Building an Elastic Platform Using Airflow Uniquely as an Orchestrator

Presented at Airflow Summit 2021

At QuintoAndar we seek automation and scalability in our data pipelines and believe that Airflow is the right tool for giving us exactly what we need. However, having all concerns mapped and tooling defined doesn’t necessarily mean success.

For months we had struggled with a misconception that Airflow should act as an orchestrator and executor within a monolithic strategy. That could not be further from the truth because of the rise of scalability and performance issues, infrastructure and maintainability costs, and multi-directional impact throughout development teams.

Employing Airflow, though, as an orchestration-only solution may help teams deliver value to end users in a more efficient, reliable and performant manner, where data pipelines can be executed anywhere with proper resources and optimizations.

Those are the reasons we have shifted from an orchestrate-execute strategy to an orchestrate-only one, in order to leverage the full power of data pipeline management in Airflow. Straightaway the separation of data processing and pipeline coordination brought not only a finer resource tuning and better maintainability, but also a tremendous scalability on both ends.