Latest Update made on November 24,2016
Choosing the right Hadoop Distribution for your enterprise is a very important decision, whether you have been using Hadoop for a while or you are a newbie to the framework. The decision to go with a particular commercial Hadoop Distribution is very critical as an organization spends significant amount of money on hardware and hadoop solutions. However, choosing the right Hadoop Distribution for business needs leads to faster data driven solutions and helps your organization gain traction from best people in the industry. The idea of this blog post is to explore and compare the Hadoop distributions, Cloudera vs. Hortonworks vs. MapR - based on cost, technical details, ease of maintenance and deployment.
Cloudera vs. Hortonworks vs. MapR
Hadoop is an open source project and several vendors have stepped in to develop their own distributions on top of Hadoop framework to make it enterprise ready. The beauty of Hadoop distributions lies in the fact that they can be personalized with different feature sets to meet the requirements of different classes of users. Hadoop Distributions pull together all the enhancement projects present in the Apache repository and present them as a unified product so that organizations don’t have to spend time on assembling these elements into a single functional component.
Different Classes of Users who require Hadoop-
- Professionals who are learning Hadoop might need a temporary Hadoop deployment.
- Organizations that want to adopt big data solutions to pace up with the massive growth of data from disparate sources.
- Hadoop Developers, whose job roles require them to build new tools for the Hadoop ecosystem.
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Layers of Innovation offered by Commercial Hadoop Vendors
Hadoop vendors have added new functionalities by improving the code base and bundling it with easy to use and user-friendly management tools, technical support and continuous updates. The most recognized Hadoop Distributions available in the market are – Cloudera, MapR and Hortonworks. All these Hadoop Distributions are compatible with Apache Hadoop but the question is –what distinguishes them from each other?
All the 3 big players - Cloudera, MapR and Hortonworks use the core Hadoop framework and bundle it for enterprise use. The features offered as a part of core distribution by these vendors include support service and subscription service model.
Enterprise Reliability and Integration
Commercial vendor MapR offers a robust distribution package that includes various features like –real-time data streaming, built-in connectors to existing systems, data protection, enterprise quality engineering.
Cloudera and MapR offer additional management software as a part of the commercial distribution so that Hadoop Administrators can configure, monitor and tune their hadoop clusters.
Cloudera vs. Hortonworks vs. MapR- Similarities and Differences Unleashed
Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop (CDH)
CDH has a user friendly interface with many features and useful tools like Cloudera Impala
CDH is comparatively slower than MapR Hadoop Distribution
MapR Hadoop Distribution
It is one of the fastest hadoop distribution with multi node direct access.
MapR does not have a good interface console as Cloudera
Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP)
It is the only Hadoop Distribution that supports Windows platform.
The Ambari Management interface on HDP is just a basic one and does not have many rich features.
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- All the three – Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR, are focused on Hadoop and their entire revenue comes in by offering enterprise ready hadoop distributions
- Cloudera, MapR and Hortonworks are all mid-sized companies with their premium paid customers increasing over time and with partnership ventures across different industries.
- All three vendors provide downloadable free versions of their distributions but MapR and Cloudera also provide additional premium hadoop distributions to their paying customers.
- They have established communities for support to help users with the problems faced and also demonstrations, if required.
- All the three Hadoop distributions have stood the test of time ensuring stability and security to meet business needs.
That’s where the similarities end. Let’s move on to understand the differences by understanding the features of each Hadoop distribution in detail.
Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop (CDH)
Cloudera is the best known player and market leader in the Hadoop space to release the first commercial Hadoop distribution. With more than 350 customers and with active contribution of code to the Hadoop Ecosystem, it tops the list when it comes to building innovative tools. The management console –Cloudera Manager, is easy to use and implement with rich user interface displaying all the information in an organized and clean way. The proprietary Cloudera Management suite automates the installation process and also renders various other enhanced services to users –displaying the count of real-time nodes, reducing the deployment time, etc.
Cloudera offers consulting services to bridge the gap between - what the community provides and what organizations need to integrate Hadoop technology in their data management strategy. Groupon uses CDH for its hadoop services.
Unique Features Supported by Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop
- The ability to add new services to a running Hadoop cluster.
- CDH supports multi cluster management.
