Thursday, March 21, 2019

Free Platform to practice Big Data and Apache Spark programming


You can find enough theory on internet related to Big Data but theories won’t give you real hands on experience, for that you need a platform to practice and implement all your knowledge. Installing Big Data on personal laptop is not always possible as it need a high-end laptop for faster and seamless execution of your code. I am pretty sure that you won’t like to get stuck in the installation and configuration of software rather than focusing on practice.

I am going to mention few ways or places where you can practice Big Data for free or with very less price.

VMware or Oracle Virtual Box (Free)
Best way to practice Big Data for free is just install VMware or Virtual box and download the Cloudera Quickstart image. For Quickstart image to work properly you need at least 8 GB RAM and a 64-bit processor.

Steps are mentioned below: -

1.   Download and install VMWare or Oracle Virtual Box from

2.   Download Cloudera “Quickstart VM” image for virtual box and unzip it. Download from here: -

3.   Open Virtual Box and Click “New”. Fill the details as below and then click next: -

If your laptop has 8 GB RAM then allocate only 5-6 GB to the Virtual Box, Allocating more than this or less than this may get your laptop hanged quiet frequently.

Once configured you can start and practice. Quickstart Image has all the big data software’s stack pre-installed in it. For version of the software you can check Cloudera website.

You can log in to Databricks and open an account to get free trial version of data bricks platform. Here you can do just the basic hands on as it has limited features.

This is a cloud based lab to practice Big Data, Spark and all big data technologies. CloudXLab is good and very cheap. You can access the labs through your browser or putty. CloudXlab gives you access to all the required UIs like Hue, Ambari, Spark UI etc. It’s worth spending some bucks to practice big Data.

Monthly subscription price is around $13 (~ Rs 900). Yearly subscription you will get at a cheaper rate.

The good thing is they provide free subscription for 7 days, so if you are not satisfied with the performance or quality then you can always opt out without paying a anything.

BigData Labs
This is also a cloud based lab to practice BigData. It will provide you same features as CloudXLabs because both have the Hortonworks Hadoop distribution installed on the cluster. Here also you get all the required UI access. BigData Labs will cost you around $ 14-15 per month but they have a free forum where you can discuss your queries.

I would suggest best option is to go for the Virtual box images provided by Cloudera or Hortonworks and they are free and you don’t even need an internet connection to practice. But if you don’t have an high end laptop then go for CloudXLabs.

To learn more on Spark click hereLet us know your views or feedback on Facebook or Twitter.

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