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Spark & HDFS Integration in Data Lakehouse

· 3 min read
Aytan Jalilova

In the world of data engineering and analytics, technologies like Apache Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) play a significant role. If you're new to these technologies and wondering whether Spark comes with an integrated HDFS storage layer, you're in the right place. In this blog post, we'll explore the relationship between Spark and HDFS and discuss setting up your architecture using Dockerized Spark clusters and HDFS.

Does Spark come with an Integrated HDFS Storage Layer?

The short answer is yes. Spark does indeed have integration with HDFS, which provides a distributed file storage system optimized for big data workloads. When you work with Spark, you can leverage HDFS as the underlying storage layer for your data. This combination allows for efficient data processing, storage, and analysis, making it an excellent choice for building data pipelines and analytics solutions.

Using Dockerized Spark Cluster with HDFS:

Your observation about the naming convention of Spark binaries is correct. The presence of "hadoop" in the name, such as "spark-3.x.x-bin-hadoop3.x," indicates that the Spark distribution is compiled to work with a specific version of Hadoop, which includes the HDFS component. When you create a Dockerized Spark cluster with this distribution, it inherently includes HDFS support.

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Advantages of Utilizing HDFS with Spark:

Data Locality: HDFS stores data in a distributed manner across nodes in a cluster, ensuring that data is stored close to where computation takes place. Spark can take advantage of this data locality to minimize data movement and improve performance. Fault Tolerance: Both Spark and HDFS provide built-in fault tolerance mechanisms. Spark keeps track of the transformations applied to data, allowing it to recover lost data through lineage information. HDFS replicates data across nodes, ensuring availability even if some nodes fail.

Tips and Recommendations:

Cluster Setup: If you plan to set up a Hadoop cluster using Docker for your Spark and Apache Iceberg project, it's a great way to experiment and learn. However, keep in mind that managing a production-grade cluster involves additional complexities, such as security, scalability, and maintenance. Apache Iceberg: is optimized for storage and query performance. With Iceberg, anyone who is familiar with SQL can build data lakes and utilize data lakehouse operations without having to learn a new language. In addition to being optimized for batch and real-time processing, Iceberg will allow you to build a multi-cloud or cross-cloud lakehouse experience. Resource Allocation: When using a Dockerized Spark cluster, be mindful of resource allocation. Configure memory and CPU settings appropriately to ensure efficient execution of Spark jobs. Networking and Connectivity: Ensure that the Docker containers in your cluster can communicate effectively, both within the cluster and with external resources if needed. Learning Resources: Take advantage of online tutorials, documentation, and communities dedicated to Spark and Hadoop to accelerate your learning journey.


Incorporating HDFS with Spark provides a strong foundation for building data-centric applications. Dockerized Spark clusters offer a convenient way to experiment with this integration, allowing you to learn, test, and refine your architecture. As you embark on your journey to build a medallion architecture using Apache Iceberg, remember that learning and experimenting are the key components of mastering these powerful technologies.

We hope this blog post has clarified your doubts and provided insights into integrating Spark and HDFS for your data engineering project. If you have any further questions on data lakehouse building or the IOMETE data lakehouse platform, feel free to reach out. Happy data engineering!