Apache Spark is a real-time data processing system with support for diverse data sources and programming styles. It is scalable, versatile, and capable of performing processing tasks on vast data sets, providing a framework for big data machine learning and AI.
The Spark ecosystem includes a combination of proprietary Spark products and various libraries that support SQL, Python, Java, and other languages, making it possible to integrate Spark with multiple workflows.
1. Apache Spark Core API
The underlying execution engine for the Spark platform. It provides in-memory computing and referencing for data sets in external storage systems.
2. Spark SQL
The interface for processing structured and semi-structured data. It enables efficient querying of databases and empowers users to import relational data, run SQL queries, and scale quickly, maximizing Spark's capabilities around data processing and analytics and optimizing performance.
3. Spark Streaming
This allows Spark to process real-time streaming data ingested from various sources such as Kafka, Flume, and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and push out to file systems, databases, and live dashboards.
A collection of machine learning (ML) algorithms for classification, regression, clustering, and collaborative filtering. It also includes other tools for constructing, evaluating, and tuning ML pipelines.
A library to manipulate graph databases and perform computations unifying extract, transform, and load (ETL) process, exploratory analysis, and iterative graph computation.
The key element of SparkR is SparkR DataFrames, data structures for data processing in R that extend to other languages with libraries such as Pandas.
Spark distributes data across storage clusters and processes data concurrently. Spark uses master/agent architecture, and the driver communicates with executors. The relationship between the driver (master) and the executors (agents) defines the functionality. Spark can be used for batch processing and real-time processing.
Benefits of Spark
Spark is versatile, scalable, and fast, making the most of big data and existing data platforms.
Spark is based on the concept of the resilient distributed dataset (RDD), a collection of elements that are independent of each other and that can be operated on in parallel, saving time in reading and writing operations.
Spark code can be written in Java, Python, R, and Scala.
Spark stores the data in RAM, allowing quick access and increasing analytics speed.
Spark can process real-time streaming data, producing instant outputs.
Spark comes with a set of SQL queries, machine learning algorithms, and other analytical functionalities.
Spark can combine multiple data functions and processes in a single framework, performing numerous operations consecutively and as part of an integrated data pipeline.
Uses for Spark
Stream processing, to act on data arriving as part of simultaneous streams from multiple sources.
Machine learning, running fast, repeated queries on data stored in memory to train algorithms.
Interactive analytics, getting quick results to questions.
Data integration, consolidating ETL processes to reduce cost and time.
Spark and Snowflake
Snowflake's platform is designed to connect with Spark. The Snowflake Connector for Spark brings Snowflake into the Spark ecosystem, enabling Spark to read and write data to and from Snowflake.
Spark is a powerful tool for data wrangling. Its rich ecosystem provides compelling capabilities for complex ETL and machine learning. With the deep integration provided by the connector, Snowflake can serve as the fully managed and governed database for all your data, including traditional relational data, JSON, Avro, CSV, XML, machine-born data, etc. This makes Snowflake the platform of choice in any Spark-powered solution.