explain why it’s suitable for a variety of uses cases.

Topics include:

  • How to successfully create business value with streaming
  • What makes a successful streaming use case and what doesn’t
  • A decision framework for choosing a streaming engine and architecture
  • The best advantages of streaming in the cloud (both storage and compute)
  • How to leverage cloud storage like S3 and Azure Blob Store for streaming workloads
  • How to successfully monitor and maintain your streaming applications
  • Future development
Photo of Bill Chambers

Bill Chambers


William Chambers is a product manager at Databricks, where he works on Structured Streaming and data science products. He is lead author of Spark: The Definitive Guide, coauthored with Matei Zaharia. Bill also created as a way to teach Apache Spark basics. Bill holds a master’s degree in information management and systems from UC Berkeley’s School of Information. During his time at school, Bill was also creator of the Data Analysis in Python with pandas course for Udemy and cocreator of and first instructor for Python for Data Science, part of UC Berkeley’s Masters of Data Science program.

Photo of michael dddd

michael dddd


Michael Armbrust is the lead developer of the Spark SQL and Structured Streaming projects at Databricks. Michael’s interests broadly include distributed systems, large-scale structured storage, and query optimization. Michael holds a PhD from UC Berkeley, where his thesis focused on building systems that allow developers to rapidly build scalable interactive applications and specifically defined the notion of scale independence.