Cloudera Engineering Blog · Impala Posts

Getting Started with Ibis and How to Contribute

Learn about the architecture of Ibis, the roadmaps for Ibis and Impala, and how to get started and contribute.

We created Ibis, a new Python data analysis framework now incubating in Cloudera Labs, with the goal of enabling data scientists and data engineers to be as productive working with big data as they are working with small and medium data today. In doing so, we will enable Python to become a true first-class language for Apache Hadoop, without compromises in functionality, usability, or performance. Having spent much of the last decade improving the usability of the single-node Python experience (with pandas and other projects), we are looking to achieve:

Ibis on Impala: Python at Scale for Data Science

This new Cloudera Labs project promises to deliver the great Python user experience and ecosystem at Hadoop scale.

Across the user community, you will find general agreement that the Apache Hadoop stack has progressed dramatically in just the past few years. For example, Search and Impala have moved Hadoop beyond batch processing, while developers are seeing significant productivity gains and additional use cases by transitioning from MapReduce to Apache Spark.

What’s Next for Impala: More Reliability, Usability, and Performance at Even Greater Scale

This year will close out with new features for reliability, usability, and nested types, and in 2016, performance-related enhancements promise >20x gains.

It’s been roughly a year since we provided an update about the Impala roadmap. During that time, a number of milestones have been reached:

Impala Needs Your Contributions

Your contributions, and a vibrant developer community, are important for Impala’s users. Read below to learn how to get involved.

From the moment that Cloudera announced it at Strata New York in 2012, Impala has been an 100% Apache-licensed open source project. All of Impala’s source code is available on GitHub—where nearly 500 users have forked the project for their own use—and we follow the same model as every other platform project at Cloudera: code changes are committed “upstream” first, and are then selected and backported to our release branches for CDH releases.

How-to: Read FIX Messages Using Apache Hive and Impala

Learn how to read FIX message files directly with Hive, create a view to simplify user queries, and use a flattened Apache Parquet table to enable fast user queries with Impala.

The Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol is used widely by the financial services industry to communicate various trading-related activities. Each FIX message is a record that represents an action by a financial party, such as a new order or an execution report. As the raw point of truth for much of the trading activity of a financial firm, it makes sense that FIX messages are an obvious data source for analytics and reporting in Apache Hadoop.

Text Mining with Impala

Thanks to Torsten Kilias and Alexander Löser of the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin for the following guest post about their INDREX project and its integration with Impala for integrated management of textual and relational data.

Textual data is a core source of information in the enterprise. Example demands arise from sales departments (monitor and identify leads), human resources (identify professionals with capabilities in ‘xyz’), market research (campaign monitoring from the social web), product development (incorporate feedback from customers), and the medical domain (anamnesis).

Using Apache Parquet at AppNexus

Thanks to Chen Song, Data Team Lead at AppNexus, for allowing us to republish the following post about his company’s use case for Apache Parquet (incubating at this writing), the open standard for columnar storage across the Apache Hadoop ecosystem.

At AppNexus, over 2MM log events are ingested into our data pipeline every second. Log records are sent from upstream systems in the form of Protobuf messages. Raw logs are compressed in Snappy when stored on HDFS. That said, even with compression, this still leads to over 25TB of log data collected every day. On top of logs, we also have hundreds of MapReduce jobs that process and generate aggregated data. Collectively, we store petabytes of data in our primary Hadoop cluster.

How-to: Install and Use Cask Data Application Platform Alongside Impala

Cloudera customers can now install, launch, and monitor CDAP directly from Cloudera Manager. This post from Nitin Motgi, Cask CTO, explains how.

Today, Cloudera and Cask are very happy to introduce the integration of Cloudera’s enterprise data hub (EDH) with the Cask Data Application Platform (CDAP). CDAP is an integrated platform for developers and organizations to build, deploy, and manage data applications on Apache Hadoop. This initial integration will enable CDAP to be installed, configured, and managed from within Cloudera Manager, a component of Cloudera Enterprise. Furthermore, it will simplify data ingestion for a variety of data sources, as well as enable interactive queries via Impala. Starting today, you can download and install CDAP directly from Cloudera’s downloads page.

