Introducing Red PNDA – a PNDA platform for development, demonstration and education

pexels-photo-148182 – The red panda (Ailurus fulgens), also called the lesser panda, the red bear-cat, and the red cat-bear, is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.[1] It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs; it is slightly larger than a domestic cat. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.

Impress your friends. Show off by reciting the paragraph above…

However, this isn’t quite the Red Panda that we’re talking about in this article.


Red PNDA is aimed to be a smaller, simpler subset of PNDA; it provides a set of components providing a PNDA-like environment for development, education and demonstration. It’s more lightweight and designed to run on a laptop, enabling users to get familiar with the core data-ingest mechanism of PNDA (Kakfa/AVRO), as well as the data-exploration tools Jupyter, OpenTSDB and Grafana. It includes Apache Spark and Hbase but doesn’t include the ‘heavy’ components such as the Hadoop infrastructure and distributed processing.

In addition, there’s a network-related dataset (BGP updates from the Internet) and an accompanying tutorial Juypter notebook, to help you get started.


Red PNDA console page

Red PNDA is simple to deploy on top a host system running Ubuntu 14.04.05 LTS or by using the Red PNDA Virtual Machine image (.OVA) on a hypervisor such as VirtualBox or Vmware Workstation or Fusion, with a memory footprint of just 4Gb.

The trade-off with Red PNDA is that it does not provide horizontal scale or resilience and is not designed for production.  For production, you need a full PNDA cluster.

You can find out more about Red PNDA on Github at, which includes the download links for the .OVA file.

If you’ve wanted to learn more about the PNDA platform but not had the compute resources at hand, Red PNDA is intended for you.

Red PNDA – like PNDA, just smaller, cuter and fits on a USB stick.


Acknowledgement.  This work has been inspired by an initial concept created by Maros Marsalek at Frinx ( and extended by Nick Hall (




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