System Design: MapReduce

Parallel data processing—the domain of a Jedi programmer!

Parallel computing is known to be difficult, intense, and full of potential minefields in terms of HeisenbugsA software bug that disappears or changes its behavior when one attempts to investigate or resolve it.. Combined with the rise of many-core servers and distributed computing, parallel computing is useful and can’t be ignored by regular programmers to speed up their applications, or leave it to Jedi programmers.

Google introduced a new programming model (MapReduce) that enabled programmers (of any expertise level) to express their data processing needs as if they were writing sequential code. The MapReduce runtime automatically takes care of the messy details of distributing data and running the jobs in parallel on multiple servers, even under many fault conditions. The widespread use of the MapReduce model proves its applicability to a broad range of data processing problems.

In this chapter, we will study the design of the MapReduce system in detail and the application of its programming model.

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