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Apache Flink vs Databricks comparison

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30,779 views|25,469 comparisons
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Apache Flink vs. Databricks and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,599 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"It is user-friendly and the reporting is good.""The event processing function is the most useful or the most used function. The filter function and the mapping function are also very useful because we have a lot of data to transform. For example, we store a lot of information about a person, and when we want to retrieve this person's details, we need all the details. In the map function, we can actually map all persons based on their age group. That's why the mapping function is very useful. We can really get a lot of events, and then we keep on doing what we need to do.""The top feature of Apache Flink is its low latency for fast, real-time data. Another great feature is the real-time indicators and alerts which make a big difference when it comes to data processing and analysis.""With Flink, it provides out-of-the-box checkpointing and state management. It helps us in that way. When Storm used to restart, sometimes we would lose messages. With Flink, it provides guaranteed message processing, which helped us. It also helped us with maintenance or restarts.""This is truly a real-time solution.""The setup was not too difficult.""The documentation is very good.""Another feature is how Flink handles its radiuses. It has something called the checkpointing concept. You're dealing with billions and billions of requests, so your system is going to fail in large storage systems. Flink handles this by using the concept of checkpointing and savepointing, where they write the aggregated state into some separate storage. So in case of failure, you can basically recall from that state and come back."

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"Databricks is a scalable solution. It is the largest advantage of the solution.""Databricks helps crunch petabytes of data in a very short period of time.""The most valuable feature is the ability to use SQL directly with Databricks.""One of the features provides nice interactive clusters, or compute instances that you don't really need to manage often.""The capacity of use of the different types of coding is valuable. Databricks also has good performance because it is running in spark extra storage, meaning the performance and the capacity use different kinds of codes.""Can cut across the entire ecosystem of open source technology to give an extra level of getting the transformatory process of the data.""Imageflow is a visual tool that helps make it easier for business people to understand complex workflows.""The built-in optimization recommendations halved the speed of queries and allowed us to reach decision points and deliver insights very quickly."

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Cons
"In a future release, they could improve on making the error descriptions more clear.""In terms of improvement, there should be better reporting. You can integrate with reporting solutions but Flink doesn't offer it themselves.""In terms of stability with Flink, it is something that you have to deal with every time. Stability is the number one problem that we have seen with Flink, and it really depends on the kind of problem that you're trying to solve.""One way to improve Flink would be to enhance integration between different ecosystems. For example, there could be more integration with other big data vendors and platforms similar in scope to how Apache Flink works with Cloudera. Apache Flink is a part of the same ecosystem as Cloudera, and for batch processing it's actually very useful but for real-time processing there could be more development with regards to the big data capabilities amongst the various ecosystems out there.""The state maintains checkpoints and they use RocksDB or S3. They are good but sometimes the performance is affected when you use RocksDB for checkpointing.""We have a machine learning team that works with Python, but Apache Flink does not have full support for the language.""The TimeWindow feature is a bit tricky. The timing of the content and the windowing is a bit changed in 1.11. They have introduced watermarks. A watermark is basically associating every data with a timestamp. The timestamp could be anything, and we can provide the timestamp. So, whenever I receive a tweet, I can actually assign a timestamp, like what time did I get that tweet. The watermark helps us to uniquely identify the data. Watermarks are tricky if you use multiple events in the pipeline. For example, you have three resources from different locations, and you want to combine all those inputs and also perform some kind of logic. When you have more than one input screen and you want to collect all the information together, you have to apply TimeWindow all. That means that all the events from the upstream or from the up sources should be in that TimeWindow, and they were coming back. Internally, it is a batch of events that may be getting collected every five minutes or whatever timing is given. Sometimes, the use case for TimeWindow is a bit tricky. It depends on the application as well as on how people have given this TimeWindow. This kind of documentation is not updated. Even the test case documentation is a bit wrong. It doesn't work. Flink has updated the version of Apache Flink, but they have not updated the testing documentation. Therefore, I have to manually understand it. We have also been exploring failure handling. I was looking into changelogs for which they have posted the future plans and what are they going to deliver. We have two concerns regarding this, which have been noted down. I hope in the future that they will provide this functionality. Integration of Apache Flink with other metric services or failure handling data tools needs some kind of update or its in-depth knowledge is required in the documentation. We have a use case where we want to actually analyze or get analytics about how much data we process and how many failures we have. For that, we need to use Tomcat, which is an analytics tool for implementing counters. We can manage reports in the analyzer. This kind of integration is pretty much straightforward. They say that people must be well familiar with all the things before using this type of integration. They have given this complete file, which you can update, but it took some time. There is a learning curve with it, which consumed a lot of time. It is evolving to a newer version, but the documentation is not demonstrating that update. The documentation is not well incorporated. Hopefully, these things will get resolved now that they are implementing it. Failure is another area where it is a bit rigid or not that flexible. We never use this for scaling because complexity is very high in case of a failure. Processing and providing the scaled data back to Apache Flink is a bit challenging. They have this concept of offsetting, which could be simplified.""There is a learning curve. It takes time to learn."

