About this Book
Services like social networks, web analytics, and intelligent e-commerce often need to manage data at a scale too big for a traditional database. Complexity increases with scale and demand, and handling Big Data is not as simple as just doubling down on your RDBMS or rolling out some trendy new technology. Fortunately, scalability and simplicity are not mutually exclusive—you just need to take a different approach. Big Data systems use many machines working in parallel to store and process data, which introduces fundamental challenges unfamiliar to most developers.
Big Data teaches you to build these systems using an architecture that takes advantage of clustered hardware along with new tools designed specifically to capture and analyze web-scale data. It describes a scalable, easy-to-understand approach to Big Data systems that can be built and run by a small team. Following a realistic example, this book guides readers through the theory of Big Data systems and how to implement them in practice.
Big Data requires no previous exposure to large-scale data analysis or NoSQL tools. Familiarity with traditional databases is helpful, though not required. The goal of the book is to teach you how to think about data systems and how to break down difficult problems into simple solutions. We start from first principles and from those deduce the necessary properties for each component of an architecture.
An overview of the 18 chapters in this book follows.