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Big Data – Storage Mediums and Data Structures
Big Data presents something of a storage dilemma. There is no one data store to rule them all.

My working title was Big Data, Storage Dilemma.

They say dilemma. I say dilemna. I'm serious. I spell it dilemna.

Big Data presents something of a storage dilemma. There is no one data store to rule them all.

Should different data structures be persisted to different storage mediums?

Storage Medium
Identifying the appropriate medium is a function of performance, cost, and capacity.

Random Access Memory
It's fast. Very. It's expense. Very.

If we are configuring an HP DL980 G7 server, it will cost $3,672 for 128GB of memory with 8x 16GB modules or $9,996 for 128GB of memory with 4x 32GB modules. That is $28-78 / GB.

We can configure an HP DL980 G7 server with up to 4TB of memory.

Solid State Drive
It's not as fast or as expensive as random access memory. It's faster than a hard disk drive. A lot faster. It's more expensive than a hard disk drive. A lot more expensive.

If we are configuring an HP DL980 G7 server, it will cost $4,199 for a 400GB SAS MLC drive or $7,419 for a 400GB SAS SLC drive. That is $10-18 / GB. It's a performance / size trade-off. While SLC drives often perform better, MLC drives are often available in larger sizes. Further, the read / write performance is either symmetric or asymmetric.

That, and SLC drives often have greater endurance.


Sequential
Read
(MB/s)
Sequential
Write
(MB/s)
Random
Read
(IOPS)
Random
Write
(IOPS)
Intel 520 (480GB) 550 520 50,000 50,000
Intel 520 (240GB) 550 520 50,000 80,000
Intel DC S3700 500 460 75,000 36,000

The performance of solid state drives can vary:

  • consumer / enterprise
  • MLC / eMLC / SLC
  • SATA / SAS / PCIe

The capacity of enterprise solid state drives is often less than that of enterprise hard disk drives (4TB). However, the capacity of PCIe drives such as the Fusion-io ioDrive Octal (5.12TB / 10.24TB) is greater than that of enterprise hard disk drives (4TB). In addition, the performance of PCIe drives is greater than that of SAS or SATA drives.


Sequential
Read
(MB/s)
Sequential
Write
(MB/s)
Random
Read
(IOPS)
Random
Write
(IOPS)
Intel 910 (800GB) 2,000 1,000 180,000 75,000

Hard Disk Drive

It may not be fast, but it is inexpensive.

If we are configuring an HP DL980 G7 server, it will cost $309 for a 300GB 10K drive or $649 for a 300GB 15K drive. That is $1-2 / GB. It's a performance / size trade-off. While a 15K drive will perform better than a 10K drive, it will often have less capacity. The sequential read / write performance of hard disk drives is often between 150-200MB/s. As such, a RAID configuration may be a cost effective alternative to a single solid state drive for sequential read / write access.

The capacity of enterprise hard disk drives (4TB) is often greater than that of enterprise solid state drives.

Data Structure
Hash Table

JBoss Data Grid is an in-memory data grid with the data stored in a hash table. However, JBoss Data Grid supports persistence via write-behind or write-through. For all intents and purposes (e.g. map / reduce), all of the data should fit in memory.

Access

  • Random Reads, Random Writes

Riak is a key / value store. If persistence has been configured with Bitcast, the data is stored in a log structured hash table. An in-memory hash table contains the key / value pointers. The value is a pointer to the data. As such, all of the key / value pointers must fit in memory. The data is persisted via append only log files.

Access

  • Complex Index in Memory
  • Random Reads, Sequential Writes

Point queries perform well in hash tables. Range queries do not. Though there is always map / reduce.

B-Tree
MongoDB is a document database with the data stored in a B-Tree. The data is persisted via memory mapped files.

Access

  • Partial Index (Internal Nodes) in Memory
  • Random Reads, Sequential Reads, Random Writes

CouchDB is a document database with the data stored in a B+Tree. The data is persisted via append only log files.

Access

  • Partial Index in Memory
  • Random Reads, Sequential Reads, Sequential Writes

In a B+ Tree, the data is only stored in the leaf nodes. In a B-Tree, the data is stored in both the internal nodes and the leaf nodes. The advantage of a B+ Tree is that the leaf nodes are linked. As a result, range queries perform better with a B+ Tree. However, point queries perform better with a B-Tree.

CouchDB has implemented an append only B+ Tree. An alternative is the copy-on-write (CoW) B+ Tree. A write optimization for a B-Tree is buffering. First, the data written to an internal buffer in an internal node. Second, the buffer is flushed to a leaf node. As a result, random writes are turned in to sequential writes. The cost of random writes is thus amortized.  However, I am not aware of any open source data stores that have implemented a CoW B+ Tree or have implemented buffering with a B-Tree.

Range queries perform well with a B/B+ Tree. Point queries, not as well as hash tables.

