A Contrast of Paradigms – HPCC Systems & Hadoop

Flavio Villanustre writes about the differences between two powerful open source Big Data platforms: HPCC and Hadoop.

HPCC and Hadoop are both open source projects released under an Apache 2.0 license, and are free to use, with both leveraging commodity hardware and local storage interconnected through IP networks, allowing for parallel data processing and/or querying across this architecture. But this is where most of the similarities end.

  • Internode Communication. One of the significant limitations of the strict MapReduce model utilized by Hadoop, is the fact that internode communication is left to the Shuffle phase, which makes certain iterative algorithms that require frequent internode data exchange hard to code and slow to execute (as they need to go through multiple phases of Map, Shuffle and Reduce, each one of these representing a barrier operation that forces the serialization of the long tails of execution). In contrast, the HPCC Systems platform provide for direct inter-node communication at all times, which is leveraged by many of the high level ECL primitives.
  • Performance. Another disadvantage for Hadoop is the use of Java as the programming language for the entire platform, including the HDFS distributed filesystem, which adds for overhead from the JVM; in contrast, HPCC and ECL are compiled into C++, which executes natively on top of the Operating System, lending to more predictable latencies and overall faster execution (we have seen anywhere between 3 and 10 times faster execution on HPCC, compared to Hadoop, on the exact same hardware).

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