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From "Dickson, Matt MR" <>
Subject RE: Efficient Tablet Merging [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Date Fri, 04 Oct 2013 00:43:17 GMT

We have restarted the tablet servers that contain tablets with high volumes of files and did
not see any majc's run.

Some more details are:
On 3 of our nodes we have 10-15 times the number of entries that are on the other nodes. 
When I view the tablets for one of these nodes there are 2 tablets with almost 10 times the
the number of entries as the others.

When we query on the date rowid's the queries are now hanging and there are several scans
running on the 3 nodes that have higher entries and they are not completing, can I cancel

In the logs we are getting "tablet ..... has too many files, batch lookup can not run"

At this point I'm stuck for ideas, so any suggestions would be great.

From: Eric Newton []
Sent: Thursday, 3 October 2013 23:52
Subject: Re: Efficient Tablet Merging [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

You should have a major compaction running if your tablet has too many files.  If you don't,
something is wrong. It does take some time to re-write 10G of data.

If many merges occurred on a single tablet server, you may have these many-file tablets on
the same server, and there are not enough major compaction threads to re-write those files
right away.  If that's true, you may wish to restart the tablet server in order to get the
tablets pushed to other idle servers.

Again, if you don't have major compactions running, you will want to start looking for other


On Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 2:29 AM, Dickson, Matt MR <<>>


Hi Eric,

We have gone with the second more conservative option. We changed our split threshold to 10GB
and then we ran a merge over a week worth of tablets which has resulted in one tablet with
a massive number of files. We then ran a query over that range and it is returning an message

Tablet has too many files (3n;20130914;20130907...) retrying...

We assumed that when the merge was done that a major compaction would be started, which would
notice that the tablet is too large, split it into 10GB tablets. We assumed that we would
not have to manually start any compaction but instead it would be scheduled at some point
after the merge finished.

We have completed three separate merges of week long ranges and now have identified 3 tablet
extents with too many files.

Can you please explain what is supposed to happen? And whether after the merge, compact command
for those ranges needs to be run (or will it do it automatically, as we have not seen any


From: Eric Newton [<>]
Sent: Thursday, 3 October 2013 13:28
Subject: Re: Efficient Tablet Merging [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

I'll use ASCII graphics to demonstrate the size of a tablet.

Small: []
Medium: [ ]
Large: [  ]

Think of it like this... if you are running age-off... you probably have lots of little buckets
of rows at the beginning and larger buckets at the end:

[][][][][][][][][]...[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][  ][  ][    ][    ][    ][    ][    ][    ]

What you probably want is something like this:

[               ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ]

Some big bucket at the start, with old data, and some larger buckets for everything afterwards.
 But... this would probably work:

[       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ]

Just a bunch of larger tablets throughout.

So you need to set your merge size to "[      ]" (4G), and you can always keep creating smaller
tablets for future rows with manual splits:

[       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][       ][  ][  ][
 ][  ][  ]

So increase the split threshold to 4G, and merge on 4G, but continue to make manual splits
for your current days, as necessary.  Merge them away later.


On Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM, Dickson, Matt MR <<>>


Thanks Eric,

If I do the merge with size of 4G does the split threshold need to be increased to the 4G

From: Eric Newton [<>]
Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2013 23:05
Subject: Re: Efficient Tablet Merging [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

The most efficient way is kind of scary.  If this is a production system, I would not recommend

First, find out the size of your 10x tablets.  Let's say it's 10G.  Set your split threshold
to 10G.  Then merge all old tablets.... all of them into one tablet.  This will dump thousands
of files into a single tablet, but it will soon split out again into the nice 10G tablets
you are looking for.  The system will probably be unusable during this operation.

The more conservative way is to specify the merge in single steps (the master will only coordinate
a single merge on a table at a time anyhow).  You can do it by range or by size... I would
do it by size, especially if you are aging off your old data.

Compacting the data won't have any effect on the speed of the merge.


On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 11:58 PM, Dickson, Matt MR <<>>


I have a table that we create splits of the form yyyymmdd-nnnn where nnnn ranges from 0000
to 0840.  The bulk of our data is loaded for the current date with no data loaded for days
older than 3 days so from my understanding it would be wise to merge splits older than 3 days
in order to reduce the overall tablet count.  It would still be optimal to maintain some distribution
of tablets for a day across the cluster so I'm looking at merging splits in 10 increments
eg, merge -b 20130901-0000 -e 20130901-0009, therefore reducing 840 splits per day to 84.

Currently we have 120K tablets (size 1G) on a cluster of 56 nodes and our ingest has slowed
as the data quantity and tablet count has grown.  Initialy we were achieving 200-300K, now

My question is, what is the best way to do this merge?  Should we use the merge command with
the size option set at something like 5G, or maybe use the compaction command?

>From my tests this process could take some time so I'm keen to understand the most efficient

Thanks in advance,
Matt Dickson

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