Sparkling Water

Note: This topic is deprecated and will be removed in a later release. Refer to the Sparkling Water User Guide for Sparkling Water FAQs.

What is Sparkling Water?

Sparkling Water allows users to combine the fast, scalable machine learning algorithms of H2O with the capabilities of Spark. With Sparkling Water, users can drive computation from Scala/R/Python and utilize the H2O Flow UI, providing an ideal machine learning platform for application developers.

What are the advantages of using Sparkling Water compared with H2O?

Sparkling Water contains the same features and functionality as H2O but provides a way to use H2O with Spark, a large-scale cluster framework.

Sparkling Water is ideal for H2O users who need to manage large clusters for their data processing needs and want to transfer data from Spark to H2O (or vice versa).

There is also a Python interface available to enable access to Sparkling Water directly from PySpark.

How do I filter an H2OFrame using Sparkling Water?

Filtering columns is easy: just remove the unnecessary columns or create a new H2OFrame from the columns you want to include (Frame(String[] names, Vec[] vec)), then make the H2OFrame wrapper around it (new H2OFrame(frame)).

Filtering rows is a little bit harder. There are two ways:

  • Create an additional binary vector holding 1/0 for the in/out sample (make sure to take this additional vector into account in your computations). This solution is quite cheap, since you do not duplicate data - just create a simple vector in a data walk.


  • Create a new frame with the filtered rows. This is a harder task, since you have to copy data. For reference, look at the #deepSlice call on Frame (H2OFrame)

How do I save and load models using Sparkling Water?

Models can be saved and loaded in Sparkling Water using the class. For example:

#Test model
val model = h2oModel

#Export model on disk
ModelSerializationSupport.exportModel(model, destinationURI)

# Export the POJO model
ModelSerializationSupport.exportPOJOModel(model, desinationURI)

#Load the model from disk
val loadedModel = ModelSerializationSupport.loadModel(pathToModel)

Note that you can also specify type of model to be loaded:

val loadedModel = ModelSerializationSupport.loadMode[TYPE_OF_MODEL]l(pathToModel)

How do I inspect H2O using Flow while a droplet is running?

If your droplet execution time is very short, add a simple sleep statement to your code:


How do I change the memory size of the executors in a droplet?

There are two ways to do this:

  • Change your default Spark setup in $SPARK_HOME/conf/spark-defaults.conf


  • Pass --conf via spark-submit when you launch your droplet (e.g.,

$SPARK_HOME/bin/spark-submit --conf spark.executor.memory=4g --master $MASTER --class $TOPDIR/assembly/build/libs/droplet.jar

I received the following error while running Sparkling Water using multiple nodes, but not when using a single node. What should I do?

onExCompletion for water.parser.ParseDataset$MultiFileParseTask@31cd4150
water.DException$DistributedException: from /; by class water.parser.ParseDataset$MultiFileParseTask; class water.DException$DistributedException: from /; by class water.parser.ParseDataset$MultiFileParseTask; class water.DException$DistributedException: from /; by class water.parser.ParseDataset$MultiFileParseTask$DistributedParse; class java.lang.NullPointerException: null
    at water.persist.PersistManager.load(
    at water.Value.loadPersist(
    at water.Value.memOrLoad(
    at water.Value.get(
    at water.fvec.Vec.chunkForChunkIdx(
    at water.fvec.ByteVec.chunkForChunkIdx(
    at water.fvec.ByteVec.chunkForChunkIdx(
    at water.MRTask.compute2(
    at water.MRTask.compute2(

This error output displays if the input file is not present on all nodes. Because of the way that Sparkling Water distributes data, the input file is required on all nodes (including remote), not just the primary node. Make sure there is a copy of the input file on all the nodes, then try again.

Are there any drawbacks to using Sparkling Water compared to standalone H2O?

The version of H2O embedded in Sparkling Water is the same as the standalone version.

How do I use Sparkling Water from the Spark shell?

There are two methods:


$SPARK_HOME/bin/spark-shell --packages ai.h2o:sparkling-water-core_2.11:2.1.12



The software distribution provides example scripts in the examples/scripts directory:

bin/sparkling-shell -i examples/scripts/chicagoCrimeSmallShell.script.scala

For either method, initialize H2O as shown in the following example:

import org.apache.spark.h2o._
val h2oContext = H2OContext.getOrCreate(spark)
import h2oContext._

After successfully launching H2O, the following output displays:

Sparkling Water Context:
 * number of executors: 3
 * list of used executors:
  (executorId, host, port)

  Open H2O Flow in browser: (CMD + click in Mac OSX)

How do I use H2O with Spark Submit?

Spark Submit is for submitting self-contained applications. For more information, refer to the Spark documentation.

First, initialize H2O:

import org.apache.spark.h2o._
val h2oContext = new H2OContext(sc).start()

The Sparkling Water distribution provides several examples of self-contained applications built with Sparkling Water. To run the examples:

bin/ ChicagoCrimeAppSmall

The “magic” behind is a regular Spark Submit:

$SPARK_HOME/bin/spark-submit ChicagoCrimeAppSmall --packages ai.h2o:sparkling-water-core_2.11:2.1.12 --packages ai.h2o:sparkling-water-examples_2.11:2.1.12

How do I use Sparkling Water with Databricks?

Refer to the “Running Sparkling Water on Databricks Azure Cluster” in the Sparkling Water User Guide for information on how to use Sparkling Water with Databricks.

How do I develop applications with Sparkling Water?

For a regular Spark application (a self-contained application as described in the Spark documentation), the app needs to initialize H2OServices via H2OContext:

import org.apache.spark.h2o._
val h2oContext = new H2OContext(sc).start()

For more information, refer to the Sparkling Water Development documentation in the Sparkling Water User Guide.

How do I connect to Sparkling Water from R or Python?

After starting H2OServices by starting H2OContext, point your client to the IP address and port number specified in H2OContext.