Chapter 5. Loading and Saving Your Data

Both engineers and data scientists will find parts of this chapter useful. Engineers may wish to explore more output formats to see if there is something well suited to their intended downstream consumer. Data scientists can likely focus on the format that their data is already in.


We’ve looked at a number of operations we can perform on our data once we have it distributed in Spark. So far our examples have loaded and saved all of their data from a native collection and regular files, but odds are that your data doesn’t fit on a single machine, so it’s time to explore our options for loading and saving.

Spark supports a wide range of input and output sources, partly because it builds on the ecosystem available for Hadoop. In particular, Spark can access data through the InputFormat and OutputFormat interfaces used by Hadoop MapReduce, which are available for many common file formats and storage systems (e.g., S3, HDFS, Cassandra, HBase, etc.).5 The section “Hadoop Input and Output Formats” shows how to use these formats directly.

More commonly, though, you will want to use higher-level APIs built on top of these raw interfaces. Luckily, Spark and its ecosystem provide many options here. In this chapter, we will cover three common sets of data sources:

File formats and filesystems

For data stored in a local or distributed filesystem, such as NFS, HDFS, or Amazon S3, Spark can access a variety of file formats including text, ...

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