what is Apache Spark

Apache Spark (Spark) seems to be a data-processing engine for large data sets that is open source. It is intended to provide the computational speed, scalability, and fully programmability necessary for Big Data applications, explicitly broadcasting data, graph data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). The analytics engine throughout Spark processes the data 10 to 100 times quickly and adapts. It spikes by delivering service operations across huge networks of machines, with parallel processing and load balancing built in. It even contains APIs for widely used programming languages used by data analysts and data scientists, such as Scala, Java, Python, and R. Through this blog post we will learn about the history, features, benefits, and core components of the Apache Spark in a more detailed way.

History of Apache Spark:

Apache Spark began in 2009 as a research study at UC Berkeley's AMPLab, a student, research scientist, and faculty cooperation concentrating on information application domains. Spark's aim is to create a new structure that was configured for quick take on the challenge such as artificial intelligence and engaging data analysis even when maintaining the usability and load balancing of Hadoop MapReduce.

The first article, “Spark: Cluster Computing with Working Sets,” was introduced in June 2010, and Spark has been released under a BSD license. Spark was accepted into the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) incubation program in June 2013, and was designated as an Apache Top-Level Project in February 2014. Spark can run on its own, on Apache Mesos, or, more commonly, on Apache Hadoop.

Spark has become one of the most ongoing projects in the Hadoop ecosystem, with several companies using it in tandem with Hadoop to process big data. Spark had 365,000 meetup members in 2017, representing a 5x increase in two years. Since 2009, it has received contributions from over 1,000 developers from over 200 organizations.   

Benefits of Apache Spark:

There are numerous advantages to using Apache Spark, making it one of the most active projects in the Hadoop ecosystem. These are some examples:

  • Spark could indeed move quickly to respond aggressively toward information of any size thanks to in-memory caching as well as streamlined query execution.
  • Suitable for developers
  • Apache Spark supports Java, Scala, R, and Python native code, offering you a different language to create your applications in. Such APIs make life easier for your designers by hiding the intricacy of data storage next to straightforward, high-level contractors, significantly decreasing the quantity of code required.
  • A variety of workloads i.e Apache Spark is capable of running a variety of workforces, such as interactive queries, real-time big data, machine learning, and graph processing. Multiple workloads can be seamlessly combined by a single application. 

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Features of Apache Spark:

The features of Apache spark are:

  • The speed of Apache Spark is the most important feature that has led the big data world to prefer this technology over others. Big data is distinguished by its volume, variety, velocity, and veracity, and it necessitates faster processing. Spark includes a Resilient Distributed Dataset (RDD), which reduces the time required for reading and writing operations, allowing it to run tens to hundreds of times faster.
  • Apache Spark provides various functions, allowing developers to write applications in Java, Scala, R, or Python. 

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  • In-memory computing Spark stores data in the RAM of servers, allowing for quick access and, as a result, accelerating the speed of analytics.
  • Real-time processing Spark can handle real-time streaming data. Unlike MapReduce, which only processes stored data, Spark can process real-time data and thus produce instant results.
  • Better analytics – Unlike MapReduce, which only includes the Map and Reduce functions, Spark would include much more. Apache Spark includes a robust set of SQL queries, machine learning algorithms, complex analytics, and so on. With all of these features, analytics can be performed more effectively with the help of Spark. 

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Who uses Apache Spark?

Spark is indeed a general-purpose decentralized database server that is used to handle large amounts of data. It has been used to detect patterns and provide real-time insight in every type of big data use case. Here are some examples of use cases:

In banking, Spark is used to predict customer churn and recommend new financial products. Spark is used in investment banking to analyze stock prices in order to forecast future trends.
Spark is being used to create comprehensive patient care by making data available to front-line health workers for every patient interaction. Spark can also predict and recommend patient treatment.
Spark is used to reduce downtime of internet-connected equipment by recommending when preventive maintenance should be performed.
Retail Spark is being used to retain customers by providing customized services and offers. 

Architecture of Apache Spark:

Architecture of Apache Spark

Here we will explore each and every component in a more detailed way.

Apache Spark seems to have a master/slave architecture that is hierarchical. The master node that regulates the cluster manager, that handles the worker (slave) nodes and provides relevant data to the application client, is the Spark Driver.

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Spark Driver creates the SparkContext based on the application code, which works with the cluster manager—Standalone Spark's Cluster Manager or other cluster managers such as Hadoop YARN, Kubernetes, or Mesos—to distribute and monitor execution across the nodes. It also generates Resilient Distributed Datasets (RDDs), which are responsible for Spark's incredible processing speed.

