Cloudera Engineering Blog

Big Data best practices, how-to's, and internals from Cloudera Engineering and the community


This Month in the Ecosystem (October 2014)

Welcome to our 14th edition of “This Month in the Ecosystem,” a digest of highlights from October 2014 (never intended to be comprehensive; for that, see the excellent Hadoop Weekly).

Flafka: Apache Flume Meets Apache Kafka for Event Processing

The new integration between Flume and Kafka offers sub-second-latency event processing without the need for dedicated infrastructure.

In this previous post you learned some Apache Kafka basics and explored a scenario for using Kafka in an online application. This post takes you a step further and highlights the integration of Kafka with Apache Hadoop, demonstrating both a basic ingestion capability as well as how different open-source components can be easily combined to create a near-real time stream processing workflow using Kafka, Apache Flume, and Hadoop. (Kafka integration with CDH is currently incubating in Cloudera Labs.)

The Case for Flafka

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.

How-to: Do Near-Real Time Sessionization with Spark Streaming and Apache Hadoop

This Spark Streaming use case is a great example of how near-real-time processing can be brought to Hadoop.

Spark Streaming is one of the most interesting components within the Apache Spark stack. With Spark Streaming, you can create data pipelines that process streamed data using the same API that you use for processing batch-loaded data. Furthermore, Spark Steaming’s “micro-batching” approach provides decent resiliency should a job fail for some reason.

Inside Cloudera Director

With Cloudera Director, cloud deployments of Apache Hadoop are now as enterprise-ready as on-premise ones. Here’s the technology behind it.

As part of the recent Cloudera Enterprise 5.2 release, we unveiled Cloudera Director, a new product that delivers enterprise-class, self-service interaction with Hadoop clusters in cloud environments. (Cloudera Director is free to download and use, but commercial support requires a Cloudera Enterprise subscription.) It provides a centralized administrative view for cloud deployments and lets end users provision and scale clusters themselves using automated, repeatable, managed processes. To summarize, the same enterprise-grade capabilities that are available with on-premise deployments are now also available for cloud deployments. (For an overview of and motivation for Cloudera Director, please check out this blog post.)

How-to: Write Apache Hadoop Applications on OpenShift with Kite SDK

The combination of OpenShift and Kite SDK turns out to be an effective one for developing and testing Apache Hadoop applications.

At Cloudera, our engineers develop a variety of applications on top of Hadoop to solve our own data needs (here and here). More recently, we’ve started to look at streamlining our development process by using a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) for some of these applications. Having single-click deployment and updates to consistent development environments lets us onboard new developers more quickly, and helps ensure that code is written and tested along patterns that will ensure high quality.

New in CDH 5.2: New Security App and More in Hue

Thanks to new improvements in Hue, CDH 5.2 offers the best GUI yet for using Hadoop.

CDH 5.2 includes important new usability functionality via Hue, the open source GUI that makes Apache Hadoop easy to use. In addition to shipping a brand-new app for managing security permissions, this release is particularly feature-packed, and is becoming a great complement to BI tools from Cloudera partners like Tableau, MicroStrategy, and Zoomdata because a more usable Hadoop translates into better BI overall across your organization! 

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.

Introducing Cloudera Labs: An Open Look into Cloudera Engineering R&D

Cloudera Labs contains ecosystem innovations that one day may bring developers more functionality or productivity in CDH.

Since its inception, one of the defining characteristics of Apache Hadoop has been its ability to evolve/reinvent and thrive at the same time. For example, two years ago, nobody could have predicted that the formative MapReduce engine, one of the cornerstones of “original” Hadoop, would be marginalized or even replaced. Yet today, that appears to be happening via Apache Spark, with Hadoop becoming the stronger for it. Similarly, we’ve seen other relatively new components, like Impala, Apache Parquet (incubating), and Apache Sentry (also incubating), become widely adopted in relatively short order.

Cloudera Enterprise 5.2 is Released

Cloudera Enterprise 5.2 contains new functionality for security, cloud deployments, and real-time architectures, and support for the latest open source component releases and partner technologies.

We’re pleased to announce the release of Cloudera Enterprise 5.2 (comprising CDH 5.2, Cloudera Manager 5.2, Cloudera Director 1.0, and Cloudera Navigator 2.1).

How SQOOP-1272 Can Help You Move Big Data from Mainframe to Apache Hadoop

Thanks to M. Asokan, Chief Architect at Syncsort, for the guest post below.

