Apache Flume Introduction

 Apache Flume Introduction


Apache Flume is a distributed, reliable, and available system for efficiently collecting, aggregating and moving large amounts of log data from many different sources to a centralized data store.

The use of Apache Flume is not only restricted to log data aggregation. Since data sources are customizable, Flume can be used to transport massive quantities of event data including but not limited to network traffic data, social-media-generated data, email messages and pretty much any data source possible.

Apache Flume is a top level project at the Apache Software Foundation.

Apache Flume Architecture:

Data-Flow Model:

 Flume event is defined as a unit of data flow having a byte payload and an optional set of string attributes. A Flume agent is a (JVM) process that hosts the components through which events flow from an external source to the next destination.


Flume source consumes events delivered to it by an external source like a web server. The external source sends events to Flume in a format that is recognized by the target Flume source.

When a Flume source receives an event, it stores it into one or more channels. The channel is a passive store that keeps the event until it’s consumed by a Flume sink. The file channel is one example – it is backed by the local filesystem. The sink removes the event from the channel and puts it into an external repository like HDFS (via Flume HDFS sink) or forwards it to the Flume source of the next Flume agent (next hop) in the flow. The source and sink within the given agent run asynchronously with the events staged in the channel.

Multiplexing the flow:

Flume supports multiplexing the event flow to one or more destinations. This is achieved by defining a flow multiplexer that can replicate or selectively route an event to one or more channels.



The events are staged in the channel, which manages recovery from failure. Flume supports a durable file channel which is backed by the local file system. There’s also a memory channel which simply stores the events in an in-memory queue, which is faster but any events still left in the memory channel when an agent process dies can’t be recovered.

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