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Category: Spark

MLFlow on Databricks Community Edition

Jules Damji and Siddharth Murching have an interesting announcement:

Today, we are excited to extend Databricks Community Edition with hosted MLflow for free, as part of our ongoing commitment to help developers learn about machine learning lifecycle. With the Community Edition, you can try tutorials that demonstrate how to track results and experiments as you build machine learning models—a crucial stage in the machine learning model’s development lifecycle.

MLflow is an open-source platform for the machine learning lifecycle with four components: MLflow TrackingMLflow ProjectsMLflow Models, and MLflow Registry. MLflow is now included in Databricks Community Edition, meaning that you can utilize its Tracking and Model APIs within a notebook or from your laptop just as easily as you would with managed MLflow in Databricks Enterprise Edition.

I like showing off Databricks Community Edition, and I’m glad to see them extend it a bit.

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Delta Lake to Become an Open Standard

Michael Armbrust and Reynold Xin have exciting news about Delta Lake:

At today’s Spark + AI Summit Europe in Amsterdam, we announced that Delta Lake is becoming a Linux Foundation project. Together with the community, the project aims to establish an open standard for managing large amounts of data in data lakes. The Apache 2.0 software license remains unchanged.

Delta Lake focuses on improving the reliability and scalability of data lakes. Its higher level abstractions and guarantees, including ACID transactions and time travel, drastically simplify the complexity of real-world data engineering architecture. Since we open sourced Delta Lake six months ago, we have been humbled by the reception. The project has been deployed at thousands of organizations and processes exabytes of data each month, becoming an indispensable pillar in data and AI architectures.

Read on to see what this means for Delta Lake.

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The Benefits of Delta Lake

Kaushik Nath explains what a Delta Lake is and why it is beneficial:

Data lakes have generated a large amount of publicity as the new storage technology for our big data era. Because something new is always better, right? 

All this hype around data lakes has ignored their inherent drawbacks and limitations. Well, I’m Not Here to create a debate by saying that no one should ever use data lakes. But I am saying that companies should enter into the data lake investment with eyes wide open. Otherwise it might lead to some serious complications.

Delta Lake is a concept intended to mitigate some of the issues with data lakes in general, turning them into data swamps.

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PySpark DataFrame Joining

Monika Rathor shows the various ways you can join DataFrames with PySpark:

PySpark provides multiple ways to combine dataframes i.e. join, merge, union, SQL interface, etc. In this article, we will take a look at how the PySpark join function is similar to SQL join, where two or more tables or dataframes can be combined based on conditions. 

One join type you don’t directly get in SQL Server is the left anti join. We can build something quite similar with NOT EXISTS, though.

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Financial Time Series Analysis in Databricks

Ricardo Portilla shares a demo of financial time series analysis in Databricks:

We’ve shown a merging technique above, so now let’s focus on a standard aggregation, namely Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP), which is the average price weighted by volume. This metric is an indicator of the trend and value of the security throughout the day.  The vwap function within our wrapper class (in the attached notebook) shows where the VWAP falls above or below the trading price of the security. In particular, we can now identify the window during which the VWAP (in orange) falls below the trade price, showing that the stock is overbought.

Click through for the article, as well as a notebook you can try out.

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Differences in Spark RDDs and DataSets

Brad Llewellyn looks at some of the differences between RDDs and DataSets in Spark:

We see that there are some differences between filtering RDDsData Frames and Datasets.  The first major difference is the same one we keep seeing, RDDs reference by indices instead of column names.  There’s also an interesting difference of using 2 =’s vs 3 =’s for equality operators. Simply put, “==” tries to directly equate two objects, whereas “===” tries to dynamically define what “equality” means.  In the case of filter(), it’s typically used to determine whether the value in one column (income, in our case) is equal to the value of another column (string literal “<=50K”, in our case).  In other words, if you want to compare values in one column to values in another column, “===” is the way to go.

Interestingly, there was another difference caused by the way we imported our data.  Since we custom-built our RDD parsing algorithm to use <COMMA><SPACE> as the delimiter, we don’t need to trim our RDD values.  However, we used the built-in sqlContext.read.csv() function for the Data Frame and Dataset, which doesn’t trim by default.  So, we used the ltrim() function to remove the leading whitespace.  This function can be imported from the org.apache.spark.sql.functions library.

Read on for more, including quite a few code samples.

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An Introduction to Apache Livy

Guy Shilo explains why we should care about Apache Livy:

Apache Livy is an open source server that exposes Spark as a service. Its backend connects to a Spark cluster while the frontend enables REST API. This enables running it as the organization’s Spark gateway and even run in in docker containers.

Not only it enables running Spark jobs from anywhere, but it also enables shared Spark context and a shared RDD cache among all it’s users which is time and memory saving.

I will demonstrate here how to setup Apache Livy on one of the cluster’s nodes and on a separate server.

Click through for the demonstration.

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Migrating Databricks Workspaces

Gerhard Brueckl has made DatabricksPS better:

I do not know what is/was the problem here but I did not have time to investigate but instead needed to come up with a proper solution in time. So I had a look what needs to be done for a manual export. Basically there are 5 types of content within a Databricks workspace:

– Workspace items (notebooks and folders)
– Clusters
– Jobs
– Secrets
– Security (users and groups)

For all of them an appropriate REST API is provided by Databricks to manage and also exports and imports. This was fantastic news for me as I knew I could use my existing PowerShell module DatabricksPS to do all the stuff without having to re-invent the wheel again.

I’ve used DatabricksPS and really like it for cases where I’d have to loop with the Databricks REST API—for example, when uploading files.

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Resource Allocation in Spark Applications

The folks at Beginner’s Hadoop take us through resource allocation in Spark applications:

Tiny executors essentially means one executor per core. Following table depicts the values of our spar-config params with this approach:

Analysis: With only one executor per core, as we discussed above, we’ll not be able to take advantage of running multiple tasks in the same JVM. Also, shared/cached variables like broadcast variables and accumulators will be replicated in each core of the nodes which is 16 times. Also, we are not leaving enough memory overhead for Hadoop/Yarn daemon processes and we are not counting in ApplicationManager. NOT GOOD!

Read on for the full analysis.

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Delta Lake Schema Enforcement

Burak Yavuz, et al, explain the concept of schema enforcement with Databricks Delta Lake:

Schema enforcement, also known as schema validation, is a safeguard in Delta Lake that ensures data quality by rejecting writes to a table that do not match the table’s schema. Like the front desk manager at a busy restaurant that only accepts reservations, it checks to see whether each column in data inserted into the table is on its list of expected columns (in other words, whether each one has a “reservation”), and rejects any writes with columns that aren’t on the list.

Something something “relational database” something something. They also walk us through some examples in a Databricks notebook, so check that out.

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