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Astra Streaming – The Data Infrastructure for Building Real-time Capabilities

Real-time data is a forcing function, pushing enterprises to fundamentally shift the way they think about data. Companies are competing to ingest, process, and act on data in shorter and shorter iterations to generate tangible value for their customers and to drive efficiencies in their business.

A common example of real-time data is clickstreams. Clickstreams allow you to capture each interaction a user has with your website or mobile app. As you capture this data, you gain comprehensive visibility into user behaviors, providing a clear view of how your users are actually using your application. By enriching clickstream data through data science, you can achieve a better user experience with more engaged customers seeing more relevant content and converting at a higher rate. 

Real-time data is the key to use cases such as fraud detection in the financial services industry where anomalous behavior is flagged and a decision of whether to approve or decline and payment must be made in a timeframe measured in milliseconds. Likewise, use cases such as intrusion detection in network security systems require a solid understanding of baseline behavior that can be used to detect and block potential cyber attacks that can cripple a company’s operations. As you dig into real time use cases, you’ll start to see that each of them has one thing in common: event streaming.

You can think of event streaming as a way of capturing data about individual events, and encapsulating that data into an aggregated sequence. We call that aggregated sequence an event stream. Event streams tell a story and capture the journey that a customer, a payment, a network event and so many other things have undergone. Being able to retrieve these event streams and use the insights they contain to take immediate action is the heart of real-time data. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of event streams within enterprises today range from incomplete to nonexistent. That’s because the most commonly used mechanisms to capture these events, namely legacy messaging platforms such as JMS and MQ, are platforms that predate the widespread need for real-time data. Instead, these platforms were optimized to deliver events and immediately purge them out of existence. This creates a major barrier for enterprises trying to execute their real-time data strategy and sets a low ceiling for the value they can extract as long as this barrier exists. 

Today we are pleased to announce that no enterprise will ever need to be constrained by these barriers ever again. 

Astra Streaming is now generally available. It is a cloud-native, event streaming service built on Apache Pulsar. Astra Streaming provides a drop-in replacement, with full wire-level API support, for Kafka, RabbitMQ, and JMS. This means that any existing applications that rely on these platforms can be immediately converted into a streaming app without any code changes. For enterprises that need to accelerate their real-time data strategy, the net result is instantly eliminating blind spots and bringing the entire data journey into focus.

Astra Streaming is available as a fully hosted SaaS on our cloud or yours. With Astra Streaming, you can deploy multiple clusters, in multiple clouds or hybrid clouds to ensure that you have full visibility into every event in your organization no matter where it occurs.

With the built-in capabilities of Pulsar functions, you also have a powerful way to quickly write code to perform in-stream processing of your event data. Using Java or Python, you can enrich, filter, and transform message data for efficient and lightweight event stream processing. And with a wide ecosystem of connectors, it’s easy to source event data from, and send event data to, any number of external data stores, messaging platforms or SaaS services for real time data integration.

This integration is particularly beneficial for Apache Cassandra users who are leveraging, or planning to leverage, Astra DB for their NoSQL data requirements. Astra Streaming integrates tightly with Astra DB’s change data capture capabilities, allowing you to ingest change streams into an Astra Streaming topic for additional processing with Pulsar functions or streamed out of Astra to a downstream system.

Likewise, Astra Streaming can structure event stream data and push it into an Astra DB database where it can be queried and processed with the full capabilities inherent to Apache Cassandra.

Together, Astra Streaming and Astra DB add up to the industry’s first solution that unifies data-at-rest and data-in-motion for all real-time data across clouds. And with unbeatable price/performance economics, Astra is the clear choice for any enterprise that is ready to accelerate their real-time data journey.

Ready to get started? Sign up for your Astra account today to get started with $25 free credit each month, which can be used for both Astra DB and Astra Streaming. 

Resources

  1. Astra Streaming
  2. What is DataStax Astra Streaming?
  3. Astra Streaming Release Notes
  4. Astra Streaming QuickStart
  5. Apache Pulsar
  6. Apache Cassandra
  7. Astra DB
  8. CDC for Astra DB
  9. JMS
  10. Apache Kafka
  11. RabbitMQ 
  12. Shatter Data Silos with DataStax Change Data Capture for Apache Cassandra
  13. Apache Kafka Real-Time Data a Key Cloud Trend for Enterprises in 2022
  14. DataStax Medium
  15. DataStax YouTube channel
  16. DataStax Developers Twitter 
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