Hadoop - The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition

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Tom White 978-1-491-90163-2. O’Reilly 2015
In many ways, this is how I feel about Hadoop. Its inner workings are complex, resting as they do on a mixture of distributed systems theory, practical engineering, and common sense. And to the uninitiated, Hadoop can appear alien.

In many ways, this is how I feel about Hadoop. Its inner workings are complex, resting as they do on a mixture of distributed systems theory, practical engineering, and common sense. And to the uninitiated, Hadoop can appear alien. But it doesn’t need to be like this. Stripped to its core, the tools that Hadoop provides for working with big data are simple. If there’s a common theme, it is about raising the level of abstraction — to create building blocks for programmers who have lots of data to store and analyze, and who don’t have the time, the skill, or the inclination to become distributed systems experts to build the infrastructure to handle it. With such a simple and generally applicable feature set, it seemed obvious to me when I started using it that Hadoop deserved to be widely used. However, at the time (in early 2006), setting up, configuring, and writing programs to use Hadoop was an art. Things have certainly improved since then: there is more documentation, there are more examples, and there are thriving mailing lists to go to when you have questions. And yet the biggest hurdle for newcomers is understanding what this technology is capable of, where it excels, and how to use it. That is why I wrote this book. The Apache Hadoop community has come a long way. Since the publication of the first edition of this book, the Hadoop project has blossomed. “Big data” has become a household term.[2] In this time, the software has made great leaps in adoption, performance, reliability, scalability, and manageability. The number of things being built and run on the Hadoop platform has grown enormously. In fact, it’s difficult for one person to keep track. To gain even wider adoption, I believe we need to make Hadoop even easier to use. This will involve writing more tools; integrating with even more systems; and writing new, improved APIs. I’m looking forward to being a part of this, and I hope this book will encourage and enable others to do so, too.

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