Apache HBase is a distributed, scalable, performant, consistent key value database that can store a variety of binary data types. It excels at storing many relatively small values (<10K), and providing low-latency reads and writes.
However, there is a growing demand for storing documents, images, and other moderate objects (MOBs) in HBase while maintaining low latency for reads and writes. One such use case is a bank that stores signed and scanned customer documents. As another example, transport agencies may want to store snapshots of traffic and moving cars. These MOBs are generally write-once.
Unfortunately, performance can degrade in situations where many moderately sized values (100K to 10MB) are stored due to the ever-increasing I/O pressure created by compactions. Consider the case where 1TB of photos from traffic cameras, each 1MB in size, are stored into HBase daily. Parts of the stored files are compacted multiple times via minor compactions and eventually, data is rewritten by major compactions. Along with accumulation of these MOBs, I/O created by compactions will slow down the compactions, further block memstore flushing, and eventually block updates. A big MOB store will trigger frequent region splits, reducing the availability of the affected regions.
In order to address these drawbacks, Cloudera and Intel engineers have implemented MOB support in an HBase branch (hbase-11339: HBase MOB). This branch will be merged to the master in HBase 1.1 or 1.2, and is already present and supported in CDH 5.4.x, as well.
为了解决这个问题，Cloudera和Intel的工程师在Hbase的分支实现了对MOB的支持。 (hbase-11339: HBase MOB)。（译者注：这个特性并没有出现在1.1和1.2版本，而是被合入的2.0.0版本）。你可以在CDH 5.4.x中获取。
Operations on MOBs are usually write-intensive, with rare updates or deletes and relatively infrequent reads. MOBs are usually stored together with their metadata. Metadata relating to MOBs may include, for instance, car number, speed, and color. Metadata are very small relative to the MOBs. Metadata are usually accessed for analysis, while MOBs are usually randomly accessed only when they are explicitly requested with row keys.
Users want to read and write the MOBs in HBase with low latency in the same APIs, and want strong consistency, security, snapshot and HBase replication between clusters, and so on. To meet these goals, MOBs were moved out of the main I/O path of HBase and into a new I/O path.
In this post, you will learn about this design approach, and why it was selected.
There were a few possible approaches to this problem. The first approach we considered was to store MOBs in HBase with a tuned split and compaction policies—a bigger desired MaxFileSize decreases the frequency of region split, and fewer or no compactions can avoid the write amplification penalty. That approach would improve write latency and throughput considerably. However, along with the increasing number of stored files, there would be too many opened readers in a single store, even more than what is allowed by the OS. As a result, a lot of memory would be consumed and read performance would degrade.
Another approach was to use an HBase + HDFS model to store the metadata and MOBs separately. In this model, a single file is linked by an entry in HBase. This is a client solution, and the transaction is controlled by the client—no HBase-side memories are consumed by MOBs. This approach would work for objects larger than 50MB, but for MOBs, many small files lead to inefficient HDFS usage since the default block size in HDFS is 128MB.
For example, let’s say a NameNode has 48GB of memory and each file is 100KB with three replicas. Each file takes more than 300 bytes in memory, so a NameNode with 48GB memory can hold about 160 million files, which would limit us to only storing 16TB MOB files in total.
As an improvement, we could have assembled the small MOB files into bigger ones—that is, a file could have multiple MOB entries–and store the offset and length in the HBase table for fast reading. However, maintaining data consistency and managing deleted MOBs and small MOB files in compactions are difficult. Furthermore, if we were to use this approach, we’d have to consider new security policies, lose atomicity properties of writes, and potentially lose the backup and disaster recovery provided by replication and snapshots.
HBase MOB 架构设计
In the end, because most of the concerns around storing MOBs in HBase involve the I/O created by compactions, the key was to move MOBs out of management by normal regions to avoid region splits and compactions there.
The HBase MOB design is similar to the HBase + HDFS approach because we store the metadata and MOBs separately. However, the difference lies in a server-side design: memstore caches the MOBs before they are flushed to disk, the MOBs are written into a HFile called “MOB file” in each flush, and each MOB file has multiple entries instead of single file in HDFS for each MOB. This MOB file is stored in a special region. All the read and write can be used by the current HBase APIs.
HBase MOB设计类似于Hbase+HDFS的方式，将元数据和MOB分开存。不同的是服务端的设计。中等大小文件在被刷到磁盘前缓存在memstore里，每次刷新，中等大小文件被写入特殊的HFile文件—“MOB File”。每个中等文件有多个MOB入口，而不像HDFS只有一个入口。MOB file被放在特殊的region。读写都通过现有的Hbase API。