AWS Kinesis

Kinesis is a fully managed service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows developers to capture, store, and process real-time streaming data at scale.

By - Manish Kumar Barnwal
Updated on
August 21, 2023


What is AWS Kinesis?

AWS Kinesis works on the principle of data streams, where data is continuously ingested from sources such as IoT devices, log files, social media feeds, and more. The data is divided into shards, which can handle a specific rate of data read and write operations. Data consumers, such as applications or analytics services, can then read and process the data from these streams. It provides several components to handle different aspects of streaming data ingestion, processing, and storage:

  • AWS Kinesis Data Streams: It is a serverless streaming data service that simplifies the capture, processing, and storage of data streams at any scale. Data Streams allows you to ingest real-time data from various sources like video, audio, application logs, website clickstreams, and IoT telemetry data. The data is divided into shards, which are the basic units of data storage in Kinesis. Each shard can handle a certain amount of data throughput.
  • AWS Kinesis Data Firehose: This component is an extract, transform, and load (ETL) service that reliably captures, transforms, and delivers streaming data to data lakes, data stores, and analytics services. It can automatically load data from Data Streams into various destinations like Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, or Amazon Elasticsearch for further processing and analysis.
  • AWS Kinesis Data Analytics: With this service, you can easily transform and analyze streaming data in real-time using Apache Flink. Data Analytics enables you to write SQL-like queries or run custom code to perform real-time data transformations and aggregations on the streaming data flowing through Kinesis.
  • AWS Kinesis Video Streams: This component allows you to stream video from connected devices to AWS for analytics, machine learning, playback, and other processing. It provides SDKs for various platforms that enable developers to integrate video streaming capabilities into their applications seamlessly.

When to use AWS Kinesis? Use Cases & Examples

AWS Kinesis is an excellent solution for various use cases that involve real-time processing, analysis, and storage of streaming data. Here are some scenarios in which AWS Kinesis can be used effectively:

  1. Real-Time Analytics: When you need to perform real-time analytics on streaming data from various sources, AWS Kinesis can capture and process the data in real-time, enabling you to gain immediate insights and make informed decisions based on the most up-to-date information.
  2. Internet of Things (IoT) Data Processing: For IoT applications, AWS Kinesis can handle large volumes of data generated by IoT devices, such as sensors, connected devices, and wearables. This allows you to process and analyze the data in real-time, making it suitable for applications like smart home automation, industrial monitoring, and predictive maintenance.
  3. Log and Event Data Processing: AWS Kinesis is well-suited for processing log and event data generated by applications and systems. By streaming and analyzing log data in real-time, you can detect anomalies, monitor system health, and troubleshoot issues promptly.
  4. Social Media Data Analysis: When dealing with social media data, which can be high-velocity and constantly changing, AWS Kinesis can capture and process this data in real-time. This enables businesses to respond quickly to trends, sentiment analysis, and customer interactions on social media platforms.
  5. Real-Time Dashboarding and Monitoring: AWS Kinesis allows you to create real-time dashboards and monitoring systems that display live data and metrics. This is useful for monitoring business performance, application health, and key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time.
  6. Stream Data Ingestion for Data Lakes: AWS Kinesis Data Firehose can seamlessly deliver streaming data to data lakes, such as Amazon S3 or Amazon Redshift. This enables organizations to build a centralized and cost-effective storage solution for all their streaming data.
  7. Fraud Detection and Anomaly Detection: AWS Kinesis can be used to identify potential fraud and anomalies in real-time by analyzing transactional data streams, providing businesses with rapid detection and response capabilities.

How does AWS Kinesis work?

AWS Kinesis is a fully managed service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows developers to capture, store, and process real-time streaming data at scale. It provides a platform for ingesting, processing, and analyzing data streams in real-time from various sources, enabling businesses to gain valuable insights and take immediate actions on live data.

AWS Kinesis, Pricing, Cost Optimization, Features, Advantages

Features & Advantages

Key Features of AWS Kinesis

  • Real-time Data Ingestion: AWS Kinesis enables the capture of real-time data streams from various sources, ensuring low latency data ingestion.
  • Scalability: With the concept of shards, AWS Kinesis can handle data streams of any size, making it highly scalable.
  • Fully Managed: AWS handles the infrastructure, provisioning, and monitoring, allowing developers to focus on data processing and analysis rather than managing servers.
  • Seamless Data Delivery: Kinesis Data Firehose simplifies data delivery to other AWS services, such as S3, Redshift, and Elasticsearch, for further analysis and storage.
  • Real-time Data Analytics: Kinesis Data Analytics allows real-time data processing using SQL queries, providing instant insights from streaming data.

