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From Sami Omer <>
Subject RE: Concurrent updates
Date Wed, 17 Oct 2012 15:56:35 GMT
Thanks for the detailed response Eric, much appreciated!

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Newton [] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: Concurrent updates

Accumulo does not have locks, nor does it have transactions.  It does support atomic, isolated
updates within a row.

Accumulo also supports a very specific kind of update which is very helpful in the case of
sums and aggregates.

For example, if I wanted to provide a "count" I can insert:

row X, column A, value 1:  (X, A, 1)

to indicate some event occurred.  Eventually, in the database, there will be lots of these
values at a row/column:

(X, A, 1)
(X, A, 1)
(X, A, 1)

You can insert code to reduce these values when you scan, kind of like a Combiner in a map/reduce
job.  This code will emit:

(X, A, 3)

The same code can also be incorporated into the compaction scheme, so eventually, the database
will actually store:

(X, A, 3)

This mechanism can be used to "sum" more complex information.  The point is that you can take
advantage of the log-structured merge tree to defer the computation to some point in the future
when you have a very high degree of isolation.  Yet you can still perform the computation
as-needed right after you add insert information.

Of course, it does not provide a substitute for locks or transactions and may not cover your
use case.  But it covers a surprising number of them.


On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM, Sami Omer <> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I'm using Accumulo 1.3.6 as the backend for a project that I've been 
> working on, I'm relatively new to it.
> I have written a client that appends some of the data stored in my 
> Accumulo backend. Now, if I have multiple clients running and  they 
> perform the read/update operation simultaneously I might run into concurrency problems.
> So, I was wondering what could be done to prevent such race 
> conditions. Does Accumulo have an equivalent to RDBMS's transactions? 
> Or is there a way to lock rows that are currently being processed for 
> read/update? Do you have any other ways to solve the issue of concurrent updates?
> Your help is greatly appreciated.
> Sami

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