I have set of large tables stored as parquets on s3. In python, I'm using:


I'm reading the files directly from s3, without any database engine whatsoever for preprocessing in between.

My question is, will the columns argument allow me to reduce data transfer to my remote dask cluster workers by just specifying a subset of the columns I'm interested in, or will they load the full parquet, at first, and then extract the columns? I suspect the latter is the case.

Looking for a solution, I found S3 select: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/userguide/selecting-content-from-objects.html

I think, I could use boto3 and sql syntax to read subsets of columns directly on s3, similar as done here: https://www.msp360.com/resources/blog/how-to-use-s3-select-feature-amazon/

But what I would really like to have is a version of pd.read_parquet that does this in the background. What I found here is the awswrangler library: https://aws-sdk-pandas.readthedocs.io/en/stable/stubs/awswrangler.s3.read_parquet.html

I suspect that awswrangler does exactly what I want, but I did not find an example that shows this. Does anybody know how it works?


1 Answer 1


Here's what I do using a custom defined read_parquets. It seems to reduce the data transfer size.

df1 = read_parquets(s3_path)

Time taken 4m 8.0s

df2 = pd.read_parquet(s3_path, columns = ['col1'])

Time taken 25.0s

df3 = read_parquets(s3_path, columns = ['col1'])

Time taken 15.2s

Supporting functions:

from functools import lru_cache
import os
import re

import boto3
import boto3
from botocore.errorfactory import ClientError
import json

import logging
_logs_file_ops = logging.getLogger(__name__)

s3 = boto3.client('s3')
s3_resource = boto3.resource('s3')

def list_distribute_into_blocks(input_list: list, num_lists: int = 0) -> list[list]:
    """Equally distributes an input list in to a list of specified number of lists

        input_list (list): A python flat list
        block_size (int): Size of blocks
    if num_lists == 0:
        return input_list
        list_length = len(input_list)
        sublist_size = list_length // num_lists  # Calculate the size of each sublist
        remaining_elements = list_length % num_lists  # Calculate the number of remaining elements

        sublists = []
        index = 0

        for i in range(num_lists):
            sublist = input_list[index: index + sublist_size]
            index += sublist_size
            # If there are remaining elements, distribute them across sublists
            if remaining_elements > 0:
                index += 1
                remaining_elements -= 1


        sublists = [_ for _ in sublists if len(_) > 0]
        return sublists
    except Exception as e:
        _logs_common_func.error(f'Distribution to list of {num_lists} lists failed due to: {e}')
        return input_list

def listdir(folder_path):
    """Returns a list of full paths to the contents of a specified location. Also accepts s3 locations
    if 's3://' in folder_path:
        folder_path = folder_path.replace('\\', '/')
        # create S3 client
        # specify bucket and prefix (folder path)
        # bucket_name = 'boulevarddataplatform'
        bucket_name, prefix = _bucket_prefix(folder_path)
        if prefix[-1] != '/':
            prefix += '/'

        keys = []
        kwargs = dict(Bucket=bucket_name, Prefix=prefix, Delimiter='/')
        while True:
            resp = s3.list_objects_v2(**kwargs)
            files, folders = resp.get('Contents', []), resp.get('CommonPrefixes', [])
            for obj in files:
            for obj in folders:
                kwargs['ContinuationToken'] = resp['NextContinuationToken']
            except KeyError:

        _logs_file_ops.info(f'{len(files)} files + {len(folders)} folders in {bucket_name}/{prefix}')
        return [f's3://{bucket_name}/{_}' for _ in keys]
        return [os.path.join(folder_path, _) for _ in os.listdir(folder_path)]

Function to read parquets in parallel. You can pass a s3 or local disk directory from which to read parquet files:

def read_parquets(
        path:str | list[str], columns:list[str] | None = None,
        threads:int=10, max_retries:int = 5, replace_npnan:bool = False
    """Reads the specified path (s3 or local) as a pandas dataframe

        path (str | list[str]): A folder or a list of parquet files
        columns (list[str] | None, optional): Specify columns to be read from the parquet file
        threads (int, optional): Number of parallel threads reading. Do NOT exceed 10
        max_retries (int, optional): Max times to retry
        replace_npnan (bool, optional): Replace nan values?

        pandas.DataFrame: A pandas dataframe with all the parquet files concatenated
    import pandas as pd
    import time
    import random
    import numpy as np
    from tqdm import tqdm
    from concurrent.futures import ThreadPoolExecutor
    from app.utils.common_functions import list_distribute_into_blocks
    import pyarrow.parquet as pq

    def _read_parquet_file(file_path, columns=None, retry_number = 0):
        """Read a single parquet file
        if retry_number >= max_retries:
            _logs_file_ops.error(f'Failed for {file_path} after {retry_number} retries')
            return None
            parquet_file  = pq.ParquetFile(file_path)
            if parquet_file.metadata.num_rows == 0:
                return None
            if columns is not None:
                columns = [_ for _ in columns if _ in parquet_file.schema.names]
            return (parquet_file.read(columns=columns).to_pandas())
        except Exception as e:
            _logs_file_ops.warning(f'Retrying: {file_path}: {e}')
            # Full jitter wait
            temp = min(10, 2**retry_number)
            wait_time = temp/2 + random.uniform(0, temp)
            # Retry
            return _read_parquet_file(file_path, columns, retry_number+1)

    def _read_list_of_parquet_files(file_list: list[str], columns=None):
        """Read a list of parquet files serially using `_read_parquet_file`
        df = pd.concat([
                _read_parquet_file(file_path=f, columns=columns)
                for f in tqdm(file_list, desc = 'Reading...', leave = False)
        if replace_npnan is False:
            return df
            _logs_file_ops.warning(f'[!] Replace np.nan with {replace_npnan}')
            return df.replace(np.nan, replace_npnan)

    if isinstance(path, str):
        if '.parquet' in path:
            return pd.read_parquet(path=path, columns=columns)
            list_of_files = [_ for _ in listdir(path) if '.parquet' in _]
    elif isinstance(path, list):
        list_of_files = path

    if len(list_of_files) == 0:
        _logs_file_ops.warning(f'No .parquet files found in {path}')
        return None

    file_list_of_lists = list_distribute_into_blocks(list_of_files, threads)
    with ThreadPoolExecutor(max_workers=threads) as executor:
        futures = [
            executor.submit(_read_list_of_parquet_files, file_list, columns)
            for file_list in file_list_of_lists
        sublists = [future.result() for future in futures]

    return pd.concat(sublists)

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