BigTable “Execute in the Cloud” Support via Sawzall

I’m going through the BigTable spec/API document and there’s this interesting nugget:

Finally, Bigtable supports the execution of client-supplied scripts in the address spaces of the servers. The scripts are written in a language developed at Google for processing data called Sawzall [28]. At the moment, our Sawzall-based API does not allow client scripts to write back into Bigtable, but it does allow various forms of data transformation, filtering based on arbitrary expressions, and summarization via a variety of operators.

Hmmm….this is interesting. Drop some data in to BigTable, tie it to a Sawzall script you’ve created — how to get the results back, if Sawzall can’t write _into_ BigTable? Have to figure that one out.

For a computationally intensive product like the one I’m developing, this is very attractive. And I don’t have to switch platforms like I would to get cloud processing done in Amazon’s EC2. I want to find out more about Sawzall.

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