Cloud Data Warehousing Options for Businesses – Part 2

October 5, 2018 | Rob LaPointe

Your business needs to run smoothly and a big part of that is how your data is analyzed and used. We discussed what Snowflake, Presto, and Apache Hive are in Part 1 and how they can benefit your business. If you weren’t sure about any of those 3 options, there are 3 more for you to look at. Hadoop, we mentioned previously but this time you will see more in-depth details about what it really is. Cassandra and HBase have some amazing features you can really take advantage of as well.

If you are still using traditional data warehousing you could be wasting a lot of money and time. Cloud-based data warehousing has a lot of benefits to offer and switching over isn’t always as complicated as it seems. In the end, it will definitely be worth it.

What is Hadoop

Hadoop is basically open-source (free) programs and procedures that anyone can modify. This is essentially the glue that holds everything together for your big data operations. It’s a framework that uses programming models to process large data sets across a bunch of computers. It was created to allow thousands of machines to offer their own storage and local computation.

The Hadoop library can detect and take care of failures that happen making it a really great tool to help with clusters of computers that tend to have failures. To help you understand what Hadoop truly is and what it can offer let’s take a look at its modules that are meant to analyze big data.

1. MapReduce – It takes the data it receives from a database and then configures it into a format so it can be analyzed and then perform tasks based on operations. For example, it will search and find female customers who are between the ages of 20 and 30.

2. Hadoop Common – This has tools that work with various computer systems that can read any data that is within the Hadoop file system.

3. Distributed File-System – data can be stored and accessed easily even if they’re a lot of different storage devices. This makes it easy for MapReduce which digs through the data.

4. YARN – This is basically the manager for the modules because of YARN overseas all the systems that store and analyze the data.

Although these are the main modules, there are other features out there that are part of Hadoop and more will probably be added in the years to come.

There are multiple reasons why your business could benefit from using Hadoop. Those include the ability to process a lot of data very fast. Protection is very important and with Hadoop, you are protected in case a node does go down. It has backups in place just in case. There is no limit to the amount of data you want to store which can be very useful for larger and/or fast-growing companies.

If you need to grow, the system can easily grow with you because all you have to do is increase your nodes as you need them. This is a free framework and does use hardware to store the data so if you are looking for solely cloud-based only then this may not be the best option. It is, however, a pretty cost-effective one.

It’s great at data archiving and the low price point makes it better than most especially with the power it has. There are tools to help you manage all your data for Hadoop as well. Sandbox, Data Lake, and IoT. For example, if you use Sandbox It is great for analyzing big data which can help your company’s operations run more efficiently.

What is Cassandra

Apache Cassandra is an open-source database and was built on Google’s BigTable and Amazon’s Dynamo. It can manage a massive amount of structured data from various commodity servers. Some of the key features with Cassandra is its high level of availability, simplicity, cloud availability, linear scale performance, and data distribution simplicity across various data centers. It’s performance and uptime abilities make it a superior choice to others.

Apple, Instagram, and Uber are just a few of the major companies that use Cassandra. There is a reason these companies have looked to Apache Cassandra with its ability to always have uptime and ease of use. If nodes do fail they can easily be replaced without any downtime happening.

You can use Cassandra either on your hardware or in the cloud. It is incredibly fast as it provides read and write times in sub-milliseconds and is meant for linear, incremental scalability. Like Hadoop, you have the option to add nodes that will provide you with more storage and read/write capacity. You just keep adding as you need it, it’s that simple.

If your business needs a very high level of availability, fantastic performance, and great scalability, Apache Cassandra may be the answer. This is one of the best options out there because it really does perform better than other alternatives, mainly because of its architecture.

If you have applications that you absolutely can’t lose the data for then Cassandra is perfect since it will work even if your entire data center goes down. There are also a lot of support services available in case you need it.

The price point may be higher than others, however, you can grow as your business grows through operational means rather than through development. Development and redesign are costly and time-consuming but with Cassandra, there is no need for that because you just add hardware as you go along. You also don’t have to scale vertically which means you don’t have to spend extra money moving from machine to machine.

What is HBase

We already talked about Hadoop and HBase actually runs on top of HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System). Apache HBase is an open-source NoSQL database that gives read and writes access in real-time. It’s a column-oriented management system. This works really well for sparse data sets. Similar to a traditional database, HBase is a set of tables that have rows and columns. Much like MapReduce, it is written in Java. One thing to note is, HBase does not have the ability to support structured query languages so if you need that, this isn’t going to work for you.

This scales linearly which gives it the ability to deal with a massive amount of data. It can process billions of rows and like other options, it also can combine data from various sources with different structures. The values within each cell have a timestamp. To break it down for you think of the table as a bunch of rows, each row is a bunch of column clusters, each column cluster is a collection of columns, and finally, those individual columns is a cluster of key-value pairs.

These column clusters are stored together which makes it different than the typical row-orientated relational database. Keep in mind if you decide to go with HBase you will need to define the table schema ahead of time and then determine the column clusters. HBase is flexible and can adapt to any change in requirements.

Within Hadoop, you can access your data randomly and in real-time with HBase. It’s pretty easy to store semi-structured data and then access it quickly to provide it to any applications or users. Enterprises that need analysis in real-time for end-users like HBase’s low latency storage capabilities. You may need to manage billions of activities happening within the company and your customers every single day. For this to happen you need web security services that can successfully handle all of it and that happens with the use of HBase because you can keep up with everything in real-time.

The overall benefits of HBase are being able to replicate across the data center, very consistent, automatic load balancing, server-side processing, real-time lookups, and more.

These 3 platforms each have their positives and can improve your business’s operations in so many ways. Although they may seem very similar, there are variants that can either hinder you or help you, and understanding your business infrastructure will help you decide.

If you read part 1 of this blog which goes over Snowflake, Presto, and Apache Hive you now have 6 amazing options to choose from. As mentioned cloud data warehousing can provide a lot of benefits to your company, some more than others.

You may have more questions about each of these cloud data warehousing options. You can get all your questions answered from industry experts at SDI or by contacting Rob at 408.805.0495 or at

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