Apache Sqoop provides a framework to move data between HDFS and relational databases in a parallel fashion using Hadoop’s MR framework. As Hadoop becomes more popular in enterprises, there is a growing need to move data from non-relational sources like mainframe datasets to Hadoop. Following are possible reasons for this:

Using Impala, Amazon EMR, and Tableau to Analyze and Visualize Data

Our thanks to AWS Solutions Architect Rahul Bhartia for allowing us to republish his post below.

Apache Hadoop provides a great ecosystem of tools for extracting value from data in various formats and sizes. Originally focused on large-batch processing with tools like MapReduce, Apache Pig, and Apache Hive, Hadoop now provides many tools for running interactive queries on your data, such as Impala, Drill, and Presto. This post shows you how to use Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) to analyze a data set available on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and then use Tableau with Impala to visualize the data.

The Definitive "Getting Started" Tutorial for Apache Hadoop + Your Own Demo Cluster

Using this new tutorial alongside Cloudera Live is now the fastest, easiest, and most hands-on way to get started with Hadoop.

At Cloudera, developer enablement is one of our most important objectives. One only has to look at examples from history (Java or SQL, for example) to know that knowledge fuels the ecosystem. That objective is what drives initiatives such as our community forums, the Cloudera QuickStart VM, and this blog itself.

This Month in the Ecosystem (September 2014)

Welcome to our 13th edition of “This Month in the Ecosystem,” a digest of highlights from September 2014 (never intended to be comprehensive; for that, see the excellent Hadoop Weekly).

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?

Secrets of Cloudera Support: Using OpenStack to Shorten Time-to-Resolution

Automating the creation of short-lived clusters for testing purposes frees our support engineers to spend more time on customer issues.

The first step for any support engineer is often to replicate the customer’s environment in order to identify the problem or issue. Given the complexity of Cloudera customer environments, reproducing a specific issue is often quite difficult, as a customer’s problem might only surface in an environment with specific versions of Cloudera Enterprise (CDH + Cloudera Manager), configuration settings, certain number of nodes, or the structure of the dataset itself. Even with Cloudera Manager’s awesome setup wizards, setting up Apache Hadoop can be quite time consuming, as the software was never designed with ephemeral clusters in mind.

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.”

Community Meetups during Strata + Hadoop World 2014

The meetup opportunities during the conference week are more expansive than ever — spanning Impala, Spark, HBase, Kafka, and more.

Strata + Hadoop World 2014 is a kaleidoscope of experiences for attendees, and those experiences aren’t contained within the conference center’s walls. For example, the meetups that occur during the conf week (which is concurrent with NYC DataWeek) are a virtual track for developers — and with Strata + Hadoop World being bigger than ever, so is the scope of that track.

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.

How-to: Install CDH on Mac OSX 10.9 Mavericks

This overview will cover the basic tarball setup for your Mac.

If you’re an engineer building applications on CDH and becoming familiar with all the rich features for designing the next big solution, it becomes essential to have a native Mac OSX install. Sure, you may argue that your MBP with its four-core, hyper-threaded i7, SSD, 16GB of DDR3 memory are sufficient for spinning up a VM, and in most instances — such as using a VM for a quick demo — you’re right.  However, when experimenting with a slightly heavier workload that is a bit more resource intensive, you’ll want to explore a native install.

Apache Kafka for Beginners

When used in the right way and for the right use case, Kafka has unique attributes that make it a highly attractive option for data integration.

Apache Kafka is creating a lot of buzz these days. While LinkedIn, where Kafka was founded, is the most well known user, there are many companies successfully using this technology.

Getting Started with Big Data Architecture

What does a “Big Data engineer” do, and what does “Big Data architecture” look like? In this post, you’ll get answers to both questions.

Apache Hadoop has come a long way in its relatively short lifespan. From its beginnings as a reliable storage pool with integrated batch processing using the scalable, parallelizable (though inherently sequential) MapReduce framework, we have witnessed the recent additions of real-time (interactive) components like Impala for interactive SQL queries and integration with Apache Solr as a search engine for free-form text exploration.

The Early Release Books Keep Coming: This Time, Hadoop Security

Hadoop Security is the latest book from Cloudera engineers in the Hadoop ecosystem books canon.

We are thrilled to announce the availability of the early release of Hadoop Security, a new book about security in the Apache Hadoop ecosystem published by O’Reilly Media. The early release contains two chapters on System Architecture and Securing Data Ingest and is available in O’Reilly’s catalog and in Safari Books.

