As Aerospike Inc. and Ably announce their partnership at this year’s Mobile World Congress L.A., the immediate questions it raises include – What real world problem does this partnership solve? How does the combined solution work? Who is it for?, And, Why should they care?

This blog post addresses those questions that are at the heart of this announcement.

So, let’s get started-

A) What real world problem does this partnership solve? 

This is a technology alliance, focused on delivering comprehensive edge-to-core real-time event and data processing, leveraging the Kafka ecosystem and the large developer communities that these two companies work with. The idea is to pre-test, pre-integrate, and co-sell the solutions, beginning with the IoT and mobile segments. These segments require handling of high frequency workloads with ever increasing amounts of data created at the edge. The seamless and pre-tested integration between data capturing (Ably) and processing (Aerospike) can go a long way to minimize that challenge. Together, the two companies aim at improving the end customers’ real-time digital experience. Essentially, Ably, with its suite of APIs, extends the benefits of Kafka from intranet to internet and Aerospike ensures that the internet-scale data volume and fast response requirements do not become a drag for that real-time experience. 

B) How does the combined solution work?

Both Ably and Aerospike have a focus on strong consistency and high reliability (99.999% uptime SLA). The respective solutions are also perfectly suited for a distributed architecture and predictable performance. These synergies make them a natural fit to jointly close the loop for event-driven data capture, transition, and processing (including read/write queries) capabilities.

The respective products provide best-in-class integrations with Kafka via connectors (take a look at Aerospike Connect for Kafka and the Ably Kafka Connector). Using Ably, Kafka and Aerospike together helps companies make the most of their Kafka investment in an event-driven architecture.

diagram: Example of real-time event-driven architecture for the combined Aerospike, Ably and Kafka solution
Figure:  Example of real-time event-driven architecture for the combined Aerospike, Ably and Kafka solution

Taking a step back, let’s look at what these two companies individually bring to the table-

Aerospike is a high-performance, high resilience database that spans multiple data centers and allows for un-interrupted access even during localized outages. It can deliver billions of transactions in real time and can give its customers resilience at a data level. The solution also excels in a much smaller server footprint – up to 80% fewer servers than alternative solutions –  resulting in a significant  total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction, thanks to the patented Hybrid Memory Architecture (HMA). In terms of how Aerospike fares against its other NoSQL database peers for performance metrics, please refer to multiple benchmark studies performed following industry best practices.

But, there is a catch.

To maintain the performance and reliability of the entire system at 10s or 100s of terabytes to petabytes, delivering data from end-users’ devices into Aerospike also needs to happen with high-availability, fault tolerance and at low-latency. When the data is sent over unreliable connections, or when sudden multi-region data center failures happen, that data can be lost before reaching Aerospike.

Here comes Ably, to guarantee the data transitions and deliveries into the Aerospike system.

Ably as an edge messaging platform is designed with resilience at its heart and mathematically modelled to work regardless of the volume of messages, number of connections opened, or the quality of the network. Ably is fault tolerant and ensures sufficient redundancy at a regional and global level to ensure continuity of service even in the face of multiple infrastructure failures, with 99.999999% message survivability. It delivers predictable 65ms round trip latency for the 99th percentile and guarantees message delivery, message ordering, and exactly-once semantics (even when the message is sent multiple times due to disconnection). So regardless of what happens in the transit, all data can be delivered to Aerospike. In terms of scale, Ably delivers over 550 billion messages to more than 250 million end-users each month via 15 datacenters and 205 edge acceleration points of presence. It is designed with multiple security mechanisms for data distribution across network boundaries, from network-level attack mitigation to individual message-level encryption, so the data remains secure throughout its entire transit. 

C) Who is it for?

The short answer is – whoever needs data ingestion and processing at speed and scale with resilience and guaranteed performance. While the combined solution can be positioned for Fintech, online sports/betting, or even healthcare verticals, the initial focus will be on IoT/connected devices and mobile use cases. The goal is to extend the enterprise-grade quality to the mass market of consumer/IoT devices.  

D) Why should they care?

Adding and handling event streaming are becoming a key piece of the puzzle for the IoT/telco edge. This joint solution directly addresses the challenges around that in terms of reducing friction, implementation time, and most importantly, cost. It also maximizes any existing Kafka (and event data streaming, in general) implementation with the easiest enablement of data flow in both directions.

Both Aerospike and Ably are completely dedicated to building the transparent and instantly scalable fully-managed infrastructure without compromising on performance (e.g. query speed).

With Aerospike’s and Ably’s co-investment into making real-time event-driven systems easier to build, maintain and scale, the solution allows developers to focus on what makes the product special, instead of handling connectivity and data processing challenges on the hosting infrastructure.

Last but not least, both Aerospike and Ably can offer fully managed solutions that only charge for what is used, so the client can scale costs up and down based on the usage.

At its core, the combined solution of Aerospike and Ably makes any infrastructure investment future-proof. The key behind that is the ability to handle unmatched scale. Aerospike recently published a white paper on running operational workloads at petabyte scale in the cloud on just 20 nodes. Being on track to reach one million devices per month by 2023, Ably also is offering the most scalable solution for what needs to happen prior to data ingestion. This guaranteed protection of today’s investments should motivate any customer with substantial scale to check out the combined solution.

For more information on the Aerospike and Ably partnership visit the press release here.