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Apache Spark – what is it?

Are you in need of a data processing framework for your business? Apache Spark may be just the right one for you. It is an open-source, powerful tool that enables users to perform various tasks on large data sets (big data) and distribute those tasks among many computing tools. This framework consists of two main components:

  • Driver – This component converts code created by a user into different tasks so they can be distributed across worker nodes.
  • Executors –  They run on nodes and execute tasks that have been assigned to those nodes.

As mentioned, it can be used to perform multiple tasks, like running distributed SQL, ingesting data into a database, creating data pipelines, working with data streams or running ML algorithms – those are just a few examples of the processes that can be done on data with Spark’s help.

What are the benefits of using Apache Spark?

  1. Fast data processing thanks to in-memory processing.
  2. Spark’s code is reusable. It can be reused, for example, for batch-processing.
  3. Apache Spark provides fault tolerance – it ensures data is not lost.
  4. The framework supports multiple languages (Java, R, Scala, Python).
  5. It supports complex analysis using machine learning and has dedicated tools for data streaming.

Apache Spark applications – examples

No matter which industry you work in, or if you are a small, medium or big company, you can leverage this framework to run various processes in your business. DS Stream can help you optimize Apache Spark so it will suit your company’s specific needs. Here are some examples of how it can be used.

Enabling Data Streaming

Data streaming is one of the basic processes run on data. For most companies, the ability to stream and analyze data in real time is essential. Apache Spark provides users with tools for streaming data (streaming ETL tools – ETL stands for: extract, transform, load) and enables developers to perform all important data processes with a single framework. This saves effort, time and money. Spark can be used for improving your company’s system security. Spark Streaming allows your experts to detect suspicious activity more easily and respond to it quickly.

Improving Data Analytics

With Spark Streaming, you can have your company’s data analyzed in a short time. This capability also affects analytics as it enriches live data by combining it with static data. This process improves data quality, therefore also making the results of analysis more reliable. Enriched data can be used in advertising for delivering more personalized ads in real-time. This framework also enables interactive analytics and can be combined with useful visualization tools. Don’t forget that Spark comes with an integrated framework for running advanced analytics using machine learning algorithms.

Which companies are using Apache Spark?

Uber

Surely most of us have used Uber at least once – this online taxi company allows users to order affordable transportation services with an app. Uber collects huge amounts of data every day and needs to handle it. It uses Kafka, Spark Streaming and HDFS in order to build a continuous ETL pipeline to manage collected information and analyze it.

Pinterest

Pinterest uses Spark Streaming in order to build a similar ETL pipeline and gain business insights in real-time. Pinterest’s workers can learn how users interact with Pinterest content almost immediately after that happens, so more relevant recommendations can be prepared for them.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor compares the offers of travel agencies, restaurants, hotels and other touristic businesses. Apache Spark enables them to create personalized customer recommendations based on users’ internet activity in a short time.

Ebay

Ebay also uses Spark in order to enhance user experience by sending personalized offers to users, but that is not the only reason. Using this framework allows the company to optimize the overall performance of its systems and apps.

Netflix

Real-time streaming is the essence of Netflix’s success. Data streaming makes watching movies possible. It is also used for providing online recommendations. Netflix uses Apache Spark for these purposes.

Choosing the right technologies for your company is half of success. Take a cue from the best!

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