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HBase Tutorial : Part 1

Certain points to define HBase :

  • Column oriented database management system, which runs on top of HDFS
  • Not a relational data store and does not support query language like SQL – this is called NoSQL database
  • Supports a very flexible data model and thus, it is really good for data that cannot be saved in traditional RDBMS with strict structure.
  • Sparse – this means data can be scattered. If we do not have a value for any given column, it will not exist.
  • It consists of a master node that regulates the cluster and region servers to store portions of table and operate on data.
  • Sharding – HBase is a distributed data store where data is distributed via regions. Once the region outgrows a particular size it gets re-splitted automatically. Thus, supporting automatic sharding.


When we should choose HBase :

  • We have huge amount of data. We would get performance benefit only when data is scattered among multiple nodes. For a single node data, perhaps, RDBMS would be a better choice.
  • We don’t need typical RDBMS features like typed columns, typical data model, advanced query language etc.
  • We have a good hadoop cluster with number of datanodes.

    Please note that HBase is not a replacement for RDBMS. Therefore, we just can’t replace a typical database with HBase. Also, though HBase can run on a simple laptop (like I am using) , however, to get the real advantage of HBase we need to have a typical Hadoop cluster.

** Since I am also learning HBase currently, the information given here may not be 100% accurate. If so, please let me know and I’ll modify the content.


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