Fraxses Cheetah on the loose

We’re excited to announce that the latest version of Fraxses, Cheetah, is due to go live on 17 May 2024.

In established Fraxses tradition, this release’s name is taken from the animal kingdom, and a creature that needs no introduction. As the fastest animal and one of the most effective predators on land, the cheetah is capable not only of phenomenal acceleration, but of equally rapid deceleration. These qualities speak to the enhanced speed, scalability and efficiency that characterise the latest Fraxses release.

At Intenda, we’re firm believers in the open-source model. We’ve utilised and extended open-source technologies within Fraxses since its inception, and we recognise the importance of giving back to the community – as evidenced by the recent open sourcing of Opus UI, our rapid application development platform. In keeping with this, the key enhancements Cheetah brings to Fraxses’ backend – in particular to our Compute and Security Engine – are facilitated by the integration of a leading open-source technology, Apache Kyuubi, into the platform. 

Kyuubi is a distributed, multi-tenant Thrift JDBC/ODBC server built on Apache Spark. It enhances the service’s capabilities, providing an efficient, convenient and scalable way to share Spark resources in a multi-tenant environment. By extending the Spark SQL engine, Kyuubi provides a unified data access gateway that serves as an intermediate layer between various data client applications and the Spark computing engine. This setup enables Fraxses users to execute SQL queries, perform data analysis, and easily and securely handle data processing tasks across different data sources and clusters. 

Cheetah’s key enhancements include the following:

Streamlined Architecture: The adoption of Kyuubi and its authentication and authorisation capabilities has allowed for the former custom Security Server to be removed, and for Fraxses’ architecture to become more streamlined. It is no longer necessary for queries to be rewritten to apply the requisite security before execution, as was previously the case, as this is now handled at the query plan level. These changes improve Fraxses’ efficiency, while simplifying the platform infrastructure, and reducing complexity and potential points of failure in the data access flow. 

Support for Native Spark Drivers: With the integration of Kyuubi, Native Spark drivers can now be used to connect to Fraxses Data Objects. Along with eliminating dependencies, this improves connectivity and ensures that Fraxses is always aligned with current industry standards. Moreover, the fact that custom drivers are no longer required removes the burden of developing and supporting drivers for different technologies, allowing our teams to focus on innovation, new features and enhancements to the platform. 

Improved Resource Utilisation and Scalability: The Spark Thrift Server has been replaced by Kyuubi, which offers optimised resource management and multi-tenancy support. Leveraging these capabilities, the Cheetah release brings notable improvements in resource utilisation and scalability: Previously, Fraxses required a number of slaves and CPUs, which would continue to run when not in use. Now, the platform utilises resources only when they are required, automatically shutting them off when they are no longer in use. Further to this, different groups or role types within an organisation can be assigned different priority levels in terms of resource allocation. For example, general users may be allocated fewer resources, while important groups are given priority. These improvements in scalability and resource utilisation ensure that an organisation’s data infrastructure handles increasing workloads and user demand efficiently, which promises considerable cost savings for our customers.  

The integration of Apache Kyuubi into the platform represents another important step forward for Fraxses, and will deliver significant benefit to our customers. 

Intenda CTO Jaco van Niekerk, who has overseen the evolution of Fraxses since its inception, comments on the integration of Kyuubi into the Cheetah release: “We first noted Kyuubi’s potential as an open-source initiative around three years ago and have monitored it closely since then. When we were satisfied that it had matured sufficiently, we proceeded with integrating it into our platform. We’ve been extremely impressed by the value it’s added. I’m confident that the integration of this powerful tool represents another important step forward for Fraxses, and that it will deliver significant benefit to our customers.”

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