September 16, 2020

Why you should use Presto for ad hoc analytics

Presto! It’s not only an incantation to excite your audience after a magic trick, but also a name being used more and more when discussing how to churn through big data. While there are many deployments of Presto in the wild, the technology — a distributed SQL query engine that supports all kinds of data sources — remains unfamiliar to many developers and data analysts who could benefit from using it.

In this article, I’ll be discussing Presto: what it is, where it came from, how it is different from other data warehousing solutions, and why you should consider it for your big data solutions.

Presto vs. Hive

Presto originated at Facebook back in 2012. Open-sourced in 2013 and managed by the Presto Foundation (part of the Linux Foundation), Presto has experienced a steady rise in popularity over the years. Today, several companies have built a business model around Presto, such as Ahana, with PrestoDB-based ad hoc analytics offerings.

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