|By Sanjay Zalavadia||
|February 5, 2017 05:00 PM EST||
Big Data applications are used for everything from targeting retail customers to bringing new pharmaceuticals to market more quickly. As their name suggests, they are built to acquire, sort and put to use vast sets of information, whether the data points are historical sales figures for a product, results of clinical trial simulations or details in an online dating profile.
There are plenty of freely available tools out there for building Big Data applications, most notably Apache Hadoop, which supports distributed storage and processing using commodity hardware. Partnerships between companies like Intel - the chipmaker has worked on Big Data frameworks such as its Trusted Analytics Platform, available on Rackspace and Amazon Web Services - and Cloudera, a company that specializes in Hadoop, have also made it easier for organizations to build Hadoop applications in recent years.
"Hadoop helps here with its HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System), which lets you store a large amount of data on a cloud of machines," explained Vasu Swaminathan, director of quality engineering for Aspire Systems, in a blog post. "On top of HDFS, Hadoop provides an API to process the stored data which is Map Reduce. The idea is since the data is stored in a distributed manner across nodes, it can be processed well in that manner where each node can process the data stored on it instead of getting hit by performance degradation issues by moving it over the network."
So, "how do I build a Big Data application? is becoming an easier question to answer. But what about "how do I test a Big Data application?" That one is harder to deal with. Since these programs go beyond the capabilities and infrastructures that underpin typical pieces of PC or mobile software, they require a unique, scalable approach to testing.
Requirements and Tips for Testing a Big Data Application
Many so-called "Big Data applications" can be categorized as one of the following:
- A data warehouse (DWH), which can be a federated physical or logical repository that collects data from a variety of sources (just like a literal warehouse may contain items from all over). DWH programs only work with structured data, and use batch processing to handle it. They are typically built on relational databases such as Oracle.
- A Big Data storage system, which has fewer limitations and can accept more types of data. Such an application could process streaming data, unstructured data, etc. It might have a capacity well into the petabytes, whereas a DWH would only reach into the neighborhood of gigabytes or terabytes. It is built on a filesystem like HDFS.
Both types can be set up to work with items such as web search queries, medical records, video archives and documents of different kinds. The goal of testing these applications is largely to validate all of this information. In a widely read Quora answer on this topic, Parul Gangwar explained that there are four Vs of the data in question to look out for here: variety, volume, velocity and value.
Gauging these metrics and verifying the data as a whole is usually done through performance and functional testing. A few things to note along the way:
- An early step is to make sure that the right data has been pulled into the system in the first place. Source data may be compared to what's actually in the Hadoop cluster.
- Business logic may be evaluated on each node to verify that Map Reduce is working for the application.
- Finally, the output of the application may be checked for corruption as well as application of the correct transformational rules.
- Hadoop architectures may also be subjected to failover testing to make sure that they can hold up even under the heavy workloads that they are regularly saddled with.
- The system should also be checked for basic capabilities such as its throughput and how well its subcomponents perform at tasks such as indexing messages.
Properly testing a Big Data application is helped by having knowledge of a variety of tools, frameworks and programming languages, everything from Java to Jenkins. An enterprise test management system is also valuable for its real-time capabilities when vetting Big Data applications.
Given the vast scale of Big Data programs, automation is particularly important during the building and testing phases. It helps improve and streamline software testing processes so that DevOps teams can move more quickly to validate the data throughout the application.
"[T]est automation can be a good approach in testing Big Data implementations," Swaminathan explained at the end of his post. "Identifying the requirements and building a robust automation framework can help in doing comprehensive testing. However, a lot would depend on how the skills of the tester and how the Big Data environment is set up."
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
Mar. 29, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,401
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Mar. 29, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 15,076
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 29, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,128
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 29, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,206
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Mar. 29, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 11,748
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
Mar. 29, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 5,438
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 29, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,484
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Mar. 29, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 9,276
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Mar. 28, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,477
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 28, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,354
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and atten...
Mar. 28, 2017 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 483
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Mar. 28, 2017 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 866
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...
Mar. 28, 2017 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 526
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
Mar. 28, 2017 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,815
[session] Offshore Development: How Not to Screw It Up | @CloudExpo @MobiDev_ #Cloud #DigitalTransformation
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to m...
Mar. 28, 2017 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 446
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Mar. 28, 2017 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,206
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 28, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,157
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 28, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,232
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 28, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,736
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Mar. 28, 2017 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 14,303