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AWS EMR vs Hadoop: Which Is Best for You?

aws emrWhen it comes to big data, some people speak the language, and some people don’t. Of course, every industry has its share of jargon, but data analysts, in particular, have to learn a large set of advanced nomenclature in order to provide meaningful service. That brings us to our topic of the day, namely: AWS EMR vs Hadoop. To tackle this question properly, we’re first going to have to define some terms and explain how they function. If you’re looking for a crash course on big data and Hadoop, then this blog is for you.


What is AWS EMR?

AWS EMR stands for Amazon Web Services and Elastic MapReduce. Essentially, EMR is Amazon’s cloud platform that allows for processing big data and data analytics. Amazon EMR can offer businesses across industries a platform to host their data warehousing systems. For our purposes, though, we’ll focus on how AWS EMR relates to organizations in the healthcare and medical fields. One nice feature of AWS EMR for healthcare is that it uses a standardized model for data warehouse architecture and for analyzing data across various disconnected sources of health datasets.

Some other benefits of AWS EMR include:

  • Auto-scaling clusters
  • Relatively easy to use
  • On-demand processing power

Lastly, because AWS EMR is a software as a service (SaaS) and it’s backed by Amazon, it allows professionals to access support quickly and efficiently.


Hadoop 101

As opposed to AWS EMR, which is a cloud platform, Hadoop is a data storage and analytics program developed by Apache. You can think of it this way: if AWS EMR is an entire car, then Hadoop is akin to the engine. And, what’s more, it’s important to note that AWS EMR offers Hadoop –– in addition to a myriad of other features that are built-in and modified to fit Amazon’s specific system. In fact, one reason why healthcare facilities may choose to invest in AWS EMR is so that they can access Hadoop data storage and analytics without having to maintain a Hadoop Cluster on their own.


So Which is Right for Your Organization?

At Amitech, part of our mission is to improve the way that healthcare organizations collect, store, analyze and utilize data. We believe that improved big data solutions can lead to improved outcomes for healthcare providers, medical professionals and patients. When it comes to choosing between AWS EMR and Hadoop services provided by a third party, the best way forward depends on a variety of factors. Before you make a final purchase decision, take these thoughts into consideration:

  • How large is our organization? Do we need a new cloud platform or just data storage services?
  • How much will we need to customize the service? Can we work within a set structure like AWS EMR, or do we require greater flexibility and management options?
  • What are our long-term goals? Do we want to scale quickly or are we simply looking to improve short-term outcomes for our employees and patients?

These are just a few questions you should answer before you opt for Hadoop through AWS EMR, or choose to manage it on your own or with a third party.


Contact Us

Our team at Amitech is dedicated to assisting healthcare and medical professionals. We understand that choosing a cloud platform and data storage system is a difficult choice –– and we’re happy to help healthcare providers find the best solution to address their unique needs. Contact us here for more information.



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