April 5, 2012
Develops distributed data processing technology that
dramatically reduces disk accesses
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Kawasaki, Japan, April 5, 2012 - Fujitsu
Laboratories today announced that it has developed new
parallel distributed data processing technology that
enables pools of big data as well as continuous inflows of
new data to be efficiently processed and put to use within
The amount of large-volume, diverse data, such as sensor
data and human location data, continues to grow, and
various data processing technologies are being developed to
enable these pools and streams of big data to be quickly
analyzed and put to use. When the priority is on high-speed
performance, methods that process the data in memory are
used, but when dealing with very large volumes of data,
disk-based methodologies are typically used as volumes are
too large to process in memory. When using disk-based
techniques, however, if the objective is to immediately
reflect the newly received data in the analytical results,
many disk accesses are necessary. This results in the
problem that analytical processing cannot keep pace with
the volume of data flowing in.
To address this problem, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed
technology that slashes the number of disk accesses by
approximately 90% compared to previous levels(1) by dynamically reallocating
data on disks to match trends in data accesses. Whereas
producing analytic results of new data could take several
hours in the past, with this new technique results are
available in minutes. This development excels at both
volume and velocity when processing big data, an objective
that has been difficult to achieve until now.
This technology will be one of the technologies
underpinning human-centric computing, which will provide
relevant services for every location.
In recent years, the amount of large-volume, diverse data,
particularly chronological data such as sensor data and
human location data, continues to grow at an explosive
pace. There is a strong demand to take this type of
"big data" and efficiently extract valuable
information that can be put to immediate use in delivering
services, such as various navigation services.
A number of data-processing techniques have emerged for
handling big data (Figure 1). One of these, parallel batch
processing(2), as in
Hadoop(3), has become a
focus of attention. In parallel batch processing, the
dataset is divided and quickly processed by multiple
Another technology that has also received interest is
complex event processing (CEP)(4), which handles a stream of
incoming data in real time. This has the benefit of being
extremely fast because it processes data in memory.
The goal of extracting valuable information more quickly,
from larger datasets, requires a data-processing technology
that is disk-based and can quickly produce analytic
results. While there are both batch and incremental
disk-based processing techniques, obtaining analytic
results from either one quickly (responsiveness) remains a
Because batch techniques perform a batch process on a
snapshot of the data, there will always be a fixed lag-time
before new information can be reflected in the analytic
Conversely, with incremental processing, new data is
processed consecutively as it arrives, but updating the
analytic results directly requires the disk to be accessed
numerous times. This creates a bottleneck for analytic
processing overall, which ultimately cannot keep up with
the pace of incoming data (Figure 2). Quickly reflecting
new data in analytic results, therefore, required
addressing the problem of reducing the number of disk
Fujitsu's Newly Developed Technology
Fujitsu has developed a technology it calls "adaptive
locality-aware data reallocation," which dramatically
reduces the number of accesses, along with distributed
parallel middleware for incremental processing.
With adaptive data localization, data is optimally
allocated by the following three steps (Figure 3):
Record data-access history: Records sets of continuously
Calculate optimal allocation: Based on step 1, group sets
of data that tend to be accessed continuously.
Reallocate data dynamically: Based on step 2, specify a
location on disk for data belonging to a group and
allocate it there.
This makes it possible to acquire desired data through a
fewer number of continuous accesses, not numerous random
accesses, which vastly increases overall throughput in a
distributed-processing system. Also, by monitoring and
automatically recognizing patterns of data access, this
technology can gradually accommodate the hard-to-anticipate
data characteristics of social-infrastructure systems.
This technology can perform analytic processing on big data
using incremental processing while accepting data as
quickly as it arrives, allowing for rapid analytic
processing of current data.
This technology was used in the analytical processing
portion of an electronic commerce recommendation system,
where it was shown to operate with about one-tenth the
number of disk accesses of previous technologies.
Consequently, whereas batch processing had conventionally
been used for analytical processing of large data volumes,
incremental processing is now suitable. This greatly
reduces the time required for new data to be reflected in
analytical results. When applied to analytic processes that
had been run as overnight batches because of the hours-long
processing time required with batch processing, this
technology can be used to utilize analytical results in a
matter of minutes.
Fujitsu Laboratories will move forward to make further
performance enhancements to the technology and conduct
verification testing with the aim of applying it to
commercial products and services in fiscal 2013.
Glossary and Notes
Rate of disk I/O operations compared to previous techniques
when used for analytic processing in a recommendation system.
A technique in which massive data sets are converted to
batches, which are processed in parallel. Apache Hadoop.
Developed and released by the Apache Software Foundation
(ASF), Apache Hadoop is an open-source framework for
efficiently performing distributed parallel processing of
massive volumes of data. A method of extracting valuable
information from a stream of big data in real time. By
processing data in memory in accordance with pre-defined
rules (queries), the data can be processed in real time.
About Fujitsu Laboratories
Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu
Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier
research centers in the world. With a global network of
laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe,
the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied
research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer
Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced
Materials. For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.
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