Processing & Querying data in Cassandra with Apache Spark

January 23, 2017

This post is one of my Notes to Self one. I’m simply going to write, how can you connect to Cassandra from Spark, run “SQL” queries and perform analysis on Cassandra’s data.

Let’s get started.

(Platform: Spark v1.6.0, Cassandra v2.7, macOS 10.12.1, Scala 2.11.7)

I’m going to use the package spark-cassandra-connector written by awesome Datastax guys.

Assuming you have already configured Cassandra & Spark, it’s time to start writing a small Spark job.

Code with explanation:

# imports necessary methods
from pyspark import SparkContext, SparkConf
from pyspark.sql import SQLContext

# setup spark configuration object
# this contains your cassandra connection parameters
conf = SparkConf()\
    .setAppName("PySpark Cassandra") \
    .set("", "")\
    .set("spark.cassandra.auth.username", "cassandra")\
    .set("spark.cassandra.auth.password", "cassandra")

# creates Spark Context with your cassandra configurations
# local[*] represents that spark is going to use all cores of CPU for this job
sc = SparkContext("local[*]", "PySpark Cassandra", conf=conf)

# creates Spark's sqlContext. This is going to be super useful.
sqlContext = SQLContext(sc)

# creates mapping with tables inside Cassandra for Spark
# I am going to use "system_auth.roles" table here
sqlContext.sql("""CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE roles \
                  USING org.apache.spark.sql.cassandra \
                  OPTIONS ( table "roles", \
                            keyspace "system_auth", \
                            cluster "rootCSSCluster", \
                            pushdown "true") \

# you can create multiple mappings/temporary tables and write queries on it.
# this in another table: "system.compaction_history"
sqlContext.sql("""CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE compaction_history \
                  USING org.apache.spark.sql.cassandra \
                  OPTIONS ( table "compaction_history", \
                            keyspace "system", \
                            cluster "rootCSSCluster", \
                            pushdown "true") \

# here's the query we are going to run
query = "SELECT * FROM roles"

print "[Spark] Executing query: %s" % (query)

# The result of the query returns a dataframe
df_payload = sqlContext.sql(query)

# priting the content of dataframe

Spark job Execution:

To run your spark job, use the command below:

spark-submit --packages com.datastax.spark:spark-cassandra-connector_2.10:1.5.0-M2

(Note: Check localhost:4040 in your browser for Spark UI)

--packages : This parameter tells Spark to download the external dependencies for the job.

In our case, we are using spark-cassandra-connector:

groupId: com.datastax.spark
artifactId: spark-cassandra-connector_2.10
version: 1.5.0-M2


<all your logs will be printed here. including ivy logs>
[Spark] Executing query: select * from roles
|     role|can_login|is_superuser|member_of|         salted_hash|
|cassandra|     true|        true|       []|$2a$10$pQW3iGSC.m...|

Here, df_payload is DataFrame object. You can use all Spark’s Transformations & Actions on this. (Check here for more details)

Second Part: Starting a Spark shell with Cassandra connection
Steps for this is part of separate post.

Useful Links :-

  1. I really want to thank guys at Datastax. They have written and open sourced, so many packages and drivers for Cassandra.

  2. You can contribute to spark-cassandra-connector here.

  3. Link to spark-cassandra-connector maven repository.

Tags: Spark Cassandra Data Engineering Big Data

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