How Does Your Real-time Data Look

Are all real-time distributed applications supposed to be designed the same way? Is the design for a UAV-based application the same as that of a command-and-control application?

In the case of a UAV-based application, a high volume of data gets created, only some of which is of interest to the base station. To preserve the radio link’s bandwidth, only the relevant information is transmitted. The application will use the data for post-mission analysis, so it also has persistence and data-mining needs. In contrast, a real-time command-and-control application needs low-latency and high-reliability, but has little need to persist or cleanse the data in real-time. No, all real-time distributed applications are not designed the same way. While we categorize both these applications as real-time with similar data-transmission characteristics, their architectures and designs vary significantly because the information that they manage and process varies significantly.

This paper characterizes the lifecycle of data in real-time applications—from creation to consumption. The paper covers questions that architects should ask about data management—creation, transmission, validation, enrichment, and consumption; questions that will determine the foundation of their project.

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