How-to: Do Real-time Big Data Discovery using Cloudera Enterprise and Qlik Sense

Thanks to Jesus Centeno of Qlik for the post below about using Impala alongside Qlik Sense.

Cloudera and Qlik (which is part of the Impala Accelerator Program) have revolutionized the delivery of insights and value to every business stakeholder for “small data,” to something more powerful in the Big Data world—enabling users to combine Big Data and “small data” to yield actionable business insights.

How-to: Use BIRT with Impala for Interactive Big Data Reporting

Thanks to Michael Williams, BIRT Product Evangelist & Forums Manager at analytics software specialist Actuate Corp. (now OpenText), for the guest post below. Actuate is the primary builder and supporter of BIRT, a top-level project of the Eclipse Foundation.

The Actuate (now OpenText) products BIRT Designer Professional and BIRT iHub allow you to connect to multiple data sources to create and deliver meaningful visualizations securely, with scalability reaching millions of users and devices. And now, with Impala emerging as a standard Big Data query engine for many of Actuate’s customers, solid BIRT integration with Impala has become critical.

Tutorials at Strata + Hadoop World San Jose: Architecture, Hadoop Ops, Interactive SQL-on-Hadoop

Strata + Hadoop World San Jose 2015 (Feb. 17-20) is a focal point for learning about production-izing Hadoop.

Strata + Hadoop World sessions have always been indispensable for learning about Hadoop internals, use cases, and admin best practices. When deep learning is needed, however—and deep dives are a necessity if you’re running Hadoop in production, or aspire to—tutorials are your ticket.

The Impala Cookbook

Bookmark this new living document to ensure use of current and proper configuration, sizing, management, and measurement practices.

Impala, the open source MPP analytic database for Apache Hadoop, is now firmly entrenched in the Big Data mainstream. How do we know this? For one, Impala is now the standard against which alternatives measure themselves, based on a proliferation of new benchmark testing. Furthermore, Impala has been adopted by multiple vendors as their solution for letting customers do exploratory analysis on Big Data, natively and in place (without the need for redundant architecture or ETL). Also significant, we’re seeing the emergence of best practices and patterns out of customer experiences.

NoSQL in a Hadoop World

The number of powerful data query tools in the Apache Hadoop ecosystem can be confusing, but understanding a few simple things about your needs usually makes the choice easy. 

Ah, the good old days. I recall vividly that in 2007, I was faced to store 1 billion XML documents and make them accessible as well as searchable. I had few choices on a given shoestring budget: build something one my own (it was the rage back then—and still is), use an existing open source database like PostgreSQL or MySQL, or try this thing that Google built successfully and that was now implemented in open source under the Apache umbrella: Hadoop.

New in CDH 5.2: Impala Authentication with LDAP and Kerberos

Impala authentication can now be handled by a combination of LDAP and Kerberos. Here’s why, and how.

Impala, the open source analytic database for Apache Hadoop, supports authentication—the act of proving you are who you say you are—using both Kerberos and LDAP. Kerberos has been supported since release 1.0, LDAP support was added more recently, and with CDH 5.2, you can use both at the same time.

New in CDH 5.2: Apache Sentry Delegated GRANT and REVOKE

This new feature, jointly developed by Cloudera and Intel engineers, makes management of role-based security much easier in Apache Hive, Impala, and Hue.

Apache Sentry (incubating) provides centralized authorization for services and applications in the Apache Hadoop ecosystem, allowing administrators to set up granular, role-based protection on resources, and to review them in one place. Previously, Sentry only designated administrators to GRANT and REVOKE privileges on an authorizable object. In Apache Sentry 1.5.0 (shipping inside CDH 5.2), we have implemented a new feature (SENTRY-327) that allows admin users to delegate the GRANT privilege to other users using WITH GRANT OPTION. If a user has the GRANT OPTION privilege on a specific resource, the user can now grant the GRANT privilege to other users on the same resource. Apache Hive, Impala, and Hue have all been updated to take advantage of this new Sentry functionality.

New in CDH 5.2: More SQL Functionality and Compatibility for Impala 2.0

Impala 2.0 is the most SQL-complete/SQL-compatible release yet.

As we reported in the most recent roadmap update (“What’s Next for Impala: Focus on Advanced SQL Functionality”), more complete SQL functionality (and better SQL compatibility with other vendor extensions) is a major theme in Impala 2.0.

