Cloudera Engineering Blog

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


Improving Sort Performance in Apache Spark: It’s a Double

Cloudera and Intel engineers are collaborating to make Spark’s shuffle process more scalable and reliable. Here are the details about the approach’s design.

What separates computation engines like MapReduce and Apache Spark (the next-generation data processing engine for Apache Hadoop) from embarrassingly parallel systems is their support for “all-to-all” operations. As distributed engines, MapReduce and Spark operate on sub-slices of a dataset partitioned across the cluster. Many operations process single data-points at a time and can be carried out fully within each partition. All-to-all operations must consider the dataset as a whole; the contents of each output record can depend on records that come from many different partitions. In Spark, groupByKey, sortByKey, and reduceByKey are popular examples of these types of operations.

Using Apache Sqoop for Load Testing

Our thanks to Montrial Harrell, Enterprise Architect for the State of Indiana, for the guest post below.

Recently, the State of Indiana has begun to focus on how enterprise data management can help our state’s government operate more efficiently and improve the lives of our residents. With that goal in mind, I began this journey just like everyone else I know: with an interest in learning more about Apache Hadoop.

Where to Find Cloudera Tech Talks (through March 2015)

Find Cloudera tech talks in Austin, London, Washington DC, Zurich, and other cities through March 2015.

Below please find our regularly scheduled quarterly update about where to find tech talks by Cloudera employees—this time, through the first quarter of calendar year 2015. Note that this list will be continually curated during the period; complete logistical information may not be available yet. And remember, many of these talks are in “free” venues (no cost of entry).

New Advanced Analytics and Data Wrangling Tutorials on Cloudera Live

A new Spark tutorial and Trifacta deployment option make Cloudera Live even more useful for getting started with Apache Hadoop.

When it comes to learning Hadoop and CDH (Cloudera’s open source platform including Hadoop), there is no better place to start than Cloudera Live (cloudera.com/live).  With a quick, one-button deployment option, Cloudera Live launches a four-node Cloudera cluster that you can learn and experiment in free for two-weeks. To help plan and extend the capabilities of your cluster, we also offer various partner deployments. Building on the addition of interactive tutorials and Tableau and Zoomdata integration, we have added a new tutorial on Apache Spark and a new Trifacta partner deployment.

New in CDH 5.3: Transparent Encryption in HDFS

Support for transparent, end-to-end encryption in HDFS is now available and production-ready (and shipping inside CDH 5.3 and later). Here’s how it works.

Apache Hadoop 2.6 adds support for transparent encryption to HDFS. Once configured, data read from and written to specified HDFS directories will be transparently encrypted and decrypted, without requiring any changes to user application code. This encryption is also end-to-end, meaning that data can only be encrypted and decrypted by the client. HDFS itself never handles unencrypted data or data encryption keys. All these characteristics improve security, and HDFS encryption can be an important part of an organization-wide data protection story.

How-to: Ingest Data Quickly Using the Kite CLI

Thanks to Ben Harden of CapTech for allowing us to re-publish the post below.

Getting delimited flat file data ingested into Apache Hadoop and ready for use is a tedious task, especially when you want to take advantage of file compression, partitioning and performance gains you get from using the Avro and Parquet file formats. 

Cloudera Enterprise 5.3 is Released

We’re pleased to announce the release of Cloudera Enterprise 5.3 (comprising CDH 5.3, Cloudera Manager 5.3, and Cloudera Navigator 2.2).

This release continues the drumbeat for security functionality in particular, with HDFS encryption (jointly developed with Intel under Project Rhino) now recommended for production use. This feature alone should justify upgrades for security-minded users (and an improved CDH upgrade wizard makes that process easier).

HBaseCon 2015: Call for Papers and Early Bird Registration

HBaseCon 2015 is ON, people! Book Thursday, May 7, in your calendars.

If you’re a developer in Silicon Valley, you probably already know that since its debut in 2012, HBaseCon has been one of the best developer community conferences out there. If you’re not, this is a great opportunity to learn that for yourself: HBaseCon 2015 will occur on Thurs., May 7, 2015, at the Westin St. Francis on Union Square in San Francisco.

New in Cloudera Labs: SparkOnHBase

As we progressively move from MapReduce to Spark, we shouldn’t have to give up good HBase integration. Hence the newest Cloudera Labs project, SparkOnHBase!

Apache Spark is making a huge impact across our industry, changing the way we think about batch processing and stream processing. However, as we progressively migrate from MapReduce toward Spark, we shouldn’t have to “give up” anything. One of those capabilities we need to retain is the ability to interact with Apache HBase.

The Top 10 Posts of 2014 from the Cloudera Engineering Blog

Our “Top 10″ list of blog posts published during a calendar year is a crowd favorite (see the 2013 version here), in particular because it serves as informal, crowdsourced research about popular interests. Page views don’t lie (although skew for publishing date—clearly, posts that publish earlier in the year have pole position—has to be taken into account). 

In 2014, a strong interest in various new components that bring real time or near-real time capabilities to the Apache Hadoop ecosystem is apparent. And we’re particularly proud that the most popular post was authored by a non-employee.

  1. How-to: Create a Simple Hadoop Cluster with VirtualBox
    by Christian Javet
    Explains how t set up a CDH-based Hadoop cluster in less than an hour using VirtualBox and Cloudera Manager.
  2. Why Apache Spark is a Crossover Hit for Data Scientists
    by Sean Owen

    An explanation of why Spark is a compelling multi-purpose platform for use cases that span investigative, as well as operational, analytics. 
  3. How-to: Run a Simple Spark App in CDH 5
    by Sandy Ryza
    Helps you get started with Spark using a simple example.
  4. New SQL Choices in the Apache Hadoop Ecosystem: Why Impala Continues to Lead
    by Justin Erickson, Marcel Kornacker & Dileep Kumar

    Open benchmark testing of Impala 1.3 demonstrates performance leadership compared to alternatives (by 950% or more), while providing greater query throughput and with a far smaller CPU footprint.
  5. Apache Kafka for Beginners
    by Gwen Shapira & Jeff Holoman
    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.
  6. Apache Hadoop YARN: Avoiding 6 Time-Consuming “Gotchas”
    by Jeff Bean
    Understanding some key differences between MR1 and MR2/YARN will make your migration much easier.
  7. Impala Performance Update: Now Reaching DBMS-Class Speed
    by Justin Erickson, Greg Rahn, Marcel Kornacker & Yanpei Chen
    As of release 1.1.1, Impala’s speed beat the fastest SQL-on-Hadoop alternatives–including a popular analytic DBMS running on its own proprietary data store.
  8. The Truth About MapReduce Performance on SSDs
    by Karthik Kambatla & Yanpei Chen

    It turns out that cost-per-performance, not cost-per-capacity, is the better metric for evaluating the true value of SSDs. (See the session on this topic at Strata+Hadoop World San Jose in Feb. 2015!)
  9. How-to: Translate from MapReduce to Spark
    by Sean Owen

    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.
  10. How-to: Write and Run Apache Giraph Jobs on Hadoop
    by Mirko Kämpf
    Explains how to create a test environment for writing and testing Giraph jobs, or just for playing around with Giraph and small sample datasets.
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