This Month in the Ecosystem (August 2014)

Welcome to our 12th (first annual!) edition of “This Month in the Ecosystem,” a digest of highlights from August 2014 (never intended to be comprehensive; for that, see the excellent Hadoop Weekly).

Pig is Flying: Apache Pig on Apache Spark

Our thanks to Mayur Rustagi (@mayur_rustagi), CTO at Sigmoid Analytics, for allowing us to re-publish his post about the Spork (Pig-on-Spark) project below. (Related: Read about the ongoing upstream to bring Spark-based data processing to Hive here.)

Analysts can talk about data insights all day (and night), but the reality is that 70% of all data analyst time goes into data processing and not analysis. At Sigmoid Analytics, we want to streamline this data processing pipeline so that analysts can truly focus on value generation and not data preparation.

How-to: Translate from MapReduce to Apache Spark

The key to getting the most out of Spark is to understand the differences between its RDD API and the original Mapper and Reducer API.

Venerable MapReduce has been Apache Hadoop‘s work-horse computation paradigm since its inception. It is ideal for the kinds of work for which Hadoop was originally designed: large-scale log processing, and batch-oriented ETL (extract-transform-load) operations.

Building Lambda Architecture with Spark Streaming

The versatility of Apache Spark’s API for both batch/ETL and streaming workloads brings the promise of lambda architecture to the real world.

Few things help you concentrate like a last-minute change to a major project.

Bayesian Machine Learning on Apache Spark

Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods are another example of useful statistical computation for Big Data that is capably enabled by Apache Spark.

During my internship at Cloudera, I have been working on integrating PyMC with Apache Spark. PyMC is an open source Python package that allows users to easily apply Bayesian machine learning methods to their data, while Spark is a new, general framework for distributed computing on Hadoop. Together, they provide a scalable framework for scalable Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. In this blog post, I am going to describe my work on distributing large-scale graphical models and MCMC computation.

Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods

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.

Improving Query Performance Using Partitioning in Apache Hive

Our thanks to Rakesh Rao of Quaero, for allowing us to re-publish the post below about Quaero’s experiences using partitioning in Apache Hive.

In this post, we will talk about how we can use the partitioning features available in Hive to improve performance of Hive queries.

Partitions

The New Apache Flume Book is in Early Release

Congratulations to Hari Shreedharan, Cloudera software engineer and Apache Flume committer/PMC member, for the early release of his new O’Reilly Media book, Using Flume: Stream Data into HDFS and HBase. It’s the seventh Hadoop ecosystem book so far that was authored by a current or former Cloudera employee (but who’s counting?).

Why did you decide to write this book?

Big Data Benchmarks: Toward Real-Life Use Cases

The Transaction Processing Council (TPC), working with Cloudera, recently announced the new TPCx-HS benchmark, a good first step toward providing a Big Data benchmark.

In this interview by Roberto Zicari with Francois Raab, the original author of the TPC-C Benchmark, and Yanpei Chen, a Performance Engineer at Cloudera, the interviewees share their thoughts on the next step for benchmarks that reflect real-world use cases.

Running CDH 5 on GlusterFS 3.3

The following post was written by Jay Vyas (@jayunit100) and originally published in the Gluster.org Community.

I have recently spent some time getting Cloudera’s CDH 5 distribution of Apache Hadoop to work on GlusterFS 3.3 using Distributed Replicated 2 Volumes. This is made possible by the fact that Apache Hadoop has a pluggable filesystem architecture that allows the computational components within the CDH 5 distribution to be configured to use alternative filesystems to HDFS. In this case, one can configure CDH 5 to use the Hadoop FileSystem plugin for GlusterFS (glusterfs-hadoop), which allows it to run on GlusterFS 3.3. I’ve provided a diagram below that illustrates the CDH 5 core processes and how they interact with GlusterFS.

How-to: Count Events Like a Data Scientist

The ability to quickly and accurately count complex events is a legitimate business advantage.

In our work as data scientists, we spend most of our time counting things. It is the foundational skill that is used in data cleansing, reporting, feature engineering, and simple-but-effective machine learning models like Naive Bayes classifiers. Hilary Mason has a quote about the benefits of counting that I love:

Apache Hadoop 2.5.0 is Released

The Apache Hadoop community has voted to release Apache Hadoop 2.5.0.

