Why the Hortonworks-Cloudera Merger Is a Big Defeat?

This is the End of Hadoop as We Know It (And I Feel Fine!)

The stocks of both companies soar instantly after market and as soon the announcement of the merger was made. Overall market participants seemed pleased by the outlook of a companied company. Across the media widely positive reactions sprawled and Forrester for example is sure that this is a “A Win-Win For All”. So all fine!?

Well, there is at least one that strongly disagrees with this assessment, although this might mainly be because his job title suggests so. In this regards did the CEO of MapR, John Schroeder, say:

“I can’t find any innovation benefits to customers in this merger”

Apart from this almost sole opinion, is this deal really the success story everyone believes it to be? No, it is not in my opinion and as the dust settles it be comes more and more obvious that this deal is surrounded by dark clouds.
Continue reading “Why the Hortonworks-Cloudera Merger Is a Big Defeat?”


TensorFlow on YARN Using Slider

If you look at the way TensorFlow distributes it’s calculation across a cluster of processes, you will quickly ask how to schedule resources as part of a training workflow on large scale infrastructure. Many have turned to Spark as a resource manager for TrndorFlow, At the beginning quite a lot of folks have answered this question by wrapping an additional computational framework around TensorFlow, degrading the former to a distribution framework. Examples of such approaches can be found here and here. Both of them turn to Spark, which just like TensorFlow, is a computational distributed framework turning a set of statements into a DAG of execution. While this certainly would works a more straight forward approach would be to turn to a cluster managers like Mesos, Kubernetes, or namely YARN to distribute the workloads of a DeepLearning networking. Such an approach is also the suggested solution you would find in the TensorFlow documentation:

Note: Manually specifying these cluster specifications can be tedious, especially for large clusters. We are working on tools for launching tasks programmatically, e.g. using a cluster manager like Kubernetes. If there are particular cluster managers for which you’d like to see support, please raise a GitHub issue.

Continue reading “TensorFlow on YARN Using Slider”

Distributing TensorFlow

While at it’s core TensorFlow is a distributed computation framework besides the official HowTo there is little detailed documentation around the way TensorFlow deals with distributed learning. This post is an attempt to learn by example about TensorFlow’s distribution capabilities. Therefor the existing MNIST tutorial is taken and adapted into a distributed execution graph that can be executed on one or multiple nodes.

The framework offers two basic ways for distributed training of a model. In the simplest form the same data and computation graph is executed on multiple nodes in parallel on batches of the replicated data. This is known as Between-Graph Replication. Each worker updates the parameters of the same model, which means that each of the worker nodes are sharing a model. Updates to the shared model get averaged before being applied, this is at least the case for the synchronous training of a distributed model. In case of an asynchronous training the workers update the shared model parameters independently of each other. While the asynchronous training is known to be faster, the synchronous training proofs to provide more accuracy.
Continue reading “Distributing TensorFlow”

YARN Secure Container

In a restricted setup YARN executes task of computation frameworks like Spark in a secured Linux or Window Container. The task are being executed in the local context of the user submitting the application and are not being executed in the local context of the yarn or some other system user. With this come certain constraints for the system setup.

How is YARN actually able to impersonate the calling user on the local OS level? This posts aims to give some background information to help answer such questions about secure containers. Only Linux systems are considered here, no Windows.

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TensorFlow: Further Reading

Some collection of papers and work around deep distributed learning to deepen once understanding in that topic:

Large Scale Distributed Deep Networks (link) (December, 2012)
Jeffrey Dean, Greg S. Corrado, Rajat Monga, Kai Chen, Matthieu Devin, Quoc V. Le, Mark Z. Mao, Marc’Aurelio Ranzato, Andrew Senior, Paul Tucker, Ke Yang, Andrew Y. Ng

This paper published, among other contributes, by Jeffrey Dean together with Andrew NG probably marks the cornerstone to TensorFlow as it is today.

Efficient Estimation of Word Representations in Vector Space (link) (Januar 2013)
Tomas Mikolov, Kai Chen, Greg Corrado, Jeffrey Dean

The fundamental work around projects like Word2Vec is presented in this paper, where vector representation of words for similarity trained by a neural net is being described.

