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Event Processing in the Cloud – DataSift is a Big Proof Point

Twitter is probably the closest thing that we have that embodies the event cloud

In the past year or so, I’ve heard from many skeptics – people who didn’t believe that Event Processing could be successfully deployed in the cloud.  Granted, most of these folks represented firms actively engaged in providing the High Frequency Trading (Algo Trading) industry with tools.  And in that arena, cloud deployment probably doesn’t make sense.  Yet.

Close to Home Though
Ask people in Capital Markets about Twitter and the most common response you’ll get is, “What do people use it for?”  This is because most of the people in Capital Markets can’t use things like Twitter, instant messaging, or Facebook at work and if they can, it’s heavily regulated.  But the point is, that they mostly don’t get it – I myself was included in this camp until a friend of mine explained it to me.  Since thing, I’ve taken to Twitter like a fish to water.  My point here is that there are a lot more people in the world who know something about Twitter than High Frequency Trading.

So What?
I’ll tell you.  This past week we saw the announcement of DataSift; there’s a great video of DataSift in operation here.   I’m really impressed with DataSift’s capabilities – and although I don’t think their filtering capabilities incorporate CEP as some have claimed (I didn’t see pattern matching or windows in the demo) and I strongly disagree with Nick Halstead‘s claims that their offering is the only one out there with these capabilities, I think DataSift proves a very interesting point.

And That Is?
Twitter is probably the closest thing that we have that embodies the event cloud (via a single source anyway).  Ask 20 people what Twitter is and you’ll get 20 different answers.  My answer would be, “a living, breathing, consciousness – what’s the world thinking about right now?” And in that regard, Twitter is an “event cloud.”  And DataSift is querying and filtering that “event cloud” in real time – providing relevance, or extracting items of interest.  To you, right now – not tomorrow in a report on your desk or in a daily email digest.  Right now.  And they’re using an event driven architecture to do it.

The Conclusion
DataSift is processing the entire Twitter fire hose and although statistics are hard to come by in terms of what that means,  Mr. Halstead is readying the platform for release at web scale.  So , that’s big data in, and ‘sifted’ data out, to potentially millions of users and all simultaneously.  I think those who claimed, “The cloud is too slow for event processing,” might be eating some crow soon.

The Singularity Is Approaching
And you either get it, or you don’t.  And if you do, the question isn’t whether or not you’ll use tools like DataSift, but how soon.

And As Always...
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More Stories By Colin Clark

Colin Clark is the CTO for Cloud Event Processing, Inc. and is widely regarded as a thought leader and pioneer in both Complex Event Processing and its application within Capital Markets.

Follow Colin on Twitter at http:\\twitter.com\EventCloudPro to learn more about cloud based event processing using map/reduce, complex event processing, and event driven pattern matching agents. You can also send topic suggestions or questions to [email protected]