Here’s Your Getting Started with Impala Book

Getting Started with Impala (now in early release)—another book in the Hadoop ecosystem books canon—is indispensable for people who want to get familiar with Impala, the open source MPP query engine for Apache Hadoop. We spoke with its author, Impala docs writer John Russell, about the book’s origin and mission.

Why did you decide to write this book?

New Benchmarks for SQL-on-Hadoop: Impala 1.4 Widens the Performance Gap

With 1.4, Impala’s performance lead over the SQL-on-Hadoop ecosystem gets wider, especially under multi-user load.

As noted in our recent post about the Impala 2.x roadmap (“What’s Next for Impala: Focus on Advanced SQL Functionality”), Impala’s ecosystem momentum continues to accelerate, with nearly 1 million downloads since the GA of 1.0, deployment by most of Cloudera’s enterprise data hub customers, and adoption by MapR, Amazon, and Oracle as a shipping product. Furthermore, in the past few months, independent sources such as IBM Research have confirmed that “Impala’s database-like architecture provides significant performance gains, compared to Hive’s MapReduce- or Tez-based runtime.”

How Impala Supports Mixed Workloads in Multi-User Environments

Our thanks to Melanie Imhof, Jonas Looser, Thierry Musy, and Kurt Stockinger of the Zurich University of Applied Science in Switzerland for the post below about their research into the query performance of Impala for mixed workloads.

Recently, we were approached by an industry partner to research and create a blueprint for a new Big Data, near real-time, query processing architecture that would replace its current architecture based on a popular open source database system.

What’s Next for Impala: Focus on Advanced SQL Functionality

Impala 2.0 will add much more complete SQL functionality to what is already the fastest SQL-on-Hadoop solution available.

In September 2013, we provided a roadmap for Impala — the open source MPP SQL query engine for Apache Hadoop, which was on release 1.1 at the time — that documented planned functionality through release 2.0 and beyond.

New in CDH 5.1: HDFS Read Caching

Applications using HDFS, such as Impala, will be able to read data up to 59x faster thanks to this new feature.

Server memory capacity and bandwidth have increased dramatically over the last few years. Beefier servers make in-memory computation quite attractive, since a lot of interesting data sets can fit into cluster memory, and memory is orders of magnitude faster than disk.

New SQL Choices in the Apache Hadoop Ecosystem: Why Impala Continues to Lead

Impala continues to demonstrate performance leadership compared to alternatives (by 950% or more), while providing greater query throughput and with a far smaller CPU footprint.

In our previous post from January 2014, we reported that Impala had achieved query performance over Apache Hadoop equivalent to that of an analytic DBMS over its own proprietary storage system. We believed this was an important milestone because Impala’s objective has been to support a high-quality BI experience on Hadoop data, not to produce a “faster Apache Hive.” An enterprise-quality BI experience requires low latency and high concurrency (among other things), so surpassing a well-known proprietary MPP DBMS in these areas was important evidence of progress.
 
In the past nine months, we’ve also all seen additional public validation that the original technical design for Hive, while effective for batch processing, was a dead-end for BI workloads. Recent examples have included the launch of Facebook’s Presto engine (Facebook was the inventor and world’s largest user of Hive), the emergence of Shark (Hive running on the Apache Spark DAG), and the “Stinger” initiative (Hive running on the Apache Tez [incubating] DAG).
 
Given the introduction of a number of new SQL-on-Hadoop implementations it seemed like a good time to do a roundup of the latest versions of each engine to see how they differ. We find that Impala maintains a significant performance advantage over the various other open source alternatives — ranging from 5x to 23x depending on the workload and the implementations that are compared. This advantage is due to some inherent design differences among the various systems, which we’ll explain below. Impala’s advantage is strongest for multi-user workloads, which arguably is the most relevant measure for users evaluating their options for BI use cases.

Configuration

Cluster

Congratulations to Parquet, Now an Apache Incubator Project

Yesterday, Parquet was accepted into the Apache Incubator. Congratulations to all the contributors to what will eventually become Apache Parquet!

