Tip of the day: Use Hadoop for large scale data processing

Understanding Hadoop

What is Hadoop?

Hadoop is a powerful open-source software framework used for data storage and processing. It can store and handle large sets of data across multiple servers and nodes, providing scalability to organizations that need to process vast amounts of data efficiently.

Brief history

Hadoop was created in 2005 by Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella. It was originally developed to support Nutch, an open-source search engine project. In 2008, Hadoop became an Apache project and nowadays it is widely adopted by businesses, academics, and governments worldwide as a go-to solution for big data processing.


Hadoop has several features that make it a popular choice for big data processing, including:

  • Scalability: Hadoop can store and process data across multiple servers and nodes, enabling it to scale horizontally as data grows.
  • Distributed processing: Hadoop lets you distribute the processing of large data sets to multiple machines in parallel effectively.
  • High availability: Hadoop provides automatic failover and replication of data to ensure high availability and reliability in case of a hardware failure.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Hadoop leverages commodity hardware, reducing the cost of data storage and processing.
  • Flexibility: Hadoop supports various data types and formats and can be deployed on-premise, on the cloud, or in a hybrid environment.

How does Hadoop work?

Hadoop works through two core components: the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and MapReduce.

Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)

HDFS is a distributed file system that allows you to store and manage large data sets across many machines. The data is split into smaller pieces, replicated to ensure data durability, and distributed to different nodes in the cluster. HDFS can handle data sets that are larger than the storage capacity of a single server, providing horizontal scaling.


MapReduce is a programming model for processing large data sets in parallel distributed environments. A MapReduce job is divided into two phases: the Map phase and the Reduce phase. The Map phase processes the data in parallel across different nodes in the cluster, and the Reduce phase aggregates the results of the Map phase into a single output.

Why Use Hadoop for Large Scale Data Processing


Hadoop is highly scalable, which means it can process large amounts of data without any performance degradation. It can easily handle thousands of nodes and petabytes of data. Hadoop’s scalability feature makes it ideal for companies that need to process large volumes of data on a daily basis.


Hadoop is an open-source software, which means it is free to use. Unlike commercial data processing solutions, Hadoop does not require any licensing fees. Additionally, Hadoop uses commodity hardware that is inexpensive, making it a cost-effective solution for companies that need to process large amounts of data without breaking the bank.

Real-time data processing

Hadoop allows businesses to process and analyze real-time data. It can process data in batches or stream data in real-time, making it ideal for applications that require real-time data analysis, such as fraud detection, marketing campaigns, and security monitoring.

Applications of Hadoop

Big Data Analytics

Hadoop is widely used for big data analytics as it enables processing of large volumes of structured and unstructured data. With Hadoop, businesses can collect, store, and process data from multiple sources to gain valuable insights. By analyzing big data, businesses can make informed decisions, optimize operations, and improve customer experiences. Some of the key application areas of big data analytics with Hadoop include fraud detection, customer profiling, sentiment analysis, and predictive maintenance.

Business Intelligence

Hadoop provides a powerful platform for business intelligence by enabling users to perform complex data transformations and aggregations. With Hadoop, businesses can store and process large volumes of data from different sources in their native formats. This makes it easier to integrate data from different systems and perform complex analytics. Hadoop also has a number of tools and frameworks that can be used for business intelligence, such as Apache Hive, Apache Pig, and Apache Spark.

Machine Learning

Hadoop is an ideal platform for machine learning due to its ability to store and process large volumes of data. With machine learning, businesses can build predictive models that enable them to identify patterns in data and make accurate predictions. Hadoop has many tools and frameworks that can be used for machine learning, such as Apache Mahout, Apache Spark MLlib, and Apache Flink. These tools make it easier to build and train machine learning models, as well as deploy them at scale.

Getting Started with Hadoop


In order to get started with Hadoop, the first step is to install it on your machine. The installation process for Hadoop varies depending on your operating system and the specific distribution of Hadoop that you want to install. Some popular distributions of Hadoop include Apache Hadoop, Cloudera CDH, and Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP).

If you’re running a Linux-based operating system, you may be able to install Hadoop using your package manager. For example, if you’re running Ubuntu or Debian, you can use the apt package manager to install Hadoop. Alternatively, you can download the Hadoop distribution from the Apache website and follow the installation instructions.

If you’re running a Windows-based operating system, you can download the Hadoop distribution from the Apache website and follow the installation instructions. Note that running Hadoop on Windows may be more challenging than running it on a Linux-based operating system.

Hadoop Ecosystem

Hadoop is part of a larger ecosystem of tools and technologies that are used for big data processing. Some of the key components of the Hadoop ecosystem include:

  • Hive: A data warehousing tool that allows you to query and analyze data stored in Hadoop using a SQL-like language.
  • Pig: A platform for analyzing large datasets that allows you to write scripts in a language called Pig Latin.
  • HBase: A distributed, column-oriented database that can store large amounts of sparse data.
  • Zookeeper: A service that provides distributed coordination and synchronization for Hadoop clusters.
  • Oozie: A workflow scheduling system that allows you to manage and schedule Hadoop jobs.

There are many other tools and technologies in the Hadoop ecosystem, and you may need to learn some of them depending on your specific use case.

Programming with Hadoop

Once you have Hadoop installed and configured, you can start using it to process large datasets. There are several ways to program with Hadoop, but one of the most common is to use the MapReduce programming model.

In MapReduce, you write two functions: a map function and a reduce function. The map function processes each input record independently and produces zero or more intermediate key-value pairs. The reduce function processes the intermediate key-value pairs from the map function and produces zero or more output key-value pairs.

You can write MapReduce programs using several programming languages, including Java, Python, and Ruby. Additionally, there are several higher-level frameworks that allow you to write MapReduce programs without having to deal with the low-level details of the Hadoop API, such as Apache Pig and Apache Hive.