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Cassandra vs Apache Spark: What are the differences?

What is Cassandra? A partitioned row store. Rows are organized into tables with a required primary key. Partitioning means that Cassandra can distribute your data across multiple machines in an application-transparent matter. Cassandra will automatically repartition as machines are added and removed from the cluster. Row store means that like relational databases, Cassandra organizes data by rows and columns. The Cassandra Query Language (CQL) is a close relative of SQL.

What is 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.

Cassandra belongs to "Databases" category of the tech stack, while Apache Spark can be primarily classified under "Big Data Tools".

"Distributed" is the top reason why over 96 developers like Cassandra, while over 45 developers mention "Open-source" as the leading cause for choosing Apache Spark.

Cassandra and Apache Spark are both open source tools. It seems that Apache Spark with 22.5K GitHub stars and 19.4K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Cassandra with 5.27K GitHub stars and 2.35K GitHub forks.

Uber Technologies, Facebook, and Spotify are some of the popular companies that use Cassandra, whereas Apache Spark is used by Uber Technologies, Slack, and Shopify. Cassandra has a broader approval, being mentioned in 342 company stacks & 240 developers stacks; compared to Apache Spark, which is listed in 266 company stacks and 112 developer stacks.

Advice on Cassandra and Apache Spark
Nilesh Akhade
Technical Architect at Self Employed · | 5 upvotes · 345.4K 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)
Recommends
ElasticsearchElasticsearch

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 · 220.5K views
Recommends
Apache SparkApache 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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Vinay Mehta
Needs advice
on
CassandraCassandra
and
ScyllaDBScyllaDB

The problem I have is - we need to process & change(update/insert) 55M Data every 2 min and this updated data to be available for Rest API for Filtering / Selection. Response time for Rest API should be less than 1 sec.

The most important factors for me are processing and storing time of 2 min. There need to be 2 views of Data One is for Selection & 2. Changed data.

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Replies (4)
Alex Peake
Recommends
CassandraCassandra

Cassandra is quite capable of the task, in a highly available way, given appropriate scaling of the system. Remember that updates are only inserts, and that efficient retrieval is only by key (which can be a complex key). Talking of keys, make sure that the keys are well distributed.

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Recommends
ScyllaDBScyllaDB

Scylla can handle 1M/s events with a simple data model quite easily. The api to query is CQL, we have REST api but that's for control/monitoring

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Pankaj Soni
Chief Technical Officer at Software Joint · | 2 upvotes · 93.6K views
Recommends
CassandraCassandra

i love syclla for pet projects however it's license which is based on server model is an issue. thus i recommend cassandra

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Recommends
ScyllaDBScyllaDB

By 55M do you mean 55 million entity changes per 2 minutes? It is relatively high, means almost 460k per second. If I had to choose between Scylla or Cassandra, I would opt for Scylla as it is promising better performance for simple operations. However, maybe it would be worth to consider yet another alternative technology. Take into consideration required consistency, reliability and high availability and you may realize that there are more suitable once. Rest API should not be the main driver, because you can always develop the API yourself, if not supported by given technology.

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Pros of Cassandra
Pros of Apache Spark
  • 115
    Distributed
  • 96
    High performance
  • 80
    High availability
  • 74
    Easy scalability
  • 52
    Replication
  • 26
    Reliable
  • 26
    Multi datacenter deployments
  • 9
    OLTP
  • 7
    Open source
  • 7
    Schema optional
  • 2
    Workload separation (via MDC)
  • 1
    Fast
  • 59
    Open-source
  • 48
    Fast and Flexible
  • 8
    One platform for every big data problem
  • 7
    Great for distributed SQL like applications
  • 6
    Easy to install and to use
  • 3
    Works well for most Datascience usecases
  • 2
    Interactive Query
  • 2
    In memory Computation
  • 2
    Machine learning libratimery, Streaming in real

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Cons of Cassandra
Cons of Apache Spark
  • 3
    Reliability of replication
  • 1
    Size
  • 1
    Updates
  • 3
    Speed

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What is Cassandra?

Partitioning means that Cassandra can distribute your data across multiple machines in an application-transparent matter. Cassandra will automatically repartition as machines are added and removed from the cluster. Row store means that like relational databases, Cassandra organizes data by rows and columns. The Cassandra Query Language (CQL) is a close relative of SQL.

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.

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Jobs that mention Cassandra and Apache Spark as a desired skillset
CBRE
United States of America Texas Richardson
CBRE
United States of America Texas Richardson
CBRE
United States of America Texas Richardson
CBRE
United States of America Texas Richardson
LaunchDarkly
London, England, United Kingdom
What companies use Cassandra?
What companies use Apache Spark?
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What are some alternatives to Cassandra and Apache Spark?
HBase
Apache HBase is an open-source, distributed, versioned, column-oriented store modeled after Google' Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data by Chang et al. Just as Bigtable leverages the distributed data storage provided by the Google File System, HBase provides Bigtable-like capabilities on top of Apache Hadoop.
Google Cloud Bigtable
Google Cloud Bigtable offers you a fast, fully managed, massively scalable NoSQL database service that's ideal for web, mobile, and Internet of Things applications requiring terabytes to petabytes of data. Unlike comparable market offerings, Cloud Bigtable doesn't require you to sacrifice speed, scale, or cost efficiency when your applications grow. Cloud Bigtable has been battle-tested at Google for more than 10 years—it's the database driving major applications such as Google Analytics and Gmail.
Hadoop
The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage.
Redis
Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis provides data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams.
Couchbase
Developed as an alternative to traditionally inflexible SQL databases, the Couchbase NoSQL database is built on an open source foundation and architected to help developers solve real-world problems and meet high scalability demands.
See all alternatives