In its relatively short lifetime (co-founded by Twitter and Cloudera in July 2013), Parquet has already become the de facto standard for columnar storage of Apache Hadoop data — with native support in Impala, Apache Hive, Apache Pig, Apache Spark, MapReduce, Apache Tajo, Apache Drill, Apache Crunch, and Cascading (and forthcoming in Presto and Shark). Parquet adoption is also broad-based, with employees of the following companies (partial list) actively contributing:

How-to: Configure JDBC Connections in Secure Apache Hadoop Environments

Learn how HiveServer, Apache Sentry, and Impala help make Hadoop play nicely with BI tools when Kerberos is involved.

In 2010, I wrote a simple pair of blog entries outlining the general considerations behind using Apache Hadoop with BI tools. The Cloudera partner ecosystem has positively exploded since then, and the technology has matured as well. Today, if JDBC is involved, all the pieces needed to expose Hadoop data through familiar BI tools are available:

Using Impala at Scale at Allstate

Our thanks to Don Drake (@dondrake), an independent technology consultant who is currently working as a Principal Big Data Consultant at Allstate Insurance, for the guest post below about his experiences with Impala.

It started with a simple request from one of the managers in my group at Allstate to put together a demo of Tableau connecting to Cloudera Impala. I had previously worked on Impala with a large dataset about a year ago while it was still in beta, and was curious to see how Impala had improved since then in features and stability.

A New Python Client for Impala

The new Python client for Impala will bring smiles to Pythonistas!

As a data scientist, I love using the Python data stack. I also love using Impala to work with very large data sets. But things that take me out of my Python workflow are generally considered hassles; so it’s annoying that my main options for working with Impala are to write shell scripts, use the Impala shell, and/or transfer query results by reading/writing local files to disk.

Using Apache Hadoop and Impala with MySQL for Data Analysis

Thanks to Alexander Rubin of Percona for allowing us to re-publish the post below!

Apache Hadoop is commonly used for data analysis. It is fast for data loads and scalable. In a previous post I showed how to integrate MySQL with Hadoop. In this post I will show how to export a table from  MySQL to Hadoop, load the data to Cloudera Impala (columnar format), and run reporting on top of that. For the examples below, I will use the “ontime flight performance” data from my previous post.

How Impala Brings Real-Time, Big Data Analytics to Digital Reasoning’s Users

The following post, by Sarah Cannon of Digital Reasoning, was originally published in that company’s blog. Digital Reasoning has graciously permitted us to re-publish here for your convenience.

At the beginning of each release cycle, engineers at Digital Reasoning are given time to explore the latest in Big Data technologies, examining how the frequently changing landscape might be best adapted to serve our mission. As we sat down in the early stages of planning for Synthesys 3.8 one of the biggest issues we faced involved reconciling the tradeoff between flexibility and performance. How can users quickly and easily retrieve knowledge from Synthesys without being tied to one strict data model?

How-to: Use Parquet with Impala, Hive, Pig, and MapReduce

The CDH software stack lets you use your tool of choice with the Parquet file format – - offering the benefits of columnar storage at each phase of data processing. 

An open source project co-founded by Twitter and Cloudera, Parquet was designed from the ground up as a state-of-the-art, general-purpose, columnar file format for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. In particular, Parquet has several features that make it highly suited to use with Cloudera Impala for data warehouse-style operations:

How-to: Implement Role-based Security in Impala using Apache Sentry

This quick demo illustrates how easy it is to implement role-based access and control in Impala using Sentry.

Apache Sentry (incubating) is the Apache Hadoop ecosystem tool for role-based access control (RBAC). In this how-to, I will demonstrate how to implement Sentry for RBAC in Impala. I feel this introduction is best motivated by a use case.

Secrets of Cloudera Support: Inside Our Own Enterprise Data Hub

Cloudera’s own enterprise data hub is yielding great results for providing world-class customer support.

Here at Cloudera, we are constantly pushing the envelope to give our customers world-class support. One of the cornerstones of this effort is the Cloudera Support Interface (CSI), which we’ve described in prior blog posts (here and here). Through CSI, our support team is able to quickly reason about a customer’s environment, search for information related to a case currently being worked, and much more.

Apache Hadoop 2.3.0 is Released (HDFS Caching FTW!)

Hadoop 2.3.0 includes hundreds of new fixes and features, but none more important than HDFS caching.

