Category Archives: Hive

Facebook compresses its 300 petabyte Hadoop Hive data warehouse layer by factor of 8x

Facebook’s 300 PB data warehouse grows by approximately 600 TB per day and resides on more than 100k servers (although I’m not certain how many of those are Hadoop nodes). With the brute force approach of more storage and more servers reaching a logistical limit, the Facebook engineers have increased their level of data compression to 8x (using a custom modification of the Hortonworks ORCFile) from a previous 5x (using RCFile) compression. The Hortonworks ORCFile is generally faster than RCFile when reading, but is slower on writing. Facebook’s custom ORCFile was always fastest on both read and write and also the best compression.


Hortonworks Sandbox Hive tutorial

I much preferred this tutorial in Hive, rather than the previous one using Pig. Using the same dataset in each example made the comparison clearer.

Pig makes sense for sequential steps, such as an ETL job. Hive seemed better suited for tasks comparable to ones in which we’d write stored procedures within a more traditional database server.

Another difference came with debugging.

  • The Pig editor bundled into the Hortonworks sandbox isn’t very sophisticated as IDEs go. No breakpoints, viewing of data, etc. Perhaps there’s a way to accomplish this, but (thankfully) it isn’t covered in such an early stage tutorial. There’s a button to upload a UDF jar, so I’ve got to research how one develops that jar outside of the Pig script editor.
  • The Hive tutorial makes it easier to view progress at each step, since you can think of each step as an independent SQL (actually HiveQL) statement. If the programming task were far more complex, I could see myself structuring the Pig scripts in a way that might be easier to debug than Hive.
  • Hive seemed good for an ad-hoc query and Pig for a complex procedural task.
  • The next tutorial combines Pig and Hive. I’ll see how that shapes my perceptions.

I spent some time today using the Hortonworks Hadoop sandbox

I downloaded the Hortonworks sandbox today. I’m using the version that runs as a virtual machine under Oracle VirtualBox. The sandbox can run in as little as 2GB RAM, but requires 4GB in order to enable Ambari and HBase. Good thing that I have 8GB in my laptop.

The “Hello World” tutorial provided me with hands on:

  • Uploading a file into HCatalog
  • Typing queries into Beeswax, which is a GUI into Hive
  • Running a more complex query by writing a short script in Pig

There are a lot more tutorials. I’ll update this blog post after I finish each tutorial.


Apache Hive: 5 facts

  1. Hive is a SQL-like layer on top of Hadoop
  2. Use it when you have some sort of structure to your data.
  3. You can use JDBC and ODBC drivers to interface with your traditional systems. However, it’s not high performance.
  4. Originally built by (and still used by) Facebook to bring traditional database concepts into Hadoop in order to perform analytics. Also used by Netflix to run daily summaries.
  5. Pig is sometimes compared to Hive, in that they are both “languages” that are layered on top of Hadoop. However, Pig is more analogous to a procedural language to write applications, while Hive is targeted at traditional DB programmers moving over to Hadoop.


Fast Search and Analytics on Hortonworks with Elasticsearch

Elasticworks enables real-time searching and analytics. Yarn is supported. Integration extends into Hive and Pig.


Databricks to commercialize Spark and Shark in-memory processing

Shark utilizes in-memory SQL queries for complex analytics, and is Apache Hive compatible. The name “Shark” is supposed to be short hand for “Hive on Spark”. This seems to be a competitor to Cloudera Impala or the Hortonworks implementation of Hive.

Apache Spark utilizes APIs (Python, Scala, Java) for in-memory processing with very fast reads and writes, claiming to be 100x faster than disk-based MapReduce. Spark is the engine behind Shark. Spark can be considered as an alternative to MapReduce, not an alternative to Hadoop.

Scala is an interesting language being used by companies such as Twitter as both higher performance and easier to write than Java. Some companies that had originally developed using Rails or C++ are migrating to Scala rather than to Java.


In-memory Hadoop – use it when speed matters

GridGain has a 100% HDFS compatible RAM solution that it claims is 10x faster for IO and network intensive MapReduce processing. I understand the IO, but am not sure why it work help with network intensive operations.  It can be used standalone or along with disk based HDFS as a cache. It is compatible with all Hadoop distributions as well as standard tools like HBase, Hive, etc.