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"There should be better integration with other platforms.""Would be helpful to have additional licensing options.""Databricks is not geared towards the end-user, but rather it is for data engineers or data scientists.""Instead of relying on a massive instance, the solution should offer micro partition levels. They're working on it, however, they need to implement it to help the solution run more effectively.""There are no direct connectors — they are very limited.""The integration of data could be a bit better.""The product could be improved by offering an expansion of their visualization capabilities, which currently assists in development in their notebook environment.""The solution could improve by providing better automation capabilities. For example, working together with more of a DevOps approach, such as continuous integration."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This is an open-source platform that can be used free of charge."
  • "The solution is open-source, which is free."
  • "Apache Flink is open source so we pay no licensing for the use of the software."
  • "It's an open-source solution."
  • More Apache Flink Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Licensing on site I would counsel against, as on-site hardware issues tend to really delay and slow down delivery."
  • "We find Databricks to be very expensive, although this improved when we found out how to shut it down at night."
  • "The pricing depends on the usage itself."
  • "I am based in South Africa, where it is expensive adapting to the cloud, and then there is the price for the tool itself."
  • "The price is okay. It's competitive."
  • "Databricks uses a price-per-use model, where you can use as much compute as you need."
  • "There are different versions."
  • "The solution uses a pay-per-use model with an annual subscription fee or package. Typically this solution is used on a cloud platform, such as Azure or AWS, but more people are choosing Azure because the price is more reasonable."
  • More Databricks Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    The top feature of Apache Flink is its low latency for fast, real-time data. Another great feature is the real-time indicators and alerts which make a big difference when it comes to data processing… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Apache Flink is open source so we pay no licensing for the use of the software.
    Top Answer: 
    One way to improve Flink would be to enhance integration between different ecosystems. For example, there could be more integration with other big data vendors and platforms similar in scope to how… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Databricks gives you the option of working with several different languages, such as SQL, R, Scala, Apache Spark, or Python. It offers many different cluster choices and excellent integration with… more »
    Top Answer: 
    We researched AWS SageMaker, but in the end, we chose Databricks. Databricks is a Unified Analytics Platform designed to accelerate innovation projects. It is based on Spark so it is very fast. It… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Databricks is an easy-to-set-up and versatile tool for data management, analysis, and business analytics. For analytics teams that have to interpret data to further the business goals of their… more »
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 38 in Streaming Analytics
    Views
    7,130
    Comparisons
    5,506
    Reviews
    9
    Average Words per Review
    1,217
    Rating
    7.7
    1st
    out of 38 in Streaming Analytics
    Views
    30,779
    Comparisons
    25,469
    Reviews
    22
    Average Words per Review
    531
    Rating
    7.9
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Flink
    Databricks Unified Analytics, Databricks Unified Analytics Platform, Redash
    Learn More
    Overview

    Apache Flink is a framework and distributed processing engine for stateful computations over unbounded and bounded data streams. Flink has been designed to run in all common cluster environments, perform computations at in-memory speed and at any scale.

    Databricks creates a Unified Analytics Platform that accelerates innovation by unifying data science, engineering, and business. It utilizes Apache Spark to help clients with cloud-based big data processing. It puts Spark on “autopilot” to significantly reduce operational complexity and management cost. The Databricks I/O module (DBIO) improves the read and write performance of Apache Spark in the cloud. An increase in productivity is ensured through Databricks’ collaborative workplace.

    Offer
    Learn more about Apache Flink
    Learn more about Databricks
    Sample Customers
    LogRhythm, Inc., Inter-American Development Bank, Scientific Technologies Corporation, LotLinx, Inc., Benevity, Inc.
    Elsevier, MyFitnessPal, Sharethrough, Automatic Labs, Celtra, Radius Intelligence, Yesware
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Media Company11%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Mining And Metals Company14%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise11%
    Large Enterprise67%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise69%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise55%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Apache Flink vs. Databricks and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,599 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Apache Flink is ranked 4th in Streaming Analytics with 9 reviews while Databricks is ranked 1st in Streaming Analytics with 23 reviews. Apache Flink is rated 7.6, while Databricks is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Apache Flink writes "Scalable framework for stateful streaming aggregations". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Databricks writes "Has a good feature set but it needs samples and templates to help invite users to see results". Apache Flink is most compared with Amazon Kinesis, Spring Cloud Data Flow, Azure Stream Analytics, Google Cloud Dataflow and Apache Pulsar, whereas Databricks is most compared with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio, Amazon SageMaker, Azure Stream Analytics, Alteryx and Tableau. See our Apache Flink vs. Databricks report.

    See our list of best Streaming Analytics vendors.

    We monitor all Streaming Analytics reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.