Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@BigDataExpo: Article

Testing #BigData Applications | @CloudExpo @YourZephyr #AI #Analytics

Big Data applications are used for everything from targeting retail customers to bringing new pharmaceuticals to market quicker

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."

More Stories By Sanjay Zalavadia

As the VP of Client Service for Zephyr, Sanjay Zalavadia brings over 15 years of leadership experience in IT and Technical Support Services. Throughout his career, Sanjay has successfully established and grown premier IT and Support Services teams across multiple geographies for both large and small companies.

Most recently, he was Associate Vice President at Patni Computers (NYSE: PTI) responsible for the Telecoms IT Managed Services Practice where he established IT Operations teams supporting Virgin Mobile, ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Prior to this Sanjay was responsible for Global Technical Support at Bay Networks, a leading routing and switching vendor, which was acquired by Nortel. He has also held management positions in Support Service organizations at start-up Silicon Valley Networks, a vendor of Test Management software, and SynOptics.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@BigDataExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
Cloud-based disaster recovery is critical to any production environment and is a high priority for many enterprise organizations today. Nearly 40% of organizations have had to execute their BCDR plan due to a service disruption in the past two years. Zerto on IBM Cloud offer VMware and Microsoft customers simple, automated recovery of on-premise VMware and Microsoft workloads to IBM Cloud data centers.
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
Today traditional IT approaches leverage well-architected compute/networking domains to control what applications can access what data, and how. DevOps includes rapid application development/deployment leveraging concepts like containerization, third-party sourced applications and databases. Such applications need access to production data for its test and iteration cycles. Data Security? That sounds like a roadblock to DevOps vs. protecting the crown jewels to those in IT.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.