Introducing Aster Express
We are very excited to introduce the Aster Express for VMware Player images. Much like the very popular Teradata Express program, these downloadable Aster virtual images will provide customers with a free evaluation version of the Aster analytic platform that can be run on their PC. While this Express edition is not licensed for production usage, it is a fully functional Aster cluster that is a great tool for developers and testers or anyone else who wants a hands-on introduction to this Big Data analytics platform. Over the coming weeks and months here on Teradata's Developer Exchange, we will be publishing Aster tutorials, along with sample datasets, that will highlight the powers of this exciting platform.
Aster is the premiere platform for Map Reduce analytics on Big Data. Based on a MPP database platform, Aster's patented SQL-MapReduce architecture combines the power and usability of SQL with Map Reduce components to enable all business users to innovate and discover hidden value in the vast mountains of semi-structured Big Data that is quickly engulfing most companies today.
At a high-level, an Aster cluster is composed of a Queen node and many Worker nodes. The Queen node provides the SQL query access to the Aster cluster, while the Worker nodes provide the distributed storage and computation. This combination of Map Reduce style analytics with traditional SQL allows analytics across all data, including queries combining both traditional structured and unstructured data. Aster enables discovery that previously was simply not possible. More information can be found in other Developer Exchange articles or at www.asterdata.com.
Aster Express Image Requirements
The Aster Express cluster is comprised of two virtual images; a Queen image and a Worker image. Each image has been created for the VMware Player environment and are running as 64-bit SLES linux instance, pre-configured with 20 GBs of disk space. Once downloaded, these images can be up and running in minutes. This small Aster cluster configuration is designed so that it will run with the minimum set of hardware requirements:
- 64-bit capable CPU
- At least 4 GBs of memory
- At least 20 GB of free disk space
The Aster Express for VMware Player images require a 64-bit capable CPU. You can be running a 32-bit operating system such as Windows XP as the host platform, but your CPU will need to support the 64-bit Linux environment within the image. Here is a link to a VMware support document that explains this in more detail as well as a VMware tool for checking your PC's capability: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/processor_check.pdf
VMware Player and 7zip
VMware Player is a "virtual hypervisor" which provides a hosting platform for running virtual images, and is available as a free product that can be downloaded from www.vmware.com. If you haven't used VMware before, you'll quickly come to appreciate the ability to run virtual machines on your PC.
Once you download the Aster images, you'll see that they are compressed using 7zip. The 7zip tool is freely available from www.7-zip.org. Its also a good idea to check the size of your downloaded files and to validate the MD5 checksum in order to ensure that the file arrived cleanly without any corruption using the table below.
Once your downloads are validated, the Queen and Worker packages should be extracted with 7zip into a directory such as
C:\virtual images\Aster Images
From this location I have a folder for the the "Aster Queen" and one for the "Aster Worker".
Download Sizes, Space Requirements and MD5 Checksums
|Package||Version||Initial Disk Space||Download Size (bytes)||MD5 Checksum|
|Aster Express for VMware - Queen||4.6.2||8.5 GB||2,558,825,989||ffd0358b3bac46a3f07b35f4f3bc7590|
|Aster Express for VMware - Worker||4.6.2||8.5 GB||919,403,993||ea1ca34fa6daf00d0d0715b6f6a498cc|
Now that you have VMware Player installed and the two Aster images downloaded and unpacked, we're just about ready to start our Aster engines!
Follow this link to the next Aster article - Getting Started with Aster Express.