CSV Data Ingestion with Spark

Jean Georges Perrin shows how you can easily load CSV data with Spark:

Fortunately for you, Apache Spark offers a variety of options for ingesting those CSV files. Ingesting CSV is easy and schema inference is a powerful feature.
Let’s have a look at more advanced examples with more options that illustrate the complexity of CSV files in the outside world. You’ll first look at the file you’ll ingest, and understand its specifications. You’ll then have a look at the result and finally build the mini-application to achieve the result. This pattern repeats for each format.

It’s good to see some of the lesser-used features pop up like date format and multi-line support (which I hadn’t even known about).

Apache Flink 1.8.0 Released

Aljoscha Krettek announces the general availablity of Apache Flink version 1.8.0:

SQL pattern detection with user-defined functions and aggregations: The support of the MATCH_RECOGNIZE clause has been extended by multiple features. The addition of user-defined functions allows for custom logic during pattern detection (FLINK-10597), while adding aggregations allows for more complex CEP definitions, such as the following (FLINK-7599).

There are several really nice changes. I pointed out this one to get people to vote up Itzik Ben-Gan’s feedback item to get row pattern recognition in SQL Server.

Benefits of Partitioning in Spark

The Hadoop in Real World team take a look at how appropriate partitioning can make your Spark jobs much faster:

Shuffle is an expensive operation whether you do it with plain old MapReduce programs or with Spark. Shuffle is he process of bringing Key Value pairs from different mappers (or tasks in Spark) by Key in to a single reducer (task in Spark). So all key value pairs of the same key will end up in one task (node). So we can loop through the key value pairs and do the needed aggregation.

Since production jobs usually involve a lot of tasks in Spark, the key value pairs movement between nodes during shuffle (from one task to another) will cause a significant bottleneck. In some cases Shuffle is not avoidable but in many instances you could avoid shuffle by structuring your data little differently. Avoiding shuffle will have an positive impact on performance.

Read the whole thing. Getting partitions right is critical to writing scalable Spark jobs.

Memory Management in Spark

Rishitesh Mishra has started a new series on slow or failing Spark applications and starts with the big reason:

If we were to got all Spark developers to vote, out of memory (OOM) conditions would surely be the number one problem everyone has faced. This comes as no big surprise as Spark’s architecture is memory-centric. Some of the most common causes of OOM are:
* Incorrect usage of Spark
* High concurrency
* Inefficient queries
* Incorrect configuration

Definitely worth the read.

Dynamic Routing with Kafka Streams

Yeva Byzek explains how you can use Kafka Streams to perform dynamic routing of messages:

A cleaner way is to provide the service with a separate stream that contains only the relevant subset of events that the microservice cares about. To achieve this, a streaming application can branch the original event stream into different substreams using the method KStream#branch(). This results in new Kafka topics, so then the microservice can subscribe to one of the branched streams directly.

For example, in the finance domain, consider a fraud remediation microservice that should process only the subset of events suspected of being fraudulent. As shown below, the original stream of events is branched into two new streams: one for suspicious events and one for validated events. This enables the fraud remediation microservice to process just the stream of suspicious events, without ever seeing the validated events.

Read on to learn more.

Getting Started with Azure Databricks

Brad Llewellyn has a tutorial for Azure Databricks:

Databricks is a managed Spark framework, similar to what we saw with HDInsight in the previous post.  The major difference between the two technologies is that HDInsight is more of a managed provisioning service for Hadoop, while Databricks is more like a managed Spark platform.  In other words, HDInsight is a good choice if we need the ability to manage the cluster ourselves, but don’t want to deal with provisioning, while Databricks is a good choice when we simply want to have a Spark environment for running our code with little need for maintenance or management.

Azure Databricks is not a Microsoft product.  It is owned and managed by the company Databricks and available in Azure and AWS.  However, Databricks is a “first party offering” in Azure.  This means that Microsoft offers the same level of support, functionality and integration as it would with any of its own products.  You can read more about Azure Databricks herehereand here.

Click through for a demonstration of the product.

What’s New With KSQL

Robin Moffatt looks into additions to KSQL with Confluent Platform 5.2:

PRINT is one of those features you may not quite grok until you start using it…and then you’ll wonder how you lived without it. It provides a simple way of displaying the contents of a Kafka topic and figures out itself which deserialiser to use. Avro? No problem! JSON? Bring it on!

In KSQL 5.2, the PRINT feature gets even better as you can specify how many records you’d like to see from the topic using the LIMIT clause.

These are some good additions.

Confluent Platform 5.2 Released

Mau Barra announces Confluent Platform 5.2:

Confluent Platform 5.2 represents a significant milestone in our efforts across three key dimensions:
1. It allows you to use the entire Confluent Platform free forever in single-broker Kafka clusters, so you are freer than ever to start building new event streaming applications right away. We are also bringing librdkafka 1.0 in order to bring our C/C++, Python, Go and .NET clients closer to parity with the Java client.
2. It adds critical enhancements to Confluent Control Center that will help you meet your event streaming SLAs in distributed Apache Kafka environments at greater scale.
3. With our latest version of Confluent Replicator, you can now seamlessly stream events across on-prem and public cloud deployments.

The top item is quite interesting: a free developer license and not just a 30-day trial.

Developing Big Data Cluster Spark Jobs with IntelliJ

Jenny Jiang shows how we can use IntelliJ IDEA to develop Spark jobs against SQL Server Big Data Clusters:

We’re delighted to release the Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ support for SQL Server Big Data Cluster Spark job development and submission. For first-time Spark developers, it can often be hard to get started and build their first application, with long and tedious development cycles in the integrated development environment (IDE). This toolkit empowers new users to get started with Spark in just a few minutes. Experienced Spark developers also find it faster and easier to iterate their development cycle.

The toolkit extends IntelliJ support for the Spark job life cycle starting from creation, authoring, and debugging, through submission of jobs to SQL Server Big Data Clusters. It enables you to enjoy a native Scala and Java Spark application development experience and quickly start a project using built-in templates and sample code. The integration with SQL Server Big Data Cluster empowers you to quickly submit a job to the big data cluster as well as monitor its progress. The Spark console allows you to check schemas, preview data, and validate your code logic in a shell-like environment while you can develop Spark batch jobs within the same toolkit.

It looks pretty good from my vantage point.

The SparkSession Object

Achilleus explains SparkSession and why it’s useful even if you know about SparkContext:

Spark session is a unified entry point of a spark application from Spark 2.0. It provides a way to interact with various spark’s functionality with a lesser number of constructs. Instead of having a spark context, hive context, SQL context, now all of it is encapsulated in a Spark session.

Read on to learn more about SparkSession and how you can use it.

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