Big data represents the next generation in data ingestion, ETL, analytics and visualization. Every day huge volume of data is being created – much of it coming from new sources including financial and retail transactions, web logs, RFID, sensor networks, social media, call detail records, ecommerce, medical records and more.

“Big Data” has 3 dimensions:

  • Volume – Very Large Data Volume Measured in terabytes or petabytes
  • Variety – Structured and Unstructured Data
  • Velocity – Rapidly Changing Data which requires a rapid infrastructure to process the same

GCIT believes in educating clients about the benefits and features of Big Data stack, particularly the Hadoop Ecosystem. We believe that informed decisions, Proof-of-Concepts and Pilot efforts on the Hadoop eco-system and Document databases will help clients see the potential and the results before they can realize their Big Data dreams!

We proudly provide development and consulting service offerings in the following Hadoop Stack and Document/Graphical Databases:


GCIT is proud to be a Certified Partner of Cloudera™, the biggest and most-widely used Enterprise distribution of Hadoop. Doug Cutting, Cloudera's™ Chief Architect, helped create Apache Hadoop out of necessity as data from the web exploded, and grew far beyond the ability of traditional systems to handle it. Hadoop was initially inspired by papers published by Google outlining its approach to handling an avalanche of data, and has since become the de facto standard for storing, processing and analyzing hundreds of terabytes, and even petabytes of data.


The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage. Rather than rely on hardware to deliver high-availability, the library itself is designed to detect and handle failures at the application layer, so delivering a highly-available service on top of a cluster of computers, each of which may be prone to failures.

 The project includes these modules:

  • Hadoop Common: The common utilities that support the other Hadoop modules.
  • Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS™): A distributed file system that provides high-throughput access to application data.
  • Hadoop YARN: A framework for job scheduling and cluster resource management.
  • Hadoop MapReduce: A YARN-based system for parallel processing of large data sets. 

Apache Hadoop is 100% open source, and pioneered a fundamentally new way of storing and processing data. Instead of relying on expensive, proprietary hardware and different systems to store and process data, Hadoop enables distributed parallel processing of huge amounts of data across inexpensive, industry-standard servers that both store and process the data, and can scale without limits. With Hadoop, no data is too big. And in today’s hyper-connected world where more and more data is being created every day, Hadoop’s breakthrough advantages mean that businesses and organizations can now find value in data that was recently considered useless.


The Apache Hive ™ data warehouse software facilitates querying and managing large datasets residing in distributed storage. Hive provides a mechanism to project structure onto this data and query the data using a SQL-like language called HiveQL. At the same time this language also allows traditional map/reduce programmers to plug in their custom mappers and reducers when it is inconvenient or inefficient to express this logic in HiveQL


Apache Pig is a platform for analyzing large data sets that consists of a high-level language for expressing data analysis programs, coupled with infrastructure for evaluating these programs. The salient property of Pig programs is that their structure is amenable to substantial parallelization, which in turns enables them to handle very large data sets.

At the present time, Pig's infrastructure layer consists of a compiler that produces sequences of Map-Reduce programs, for which large-scale parallel implementations already exist (e.g., the Hadoop subproject). Pig's language layer currently consists of a textual language called Pig Latin, which has the following key properties:

  • Ease of programming. It is trivial to achieve parallel execution of simple, "embarrassingly parallel" data analysis tasks. Complex tasks comprised of multiple interrelated data transformations are explicitly encoded as data flow sequences, making them easy to write, understand, and maintain.
  • Optimization opportunities. The way in which tasks are encoded permits the system to optimize their execution automatically, allowing the user to focus on semantics rather than efficiency.
  • Extensibility. Users can create their own functions to do special-purpose processing.


Apache HBase™ is the Hadoop database, a distributed, scalable, big data store.

You would use Apache HBase when you need random, realtime read/write access to your Big Data. This project's goal is the hosting of very large tables -- billions of rows X millions of columns -- atop clusters of commodity hardware. Apache HBase is an open-source, distributed, versioned, non-relational database modeled after Google's Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data. Just as Bigtable leverages the distributed data storage provided by the Google File System, Apache HBase provides Bigtable-like capabilities on top of Hadoop and HDFS.


