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Spark vs Hadoop Comparison

Encountered in recent interviews, Jan 26, 2024

Apache Spark and Hadoop are both big data frameworks, but they have different focuses and capabilities.

Processing Method:

Hadoop: Hadoop's core component is the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), which is a storage system, and it uses MapReduce for processing data. MapReduce involves reading data from the disk, processing it, and writing the results back to the disk, which can be slow due to the heavy I/O operations.

Spark: Spark is primarily a processing framework, although it can use HDFS for storage. Spark performs in-memory data processing. This means it stores the data in RAM, making the data processing much faster than disk-based processing like MapReduce in Hadoop.


Hadoop: Generally slower due to its reliance on disk-based data processing.

Spark: Faster, especially for iterative algorithms, because of in-memory data processing.

Ease of Use:

Hadoop: Writing MapReduce jobs can be complex and verbose.

Spark: Offers high-level APIs in Java, Scala, Python, and R, and an optimized engine that supports general execution graphs. This makes it easier to use and write applications compared to Hadoop's MapReduce.

Real-Time Processing:

Hadoop: Primarily designed for batch processing.

Spark: Supports both batch processing and real-time data processing. Spark's micro-batch processing capability allows for near real-time processing.

Fault Tolerance:

Hadoop: Achieves fault tolerance through data replication in HDFS.

Spark: Uses a different approach called Resilient Distributed Datasets (RDDs) for fault tolerance, which allows it to quickly recover lost data.


Hadoop: Can be more cost-effective for large-scale data processing because it relies on disk storage, which is cheaper than memory.

Spark: Might be more expensive to scale due to its in-memory data processing, which requires more RAM.


Hadoop: Has a rich ecosystem with various tools like Hadoop YARN for resource management, Hadoop MapReduce for processing, and others like HBase, Hive, and Pig.

Spark: Also has a rich ecosystem, including Spark SQL for SQL and structured data processing, MLlib for machine learning, GraphX for graph processing, and Spark Streaming.

Use Cases:

Hadoop: Well-suited for large-scale, batch-oriented data processing, like data warehousing and ETL operations.

Spark: Better for interactive queries and iterative algorithms, like machine learning and data science tasks.

In summary, while Hadoop is more storage-focused with a strong ecosystem for diverse big data needs, Spark is more processing-focused, offering faster performance, especially for complex, iterative computations and real-time analytics. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the data processing tasks.


From ChatGPT4