The Apache Hadoop community has voted to release Hadoop 2.3.0, which includes (among many other things):

Native Parquet Support Comes to Apache Hive

Bringing Parquet support to Hive was a community effort that deserves congratulations!

Previously, this blog introduced Parquet, an efficient ecosystem-wide columnar storage format for Apache Hadoop. As discussed in that blog post, Parquet encodes data extremely efficiently and as described in Google’s original Dremel paper. (For more technical details on the Parquet format read Dremel made simple with Parquet, or go directly to the open and community-driven Parquet Format specification.)

How Wajam Answers Business Questions Faster With Hadoop

Thanks to Xavier Clements of Wajam for allowing us to re-publish his blog post about Wajam’s Hadoop experiences below!

Wajam is a social search engine that gives you access to the knowledge of your friends. We gather your friends’ recommendations from Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms and serve these back to you on supported sites like Google, eBay, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia.

How-to: Get Started Writing Impala UDFs

Cloudera provides docs and a sample build environment to help you get easily started writing your own Impala UDFs.

User-defined functions (UDFs) let you code your own application logic for processing column values during a Cloudera Impala query. For example, a UDF could perform calculations using an external math library, combine several column values into one, do geospatial calculations, or other kinds of tests and transformations that are outside the scope of the built-in SQL operators and functions.

Impala Performance Update: Now Reaching DBMS-Class Speed

Impala’s speed now beats the fastest SQL-on-Hadoop alternatives. Test for yourself!

Since the initial beta release of Cloudera Impala more than one year ago (October 2012), we’ve been committed to regularly updating you about its evolution into the standard for running interactive SQL queries across data in Apache Hadoop and Hadoop-based enterprise data hubs. To briefly recap where we are today:

This Month (and Year) in the Ecosystem (December 2013)

Welcome to our sixth edition of “This Month in the Ecosystem,” a digest of highlights from December 2013 (never intended to be comprehensive; for completeness, see the excellent Hadoop Weekly).

With the close of 2013, we also thought it appropriate to include some high points from across the year (not listed in any particular order):

How-to: Use Impala on Amazon EMR

Developers, rejoice: Impala is now available on EMR for testing and evaluation.

Very recently, Amazon Web Services announced support for running Cloudera Impala queries on its Elastic MapReduce (EMR) service. This is very good news for EMR users — as well as for users of other platforms interested in kicking Impala’s tires in a friction-free way. It’s also yet another sign that Impala is rapidly being adopted across the ecosystem as the gold standard for interactive SQL and BI queries on Apache Hadoop.

How-to: Do Statistical Analysis with Impala and R

The new RImpala package brings the speed and interactivity of Impala to queries from R.

Our thanks to Austin Chungath, Sachin Sudarshana, and Vikas Raguttahalli of Mu Sigma, a Decision Sciences and Big Data analytics company, for the guest post below.

How-to: Get Started with Sentry in Hive

A quick on-ramp (and demo) for using the new Sentry module for RBAC in conjunction with Hive

One attribute of the Enterprise Data Hub is fine-grained access to data by users and apps. This post about supporting infrastructure for that goal was originally published at blogs.apache.org. We republish it here for your convenience.

How-to: Use MADlib Pre-built Analytic Functions with Impala

Thanks to Victor Bittorf, a visiting graduate computer science student at Stanford University, for the guest post below about how to use the new prebuilt analytic functions for Cloudera Impala.

Cloudera Impala is an exciting project that unlocks interactive queries and SQL analytics on big data. Over the past few months I have been working with the Impala team to extend Impala’s analytic capabilities. Today I am happy to announce the availability of pre-built mathematical and statistical algorithms for the Impala community under a free open-source license. These pre-built algorithms combine recent theoretical techniques for shared nothing parallelization for analytics and the new user-defined aggregations (UDA) framework in Impala 1.2 in order to achieve big data scalability. This initial release has support for logistic regression, support vector machines (SVMs), and linear regression.

Download the New Impala e-Book from O’Reilly Media

As a delicious appetizer for the Strata Conference + Hadoop World next week (sold out!), O’Reilly Media has partnered with us to create and publish a new e-book specifically intended for technical end-users of Cloudera Impala, the open source distributed query engine for Apache Hadoop.

