The Need to Consider Hardware Selection when Designing Big Data Applications Supported by Metadata

The Need to Consider Hardware Selection when Designing Big Data Applications Supported by Metadata

Nathan Regola (University of Notre Dame, USA), David A. Cieslak (Aunalytics, Inc., USA) and Nitesh V. Chawla (University of Notre Dame, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4699-5.ch015
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Abstract

The selection of hardware to support big data systems is complex. Even defining the term “big data” is difficult. “Big data” can mean a large volume of data in a database, a MapReduce cluster that processes data, analytics and reporting applications that must access large datasets to operate, algorithms that can effectively operate on large datasets, or even basic scripts that produce a needed resulted by leveraging data. Big data systems can be composed of many component systems. For these reasons, it appears difficult to create a universal, representative benchmark that approximates a “big data” workload. Along with the trend to utilize large datasets and sophisticated tools to analyze data, the trend of cloud computing has emerged as an effective method of leasing compute time. This chapter explores some of the issues at the intersection of virtualized computing (since cloud computing often uses virtual machines), metadata stores, and big data. Metadata is important because it enables many applications and users to access datasets and effectively use them without relying on extensive knowledge from humans about the data.
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Introduction

Big data systems have emerged as a set of hardware and software solutions to allow organizations to obtain value from the increasing volume and complexity of data that is captured. Web sites are one example of leveraging big data systems and data to improve key business metrics. For example, large organizations often have a portal site that is a vital part of their business operations, whether it a private extranet, a public site for news, or an e-commerce site. While major public portal sites often appear that they are one seamless site, they are often built from many separate applications. For example, a news site may have an application that lists the top ten most popular news articles or an ecommerce site may recommend products for a user. Increasingly, these applications or components are driven by big data systems. Major portal sites are essentially large distributed systems that appear as a seamless site. This approach allows the operators of the site to experiment with new applications and deploy new applications without impacting existing functionality. It also importantly enables the workflow of each application to be distinct and supported by the necessary hardware and application level redundancy that is appropriate for that specific application. An e-commerce site would likely invest substantial resources to ensure that the “shopping cart” application was available with an uptime of 100%, while the “recommended products” application may have a target uptime of 99.9%. Likewise, a news site may decide that the front page should be accessible with a target uptime of 100%, even during periods of extreme load such as on a national election day. The news site may decide that the “most popular articles” application should have a target uptime of 99.99%. For example, a small pool of servers may present the content for display that is produced by each application, but each application may have its own internal database servers, Hadoop cluster, or caching layer.

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