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Apache Beam vs Apache Spark: What are the differences?

Apache Beam: A unified programming model. It implements batch and streaming data processing jobs that run on any execution engine. It executes pipelines on multiple execution environments; Apache Spark: Fast and general engine for large-scale data processing. Spark is a fast and general processing engine compatible with Hadoop data. It can run in Hadoop clusters through YARN or Spark's standalone mode, and it can process data in HDFS, HBase, Cassandra, Hive, and any Hadoop InputFormat. It is designed to perform both batch processing (similar to MapReduce) and new workloads like streaming, interactive queries, and machine learning.

Apache Beam can be classified as a tool in the "Workflow Manager" category, while Apache Spark is grouped under "Big Data Tools".

Apache Spark is an open source tool with 22.9K GitHub stars and 19.7K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Apache Spark's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, Slack, and Shopify are some of the popular companies that use Apache Spark, whereas Apache Beam is used by Handshake, Skry, Inc., and Reelevant. Apache Spark has a broader approval, being mentioned in 356 company stacks & 564 developers stacks; compared to Apache Beam, which is listed in 9 company stacks and 4 developer stacks.

Advice on Apache Beam and Apache Spark
Nilesh Akhade
Technical Architect at Self Employed · | 5 upvotes · 196.4K views

We have a Kafka topic having events of type A and type B. We need to perform an inner join on both type of events using some common field (primary-key). The joined events to be inserted in Elasticsearch.

In usual cases, type A and type B events (with same key) observed to be close upto 15 minutes. But in some cases they may be far from each other, lets say 6 hours. Sometimes event of either of the types never come.

In all cases, we should be able to find joined events instantly after they are joined and not-joined events within 15 minutes.

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Replies (2)
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Elasticsearch

The first solution that came to me is to use upsert to update ElasticSearch:

  1. Use the primary-key as ES document id
  2. Upsert the records to ES as soon as you receive them. As you are using upsert, the 2nd record of the same primary-key will not overwrite the 1st one, but will be merged with it.

Cons: The load on ES will be higher, due to upsert.

To use Flink:

  1. Create a KeyedDataStream by the primary-key
  2. In the ProcessFunction, save the first record in a State. At the same time, create a Timer for 15 minutes in the future
  3. When the 2nd record comes, read the 1st record from the State, merge those two, and send out the result, and clear the State and the Timer if it has not fired
  4. When the Timer fires, read the 1st record from the State and send out as the output record.
  5. Have a 2nd Timer of 6 hours (or more) if you are not using Windowing to clean up the State

Pro: if you have already having Flink ingesting this stream. Otherwise, I would just go with the 1st solution.

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Akshaya Rawat
Senior Specialist Platform at Publicis Sapient · | 3 upvotes · 102.4K views
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Apache Spark

Please refer "Structured Streaming" feature of Spark. Refer "Stream - Stream Join" at https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/structured-streaming-programming-guide.html#stream-stream-joins . In short you need to specify "Define watermark delays on both inputs" and "Define a constraint on time across the two inputs"

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Pros of Apache Beam
Pros of Apache Spark
  • 5
    Open-source
  • 5
    Cross-platform
  • 2
    Portable
  • 2
    Unified batch and stream processing
  • 58
    Open-source
  • 48
    Fast and Flexible
  • 7
    One platform for every big data problem
  • 6
    Easy to install and to use
  • 6
    Great for distributed SQL like applications
  • 3
    Works well for most Datascience usecases
  • 2
    Machine learning libratimery, Streaming in real
  • 2
    In memory Computation
  • 0
    Interactive Query

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Cons of Apache Beam
Cons of Apache Spark
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 3
      Speed

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Apache Beam?

    It implements batch and streaming data processing jobs that run on any execution engine. It executes pipelines on multiple execution environments.

    What is Apache Spark?

    Spark is a fast and general processing engine compatible with Hadoop data. It can run in Hadoop clusters through YARN or Spark's standalone mode, and it can process data in HDFS, HBase, Cassandra, Hive, and any Hadoop InputFormat. It is designed to perform both batch processing (similar to MapReduce) and new workloads like streaming, interactive queries, and machine learning.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Apache Beam?
    What companies use Apache Spark?
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    What tools integrate with Apache Beam?
    What tools integrate with Apache Spark?

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    What are some alternatives to Apache Beam and Apache Spark?
    Kafka Streams
    It is a client library for building applications and microservices, where the input and output data are stored in Kafka clusters. It combines the simplicity of writing and deploying standard Java and Scala applications on the client side with the benefits of Kafka's server-side cluster technology.
    Kafka
    Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.
    Airflow
    Use Airflow to author workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) of tasks. The Airflow scheduler executes your tasks on an array of workers while following the specified dependencies. Rich command lines utilities makes performing complex surgeries on DAGs a snap. The rich user interface makes it easy to visualize pipelines running in production, monitor progress and troubleshoot issues when needed.
    Google Cloud Dataflow
    Google Cloud Dataflow is a unified programming model and a managed service for developing and executing a wide range of data processing patterns including ETL, batch computation, and continuous computation. Cloud Dataflow frees you from operational tasks like resource management and performance optimization.
    Apache Flink
    Apache Flink is an open source system for fast and versatile data analytics in clusters. Flink supports batch and streaming analytics, in one system. Analytical programs can be written in concise and elegant APIs in Java and Scala.
    See all alternatives