Apache Hadoop 2.5.0 is a minor release in the 2.x release line and includes some major features and improvements, including:

How-to: Use IPython Notebook with Apache Spark

IPython Notebook and Spark’s Python API are a powerful combination for data science.

The developers of Apache Spark have given thoughtful consideration to Python as a language of choice for data analysis. They have developed the PySpark API for working with RDDs in Python, and further support using the powerful IPythonshell instead of the builtin Python REPL.

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.

This Month in the Ecosystem (July 2014)

Welcome to our 11th edition of “This Month in the Ecosystem,” a digest of highlights from July 2014 (never intended to be comprehensive; for that, see the excellent Hadoop Weekly).

Progress Report: Cloudera Community Forums After One Year

Cloudera Community forums are proving their value as an important contributor to a rich user experience.

It’s been almost exactly one year since the debut of the Cloudera Community forums. In addition to doing the birthday shout-out, I thought it would be interesting to bring you up to date about adoption and usage patterns.

Meet the Engineer: Sravya Tirukkovalur

Meet Sravya Tirukkovalur (@sravsatuluri), a Software Engineer working on Apache Hadoop security at Cloudera.

What do you do at Cloudera, and in which Apache projects are you involved?

New in CDH 5.1: Hue’s Improved Search App

An improved Search app in Hue 3.6 makes the Hadoop user experience even better.

Hue 3.6 (now packaged in CDH 5.1) has brought the second version of the Search App up to even higher standards. The user experience has been greatly improved, as the app now provides a very easy way to build custom dashboards and visualizations.

What’s New in Kite SDK 0.15.0?

Kite SDK’s new release contains new improvements that make working with data easier.

Recently, Kite SDK, the open source toolset that helps developers build systems on the Apache Hadoop ecosystem, became a 0.15.0. In this post, you’ll get an overview of several new features and bug fixes.

Working with Datasets by URI

New in CDH 5.1: Apache Spark 1.0

Spark 1.0 reflects a lot of hard work from a very diverse community.

Cloudera’s latest platform release, CDH 5.1, includes Apache Spark 1.0, a milestone release for the Spark project that locks down APIs for Spark’s core functionality. The release reflects the work of hundreds of contributors (including our own Diana Carroll, Mark Grover, Ted Malaska, Colin McCabe, Sean Owen, Hari Shreedharan, Marcelo Vanzin, and me).

New in Cloudera Manager 5.1: Direct Active Directory Integration for Kerberos Authentication

With this new release, setting up a separate MIT KDC for cluster authentication services is no longer necessary.

Kerberos (initially developed by MIT in the 1980s) has been adopted by every major component of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. Consequently, Kerberos has become an integral part of the security infrastructure for the enterprise data hub (EDH).

New in CDH 5.1: Document-level Security for Cloudera Search

Cloudera Search now supports fine-grain access control via document-level security provided by Apache Sentry.

In my previous blog post, you learned about index-level security in Apache Sentry (incubating) and Cloudera Search. Although index-level security is effective when the access control requirements for documents in a collection are homogenous, often administrators want to restrict access to certain subsets of documents in a collection.

New Apache Spark Developer Training: Beyond the Basics

While the new Spark Developer training from Cloudera University is valuable for developers who are new to Big Data, it’s also a great call for MapReduce veterans.

When I set out to learn Apache Spark (which ships inside Cloudera’s open source platform) about six months ago, I started where many other people do: by following the various online tutorials available from UC Berkeley’s AMPLab, the creators of Spark. I quickly developed an appreciation for the elegant, easy-to-use API and super-fast results, and was eager to learn more.

Cloudera Enterprise 5.1 is Now Available

Cloudera Enterprise’s newest release contains important new security and performance features, and offers support for the latest innovations in the open source platform.

We’re pleased to announce the release of Cloudera Enterprise 5.1 (comprising CDH 5.1, Cloudera Manager 5.1, and Cloudera Navigator 2.0).

Jay Kreps, Apache Kafka Architect, Visits Cloudera

It was good to see Jay Kreps (@jaykreps), the LinkedIn engineer who is the tech lead for that company’s online data infrastructure, visit Cloudera Engineering yesterday to spread the good word about Apache Kafka.

Kafka, of course, was originally developed inside LinkedIn and entered the Apache Incubator in 2011. Today, it is being widely adopted as a pub/sub framework that works at massive scale (and which is commonly used to write to Apache Hadoop clusters, and even data warehouses).

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