Welcome!

@DXWorldExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Jignesh Solanki, Yeshim Deniz

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

@DXWorldExpo: 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
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
It’s conference season and, as you might expect, Jason and I have been on the road covering a bunch of them. It’s always great to see what the disruptive players in the market are doing — and this year did not disappoint. But there is one thing that repeatedly happens that just gets under my skin: transformation-washing. As Jason explained in a Forbes article over a year ago, ‘washing’ is when a vendor (or pundit) applies a buzzword loosely in an overt attempt to attach themselves to its buzz. ...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.