Dublin SMACK stack technology meet up

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As cloud technology continues to accelerate and businesses strive towards a paperless environment the number of digital documents we process is growing exponentially. Gone are the days that businesses need to go through archaic processes such as print, scan, sign, email – it’s a rabbit hole that takes up both time and money.

Here at Nitro we’ve been building out our cloud platform, Nitro Cloud, to help organizations transform their business processes. By moving to cloud-based document signing, sharing and collaboration, businesses can establish standardized collaboration processes while eliminating the paper dependency and gaining insight into how documents are accessed, used, and changed.

We’re extremely fortunate to have an incredible team of best-in-class engineers working on Nitro Cloud. Every day, these individuals use cutting-edge techniques to build, test, and implement new features and functions for the product. Beyond the work they do for Nitro, they’re also leading the charge to cultivate connections and relationships with other great engineering minds, because in the world of tech, knowledge-sharing is essential to forward progress.

That’s why tech meetups have always played a central role in our engineering program, and next week, on Tuesday 22nd September, we’ll be hosting another one. This is no ordinary meet up, however; not only will it be taking place in our new premises in Burlington Plaza, Dublin 4 (hooray!) but this time we’re bringing Dublin Spark together with Dublin Reactive to talk about Spark for data science and the SMACK stack.

For Tuesday’s event, we’re delighted to be welcoming Andy Petrella as our guest speaker. Andy built the Spark Notebook, a web-based application that allows data scientists to use the scientific method with Spark and has a huge wealth of experience with big data processing through his consultancy Data Fellas. He will talk about Spark Notebook and his experiences on some big data projects with Spark—a talk not to be missed by anyone with an interest in using Spark for data science.

Andy will be joined by two of Nitro’s engineering heavyweights—Chief Scientist Alexy Khabrov, visiting from our HQ in San Francisco, and Roland Tritsch, our new VP of Infrastructure. The two will partner to speak about the SMACK stack and demonstrate what can be achieved with it.

So what exactly is the SMACK stack, or as it has been called, the SMACK HARD stack (due to it being Highly Available, Resilient and Distributed by Default). Ultimately it is where Spark, Mesos, Akka, Cassandra and Kafka can be combined together to build big data pipelines. Here’s a brief run down on what each of them do:

  • Spark is the future of big data analytics. It is an all in one platform for batch processing (data at rest in files) and real-time data (data being streamed and processed as it happens).
  • Mesos – when you build a popular web service like Nitro Cloud, you have lot of different types of tasks to run. You have to deliver web pages to customers, expose APIs to customers so that they can integrate other applications to your applications; you have background jobs running to process data for analytics, and real-time processing of data when you need to make very fast decisions. Traditionally, all these different types of jobs were run on different servers. Mesos allows you to treat all your servers as if was one big machine, and it manages all the coordination between the different tasks to make sure they can all share the disk, memory and CPU resources available.
  • Akka is a toolkit for building fast, responsive applications.
  • Cassandra is a database originally built by Facebook and is used when data gets too big for traditional databases to handle.
  • Kafka is a messaging system that allows all of the above to work together.

The ideas behind all these technologies are captured in a set of ideas called The Reactive Manifesto – which lays out the best way to build these massively scalable systems. At Nitro we are building out a Reactive architecture using the SMACK stack as these great technologies allow us to build a highly responsive and extremely resilient solution—and very importantly, allows us to innovate much faster.

Want to come join us at this SMACK HARD technology meet up on Tuesday 22nd September for what promises to be a great evening? Then sign up here—and don’t wait! Space is limited.

To find out more about Nitro visit www.gonitro.com, and to learn about our open roles follow @NitroCareers on Twitter.