Streaming and complex event processing (CEP)

Discussion of complex event processing (CEP), aka event processing or stream processing – i.e., of technology that executes queries before data is ever stored on disk. Related subjects include:

Progress Apama

February 16, 2010

Quick thoughts on the StreamBase Component Exchange

Streambase is announcing something called the StreamBase Component Exchange, for developers to exchange components to be used with the StreamBase engine, presumably on an open source basis. I simultaneously think:

For reasons why, let me quote an email I just sent to an inquiring reporter:

February 5, 2010

The Sybase Aleri RAP

Well, I got a quick Sybase/Aleri briefing, along with multiple apologies for not being prebriefed. (Main excuse: News was getting out, which accelerated the announcement.) Nothing badly contradicted my prior post on the Sybase/Aleri deal.

To understand Sybase’s plans for Aleri and CEP, it helps to understand Sybase’s current CEP-oriented offering, Sybase RAP. So far as I can tell, Sybase RAP has to date only been sold in the form of Sybase RAP: The Trading Edition. In that guise, Sybase RAP has been sold to >40 outfits since its May, 2008 launch, mainly big names in the investment banking and stock exchange sectors. If I understood correctly, the next target market for Sybase RAP is telcos, for real-time network tuning and management.

In addition to any domain-specific applications, Sybase RAP has three layers:

Read more

February 4, 2010

Quick thoughts on Sybase/Aleri

Sybase announced an asset purchase that amounts to a takeover of CEP (Complex Event Processing) Aleri. Perhaps not coincidentally, Sybase already had technology under the hood from Aleri predecessor/acquiree Coral8, for financial services uses (notwithstanding that between Aleri Classic and Coral8, Aleri Classic was the one of the two more focused on financial services). Quick reactions include:

Related link

December 29, 2009

This and that

I have various subjects backed up that I don’t really want to write about at traditional blog-post length.  Here are a few of them. Read more

October 18, 2009

Introduction to SenSage

I visited with SenSage on my two most recent trips to San Francisco. Both visits were, through no fault of SenSage’s, hasty. Still, I think I have enough of a handle on SenSage basics to be worth writing up.

General SenSage highlights include:

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July 1, 2009


Eric Lai emailed today to ask what I thought about the NoSQL folks, and especially whether I thought their ideas were useful for enterprises in general, as opposed to just Web 2.0 companies. That was the first I heard of NoSQL, which seems to be a community discussing SQL alternatives popular among the cloud/big-web-company set, such as BigTable, Hadoop, Cassandra and so on. My short answers are:

As for the longer form, let me start by noting that there are two main kinds of reason for not liking SQL. Read more

May 21, 2009

Notes on CEP application development

While performance may not be all that great a source of CEP competitive differentiation, event processing vendors find plenty of other bases for technological competition, including application development, analytics, packaged applications, and data integration. In particular:

So far as I can tell, the areas of applications and analytics are fairly uncontroversial. Different CEP vendors have implemented different kinds of things, no doubt focusing on those they thought they would find easiest to build and then sell. But these seem to be choices in business execution, not in core technical philosophy.

In CEP application development, however, real philosophical differences do seem to arise. There are at least three different CEP application development paradigms: Read more

May 21, 2009

Notes on CEP performance

I’ve been talking to CEP vendors on and off for a few years. So what I hear about performance is fairly patchwork. On the other hand, maybe 1-2+ year-old figures of per-core performance are still meaningful today. After all, Moore’s Law is being reflected more in core count than per-core performance, and it seems CEP vendors’ development efforts haven’t necessarily been concentrated on raw engine speed.

So anyway, what do you guys have to add to the following observations?

May 18, 2009

Followup on IBM System S/InfoSphere Streams

After posting about IBM’s System S/InfoSphere Streams CEP offering, I sent three followup questions over to Jeff Jones.  It seems simplest to just post the Q&A verbatim.

1.  Just how many processors or cores does it take to get those 5 million messages/sec through? A little birdie says 4,000 cores. Read more

May 13, 2009

Microsoft announced CEP this week too

Microsoft still hasn’t worked out all the kinks regarding when and how intensely to brief me. So most of what I know about their announcement earlier this week of a CEP/stream processing product* is what I garnered on a consulting call in March. That said, I sent Microsoft my notes from that call, they responded quickly and clearly to my question as to what remained under NDA, and for good measure they included a couple of clarifying comments that I’ll copy below.

*”in the SQL Server 2008 R2 timeframe,” about which Microsoft wrote “the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2008 R2 will be available for download in the second half of 2009 and the release is on track to ship in the first half of calendar year 2010. “

Perhaps it is more than coincidence that IBM rushed out its own announcement of an immature CEP technology — due to be more mature in a 2010 release — immediately after Microsoft revealed its plans. Anyhow, taken together, these announcements support my theory that the small independent CEP/stream processing vendors are more or less ceding broad parts of the potential stream processing market.

The main use cases Microsoft talks about for CEP are in the area of sensor data. Read more

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