Advantages/Benefits of AWS Kinesis

  1. Real-time Decision Making: AWS Kinesis enables businesses to make real-time decisions based on the most up-to-date data, leading to faster actions and responses.
  2. Flexibility: It supports multiple data formats and integrates with various AWS services, providing flexibility in data processing and storage options.
  3. Cost-Efficient: AWS Kinesis offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing users to pay only for the resources and capacity they use, making it cost-efficient for streaming data applications.
  4. Easy Setup: The fully managed nature of AWS Kinesis simplifies setup and configuration, reducing the operational burden on developers.
  5. Reliable and Secure: AWS ensures high availability and durability of data streams, while also providing robust security measures to protect data during transit and at rest.


AWS Kinesis Pricing Factors

AWS Kinesis pricing is based on several factors, including the number of shards used in Kinesis Data Streams, the volume of data ingested and processed, data retention, and any additional data delivery costs if using Kinesis Data Firehose.

Is AWS Kinesis Free or Paid?

AWS Kinesis is a paid service, and its cost is determined based on the resources and features used. It offers various pricing tiers based on the number of shards and data processing capacity required. The pricing model is designed to be flexible and cost-effective for businesses of all sizes.

AWS Kinesis Pricing Tiers

AWS Kinesis offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where users are charged based on the number of shards and the data volume they process. The cost for Kinesis Data Streams includes charges for shard hours, PUT and GET requests, data retention, and data transfer. For Kinesis Data Firehose, the pricing is based on the data delivery to other AWS services. AWS Kinesis Data Analytics has separate pricing based on the number of processing units used for real-time data processing.

The pricing for each specific service within Amazon Kinesis may vary, so I'll provide a brief overview of the pricing for the main services:

1. Amazon Kinesis Data Streams:

  • Data Ingestion: $0.015 per shard hour. A shard is a unit of capacity in Kinesis Data Streams, and its price is based on the number of shards you provision.
  • Data Retention: $0.029 per GB-month for data stored in streams.

2. Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose:

  • Data Ingestion: Pricing varies based on data ingestion tier (first 500TB/month, next 1.5PB/month, next 3PB/month, and over 5PB/month).
  • Data Egress (when delivering data to destinations): $0.0 to $0.02 per GB, depending on the destination type.

3. Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics:

  • Kinesis Processing Unit (KPU) Per Hour: $0.11 per KPU.
  • Running Application Storage: $0.10 per GB-month (50GB of running application storage is assigned per KPU).
  • Durable Application Backups (optional): $0.023 per GB-month.

4. Amazon Kinesis Video Streams:

  • Data Ingestion: $0.00850 per GB data ingested.
  • Data Egress: $0.00850 per GB data egressed.
  • Data Stored: $0.02300 per GB-month data stored.

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and additional charges may apply for features like enhanced fan-out, data transfer, cross-region replication, etc. The pricing may also vary based on the AWS region you are operating in.

For the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information, I recommend visiting the official AWS website or using the AWS Pricing Calculator.

Cost Optimization

How to Optimize AWS Kinesis Costs?

To optimize costs while using AWS Kinesis, consider implementing the following strategies:

  1. Right-sizing Resources: Review the resource requirements of your Kinesis data streams and analytics applications. Adjust the number of shards or Kinesis Processing Units (KPUs) based on actual usage patterns. Avoid over-provisioning resources, as it can lead to unnecessary costs.
  2. Data Retention and Storage Management: Analyze your data retention needs and adjust the retention period accordingly. Delete or archive data that is no longer needed to reduce storage costs. Utilize lifecycle policies to automatically move or delete old data.
  3. Use of Data Compression: Implement data compression techniques to reduce the amount of data ingested and stored in Kinesis. Compressing data before ingestion can significantly lower data transfer and storage costs.
  4. Data Format Optimization: Optimize data formats to reduce the size of records being processed. For example, using efficient serialization formats like Parquet or ORC can lead to cost savings.
  5. Selective Data Ingestion: Only ingest the data that is necessary for your application. Avoid ingesting duplicate or irrelevant data to minimize data processing and storage costs.

AWS Kinesis Cost Optimization Recommendations

  • Shard Usage Monitoring: Regularly monitor shard usage to avoid over-provisioning and optimize shard allocation as per data volume.
  • Data Sampling: Use data sampling techniques for data analysis to reduce the volume of data processed.
  • Leverage Reserved Capacity: Consider using Reserved Capacity for Kinesis Data Analytics to save costs on long-term usage.
  • Stream Merging: Merge multiple small streams into a single stream to minimize the number of shards used and reduce costs.

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