Log Structured Merge Tree
Apache HBase and Apache Cassandra are both column oriented data stores, and they have both store data in an LSM-Tree. Apache HBase has implemented a cache oblivious lookahead array (COLA). Apache Cassandra has implemented a sorted array merge tree (SAMT).

In both implementations, a write is first written to a write-ahead log. Next, it is written to a memtable. A memtable is an in-memory sorted string table (SSTable). Later, the memtable is flushed and persisted as an SSTable. As result, random writes are turned in to sequential writes. However, a point query with an LSM-Tree may require multiple random reads.

Apache HBase implemented a single-level index with HFile version 1. However, because every index was cached, it resulted in high memory usage.

Apache HBase implemented a multi-level index a la a B+ Tree with HFile (SSTable) version 2. The SSTable contains a root index, a root index with leaf indexes, or a root index with an intermediate index and leaf indexes. The root index is stored in memory. The intermediate and leaf indexes may be stored in the block cache. In addition, the SSTable contains a compound (block level) bloom filter. The bloom filter is used to determine if the data is not in the data block.

Recommendation / Access

  • Partial Index / Bloom Filter in Memory
  • Random Reads, Sequential Reads, Sequential Writes

A read optimization for an LSM-Tree is fractional cascading. The idea is that each level contains both data and pointers to data in the next level. However, I am not aware of any open source data stores that have implemented fractional cascading.

I like the idea of a hybrid / tiered storage solution for an LSM-Tree implementation with the first level in memory, second level on solid state drives, and third level on hard disk drives. I've seen this solution described in academia, but I am not aware of any open source implementations.

Conclusion
I find it interesting that key / value stores often store data in a hash table, that document stores often store data in a B+/B-Tree, and that column oriented stores often store data in an LSM-Tree. Perhaps it is because key / value stores focus on the performance of point queries, document stores support secondary indexes (MongoDB) / views  (CouchDB), and column oriented stores support range queries. Perhaps it because document stores were not created with distribution (shards / partitions) in mind and thus assume that the complete index can not be stored in memory.

Notes
I found this paper to be very helpful in examining data structures as it covers most of the ones highlighted in this post:

Efficient, Scalable, and Versatile Application and System Transaction Management for Direct Storage Layers (link)

Read the original blog entry...

About Daniel Thompson
I curate the content on this page, but the credit goes to my talented colleagues for the posts that you see here. Much of what you read on this page is the work of friends at How to JBoss, and I encourage you to drop by the site at http://www.howtojboss.com for some of the best JBoss technical and non-technical content for developers, architects and technology executives on the Web.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV


Cloud Expo 2013 East Opening Keynote by IBM
In this Cloud Expo Keynote, Danny Sabbah, CTO & General Manager, Next Generation Platform, will detail the critical architectural considerations and success factors organizations must internalize to successfully implement, optimize and innovate using next generation architectures.
Lisa Larson, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Solutions of Rackspace Hosting Live From New York City
In the old world of IT, if you didn't have hardware capacity or the budget to buy more, your project was dead in the water. Budget constraints can leave some of the best, most creative and most ingenious innovations on the cutting room floor. It's a true dilemma for developers and innovators – why spend the time creating, when a project could be abandoned in a blink? That was the old world. In the new world of IT, developers rule. They have access to resources they can spin up instantly. A hybrid cloud ignites innovation and empowers developers to focus on what they need. A hybrid cloud blends the best of all worlds, public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers to fit the needs of developers and offer the ideal environment for each app and workload without the constraints of a one-size-fits-all cloud.

