Streaming with Apache Storm

Several previous posts briefly demonstrate some of my experiences on streaming data processing using mostly Kafka and Spark. Still we need to remember that we have realtime processing capability via Kafka and near-realtime processing capability using Spark. This is mostly due to the fact that Spark processes a stream of RDDs generated by some time window. In this article, let me quickly walk through some basic idea and example of streaming data processing using Apache Storm which is another popular streaming processing framework. Sadly, storm is not part of Cloudera package. So if you have a sandbox with Cloudera and you will be missing this storm.

Related articles

  1. Streaming processing (III): Best Spark Practice
  2. Streaming processing (II): Best Kafka Practice
  3. Streaming processing (I): Kafka, Spark, Avro Integration

Table of content

Package and versions

The following packages are required.

Packages Version Repository
mvn 3.3.9  
gradle 3.3  
storm 1.0.3

Storm build and installation

  1. Download the source code of storm from repo, enter the source directory, and build the code with maven

    mvn clean install -DskipTests=true
    cd storm-dist/binary/
    mvn package -Dgpg.skip -Dtest.skip
  2. Find the release package and unpack the tar ball

    cd target
    tar xvvf apache-storm-1.0.3.tar.gz
  3. Run from the bin/ folder inside the release package and you are ready to go.

Build streaming workflow with storm

Storm seems to have a pretty rich collection of APIs for connecting sources and processing streaming data. In addition, there is a so called trident API that provides, in my opinion APIs. I will make two separate examples in the following subsections using storm native APIs and trident APIs. Again source code can be found from my git:bigdata:storm.

Storm native API

Basically, to use native Storm API, I need to implement the interface of Spout and Bolt. For each of these, I need to follow the definition of the interface to implement a collection of processing functions.

Complete code can be found from my Github:bigdata:storm:native

  1. Define a Storm processing topology

    TopologyBuilder builder = new TopologyBuilder();
    builder.setSpout("spout", new RandomSentenceSpout(), 5);
    builder.setBolt("split", new SplitSentence(), 8).shuffleGrouping("spout");
    builder.setBolt("count", new WordCount(), 12).fieldsGrouping("split", new Fields("word"));

    The topology does the classical word count trick. The streaming flow starts from a input spout in Storm terminology. There two processing component bolt which does splitting sentences into words and counts the occurrence of each words.

  2. Define the spout (source)

    The source of this stream is a spout generating constantly some random sentences. I was a bit lazy here just to use a default Storm class RandomSentenceSpout.

  3. Define the bolt (processing unit)

    To write a bolt class, one needs to implement a interface e.g. BaseRichBolt in which execute() and declareOutputFields() functions need to be instantiated.

    • The first bolt to split sentence into words

      public static class SplitSentence extends BaseRichBolt {
          OutputCollector _collector;
          public void prepare(Map conf, TopologyContext context, OutputCollector collector) {
              _collector = collector;
          public void execute(Tuple tuple) {
              String[] words = tuple.getString(0).split(" ");
              for (String word : words) {
                  _collector.emit(tuple, new Values(word));
          public void declareOutputFields(OutputFieldsDeclarer declarer) {
              declarer.declare(new Fields("word"));
    • The second bolt to count the occurrence of words

      public static class WordCount extends BaseBasicBolt {
          Map<String, Integer> counts = new HashMap<String, Integer>();
          public void execute(Tuple tuple, BasicOutputCollector collector) {
              String word = tuple.getString(0);
              Integer count = counts.get(word);
              if (count == null)
                  count = 0;
              counts.put(word, count);
              collector.emit(new Values(word, count));
          public void declareOutputFields(OutputFieldsDeclarer declarer) {
              declarer.declare(new Fields("word", "count"));
  4. Fix the file by