Authored by Cloudera’s own John Russell, the e-book provides a 30-page tour of Impala’s internals and architecture, as well as common usage patterns intended for mainstream (SQL) users.

Parquet at Salesforce.com

The following Parquet blog post was originally published by Salesforce.com Lead Engineer and Apache Pig Committer Prashant Kommireddi (@pRaShAnT1784). Prashant has kindly given us permission to re-publish below. Parquet is an open source columnar storage format co-founded by Twitter and Cloudera.

Parquet is a columnar storage format for Apache Hadoop that uses the concept of repetition/definition levels borrowed from Google Dremel. It provides efficient encoding and compression schemes, the efficiency being improved due to application of aforementioned on a per-column basis (compression is better as column values would all be the same type, encoding is better as values within a column could often be the same and repeated). Here is a nice blog post from Julien Le Dem of Twitter describing Parquet internals.

Explore the Impala App in Hue

The following post was originally published by the Hue Team at the Hue blog in a slightly different form.

Hue, the open source web GUI that makes Apache Hadoop easy to use, has supported Cloudera Impala since its inception to enable fast, interactive SQL queries from within your browser. In this post, you’ll see a demo of Hue’s Impala app in action and explore its impressive query speed for yourself.

Impala App Demo

Secrets of Cloudera Support: Impala and Search Make the Customer Experience Even Better

In December 2012, we described how an internal application built on CDH called Cloudera Support Interface (CSI), which drastically improves Cloudera’s ability to optimally support our customers, is a unique and instructive use case for Apache Hadoop. In this post, we’ll follow up by describing two new differentiating CSI capabilities that have made Cloudera Support yet more responsive for customers:

What’s Next for Impala After Release 1.1

In December 2012, while Cloudera Impala was still in its beta phase, we provided a roadmap for planned functionality in the production release. In the same spirit of keeping Impala users, customers, and enthusiasts well informed, this post provides an updated roadmap for upcoming releases later this year and in early 2014.

But first, a thank-you: Since the initial beta release, we’ve received a tremendous amount of feedback and validation about Impala — copious in its quality as well as quantity. At least one person in approximately 4,500 unique organizations around the world have downloaded the Impala binary, to date. And even after only a few months of GA, we’ve seen Cloudera Enterprise customers from multiple industries deploy Impala 1.x in business-critical environments with support via a Cloudera RTQ (Real-Time Query) subscription — including leading organizations in insurance, banking, retail, healthcare, gaming, government, telecom, and advertising.

Visualization on Impala: Big, Real-Time, and Raw

The guest post below is provided by Justin Langseth, Founder & CEO of Zoomdata, Inc. Thanks, Justin!

What if you could affordably manage billions of rows of raw Big Data and let typical business people analyze it at the speed of thought in beautiful, interactive visuals? What if you could do all the above without worrying about structuring that data in a data warehouse schema, moving it, and pre-defining reports and dashboards? With the approach I’ll describe below, you can.

Impala Meetup in San Francisco on Aug. 20

Cloudera Impala has made huge progress since its initial announcement – and there’s even more good news on the roadmap. To learn more, plan to attend an Impala meetup hosted by Cloudera in its San Francisco offices on the evening of Aug. 20:

Announcing Parquet 1.0: Columnar Storage for Hadoop

We’re very happy to re-publish the following post from Twitter analytics infrastructure engineering manager Dmitriy Ryaboy (@squarecog).

In March we announced the Parquet project, the result of a collaboration between Twitter and Cloudera intended to create an open-source columnar storage format library for Apache Hadoop.

Thanks for the Memories, #OSCON 2013

OSCON 2013 is already receding in the rear-view mirror, but we had a great time. Cloudera’s sessions were very well attended — with Tom Wheeler taking the prize (well over 200 attendees for his “Introduction to Apache Hadoop” tutorial) — but best of all was the opportunity to meet and mingle with people in the broader open source community. If you visited us at Booth 420, we hope you will now download and install the QuickStart VM after seeing it in our demo, and that your questions were adequately answered (most popular question: “Can you tell me more about Cloudera Impala?”)

In my biased opinion, the crowning achievement was our ability to not only distribute a couple hundred “Data is the New Bacon” Tshirts within a 36-hour period, but to clean ourselves out of the meat-free version shortly thereafter, as well:

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