Apache Spark [PART 26]: Failure When Overwriting A Parquet File Might Result in Data Loss

1 minute read


There are several critical issues that present when using Spark. One of them relates to data loss when a failure occurs.

Recently I came across such an issue when overwriting a parquet file. Let me simulate the process in a simplified way. I used Spark in local mode.

Suppose we have a simple dataframe df.

df_elements = [
	(row_a, row_b, row_c),
] * 100000

df = spark.createDataFrame(df_elements, [a, b, c])

Now let’s store the dataframe to a parquet file.


You should see that there are several partition files created when the saving process finishes.

Let’s make the overwriting process fails in the middle.


When the above code is running, just press Ctrl + C to stop it.

Go back to path_to_the_parquet_files and you should find that all the previous files (before the second parquet write) has been removed.

I browsed the internet to investigate more about this issue, and found a YouTube video titled Delta Lake for Apache Spark - Why do we need Delta Lake for Spark?. Please watch it in case you want to know more.