- CDH provides Node Templates i.e. it allows creation of groups of nodes in a Hadoop cluster with varying configuration so that the users don’t have to use the same configuration throughout the Hadoop cluster.
- Hortonworks and Cloudera both depend on HDFS and go with the DataNode and NameNode architecture for splitting up where the data processing is done and metadata is saved.
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MapR Hadoop Distribution
MapR hadoop distribution works on the concept that a market driven entity is meant to support market needs faster. Leading companies like Cisco, Ancestry.com, Boeing, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon EMR use MapR Hadoop Distribution for their Hadoop services. Unlike Cloudera and Hortonworks, MapR Hadoop Distribution has a more distributed approach for storing metadata on the processing nodes because it depends on a different file system known as MapR File System (MapRFS) and does not have a NameNode architecture. MapR hadoop distribution does not rely on the Linux File system.
Unique Features Supported by MapR Hadoop Distribution
- It is the only Hadoop distribution that includes Pig, Hive and Sqoop without any Java dependencies - since it relies on MapRFS.
- MapR is the most production ready Hadoop distribution with enhancements that make it more user friendly, faster and dependable.
- Provides multi node direct access NFS , so that users of the distribution can mount MapR file system over NFS allowing applications to access hadoop data in a traditional way.
- MapR Hadoop Distribution provides complete data protection, ease of use and no single points of failure.
- MapR is considered to be one of the fastest hadoop distributions.
Why you should choose MapR Hadoop distribution?
Though MapR is still at number 3 in terms of number of installations, it is one of the easiest and fastest hadoop distributions when compared to others.If you are looking for an innovative approch with lots of free learning material then MapR Hadoop distribution is the way to go.
Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP)
Hortonworks, founded by Yahoo engineers, provides a ‘service only’ distribution model for Hadoop. Hortonworks is different from the other hadoop distributions, as it is an open enterprise data platform available free for use. Hortonworks hadoop distribution –HDP can easily be downloaded and integrated for use in various applications.
Ebay, Samsung Electronics, Bloomberg and Spotify use HDP. Hortonworks was the first vendor to provide a production ready Hadoop distribution based on Hadoop 2.0. Though CDH had Hadoop 2.0 features in its earlier versions, all of its components were not considered production ready. HDP is the only hadoop distribution that supports windows platform. Users can deploy a windows based hadoop cluster on Azure through HDInsight service.
Unique Features Supported by Hortonworks Hadoop Distribution –HDP
- HDP makes Hive faster through its new Stinger project.
- HDP avoids vendor lock-in by pledging to a forked version of Hadoop.
- Focused on enhancing the usability of the Hadoop platform.
Choose the Right Hadoop Distribution to make Big Data Meaningful for your Organization
With a clear distinction in strategy and features between the three big vendors in the Hadoop market - there is no clear winner in sight. Organizations have to choose the kind of Hadoop Distribution depending on the level of sophistication they require. Some of the important questions you would want to get answered before deciding on a particular Hadoop distribution are -
- Will the chosen Hadoop distribution help the general administrators work with Hadoop effectively?
- Does the chosen Hadoop distribution provide ease of data access to hadoop developers and business analysts?
- Does the Hadoop distribution support your organization’s data protection policies?
- Does the Hadoop distribution fit into your environment?
- Does the Hadoop distribution package everything together that Hadoop has to offer?
- Does your organization need a big data solution that can make a quick impact on the overall profitability of the business or do you want to clinch the flexibility of the open source Hadoop to alleviate the risk of vendor lock-in?
- How significant are - system dependability, technical support and expanded functionality for your organization?
MapR Distribution is the way to go if it’s all about product and if open source is your uptake - then Hortonworks Hadoop Distribution is for you. If your business requirements fit somewhere in between then opting for Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop, might be a good decision.
Choosing a Hadoop Distribution completely depends on the hindrances or obstacles an organization is facing in implementing Hadoop in the enterprise. A right move in choosing a hadoop distribution will help organizations connect Hadoop to different data analysis platforms with flexibility, reliability and visibility. Each hadoop distribution has its own pros and cons. When choosing a hadoop distribution for business needs, it is imperative to consider the additional value offered by each hadoop distribution by balancing the risk and cost, for the Hadoop distribution to prove beneficial for your enterprise needs.