FsShelter: a Storm shell for F#

I think, therefore I spam.

About a year ago Prolucid adopted Apache Storm as our platform of choice for event stream processing and F# as our language of choice for all of our “cloud” development.

FsStorm was an essential part that let us iterate, scale and deliver quickly, but even from the earliest days it was obvious that the developer experience could be improved. Unfortunately, it meant a complete rewrite of FsStorm:

  • FsStorm DSL is a really thin layer on top of Nimbus API model:
    • has explicit IDs when describing components in a topology
    • uses strings in all the names
    • matching of inputs/outputs is not guaranteed
  • FsStorm uses Json AST as it’s public API:
    • messages, tuples, configuration
    • serialization mechanism is hard-baked into the API

We’ve worked around some of the problems, usually by writing more code.

It actually makes sense that Storm itself doesn’t care about the type of the tuples/fields. It runs on JVM, which is very much typed…

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Real-time analytics with Apache Storm – now in F#

I think, therefore I spam.

Over the past several month I’ve been prototyping various aspects of  an IoT platform – or more specifically, exploring the concerns of “soft” real-time handling of communications with potentially hundreds of thousands of devices.

Up to this point, being in .NET ecosystem I’ve been building distributed solutions with a most excellent lightweight ESB – MassTransit, but for IoT we wanted to be a little closer to the wire. Starting with the clean slate and having discovered Apache Storm and Nathan’s presentation and I realized that it addresses exactly the challenges we have.

It appears to be the ultimate reactive microservices platform for lambda architecture: it is fairly simple, fault tolerant overall, yet embracing fire-n-forget and “let it fail” on the component level.

While Storm favours JDK for development, has extensive component support for Java developers and heavily optimizes for JRE components execution, it also supports “shell” components via its multilang protocol. Which is what, unlike Spark…

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Stormin’ F#

Faisal's space

Apache Storm is a scalable ‘stream computing’ platform that is fast gaining popularity. Hadoop and Storm can share the same cluster and the two complement each other well for different computing needs – batch for Hadoop and near-real-time for Storm.

Storm provides a macro architecture for executing ‘big data’ stream processing ‘topologies’. For example, one easily increase the parallelism of any node in the Storm topology to suit the performance requirements.

For streaming analytics, however, Storm does not offer much help out of the box. Often one has to write the needed analytic logic from scratch. Wouldn’t it be nice if one could use something like Reactive Extensions (Rx) within Storm components?

Luckily Nathan Marz – the original author of Storm – chose to enable Storm with multi-language support. While Storm itself is written in Clojure and Java, it implements a (relatively simple?) language-independent protocol that can be used with basically…

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