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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
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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.

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Cloud is a transformational shift in computing that can have a powerful effect on enterprise IT when designed correctly and used to its full potential. Join Citrix in a discussion that centers on building, connecting and empowering users with cloud services and hear examples of how enterprises are solving real-world business challenges with an architecture and solution purpose-built for the cloud.

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Top Stories for Cloud Expo 2012 East

In this "Cloud Trends" Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Karen Padir, EVP of Products & Engineering at EnterpriseDB, and Aaron Hollobaugh, VP of Marketing & Communications at Hostway Corporation, map the hottest areas of cloud computing right now, and share real-world examples of offerings that are generating value. ... (more)

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@CloudExpo Blogs
As I continue to engage customers around cloud and DevOps, I am amazed at the percentage of customers where there is pushback against cloud computing. Even more interesting are the reasons and roles responsible for denying advancement in the use of cloud in companies. For example, one IT executive is caught between the business, where the board is pushing for use of cloud and the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) that is saying, “you can move processes out to the cloud, but not data.” One thing is clear, there is a lot of misunderstanding going around when the word “cloud” is used. ...
The rise of cloud computing has ushered in an era of unprecedented productivity for developers over the past several years. For those who have embraced this new world order, gone are the days of long lead times for hardware procurement and installation, architecture defined by slow-moving hardware upgrades, hardware-constrained scalability and flexibility, and a world where only sys admins have access to the infrastructure. But, as the barriers between development and delivery disappear, new challenges have emerged that can disrupt the lives of developers and slow down delivery of new products...
Employee collaboration and access to communication tools are essential for workplace productivity. Organizations are increasing their use of Microsoft Office 365, a subscription-based service that provides hosted versions of familiar Microsoft applications. Most businesses choose Exchange Online as the first app in Office 365 they adopt.
I was recently on a business trip out to Wausau, WI. The purpose was to conduct a training session on web application development for a new batch of associates at our onshore development center. When I picked up my rental car at the airport, I was very happy to discover it had built in Bluetooth integration for my phone. I have this feature on both cars at home. I love the convenience of having the car become an accessory for my mobile device. I immediately bound my phone with the car’s Bluetooth. Then something unusual happened. My phone prompted me with a question: ‘Chevy/Malibu would like a...
The software industry has seen a shift away from applications being housed at a company's premise to the cloud. Such a shift allows companies to focus more on their business needs and less on their IT infrastructure needs. In this article, we take a look at webapps developed for Tomcat and weblogic and attempt to deploy them into a cloud-based environment.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Let’s say we developed an application and plan to move our app to production on Amazon Elastic Cloud (EC2). Our application, in the form of a webapp, was developed using eclipse and we have tested it on Tomcat running locally. Now, we may want to test our app on an EC2 environment before moving to production.
This is a follow-up blog that is part of a series of 2015 cloud predictions. The first one, entitled When the Walls Come Down, had the following as the central thesis: In 2015 the perceived costs of cloud migration for existing production apps will drop by more than 50%; it will trigger a massive (and […]
Although the concepts of continuous delivery are well known, organizations with existing applications looking to implement CD still have a lot to consider. Customer demands aren't the only thing pushing development and operations teams into more frequent software releases. It is also need for quicker feedback on product quality, the desire to reduce bottlenecks in operations teams, and the goal to utilize less overhead on projects. The concepts and spirit of continuous delivery are well known. However, organizations with existing applications starting to implement continuous delivery still h...
The Smart Home concept is a subset of the Internet of Things(IoT). The core idea is to connect “things” (digital devices) to each other to facilitate communication, feedback, and alerting. In essence connecting the physical world with the digital world. We are installing new sensors and actuators into everyday devices that is leading to new IoT and Smart Home services by integrating existing solutions and technologies.
When people think of mainframes, they typically envision ancient, obsolete technology running arcane spaghetti code – systems that IT management would love to retire if only they could free themselves from the clutches of legacy. While there is an element of truth in this perspective, mainframes remain to this day the workhorse of core transaction processing within many industries. In many cases the technology in these systems is modern or even surprisingly cutting edge. Furthermore, retiring mainframes may not even appear on the long-term roadmap.
Last week as I was writing Amazon Declares War on VMware, VMware was preparing to announce the acquisition of a pro services team to aid in cloud migration (see coverage in CRN): VMware Acquires Professional Services Firm To Boost Cloud Migration, DevOps Expertise. You can get my thoughts on Amazon’s frontal assault on VMware and […]
It’s a clear message being heard across the industry - widespread adoption of cloud applications is only a matter of time. However, the tricky part for many is, how much time do organizations actually have to hold out? And why should they switch? For starters – the cost savings are clear. Research has shown that most organizations rapidly realize significant cost savings that increase over time as they leave behind the array of indirect costs related to legacy on-premise software. A recent IDC study showed that cloud solutions offer an average payback period of 7.1 months and 5-year average R...
Change is constant, and over the last decade the nexus of two trends in particular has transformed the enterprise. Mobile technology and cloud software are fundamentally changing the way we interact internally within businesses, and externally with partners and customers. Never before have workers enjoyed such freedom and flexibility. The days of being tied to a desk, manning a landline, are gone. Distributed teams can collaborate easily via virtual workplaces. Mobile technology provides access to the business world from any location and the cloud delivers the necessary data and software.
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th to 19th centuries was a period during which predominantly rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. Advances in steam technology, transportation, mass production and the telegraph collectively transformed industry and society. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to once again transform industry and society just as the Industrial Revolution did. Analyst firm IDC forecasts that the IoT market will grow to $8.9 trillion by 2020 with anywhere between 30 to 50 billion connected autonomous things, making the potential g...
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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