    • Adding dependencies required

      dependencies {
          compile( 'org.apache.storm:storm-core:1.0.3' )
          compile( 'org.apache.storm:storm-starter:1.0.3' )
          compile( 'org.apache.storm:storm-kafka:1.0.3' )
          compile( 'org.apache.storm:storm:1.0.3' )
    • Adding a task to generate a fat jar including all required dependencies

      task fatJar(type: Jar){
          zip64 true
              description = "Assembles a Hadoop ready fat jar file" 
          baseName = + '-all' 
              doFirst {
              from {
                  configurations.compile.collect { it.isDirectory() ? it : zipTree(it) }
              manifest {
                  attributes( "Main-Class": "${archivesBaseName}/${mainClassName}")
          exclude 'defaults.yaml','META-INF/*.RSA','META-INF/*.SF','META-INF/*.DSA'
          with jar 
  5. Compile with

    gradle fatjar

    And run with storm command in the release package generated in the beginning of this post

    /Users/hongyusu/Codes/Packages/storm/storm-dist/binary/target/apache-storm-1.0.3/bin/storm jar build/libs/etl_storm-all.jar etl_storm.WordCountTopology

Storm trident API

I think Storm native API is not as friendly as it should be. If you think about the concept of functional programming and as the instantiation of e.g. Spark, Kafka, Cascading, one would expect similar operations in Storm. Luckily, Storm has this trident API which offer similar interfaces. And I think this is just great.

The following Storm trident example offers two isolated functionalities but I just put them together in one Java class.

Complete code can be found from my Github:bigdata:storm:trident

  1. First we need to define the topology for these two functionalities

    cluster.submitTopology("wordCounter", wordCount.getConsumerConfig(), wordCount.buildConsumerTopology(drpc));
    cluster.submitTopology("kafkaBolt", conf, wordCount.buildProducerTopology(wordCount.getProducerConfig()))
  2. Generate random sentence to a Kafka Stream

    public StormTopology buildProducerTopology(Properties prop) {
        TopologyBuilder builder = new TopologyBuilder();
        builder.setSpout("spout", new RandomSentenceSpout(), 2);
        KafkaBolt bolt = new KafkaBolt().withProducerProperties(prop)
                .withTopicSelector(new DefaultTopicSelector("testout"))
                .withTupleToKafkaMapper(new FieldNameBasedTupleToKafkaMapper("key", "word"));
        builder.setBolt("forwardToKafka", bolt, 1).shuffleGrouping("spout");
        return builder.createTopology();

    The block of code generates random sentences from a Storm Spout and send into a Kafka Stream with name testout.

  3. Word count from an input Kafka Stream

    • Define a Spout taking data from a Kafka stream

      private TransactionalTridentKafkaSpout createKafkaSpout() {
          ZkHosts hosts = new ZkHosts(zkUrl);
          TridentKafkaConfig config = new TridentKafkaConfig(hosts, "testin");
          config.scheme = new SchemeAsMultiScheme(new StringScheme());
          config.startOffsetTime = kafka.api.OffsetRequest.EarliestTime();
          return new TransactionalTridentKafkaSpout(config);
    • Define the topology

      private TridentState addTridentState(TridentTopology tridentTopology) {
          return tridentTopology.newStream("spout1", createKafkaSpout()).parallelismHint(1)
                  .each(new Fields("str"), new Split(), new Fields("word"))
                  .groupBy(new Fields("word"))
                  .persistentAggregate(new MemoryMapState.Factory(), new Count(), new Fields("count"))

      The topology will read data from the Kafka source, split sentences into words, and count the occurrence of each words and store into memory which can be queried on the fly

  4. Compile with gradle

    gradle fatjar

    And run with

    /Users/hongyusu/Codes/Packages/storm/storm-dist/binary/target/apache-storm-1.0.3/bin/storm jar build/libs/etl_storm-all.jar etl_storm.TridentKafkaWordCount

    At the same time, there should be a Kafka console producer constantly sending data (sentences) into the topic “testin”


In addition to Spark and Kafka, Storm is another good tool under Apache for streaming data processing. Storm provides both native API and so-called trident API which is a bit better and human friendly. With storm, one can implements real-time streaming processing which is similar to the concept of Kafka KStream but is different from Spark Streaming. However, Storm is not part of Cloudera.

Hongyu Su 12 March 2017 Helsinki