Hadoop continues to lead the way as the preferred big data analytics platform for organisations in the UK, but Spark in starting to make inroads into its dominance.

This is according to recent research by Computing magazine, which found almost six out of ten respondents (59 per cent) believed their company will be using Hadoop as its primary analytical tool in 18 months' time.

This compares to 17 per cent who named Spark as the way forward for their business, while Kinesis (seven per cent), Storm (four per cent) and Flink (two per cent) received lower levels of interest. One in four IT professionals stated their business would be using another solution for big data processing.

However, the research found that more advanced organisations – described as those businesses that are leading the way when it comes to adopting and using technology to drive change – were more likely to favour Spark over Hadoop, suggesting that it is catching up.

Computing did offer a note of caution, observing that many businesses use both Spark and Hadoop in conjunction with one another, so it may well be the case that even as Spark interest goes, Hadoop is unlikely to be replaced any time soon. However, for the purposes of the survey, respondents were asked to choose only one processing platform, in order to see which are having the most impact on professionals' thinking.

Interviews conducted by Computing also saw Spark come up frequently, with the speed of the solution a commonly cited benefit. One chief technology officer noted that although it is much easier to find people with experience and understanding of Hadoop, tools such as Spark and Storm are "much more attractive and faster".

As the capabilities of Spark have grown, it has also become more attractive to companies with needs for both batch and real-time processing. One data scientist Computing spoke to noted that if users are looking to deploy new solutions, they will increasingly turn straight to Spark, rather than use tools such as MapReduce.