What is Apache Drill?

Apache Drill is a distributed system for interactive analysis of large-scale datasets. Drill is similar to Google’s Dremel, with the additional flexibility needed to support a broader range of query languages, data formats and data sources. It is designed to efficiently process nested data. It is a design goal to scale to 10,000 servers or more and to be able to process petabyes of data and trillions of records in seconds.

Many organizations have the need to run data-intensive applications, including batch processing, stream processing and interactive analysis. In recent years open source systems have emerged to address the need for scalable batch processing (Apache Hadoop) and stream processing (Storm, Apache S4). In 2010 Google published a paper called “Dremel: Interactive Analysis of Web-Scale Datasets,” describing a scalable system used internally for interactive analysis of nested data. No open source project has successfully replicated the capabilities of Dremel.

Why is MapR involved in the Drill Project?

MapR is a recognized as the leading Hadoop innovator and is dedicated to providing the best Big Data processing capabilities. MapR is committed to a highly transparent, open source project so that best architecture can be put in place to ensure a high quality and flexible solution. This includes developing and defining open APIs to ensure a robust ecosystem. Apache Drill represents a huge leap forward for organizations looking to augment their Big Data processing with interactive queries across massive data sets. Driving Drill as an open source project reduces the barriers to adopting a new set of Big Data APIs.

How is Apache Drill different from HBase™?

Drill provides a distributed execution engine for interactive queries. HBase™ represents a supported data source for Drill.


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Jacques Nadeau, Apache Drill Committer, talks about Apache Drill to allthingshadoop.com's Joe Stein.  Listen now

White paper

ApacheDrill: Interactive Ad-Hoc Analysis at Scale  Download


Lifetime of a Query in Drill - Timothy Chen, Apache Drill Committer   View blog entry

How is Apache Drill different from Hive, Pig and Cascading?

Today these systems compile higher-level languages (eg, HiveQL, Pig Latin) into MapReduce jobs. Once Drill is available, these systems may support Drill as an underlying low-latency execution engine, enabling interactive queries across billions of records. Chris Wensel, the author of Cascading, is collaborating with MapR on this project and is one of the initial committers.

Where can I find more information about Drill?