Hadoop advantages and disadvantages

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Advantages of Hadoop:

1. Scalable

Hadoop is a highly scalable storage platform, because it can stores and distribute very large data sets across hundreds of inexpensive servers that operate in parallel. Unlike traditional relational database systems (RDBMS) that can’t scale to process large amounts of data, Hadoop enables businesses to run applications on thousands of nodes involving many thousands of terabytes of data.

2. Cost effective

Hadoop also offers a cost effective storage solution for businesses’ exploding data sets. The problem with traditional relational database management systems is that it is extremely cost prohibitive to scale to such a degree in order to process such massive volumes of data. In an effort to reduce costs, many companies in the past would have had to down-sample data and classify it based on certain assumptions as to which data was the most valuable. The raw data would be deleted, as it would be too cost-prohibitive to keep. While this approach may have worked in the short term, this meant that when business priorities changed, the complete raw data set was not available, as it was too expensive to store.

3. Flexible

Hadoop enables businesses to easily access new data sources and tap into different types of data (both structured and unstructured) to generate value from that data. This means businesses can use Hadoop to derive valuable business insights from data sources such as social media, email conversations.  Hadoop can be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as log processing, recommendation systems, data warehousing, market campaign analysis and fraud detection.

4. Fast

Hadoop’s unique storage method is based on a distributed file system that basically ‘maps’ data wherever it is located on a cluster. The tools for data processing are often on the same servers where the data is located, resulting in much faster data processing. If you’re dealing with large volumes of unstructured data, Hadoop is able to efficiently process terabytes of data in just minutes, and petabytes in hours.

5. Resilient to failure

A key advantage of using Hadoop is its fault tolerance. When data is sent to an individual node, that data is also replicated to other nodes in the cluster, which means that in the event of failure, there is another copy available for use.

Disadvantages of Hadoop:

As the backbone of so many implementations, Hadoop is almost synomous with big data.

1. Security Concerns

Just managing a complex applications such as Hadoop can be challenging. A simple example can be seen in the Hadoop security model, which is disabled by default due to sheer complexity. If whoever managing the platform lacks of know how to enable it, your data could be at huge risk. Hadoop is also missing encryption at the storage and network levels, which is a major selling point for government agencies and others that prefer to keep their data under wraps.

2. Vulnerable By Nature

Speaking of security, the very makeup of Hadoop makes running it a risky proposition. The framework is written almost entirely in Java, one of the most widely used yet controversial programming languages in existence. Java has been heavily exploited by cybercriminals and as a result, implicated in numerous security breaches.

3. Not Fit for Small Data

While big data is not exclusively made for big businesses, not all big data platforms are suited for small data needs. Unfortunately, Hadoop happens to be one of them. Due to its high capacity design, the Hadoop Distributed File System, lacks the ability to efficiently support the random reading of small files. As a result, it is not recommended for organizations with small quantities of data.

4. Potential Stability Issues

Like all open source software, Hadoop has had its fair share of stability issues. To avoid these issues, organizations are strongly recommended to make sure they are running the latest stable version, or run it under a third-party vendor equipped to handle such problems.

5. General Limitations

The article introducesApache Flume, MillWheel, and Google’s own Cloud Dataflow as possible solutions. What each of these platforms have in common is the ability to improve the efficiency and reliability of data collection, aggregation, and integration. The main point the article stresses is that companies could be missing out on big benefits by using Hadoop alone.

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