SMACK Stack is the collection of five BigData tools, including Spark, Mesos, Akka, Cassandra and Kafka (all are open source tools). This term was first introduced in 2015 when a group of programmers meet at a conference with the participation of Mesosphere – an US tech company based in San Francisco, developing software for data center based on Apache Mesos- and Mesosphere is also a company that has major contribution to popularize SMACK stack [1].

The aim of SMACK stack is to create an ideal enviroment with necessary tools and features for handling Big data (apart from batch-processsing, SMACK Stack has more focus on real-time processing). At present, SMACK stack is widely used in many Big data processing model, especially data streaming processing.

Five components of SMACK Stack are:

– Spark: Spark is an unified analytics engine developed for big data processing. It can be consider as the next version of Hadoop that improve the processing speed and address some shortcoming of Hadoop. In SMACK Stack, Spark is the main component used to process and analyze the collected data (more details of Spark can be found on the tutorial series of Apache Spark).

– Mesos: Mesos is a platform that other components of SMACK Stack can run on it. Mesos is installed on Clusters to manage and share resources between nodes and distribute works to each node to utilize all available resources of a distributed system. In other words, we can consider Mesos as an Operating System for Distributed System.

Mesos cluster consists of Master nodes and Slave nodes. Master node provide information about available resources of Cluster to the Framework and distribute works to Slave nodes. On the other hand, Slave nodes is responsible for completing assigned works. Normally, the operation of Mesos can be described with 4 steps below:

1. Slave sends information about its available resources to Master (Eg: Slave 1 has 4 CPU and 16 GB RAM can be used)

2. Master sends information about resources that cluster can provide to Frameworks

3. Scheduler of Framework responds to Master with the tasks to be processed (Ex: Task 1 needs 1CPU, 3GB RAM; Task 2 needs2CPU, 8GB RAM)

4. Master sends tasks to Slave and Slave uses its resources to complete the tasks. If Slave still has resources leftover, other Frameworks can use these resources to execute their tasks.

– Akka: Akka is an open source tool developed based on Actor Model to help developer build concurrent and distributed applications. In SMACK Stack, Akka is used to create Actors and each Actor carries out a specific task. Actors interact with each other using messages (more details of Akka can be found on the tutorials series of Apache Akka)

– Cassandra: Cassandra is a distributed NoSQL database to store a large amount of data in several nodes (more details of Cassandra can be found on the tutorials of Apache Cassandra).

– Kafka: Kafka is an open source distributed streaming platform based on Publish – Subscribe model. Producer publishes stream data to Kafka topics and Consumer subscribes to these topic to receive and process data produced to them. In SMACK Stack, Kafka is used to temporarily store data from various sources and then distribute to other components of the system (more details of Kafka can be found on the tutorials series of Apache Kafka).

Note: Each component of SMACK Stack can be replaced by a similar tool. For example, Apache Spark can be replaced by Apache Flink or we can replace Mesos by Hadoop Yarn,…


February 12, 2019