Spark versus Flink: Understanding Performance in Big Data Analytics Frameworks

Abstract : Big Data analytics has recently gained increasing popularity as a tool to process large amounts of data on-demand. Spark and Flink are two Apache-hosted data analytics frameworks that facilitate the development of multi-step data pipelines using directly acyclic graph patterns. Making the most out of these frameworks is challenging because efficient executions strongly rely on complex parameter configurations and on an in-depth understanding of the underlying architectural choices. Although extensive research has been devoted to improving and evaluating the performance of such analytics frameworks, most of them benchmark the platforms against Hadoop, as a baseline, a rather unfair comparison considering the fundamentally different design principles. This paper aims to bring some justice in this respect, by directly evaluating the performance of Spark and Flink. Our goal is to identify and explain the impact of the different architectural choices and the parameter configurations on the perceived end-to-end performance. To this end, we develop a methodology for correlating the parameter settings and the operators execution plan with the resource usage. We use this methodology to dissect the performance of Spark and Flink with several representative batch and iterative workloads on up to 100 nodes. Our key finding is that there none of the two framework outperforms the other for all data types, sizes and job patterns. This paper performs a fine characterization of the cases when each framework is superior, and we highlight how this performance correlates to operators, to resource usage and to the specifics of the internal framework design.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01347638
Contributor : Ovidiu-Cristian Marcu <>
Submitted on : Saturday, August 6, 2016 - 4:42:15 PM
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Ovidiu-Cristian Marcu, Alexandru Costan, Gabriel Antoniu, María S. Pérez-Hernández. Spark versus Flink: Understanding Performance in Big Data Analytics Frameworks. Cluster 2016 - The IEEE 2016 International Conference on Cluster Computing, Sep 2016, Taipei, Taiwan. ⟨hal-01347638v2⟩

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