Sequence to Sequence Learning with Neural Networks (link) (September 2014)
Ilya Sutskever, Oriol Vinyals, Quoc V. Le

The work around sequence to sequence learning is actually quite old. Which seems like a fairly abstract problem to solve has recently proved to significantly improve for example speech to text recognition among other disciplines.

Show and Tell: A Neural Image Caption Generator (link) (November 2014)
Oriol Vinyals, Alexander Toshev, Samy Bengio, Dumitru Erhan

Another area were the above described concept of sequence to sequence learning is described is the exploration of images. In this case the input sequence is a bitmap of an image which is transferred to a text sequence describing the image. This marks a fundamental breakthrough in computer AI.

TensorFlow: Large-Scale Machine Learning on Heterogeneous Distributed Systems (link) (November 2015)
Martín Abadi, Ashish Agarwal, Paul Barham, Eugene Brevdo, Zhifeng Chen, Craig Citro, Greg S. Corrado, Andy Davis, Jeffrey Dean, Matthieu Devin, Sanjay Ghemawat, Ian Goodfellow, Andrew Harp, Geoffrey Irving, Michael Isard, Rafal Jozefowicz, Yangqing Jia, Lukasz Kaiser, Manjunath Kudlur, Josh Levenberg, Dan Mané, Mike Schuster, Rajat Monga, Sherry Moore, Derek Murray, Chris Olah, Jonathon Shlens, Benoit Steiner, Ilya Sutskever, Kunal Talwar, Paul Tucker, Vincent Vanhoucke, Vijay Vasudevan, Fernanda Viégas, Oriol Vinyals, Pete Warden, Martin Wattenberg, Martin Wicke, Yuan Yu, and Xiaoqiang Zheng

The TensorFlow Whitepaper [PDF]

Webinar: TensorFlow: A Framework for Scalable Machine Learning (link) (October 19, 2016)
Martin Wicke, Software Engineer at Google
Rajat Monga, Engineering Director at Google

Martin and Rajat, both software engineers for Google working on TensorFlow, walk through the architecture and design of TensorFlow throughout this webinar.


HDFS Storage Tier – Archiving to Cloud w/ S3

By default HDFS does not distinguish between different storage types hence making it difficult to optimize installations with heterogeneous storage devices. Since Hadoop 2.3 and the integration of HDFS-2832 HDFS supports placing block replicas on persistent tiers with different durability and performance requirements. Continue reading “HDFS Storage Tier – Archiving to Cloud w/ S3”

Installing HDP Search with Ambari

Ambari Management Packs are a new convenient way to integrate various services to the Ambari stack. As an example in this post we are using the Solr service mpack to install HDP on top of a newly installed cluster.

The HDP search mpack is available on the Hortonworks public repository for download. A mpack essentially is tar balls containing a mpack.json file specification and related binaries. Continue reading “Installing HDP Search with Ambari”

2016 in Numbers

Over two years ago in March 2014 I joined the Iron Blogger community in Munich, which is one of the largest, still active Iron Blogger communities worldwide. You can read more about my motivation behind it here in one of the 97 blog posts published to date: Iron Blogger: In for a Perfect Game.

The real fact is that I write blogs solely for myself. It’s my own technical reference I turn to. Additionally writing is a good way to improve once skills and technical capabilities, as Richard Guindon puts it in his famous quote:

“Writing is nature’s way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is.”

What could be better suited to improve something than by leaning into the pain, how the great Aaron Swartz, who died way too early, once described it? And it is quite a bit of leaning into the pain publishing a blog post every week. Not only for me, but also for those close to me. But I am going to dedicate a separate blog post to a diligent retrospection in the near future. This post should all be about NUMBERS. Continue reading “2016 in Numbers”

Simple Spark Streaming & Kafka Example in a Zeppelin Notebook

Apache Zeppelin is a web-based, multi-purpose notebook for data discovery, prototyping, reporting, and visualization. With it’s Spark interpreter Zeppelin can also be used for rapid prototyping of streaming applications in addition to streaming-based reports.

In this post we will walk through a simple example of creating a Spark Streaming application based on Apache Kafka. Continue reading “Simple Spark Streaming & Kafka Example in a Zeppelin Notebook”