China Unicom Uses Alluxio and Spark to Build New Computing Platform to Serve Mobile Users

China Unicom is one of the five largest telecom operators in the world. China Unicom’s booming business in 4G and 5G networks has to serve an exploding base of hundreds of millions of smartphone users. This unprecedented growth brought enormous challenges and new requirements to the data processing infrastructure. The previous generation of its data processing system was based on IBM midrange computers, Oracle databases, and EMC storage devices. This architecture could not scale to process the amounts of data generated by the rapidly expanding number of mobile users. Even after deploying Hadoop and Greenplum database, it was still difficult to cover critical business scenarios with their varying massive data processing requirements.

Achieving 10x acceleration of Spark and Hive Jobs on AWS S3 with Alluxio Tiered Storage

The data engineering team at Bazaarvoice, a software-as-a-service digital marketing company based in Austin, Texas, must handle data at massive Internet-scale to serve its customers. Facing challenges with scaling their storage capacity up and provisioning hardware, they turned to Alluxio’s tiered storage system and saw 10x acceleration of their Spark and Hive jobs running on AWS S3.

In this whitepaper you’ll learn:

  • How to build a big data analytics platform on AWS that includes technologies like Hive, Spark, Kafka, Storm, Cassandra, and more
  • How to setup a Hive metastore using a storage tier for hot tables
  • How to leverage tiered storage for maximized read performance

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Accelerate Spark and Hive Jobs on AWS S3 by 10x with Alluxio Tiered Storage

In this article, Thai Bui from Bazaarvoice describes how Bazaarvoice leverages Alluxio to build a tiered storage architecture with AWS S3 to maximize performance and minimize operating costs on running Big Data analytics on AWS EC2.
Takeaways: Common challenges in performance and cost to build an efficient big data analytics platform on AWS; How to setup Hive metastore to leverage Alluxio as the storage tier for “hot tables” backed by all tables on AWS S3 as the source of truth; How to setup tiered storage within Alluxio based on ZFS and NVMe on EC2 instances to maximize the read performance; Benchmark results of micro and real-world workloads.

One Click to Benchmark Spark + Alluxio + S3 Stack with TPC-DS queries on AWS

The Alluxio sandbox is the easiest way to test drive the popular data analytics stack of Spark, Alluxio, and S3 deployed in a multi-node cluster in a public cloud environment. The sandbox cluster is fully configured and ready for users to run applications ranging from the hello-world example to the TPC-DS benchmark suite. Don’t take our word for it; kick off the benchmark yourself to see the performance benefits of running Spark jobs that interface through Alluxio on S3 compared to running Spark jobs directly on S3. It is extremely easy to request and launch a sandbox cluster as a playground for 24 hours at no cost to you.

Presto on Alluxio: How Netease Games leveraged Alluxio to boost ad hoc SQL on HDFS

Netease Games is the operator for many popular online games in China like “World of Warcraft” and “Hearthstone”. Netease Games also has developed quite a few popular games on its own such as “Fantasy Westward Journey 2”, “Westward Journey 2”, “World 3”, “League of Immortals”. The strong growth of the business drives the demand to build and maintain a data platform handling a massive amount of data and delivering insights promptly from the data. Given our data scale, it is very challenging to support high-performance ad-hoc queries to the data with results generated in a timely manner.

Using Alluxio as a Fault-tolerant Pluggable Optimization Component of’s Computation Frameworks is China’s largest online retailer and its biggest overall retailer, as well as the country’s biggest internet company by revenue. Currently,’s BDP platform runs more than 400,000 jobs (15+ PB) daily, on a system with more than 15,000 cluster nodes and a total capacity of 210 PB.

Alluxio has run in’s production environment on 100 nodes for six months. See how uses Alluxio to provide support for ad hoc and real-time stream computing, using Alluxio-compatible HDFS URLs and Alluxio as a pluggable optimization component.

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Data Location Awareness: Optimize Performance and Lower Cost with Tiered Locality

Caching frequently used data in memory is not a new computing technique, however it is a concept that Alluxio has taken to the next level with the ability to aggregate data from multiple storage systems in a unified pool of memory. Alluxio capabilities extend further to intelligently managing the data within that virtual data layer. Tiered locality uses awareness of network topology and configurable policies to manage data placement for performance and cost optimizations. This feature is particularly useful with cloud deployments across multiple availability zones. It can also be useful for cost savings in environments where cross-zone or cross-location traffic is more expensive than intra-zone data traffic.