Simplifying Data Engineering Through Delta Lake
While Data lakes benefit businesses profoundly by providing flexibility in data storage and management, they also begin causing problems once they get overwhelmed by the unlimited volumes of incoming data.
Delta lake storage technology is a valuable tool for the data engineering sector. It lets data engineers handle and govern the unlimited amounts of data in data lakes in a more sophisticated and controlled manner. Not to mention, Delta Lake also makes sure that users don’t lose data during the extraction, transformation, and loading processes.
This brings us to the following question.
What is Delta Lake?
Delta lake can be described as a storage layer that introduces structure and organization into the data lake. It eliminates the need to set up data warehouses by bringing order and governance to data lakes. Moreover, Delta Lake increases the scalability of existing data and ensures seamless integration of the raw data, be it of any format. It, in a way, lays the groundwork for Lakehouse development.
Unlike data warehouses, data lakes are flexible and retain data for longer periods. They are capable of storing and processing structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. Data lakes are also less expensive when it comes to the relative cost. However, due to a lack of any in-built regulatory system, they can become overburdened with data sets. This swamping of data lakes interferes with their regular functioning. For instance, users may face problems while retrieving data or accessing it from time to time.
Delta Lake resolves this issue by allowing data engineers to manage their data within the data lakes. The personnel can also perform ETL and validation within the data lake. Accurate data, thus, becomes readily available for data scientists, analysts, and business decision-makers to make informed insights.
How Does Delta Lake Work?
Delta Lake forms a layer within the data lake. Every data set that enters the data lake goes through Delta Lake as well. Whether it is streaming data or bulk one, it is instantly accounted for and transformed by the storage layer.
Delta Lake organizes data by giving data engineers the leeway to segregate it into individual tables. These tables can be classified according to the quality of data they contain. The architecture according to which Delta Lake works is shown below in the block diagram.
Ways In Which Delta Lake Can Benefit the Data Engineering Sector
Delta lake simplifies the work of Data engineers by bringing the following benefits:
1. Increased Speed
Delta Lake affords data engineers advanced performance features like indexing and schema enforcement. It also supports both batch and streaming data. Delta Lake, therefore, ensures the speedy availability of data in real-time.
2. Low Risk, High Security
Since Delta Lake provides data engineers with the facility to quickly update data, it enhances the security of the existing data. By using Delta Lake, business owners and data analysts can make safe decisions and credible insights.
3. Audit Logging
The security of data is also maintained through audit logging. By documenting the activities and their origins, Delta Lake protects the integrity of the data lying in the data lake.
4. ETL On Data Lake
With the help of Dela Lake, Data engineers can perform the processes of extraction, transformation, and loading within the data lake. There is no need to build data warehouses for the purpose. One can now extract data from the sources and modify it easily.
5. No Downtime During Updates
Oftentimes, data engineers find themselves spending needless hours on the problems that arise due to a simple updation of data. Data lake carries the risk of shutting down if anything goes wrong with the updating process. However, Delta Lake prevents such events from happening. One can smoothly update numerous files in one go.
6. Data Validation
Delta Lake contains a schema validation safeguard that establishes the validity of data by rejecting any new write that does not match the schema of the table.
7. Better Reliability
Delta Lake sees to the problem of unsafe writes in the system. It prevents data corruption and also keeps a track of sources. In this way, it significantly minimizes the occurrence of inaccurate query results.
8. More Compliant with Standards
Delta Lake allows its users to meet the compliance standards like the General Data Protection Regulation. Data engineers can easily modify and delete data according to the requirements.
9. Enhanced Performance
The extensive facilities brought by Delta Lake make the overall performance of data lake better. Data engineers are able to optimize their productivity and achieve improved results.
To conclude, it can be suggested that Delta Lake is an innovative product that can streamline the tasks of data engineers. It successfully infuses the winning qualities of data warehouses into the data lakes. By using Delta Lake storage layer, data engineers can significantly decrease the complexity of their tasks.
Hassan Sherwani is the Head of Data Analytics and Data Science working at Royal Cyber. He holds a PhD in IT and data analytics and has acquired a decade worth experience in the IT industry, startups and Academia. Hassan is also obtaining hands-on experience in Machine (Deep) learning for energy, retail, banking, law, telecom, and automotive sectors as part of his professional development endeavors.