Patrick Wendell edited this page Apr 6, 2014 · 85 revisions

Shark is a large-scale data warehouse system for Spark designed to be compatible with Apache Hive. It can execute Hive QL queries up to 100 times faster than Hive without any modification to the existing data or queries. Shark supports Hive's query language, metastore, serialization formats, and user-defined functions, providing seamless integration with existing Hive deployments and a familiar, more powerful option for new ones.

Releases and Downloads | User Documentation | Developer Documentation | Acknowledgement


Fast Execution Engine

Shark is built on top of Spark, a data-parallel execution engine that is fast and fault-tolerant. Even if data are on disk, Shark can be noticeably faster than Hive because of the fast execution engine. It avoids the high task launching overhead of Hadoop MapReduce and does not require materializing intermediate data between stages on disk. Thanks to this fast engine, Shark can answer queries in sub-second latency.

Columnar Memory Store

Analytical queries usually focus on a particular subset or time window, e.g., http logs from the previous month, touching only the (small) dimension tables and a small portion of the fact table. These queries exhibit strong temporal locality, and in many cases, it is plausible to fit the working set into a cluster’s memory.

Shark allows users to exploit this temporal locality by storing their working set of data across a cluster's memory, or in database terms, to create in-memory materialized views. Common data types can be cached in a columnar format (as Java primitives arrays), which is very efficient for storage and garbage collection, yet provides maximum performance (orders of magnitude faster than reading data from disk). Below is an example on how to cache data in Shark:

CREATE TABLE logs_last_month_cached AS SELECT * FROM logs WHERE time > date(...);

SELECT page, count(*) c FROM logs_last_month_cached GROUP BY page ORDER BY c DESC LIMIT 10;

Spark/Machine Learning Integration

Shark provides a simple API for programmers to convert results from SQL queries into a special type of RDDs (Resilient Distributed Datasets). This integrates SQL query processing with machine learning, and provides a unified system for data analysis using both SQL and sophisticated statistical learning functions.

val youngUsers = sql2rdd("SELECT * FROM users WHERE age < 20")
val featureMatrix =

User Documentation

There is a small corpus of helpful documents on Shark. The shark-users mailing list is also very active and will be a helpful resource for beginners. We use JIRA to track development / issues. You can either use the mailing list or JIRA to report bugs.

Running Shark Locally: Get Shark up and running on a single node for a quick spin in ~ 5 mins.

Running Shark on EC2: Launch a Shark cluster on Amazon EC2 in ~ 10 mins, including examples on how to query data in S3.

Running Shark on a Cluster: Get Shark up and running on your own cluster.

Running Shark with Tachyon: Run Shark on Tachyon to get more benefits.

Shark User Guide: An introduction to running Shark and its API.

Building Shark from Source Code

Compatibility with Apache Hive: Deploying Shark in existing Hive Warehouses.

Developer Documentation

For people who are interested in contributing:

Developer Guide

Contributing to Shark

Building Shark Master Branch

Hive Patches: Patches we made to Hive.


Shark is an open source project started in the UC Berkeley AMP Lab. This research and development is supported in part by NSF CISE Expeditions award CCF-1139158 and DARPA XData Award FA8750-12-2-0331, and gifts from Amazon Web Services, Google, SAP, Blue Goji, Cisco, Clearstory Data, Cloudera, Ericsson, Facebook, General Electric, Hortonworks, Huawei, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Oracle, Quanta, Samsung, Splunk, VMware and Yahoo!.

YourKit is kindly supporting open source projects with its full-featured Java Profiler. YourKit, LLC is the creator of innovative and intelligent tools for profiling Java and .NET applications. Take a look at YourKit's leading software products: YourKit Java Profiler and YourKit .NET Profiler.

Related Projects

Apache Spark: The in-memory cluster computing framework that powers Shark.

Apache Hive: Apache Hive data warehouse system.

Apache Mesos: cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications.

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