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The Basics Of SparkR

Yanbo Liang has an introductory article on what SparkR is and why you might want to use it:

However, data analysis using R is limited by the amount of memory available on a single machine and further as R is single threaded it is often impractical to use R on large datasets. To address R’s scalability issue, the Spark community developed SparkR package which is based on a distributed data frame that enables structured data processing with a syntax familiar to R users. Spark provides distributed processing engine, data source, off-memory data structures. R provides a dynamic environment, interactivity, packages, visualization. SparkR combines the advantages of both Spark and R.

In the following section, we will illustrate how to integrate SparkR with R to solve some typical data science problems from a traditional R users’ perspective.

This is a fairly introductory article, but gives an idea of what SparkR can accomplish.