Resilient Distributed Datasets(RDD):

Resilient Distributed Datasets (RDDs) are fault-tolerant collections of elements that can be distributed and worked on in parallel across multiple nodes in a cluster. RDDs are a key structure in Apache Spark.

Spark loads information into an RDD for storage by mentioning a data source or parallelizing an old platform with the SparkContext parallelization method. Spark performs transitions and behavior on RDDs in memory after data is loaded into an RDD—this is the key to Spark's speed. Unless the system runs out of memory or the user decides to write the data to disk, Spark also stores the data in memory.

Each RDD dataset has been partitioned into logical partitions that can be calculated on various cluster nodes. Furthermore, users can carry out two types of RDD operations: conversions and actions. Transformations are operations that are used to generate a new RDD. Actions are used to tell Apache Spark how to compute and return the results to the driver.

Spark covers a wide variety of RDD actions and transformations. Spark handles this distribution, so consumers wouldn't have to worry about calculating the correct distribution.

Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG):

In contrast to MapReduce's two-stage execution process, Spark uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) to schedule tasks and orchestrate worker nodes across the cluster. The DAG scheduler facilitates efficiency by orchestrating the worker nodes across the cluster as Spark acts and transforms data in the task execution processes.This task-tracking enables fault tolerance by reapplying recorded operations to data from a previous state.

DataFrames and DataSets are two types of data structures.

Spark also supports two other data types, DataFrames and Datasets, in addition to RDDs.

DataFrames are the most widely used structured application programming interfaces (APIs), and they represent a table of data with rows and columns. RDD, despite being a critical feature of Spark, is now in maintenance mode.

DataFrames has led the way as the main API for Spark's Machine Learning Library (MLlib) growing in popularity. This is worth remembering when using the MLlib API because DataFrames offer consistency along all languages such as Scala, Java, Python, and R.

Datasets are really a type-safe, object-oriented programming interface which extends DataFrames. Datasets, unlike DataFrames, are by default a collection of strongly typed JVM objects.

Data from DataFrames and SQL data stores, including Apache Hive, can be queried using Spark SQL. When run in another language, Spark SQL queries return a DataFrame or DataSet.

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Apache Spark Core:

Spark Core serves as the foundation for all parallel data processing, handling scheduling, optimization, RDD, and data abstraction. The Spark libraries, Spark SQL, Spark Streaming, the MLlib machine learning library, and GraphX graph data processing all rely on Spark Core.The Spark Core and cluster manager distribute and abstract data across the Spark cluster. Because of this distribution and abstraction, dealing with Big Data is quick and easy.

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Spark API’s:

Spark includes a number of application programming interfaces (APIs) to ensure that the power of Spark is accessible to the widest possible audience. Spark SQL enables for relational interaction with RDD data. Spark also has an API that is well-documented for Scala, Java, Python, and R.

Every other language API in Spark has its own quirks when it comes to data handling. Each language API supports RDDs, DataFrames, and Datasets. Spark's APIs for this wide range of languages make Big Data processing more accessible to a wider range of people with backgrounds in development, data science, and statistics.

Apache Spark MLib:

The machine learning key components throughout the Spark MLlib are one of Apache Spark's critical capabilities. The Apache Spark MLlib includes a solution for classification and regression, collaborative filtering, clustering, distributed linear algebra, decision trees, random forests, gradient-boosted trees, frequent pattern mining, evaluation metrics, and statistics out of the box.The MLlib's abilities, coupled with the different data types that Spark can handle, make Apache Spark a must-have Big Data tool.

Apache Spark GraphX:

Spark has API abilities in addition to Spark GraphX, a recent arrival to Spark developed to fix graph problems. GraphX is a graph abstract concept that expands RDDs to include graphs and graph-parallel computation. Spark GraphX incorporates graph databases, which store connectedness information or webs of link data, such as those used in social networks.

Spark Streaming:

Spark Streaming is indeed a core Spark API extension that allows loosely coupled, fault-tolerant storage of live data streams. With Spark's machine learning and graph-processing algorithms, data can be delivered to file systems, databases, and live dashboards as it is processed by Spark Streaming.Spark Streaming, which is based on the Spark SQL engine, also supports incremental batch processing, which results in faster processing of streamed data.

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Because of its speed, simplicity of use, and visualization tools, Apache Spark has seen significant growth in recent years, and become the most effective information retrieval and AI engine throughout enterprises today. Spark, on the other hand, is expensive because it requires a lot of RAM to run in-memory.

Spark unifies data and artificial intelligence by streamlining data preparation at a large scale all over multiple sources. Furthermore, it provides a practical set of APIs for both data design and business analytics workloads, as well as interoperability of basic functionality like TensorFlow, PyTorch, R, and SciKit-Learn.

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As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.