Batch Processing and Stream Processing

Batch Processing and Stream Processing

In this tutorial, we are going to discuss about Batch Processing and Stream Processing in system design. Batch Processing and Stream Processing are two distinct approaches to processing data in computing, each with its own use cases and characteristics. Understanding the differences between them is crucial for choosing the right processing method for a given task or application.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the Batch Processing and Stream Processing

Batch Processing

Batch processing involves processing large volumes of data that have been collected over a period of time. This data is processed in chunks or “batches,” typically scheduled at regular intervals.


  1. Volume: Processes large datasets.
  2. Latency: High latency, as data is processed in batches and results are available only after the entire batch is processed.
  3. Throughput: High throughput, as the system can be optimized for processing large volumes of data at once.
  4. Fault Tolerance: Typically has strong fault tolerance mechanisms, with the ability to retry entire batches in case of failures.

Use Cases

  • End-of-day reports.
  • Data warehousing and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes.
  • Monthly billing processes.
  • Large scale data analysis.
  • Periodic data aggregation


  • Hadoop MapReduce: A popular batch processing framework in the Hadoop ecosystem.
  • Apache Spark: Can perform batch processing through its core RDD (Resilient Distributed Dataset) APIs.
  • AWS Batch: A service that enables running batch computing workloads on the AWS cloud.
Stream Processing

Stream processing involves continuously processing data as it arrives. Data is processed in real-time or near real-time, allowing for immediate insights and actions.


  1. Volume: Handles continuous streams of data.
  2. Latency: Low latency, as data is processed as soon as it arrives.
  3. Throughput: Can handle high-velocity data streams but may process fewer data points per unit time compared to batch processing.
  4. Fault Tolerance: Needs to handle failures gracefully with minimal delay, often employing techniques like checkpointing to ensure data integrity.

Use Cases

  • Real-time monitoring and analytics (e.g., stock market analysis).
  • Live data feeds (e.g., social media streams).
  • IoT (Internet of Things) sensor data processing.
  • Fraud detection
  • Live dashboards


  • Apache Kafka: A distributed event streaming platform that can be used for building real-time data pipelines and streaming applications.
  • Apache Flink: A stream processing framework with strong support for event time processing and stateful computations.
  • Apache Storm: A real-time computation system that processes data streams with low latency.
  • Amazon Kinesis: A platform on AWS to collect, process, and analyze real-time, streaming data.
Batch Processing and Stream Processing
Key Differences
  1. Data Processing Time:
    • Batch processes large chunks of data with some delay.
    • Stream processes data immediately and continuously.
  2. Latency:
    • Batch has higher latency due to delayed processing.
    • Stream has lower latency and is suitable for time-sensitive applications.
  3. Complexity of Computations:
    • Batch can handle more complex processing since data is not processed in real-time.
    • Stream is more about processing less complex data quickly.
  4. Data Volume:
    • Batch is designed for high volumes of data.
    • Stream handles lower volumes of data at any given time but continuously over a period.
  5. Resource Intensity:
    • Batch can be resource-intensive, often run during off-peak hours.
    • Stream requires resources to be constantly available but generally uses less resource per unit of data.
Choosing Between Batch and Stream Processing

When to Use Batch Processing

  • When you need to process large volumes of data at once.
  • When low latency is not a critical requirement.
  • For complex transformations and computations that can be scheduled periodically.
  • For legacy systems or environments where batch processing is already established.

When to Use Stream Processing

  • When you need real-time or near real-time insights and actions.
  • For applications that require continuous data ingestion and processing.
  • When handling time-sensitive data such as monitoring, alerts, and live dashboards.
  • For event-driven architectures and applications that rely on immediate processing of incoming data.
Combined Approaches

Many modern data processing architectures leverage both batch and stream processing to balance between high throughput and low latency. For example:

  • Lambda Architecture: Combines batch and stream processing to provide both comprehensive and real-time views of data.
  • Kappa Architecture: Focuses on stream processing for both real-time and historical data processing, simplifying the architecture by treating all data as streams.

The choice between batch processing and stream processing depends on the specific needs and constraints of the application, including how quickly the data needs to be processed, the complexity of the processing required, and the volume of the data. While batch processing is efficient for large-scale analysis and reporting, stream processing is essential for applications that require immediate data processing and real-time analytics.

Batch processing and stream processing serve different purposes and are suited to different types of workloads. Understanding their characteristics, advantages, and use cases helps in selecting the right approach for specific business needs and technical requirements. Often, combining both approaches can provide a more flexible and powerful data processing architecture.

That’s all about the Batch Processing and Stream Processing. If you have any queries or feedback, please write us email at Enjoy learning, Enjoy system design..!!

Batch Processing and Stream Processing
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