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From "Josh Elser (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (ACCUMULO-1228) Allow clients to disable column families and locality groups
Date Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:49:15 GMT


Josh Elser commented on ACCUMULO-1228:

It would be super useful to have the column family fetch/restrict utility through the client
api. This can very positively impact the performance of a query, especially if you can exclude
all columns which you know you don't want to look into.

bq. Locality groups are an admin feature, for optimizing the data storage for more efficient

Why do you call them an admin feature? In the simplest form, it's nothing more than a group
of columns that we "set aside". Pulling out my BigTable paper, they specifically say "Clients
can group multiple column families togther...". As such, a locality group is losely defined
as some group of columns that are "accessed together", which in my mind, is something a client
would be aware of when issuing a query.

I suppose I disagree with you comparing them to a codec. True, the client doesn't care about
the codec used to compress the data just as the client doesn't care about the distribution
of files backing the table(t), but there are implications for a client to understand the layout
of their data and clients can use that knowledge to more effectively retrieve it.

As for the argument about a locality group changing and potentially not being propagated to
disk yet, the locality group is nothing but a convenience shorthand, allowing a client to
fetch multiple columns with a single call. Sure, you don't get the optimization, but the API
is still much more simple for the user.

> Allow clients to disable column families and locality groups
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: ACCUMULO-1228
>                 URL:
>             Project: Accumulo
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>          Components: client, tserver
>    Affects Versions: 1.5.0
>            Reporter: William Slacum
>            Priority: Minor
>             Fix For: 1.6.0
> There's an inconsistency between what a server is capable of and what a client can tell
it to do with respect to fetching column families.
> Currently, a user can tell a {{Scanner}} to fetch some set of column families. The iterators
support not only this, but also the converse where a user does not want to retrieve column
families. An iterator implementation can do this by hand, but a client cannot specifically
tell a Scanner to not return data from a set of column families. Clients should be able to
specify this option.
> There also seems to be an inconsistency with how locality groups are defined and then
utilized. If I want to specify a set of column families as being part of a locality group,
I have to provide a mapping of locality group name to a list of column families. If I want
to fetch a locality group, I have to get the mapping first, rather than just set which locality
group I want to use. It'd be more convenient to tell the scanner just to fetch which locality
groups I want, and have the server know which column families that means.

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