Data-Intensive Applications

Information on this page is taken from Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann.

An application is data-intensive if data is its primary challenge - the quantity of data, the complexity of data, or the speed at which it is changing - as opposed to compute-intensive, where CPU cycles are the bottleneck. A data intensive application is typically built from standard building blocks that provide commonly needed functionality; these data systems include:

  • Store data so that they, or another application, can find it again later (databases).
  • Remember the result of an expensive operation, to speed up reads (caches).
  • Allow users to search data by keyword or filter it in various ways (search indexes).
  • Send a message to another process, to be handled asynchronously (stream processing).
  • Periodically crunch a large amount of accumulated data (batch processing).

Most data-intensive applications are concerned with reliability, scalability, and maintainability.