This post describes how to generate big datasets with Hive in HDInsight, specifically TPC-DS benchmarking datasets. There are many tools for generating sample data, and this one is particularly nice due to its familiarity and ability to generate massive datasets up to 100 terabytes in size. The intended purpose of TPC data is for benchmarking purposes, but big sample datasets are also very useful for learning big data tools, proofs of concept, testing, etc.
The TPC (Transaction Processing Performance Council) provides tools for generating the benchmarking data, but using them to generate big data is not trivial, and would take a very long time on modest hardware. Thankfully someone has written a nice utility that uses Hive and Python to run the generator on a Hadoop cluster. While Hadoop clusters are not easy to setup, using a Hadoop cloud service like Azure HDInsight is remarkably easy. With HDInsight, you can use a powerful cluster of machines to generate the data quickly, and when you’re done you can delete the cluster, leaving the data in place.
Most of the instructions should follow through to work with on-prem or non-HDInsight Hadoop clusters, though there will be some changes to accommodate differences in HDInsight.