Apache Flink Pros and Cons

Apache Flink Pros

-Rahul Agarwal
Sr. Software Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Another feature is how Flink handles its radiuses. It has something called the checkpointing concept. You're dealing with billions and billions of requests, so your system is going to fail in large storage systems. Flink handles this by using the concept of checkpointing and savepointing, where they write the aggregated state into some separate storage. So in case of failure, you can basically recall from that state and come back.
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Sandesh Deshmane
Solution Architect at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
With Flink, it provides out-of-the-box checkpointing and state management. It helps us in that way. When Storm used to restart, sometimes we would lose messages. With Flink, it provides guaranteed message processing, which helped us. It also helped us with maintenance or restarts.
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Jyala Rahul Jyala
Sr Software Engineer at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
The documentation is very good.
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Hitesh Baid
Senior Software Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
The event processing function is the most useful or the most used function. The filter function and the mapping function are also very useful because we have a lot of data to transform. For example, we store a lot of information about a person, and when we want to retrieve this person's details, we need all the details. In the map function, we can actually map all persons based on their age group. That's why the mapping function is very useful. We can really get a lot of events, and then we keep on doing what we need to do.
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Apache Flink Cons

-Rahul Agarwal
Sr. Software Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
In terms of stability with Flink, it is something that you have to deal with every time. Stability is the number one problem that we have seen with Flink, and it really depends on the kind of problem that you're trying to solve.
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Sandesh Deshmane
Solution Architect at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
The state maintains checkpoints and they use RocksDB or S3. They are good but sometimes the performance is affected when you use RocksDB for checkpointing.
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Jyala Rahul Jyala
Sr Software Engineer at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
We have a machine learning team that works with Python, but Apache Flink does not have full support for the language.
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Hitesh Baid
Senior Software Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
The TimeWindow feature is a bit tricky. The timing of the content and the windowing is a bit changed in 1.11. They have introduced watermarks. A watermark is basically associating every data with a timestamp. The timestamp could be anything, and we can provide the timestamp. So, whenever I receive a tweet, I can actually assign a timestamp, like what time did I get that tweet. The watermark helps us to uniquely identify the data. Watermarks are tricky if you use multiple events in the pipeline. For example, you have three resources from different locations, and you want to combine all those inputs and also perform some kind of logic. When you have more than one input screen and you want to collect all the information together, you have to apply TimeWindow all. That means that all the events from the upstream or from the up sources should be in that TimeWindow, and they were coming back. Internally, it is a batch of events that may be getting collected every five minutes or whatever timing is given. Sometimes, the use case for TimeWindow is a bit tricky. It depends on the application as well as on how people have given this TimeWindow. This kind of documentation is not updated. Even the test case documentation is a bit wrong. It doesn't work. Flink has updated the version of Apache Flink, but they have not updated the testing documentation. Therefore, I have to manually understand it. We have also been exploring failure handling. I was looking into changelogs for which they have posted the future plans and what are they going to deliver. We have two concerns regarding this, which have been noted down. I hope in the future that they will provide this functionality. Integration of Apache Flink with other metric services or failure handling data tools needs some kind of update or its in-depth knowledge is required in the documentation. We have a use case where we want to actually analyze or get analytics about how much data we process and how many failures we have. For that, we need to use Tomcat, which is an analytics tool for implementing counters. We can manage reports in the analyzer. This kind of integration is pretty much straightforward. They say that people must be well familiar with all the things before using this type of integration. They have given this complete file, which you can update, but it took some time. There is a learning curve with it, which consumed a lot of time. It is evolving to a newer version, but the documentation is not demonstrating that update. The documentation is not well incorporated. Hopefully, these things will get resolved now that they are implementing it. Failure is another area where it is a bit rigid or not that flexible. We never use this for scaling because complexity is very high in case of a failure. Processing and providing the scaled data back to Apache Flink is a bit challenging. They have this concept of offsetting, which could be simplified.
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