When Kentik set out to build a network traffic monitoring solution that would be scalable, high-precision, real-time, and easy to deploy, its founders realized that success depended on making the right architectural choices. To move beyond the limitations of existing systems, they’d have to cast off the shackles of legacy approaches. So they leveraged cutting-edge techniques and technologies from the fields of advanced big data management and SaaS. At the heart of the service they created, Kentik Detect, is a uniquely powerful and scalable data processing core known as the Kentik Data Engine (KDE). This paper reviews the requirements, architecture, and results that have been achieved with the KDE to date.