Difference between Mahout and Hadoop


In today’s world humans are generating data in huge quantities from platforms like social media, health care, etc., and with this data, we have to extract information to increase business and develop our society. For handling this data and extraction of information from data we use two important technologies named Hadoop and Mahout. Hadoop and Mahout are two important technologies in the field of big data analytics, but they have different functionalities and use cases. Hadoop is primarily used for batch processing, while Mahout is used for building machine-learning models. Ultimately, the choice depends on the user's needs. In this article, we will discuss Hadoop and Mahout and we will also see the difference between them.

What is Hadoop?

Hadoop is a distributed computing platform that uses numerous servers to store and analyze massive datasets. It was created in 2005 by Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella and named after a toy elephant owned by Cutting's kid. Hadoop is built on the MapReduce programming model, which enables users to create parallel processing algorithms that may be run across a cluster of computers.

Hadoop is widely used for processing and analyzing enormous volumes of data on a big scale. It is well-known in areas such as banking, medicine, and social media because massive volumes of data must be processed and evaluated in real-time.

What is Mahout?

Apache Mahout is an open-source project dedicated to the creation of scalable machine-learning algorithms. It employs well-known machine learning techniques such as recommendation, classification, clustering, matrix and vector libraries, and so on. It originated in 2008 as a sub-project of Apache's Lucene before becoming an Apache top-level project in 2010.

The following are Apache Mahout's basic features: Mahout's algorithms are developed on top of Hadoop, thus it performs well in a distributed setting. Mahout provides a ready-to-use framework for doing data mining activities on enormous amounts of data. Mahout enables applications to efficiently and quickly examine enormous amounts of data. Adobe, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Twitter, and Yahoo are among the companies that use Mahout.

Differences between Hadoop and mahout

1. Functionality

  • Hadoop is a computer dream team that can handle extremely large operations by storing and sifting large amounts of data simultaneously. Even if one of the computers fails, the others can continue to function normally. Hadoop is the go-to solution for folks who need to manage a large amount of data at once.

  • Mahout is a magical toolset that works with Hadoop and assists users in creating models that can learn from all of that data. It excels at dealing with large amounts of data and may be used for a variety of tasks such as determining what people would like to buy, categorizing items, and determining what something is based on its properties.

2. Use Cases

  • Hadoop is like a superhero for processing and understanding really big sets of data. People love using Hadoop in places like banks, hospitals, and social media sites where they have to look at a lot of information really quickly. Hadoop is especially good at dealing with huge loads of data all at once, and it saves everything in one place called HDFS.

  • Mahout is a genie who can assist you in creating machines that learn from all of that data. Mahout is really effective at providing customized suggestions for people based on what they've done in the past. It can also assist you in categorizing items or determining what something is based on its appearance. Mahout may be used for a wide range of purposes!

3. Ease of Use

  • The Hadoop tool is highly complex and necessitates a thorough grasp of how computers interact as well as the ability to manage enormous amounts of data at once.

  • If you want to start Hadoop it will be difficult and if you are unfamiliar with MapReduce technology then it will be even more difficult.

  • Mahout, on the other hand, facilitates the creation of data-driven models. You don't have to worry about technical details when you utilize Mahout's user-friendly tools that work well with Hadoop. There are many methods provided to access Mahout. These methods include those methods that use command line interfaces and web interfaces. This feature of Mahout makes users to interact with the library in a very easy fashion.

4. Performance

  • Hadoop is built to handle massive datasets and can scale to petabytes of data. It offers a fault-tolerant platform for large data processing, and its MapReduce programming style enables users to create parallel processing algorithms that can be performed across a cluster of computers.

  • Mahout is also built to handle massive datasets and can manage terabytes of data. Nevertheless, the performance of Mahout is dependent on the method chosen and the amount of the dataset. Certain Mahout methods are more computationally intensive than others, and larger datasets may need the use of more resources.

5. Integration with Other Tools

  • Hadoop is a popular technology for processing massive volumes of data, with many helpful features and supporting technologies. It integrates nicely with other big data technologies such as Spark and Hive and is accessible on a variety of cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

  • Mahout works with other big data technologies as well, but its core focus is machine learning. Mahout offers a variety of approaches for developing machine learning models that may be used in conjunction with other big data technologies such as Spark and Flink.

Difference between Hadoop and Mahout in Table Format





Distributed computing framework

Machine learning library

Programming Model


None (uses Hadoop as backend)

Ease of Use

Difficult (requires expertise in distributed computing)

Easier (provides high-level APIs and tools for ML)


Designed for big data processing and can scale to handle petabytes of data.

Designed for big data and can scale to handle terabytes of data. Performance depends on the specific algorithms and dataset size.

Integration with Other Tools

Widely supported by other big data tools, such as Spark and Hive.

Integrates well with other big data tools and technologies, but its focus is on machine learning.

Primary Use Case

Batch processing of large datasets

Building scalable machine learning models


Hadoop and Mahout are two popular tools used in the world of big data. Hadoop is a way to process lots of information across many computers. It can handle lots of data and keep going even if one computer stops working. Mahout is a tool that works with Hadoop and is used to create smart models that can learn from all the data. Hadoop is typically used for processing big sets of data all at once, while Mahout is great for creating models to do things like recommendations, clustering, and classification. Ultimately, which one you use depends on what you need it for.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started