Feeds

Presto: Facebook reveals exabyte-scale query engine

'Fast queries over a 250 PETABYTE data warehouse? That's nothing!'

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Facebook has revealed a query engine for data warehouses that blows the doors off Hive, and plans to publish it as open source this year.

The "Presto" technology is a query execution engine built for Facebook's vast data warehouse. It was announced on Thursday at a data analytics conference hosted at Facebook's HQ in Menlo Park, California. Presto gets rid of some of the failings of Hive – the Hadoop data-warehouse tool – and highlights how the Hadoop ecosystem is maturing.

"We built Presto from the ground up to deal with FB scale," Facebook engineer Matin Traverso, says. "It can handle all the 250PB of data we have in our data warehouse – thousands of machines across multiple global regions."

Presto has demonstrated a four-to-seven times improvement over Hadoop Hive for CPU efficiency, and is eight to 10 times faster than Hive in returning the results of queries.

"The problem with Hive is it's designed for batch processing," Traverso said. "We built Presto from the ground up to deal with FB scale."

Presto is Facebook's attempt to speed up queries on Hadoop, and the project is functionally similar to Cloudera's Impala and Hortonworks' Stinger technologies.

Like these, Presto gets rid of the job part of Hadoop – MapReduce – and instead uses a special-purpose query engine, which is SQL-like ANSI-SQL compatible, with some additional features that Facebook will reveal in the next few months.

This is for both ease of use by Facebook developers, and to supercharge the performance of queries over very, very big datasets.

"One of the things Presto can do that MapReduce can't – Presto can start all the stages at once and can stream all the data through the stages," Traverso says.

Before our dear commentards point out that most of Facebook is pictures of cats, updates about bodily functions, nihilistic ramblings, and the pingings of Zynga games feeding e-stims to folk, it bears noting that none of this really matters for designing massive data systems – when you abstract away from the content, you have a set of different things that are deluging your system in data, and you need to deal with them.

And Facebook has more data than most. The company's existing data warehouse is 250PB in size, and growing rapidly: 600TB is added to the warehouse every day.

"As we project our growth, it's quite clear that at some point soon we will reach one exabyte," Ravi Murthy, a Facebook engineering manager, says. "We have to rethink a lot of different things. Not just the software pieces of it, but literally the entire stack."

Most of Facebook's data ends up being stored in the Hadoop Distributed File System, so although some may question why Facebook doesn't just use a SQL DB engine for its queries, the reason is that it needs to have as few layers of abstraction between it and the underlying HDFS data. For that reason, creating add-ons that inteface directly with HDFS, such as Presto, is better for performance than abstracting away.

Since launching at the end of last year, Presto has grown to have 850 internal users per day performing 27,000 queries and fiddling with 320TB of data. Scale aside, the adoption is impressive given Facebook's penchant for a flat organizational stucture that means engineers are not forced to use any particular software package – they either do or they don't, and an app's fortunes are tied closely to its adoption. Presto seems to have been given the thumbs up.

The software should be available as open source by the end of this year. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.