  • Linear and modular scalability.
  • Strictly consistent reads and writes.
  • Automatic and configurable sharding of tables
  • Automatic failover support between RegionServers.
  • Convenient base classes for backing Hadoop MapReduce jobs with Apache HBase tables.
  • Easy to use Java API for client access.
  • Block cache and Bloom Filters for real-time queries.
  • Query predicate push down via server side Filters
  • Thrift gateway and a REST-ful Web service that supports XML, Protobuf, and binary data encoding options
  • Extensible jruby-based (JIRB) shell
  • Support for exporting metrics via the Hadoop metrics subsystem to files or Ganglia; or via JMX


Using Hadoop for analytics and data processing requires loading data into clusters and processing it in conjunction with other data that often resides in production databases across the enterprise. Loading bulk data into Hadoop from production systems or accessing it from map reduce applications running on large clusters can be a challenging task. Users must consider details like ensuring consistency of data, the consumption of production system resources, data preparation for provisioning downstream pipeline. Transferring data using scripts is inefficient and time consuming. Directly accessing data residing on external systems from within the map reduce applications complicates applications and exposes the production system to the risk of excessive load originating from cluster nodes.

This is where Apache Sqoop fits in. Sqoop allows easy import and export of data from structured data stores such as relational databases, enterprise data warehouses, and NoSQL systems. Using Sqoop, you can provision the data from external system on to HDFS, and populate tables in Hive and HBase. Sqoop integrates with Oozie, allowing you to schedule and automate import and export tasks. Sqoop uses a connector based architecture which supports plugins that provide connectivity to new external systems.


Oozie is a workflow scheduler system to manage Apache Hadoop jobs. Oozie Workflow jobs are Directed Acyclical Graphs (DAGs) of actions. Oozie Coordinator jobs are recurrent Oozie Workflow jobs triggered by time (frequency) and data availabilty.

Oozie is integrated with the rest of the Hadoop stack supporting several types of Hadoop jobs out of the box (such as Java map-reduce, Streaming map-reduce, Pig, Hive, Sqoop and Distcp) as well as system specific jobs (such as Java programs and shell scripts). Oozie is a scalable, reliable and extensible system.


The Apache Ambari project is aimed at making Hadoop management simpler by developing software for provisioning, managing, and monitoring Apache Hadoop clusters. Ambari provides an intuitive, easy-to-use Hadoop management web UI backed by its RESTful APIs.

The set of Hadoop components that are currently supported by Ambari includes:

HDFS, MapReduce, Hive, HCatalog, HBase, ZooKeeper, Oozie, Pig, Sqoop

Ambari enables System Administrators to:

  • Provision a Hadoop Cluster
    • Ambari provides a step-by-step wizard for installing Hadoop services across any number of hosts.
    • Ambari handles configuration of Hadoop services for the cluster.
  • Manage a Hadoop Cluster
    • Ambari provides central management for starting, stopping, and reconfiguring Hadoop services across the entire cluster.
  • Monitor a Hadoop Cluster
    • Ambari provides a dashboard for monitoring health and status of the Hadoop cluster.
    • Ambari leverages Ganglia for metrics collection.
    • Ambari leverages Nagios for system alerting and will send emails when your attention is needed (e.g., a node goes down, remaining disk space is low, etc).

Ambari enables Application Developers and System Integrators to:

  • Easily integrate Hadoop provisioning, management, and monitoring capabilities to their own applications with the Ambari REST APIs.


CouchDB is a database that completely embraces the web. Store your data with JSON documents. Access your documents with your web browser, via HTTP. Query, combine, and transform your documents with JavaScript. CouchDB works well with modern web and mobile apps. You can even serve web apps directly out of CouchDB. And you can distribute your data, or your apps, efficiently using CouchDB’s incremental replication. CouchDB supports master-master setups with automatic conflict detection.

CouchDB comes with a suite of features, such as on-the-fly document transformation and real-time change notifications, that makes web app development a breeze. It even comes with an easy to use web administration console. You guessed it, served up directly out of CouchDB! CouchDB is highly available and partition tolerant, but is also eventually consistent. CouchDB has a fault-tolerant storage engine that puts the safety of your data first.


MongoDB is a document database that provides high performance, high availability, and easy scalability.

  • Document Database
    • Documents (objects) map nicely to programming language data types.
    • Embedded documents and arrays reduce need for joins.
    • Dynamic schema makes polymorphism easier.
  • High Performance
    • Embedding makes reads and writes fast.
    • Indexes can include keys from embedded documents and arrays.
    • Optional streaming writes (no acknowledgments).
  • High Availability
    • Replicated servers with automatic master failover.
  • Easy Scalability
    • Automatic sharding distributes collection data across machines.
    • Eventually-consistent reads can be distributed over replicated servers

MongoDB Data Model

A MongoDB deployment hosts a number of databases. A database holds a set of collections. A collection holds a set of documents. A document is a set of key-value pairs. Documents have dynamic schema. Dynamic schema means that documents in the same collection do not need to have the same set of fields or structure, and common fields in a collection’s documents may hold different types of data.

MongoDB Queries

Queries in MongoDB provides a set of operators to define how the find() method selects documents from a collection based on a query specification document that uses a combination of exact equality matches and conditionals using a query operator.



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