Storm can be used with any programming language and integrates with any queuing and database technologies. Applications of Storm include stream processing, continuous computation, distributed remote procedure call (RPC) and ETL (extract, transform, load) functions.
Storm was originally developed by a team led by Nathan Marz at BackType Labs. The purpose driving its development was the need for a real-time data processing platform. Although technologies such as MapReduce and Hadoop had made it possible to store and process massive quantities of data, they were restricted to batch processing.
The Storm project was open sourced when BackType was acquired by Twitter. The software became a top-level Apache project in 2014 and is available under the Apache License.
See an introduction to Apache Storm: