View the Project on GitHub VoltDB/app-fastdata

VoltDB Fast Data Example App

Use Case

The Fast Data app simulates real-time click stream processing. Click events are ingested into VoltDB at a high rate, then cleaned up and persisted into a data warehouse for historical analysis. Segmentation information is calculated in data warehouse and stored back into VoltDB. VoltDB uses the information to segment real-time events for per-event decisioning.

The click events can come from persistent queues like Apache Kafka. For simplicity, this sample app generates random events at a constant rate. Each click event contains basic information like source IP address, destination URL, timestamp, HTTP method name, referral URL, and the user agent string. More information can be included in a real-world use case.

The stream is ingested into VoltDB, cleaned up, then exported into a data warehouse like Hadoop for long term persistence. The data warehouse runs machine learning algorithm on the full historical dataset to segment the click events into clusters periodically. Each cluster is represented by its center. The cluster centers are sent back into VoltDB.

VoltDB uses the clustering information to further segment new click events into the corresponding cluster at real-time. VoltDB can use this to make per-event real-time decisions like what advertisement to show a user, or whether a user should be blocked for spamming.

Events are aged out of VoltDB after they are persisted in the data warehouse. This limits the dataset inside VoltDB to only include relatively hot data.

The example includes a dashboard that shows click stream cluster distribution, top users and top visited URLs in a moving window. All of these information is calculated from materialized views on relevant source tables.

Code organization

The code is divided into projects:

See below for instructions on running these applications. For any questions, please contact


  1. Before running these scripts you need to have VoltDB 4.8 or later installed, and the bin subdirectory should be added to your PATH environment variable. For example, if you installed VoltDB Enterprise 4.8 in your home directory, you could add it to the PATH with the following command:

    export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/voltdb-ent-4.8/bin"

Hadoop Demo

This demo requires a Cloudera Hadoop installation, whose configured services also include Spark. The demo consists of a VoltDB server writing export data to files stored in Hadoop, and a set of scripts, and programs that collect the exported data, compute k-means clusters on the collected data, and store the computations back to VoltDB.

  1. On the server where VoltDB is installed set the environment variable WEBHDFS_ENDPOINT to a WebHDFS endpoint that matches the following pattern

  2. Download this archive and unpack it on an Hadoop node

    $ tar -jxf fastdata-kmeans.tar.bz2
  3. Change your working directory to fastdata-kmeans and run the script when you to want to process exported data from VoltDB (see Demo Instructions section bellow)

    $ cd fastdata-kmeans
    # Assuming you are exporting to export/fastdata, and VoltDB is
    # running on volthost
    $ ./ export/fastdata volthost

    This script

    • Harvests the exported data by renaming the export base directory
    • Invokes the harvest.pig pig script to write the harvested data into a Parquet database
    • Starts a Spark job that computes the K-Means clusters on the data stored in the parquet database, and creates another parquet db with the resulting computations.
    • Invokes the load.pig script that reads the K-Means computation Parquet database, and writes its content back to VoltDB by utilizing the VoltDB hadoop extensions

Vertica Demo

  1. This example also requires Vertica installed on the same machine or a machine that the VoltDB machine has access to. A Vertica database must be created with the username dbadmin with no password. Once Vertica is running, set the environment variable VERTICAIP to point to the Vertica machine on the VoltDB machine. For example, if your Vertica is running on, run the following command on the VoltDB machine:

    export VERTICAIP=""
  2. VoltDB uses JDBC to export click events to Vertica. Vertica's JDBC driver must be present in the classpath before starting VoltDB. If your Vertica is installed in /opt/vertica, you can find the JDBC driver in /opt/vertica/java/lib/. Copy the JAR file in that directory to the VoltDB machine and put it in the lib/extension sub-directory in your VoltDB installation.

  3. To run the K-means clustering algorithm in Vertica, it requires the R language package to be installed. Please follow the instructions in Vertica documentation to install the R language pack.

  4. Copy the vertica sub-directory in the example to the vertica machine. This directory contains Vertica extensions for K-means clustering and loading data back into VoltDB. The following instructions assume that the directory is copied to /tmp/vertica.

Demo Instructions

  1. Start the web server

    ./ start_web
  2. Start the database and client

    # for Hadoop run
    $ ./ hadoop_demo
    # while for Vertical run
    $ ./ demo
  3. Open a web browser to http://hostname:8081

  4. For Vertica run the script on the Vertica machine to run the K-means clustering algorithm on the data in Vertica. You can run this command periodically to update the cluster model in VoltDB.

    $ /tmp/vertica/
  5. To stop the demo:

Stop the client (if it hasn't already completed) by pressing Ctrl-C

Stop the database

$ voltadmin shutdown

Stop the web server

$ ./ stop_web


You can control various characteristics of the demo by modifying the parameters passed into the LogGenerator java application in the "client" function within the script.

Speed & Duration:

--duration=120                (benchmark duration in seconds)
--ratelimit=20000             (run up to this rate of requests/second)

Instructions for running on a cluster

Before running this demo on a cluster, make the following changes:

  1. On each server, edit the file to set the HOST variable to the name of the first server in the cluster:


  2. On each server, edit db/deployment.xml to change hostcount from 1 to the actual number of servers:

    <cluster hostcount="1" sitesperhost="3" kfactor="0" />
  3. On each server, start the database

    ./ server
  4. On one server, Edit the script to set the SERVERS variable to a comma-separated list of the servers in the cluster


  5. Run the client script:

    ./ client