Keynote: Driving Cloud Innovation: SSDs Change Cloud Storage Paradigm
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Cloud Expo was a fantastic event for CSS Corp - we easily exceeded our objectives for engaging with clients and prospects."
AHMAR ABBAS
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With our launch at Cloud Expo, we successfully transformed the company from a relatively unknown European player into the dominant player in the market. Our competitors were taken by surprise and just blown away. We got a huge number of really high quality leads..."
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We were extremely pleased with Cloud Expo this year - I’d say it exceeded expectations all around. This is the same info we got from partners who attended as well. Nice job!"
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@CloudExpo Blogs
The majority of an organization’s revenues are dependent on suppliers, distributors and other third parties. But as Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York State’s Superintendent of Financial Services, points out: “Unfortunately, those third-party firms can provide a back-door entrance to hackers who are seeking to steal sensitive bank customer data.” By now most everyone is well aware of the major data breaches afflicting Target and Home Depot – both triggered through a third party – that affected more than 100 million consumers. But the problem persists. A recent report from the New York State Departm...
Tableau Software and big data analytics platforms come together to provide visualization benefits for those seeking more than just crunched numbers. The next BriefingsDirect big data innovation discussion highlights how Tableau Software and big data analytics platforms come together to provide visualization benefits for those seeking more than just crunched numbers. They're looking for ways to improve their businesses effectively and productively, and to share the analysis quickly and broadly.
National Savings Bank in Malaysia has implemented a sweeping enterprise content management system project and slashed paper use, increased productivity, rationalized storage and documents, and cut security risks, while adhering to compliance requirements.
Conservation International (CI) in Arlington, Virginia uses new technology to pursue more data about what's going on in tropical forests and other ecosystems around the world. As a non-profit, they have a goal of a sustainable planet, but we're going to learn how they've learned to measure what was once unmeasurable -- and then to share that data to promote change and improvement.
Business and IT leaders today need better application delivery capabilities to support critical new innovation. But how often do you hear objections to improving application delivery like, "I can harden it against attack, but not on this timeline"; "I can make it better, but it will cost more"; "I can deliver faster, but not with these specs"; or "I can stay strong on cost control, but quality will suffer"? In the new application economy, these tradeoffs are no longer acceptable. Customers will abandon your brand forever for a slow response or a privacy breach; competitors will steal critical ...
The Federal Government’s “Cloud First” policy mandates that agencies take full advantage of cloud computing benefits to maximize capacity utilization, improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, and minimize cost. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a mandatory government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Advantages for business include being able to market to many federal agencies after a single FedRAMP review following the government’s “approve once...
Learn how the IoT Cloud will power the world of tomorrow and why managing IoT through the cloud is as important as cloud computing itself. Learn how the devices of tomorrow will work on business models that reflect a new business strategy and a way to consume services. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ian Khan, Manager, Innovation & Marketing at Solgenia, will discuss how powered by the cloud and made possible by high tech manufacturing, sensors and devices with one way and even two way ability of control will devise a new IoT Cloud enabled world.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become the next “be all to end all” in information technology. Touted as how cloud computing will connect everyday things together, it is also feared as the real- life instantiation of The Terminator’s Skynet, where sentient robot team with an omnipresent and all-knowing entity that uses technology to control, and ultimately destroy, all of humanity.
As a recent graduate, and now professor in the University of Connecticut's Business Analytics and Project Management masters program, I have a lot of conversations surrounding the topic of "Big Data" and questions such as, "What does that term actually mean?" Big Data is a fairly new topic and what seems to be an elusive term for many. Conversations are important to help bring clarity to Big Data, as well as generate ideas about how we can shape, not only what it is, but also the future of where it's going.
Knowledge management, in business terms, refers to saving, developing, sharing, and effectively using knowledge for the benefit of organization. It refers to a multi-disciplined approach of achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. Scientia potentia est (Latin proverb meaning "knowledge is power") attributed to 16th century philosopher Sir Francis Bacon is nowadays more valid than ever. Knowledge is power and knowledge management is the key to success. Knowledge management, in business terms, refers to saving, developing, sharing, and effectively using knowledg...
It is interesting to me, how quickly the hype cycle of a good thing can turn it into a monster that will inevitably eat itself, leaving a much smaller – and much more useful – concept or toolset behind. It has happened over and over in high tech, one need only say “XML” to understand what I mean. It is definitely a useful tool for some jobs, but the “XML Everywhere” craze was insane. People declaring such patently false ideas as “It will end the need for programmers.”
As companies embrace the DevOps movement, they rely heavily on automation to improve the time to market for new features and services. DevOps is a long, never-ending journey with a goal of continuously improving the software delivery process, resulting in better products and services and, ultimately, happier customers. At the beginning of their DevOps journeys, many companies focus on continuous integration (CI), in which they automate the build process. Automated testing is implemented so that builds will fail if any changes fail the baseline tests. The idea here is to never move bugs forward...
We Need a Holistic Network Infrastructure: Why Controllers Are Not Cutting It For years, we've relied too heavily on individual network functions or simplistic cloud controllers. However, they are no longer enough for today's modern cloud data center. Businesses need a comprehensive platform architecture in order to deliver a complete networking suite for IoT environment based on OpenStack. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dhiraj Sehgal from PLUMgrid discussed what a holistic networking solution should really entail, and how to build a complete platform that is scalable, secure, agile and auto...
Full 360 uses big data and analytics to improve their applications support services for the financial industry -- and beyond.
Alibaba, the world’s largest ecommerce provider, has pumped over a $1 billion into its subsidiary, Aliya, a cloud services provider. This is perhaps one of the biggest moments in the global Cloud Wars that signals the entry of China into the main arena. Here is why this matters. The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services. Cloud, which is highly scalable and offers low investment and high computational capabilities to end users by eliminating the need to buy costly infrastructure and instead rent it from cloud providers, i...
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2011west.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcexpo
2011east.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2010west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualization
2010west.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2010.
sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcomputingexpo
2010east.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo East
virtualizationconference
2010east.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2009west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualizationconference
2009west.sys-con.com
    GovIT Expo
govitexpo.com
 
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2009.sys-con.com
 

Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
Dell

Singer
NRO

Pereyra
Oracle

Ryan
OpSource

Butte
PwC

Leone
Oracle

Riley
AWS

Varia
AWS

Lye
Oracle

O'Connor
AppZero

Crandell
RightScale

Nucci
Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

Morrison
Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

Schwarz
Oracle

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group