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From "Sylvain Lebresne (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (CASSANDRA-8099) Refactor and modernize the storage engine
Date Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:28:08 GMT


Sylvain Lebresne commented on CASSANDRA-8099:

As shown by Branimir's test, range tombstone merging was indeed broken and I've pushed the
fix for that. I've included the old version test in question (with some ugly modification
so it tests the reverse case), but I'll look at updating it for the more generic version unless
you want to have a shot at it.

bq. It would be great to have this clarification in the doc.

Yes, sorry about that. I've tried to clarify and add to the comment in the code to start with.
I'll update the "guide" to make that clearer when I have a bit more time.

bq. I've pushed a small semantic-changing suggestion for serialization and merging of RT

I hesitated doing this initially and don't remember why I didn't

I remember now.

The problem is reverse queries: we need to be able to merge iterator in reverse order. And
if we re-use a "start" marker as "updates" of the deletion, we won't know when reversed and
we see a "start" marker if that's a real start or an update. Plus we do need both deletion
time at a range boundary (the one of the range we left for reverse queries, and the one of
the range we enter for forward ones). In all fairness though, I did had forgotten to actually
handle the reverse case in the merger, so I've fixed that, but said fix is trivial in the
current approach.

Now, there is obviously possible alternatives for dealing with RTs, but I feel that the current
approach has a bunch of good properties:
# it's a simple model: every RT has a begining followed by an end and that's it (no overlapping,
no inclusions of ranges, very predictible).
# it works in both forward and reverse order, and in an obvious way.
# it makes the purging of gcable RTs trivial (you just blindly collect any gcable marker).
This is something that was broken by the alternative patch in particular and would require
some care.
# it reuse slice bounds without adding a new concept, which is nice I think.
So while other options are up for discussions, I think there is enough parameters to consider
that I'd prefer such potential discussion to happen in a separate ticket.

I'll note that the "re-imaging" of markers at the beginning of index blocks is actually not
necessary and something I forgot to remove. We now store in each index block if there is an
open marker at the end of that block (primary so that we can decide if a sstable don't have
any data for a given slice just from the index) making this redundant. So I've removed it.

Lastly, I fully agree that {{UnfilteredRowIterators.MergedUnfiltered}} is ugly and I meant
it as a simple temporary solution: I'm sure we can find cleaner alternatives (maybe through
some modification of the MergeIterator API so it's easy to produce more than one result for
a given key).

> Refactor and modernize the storage engine
> -----------------------------------------
>                 Key: CASSANDRA-8099
>                 URL:
>             Project: Cassandra
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>            Reporter: Sylvain Lebresne
>            Assignee: Sylvain Lebresne
>             Fix For: 3.0 beta 1
>         Attachments: 8099-nit
> The current storage engine (which for this ticket I'll loosely define as "the code implementing
the read/write path") is suffering from old age. One of the main problem is that the only
structure it deals with is the cell, which completely ignores the more high level CQL structure
that groups cell into (CQL) rows.
> This leads to many inefficiencies, like the fact that during a reads we have to group
cells multiple times (to count on replica, then to count on the coordinator, then to produce
the CQL resultset) because we forget about the grouping right away each time (so lots of useless
cell names comparisons in particular). But outside inefficiencies, having to manually recreate
the CQL structure every time we need it for something is hindering new features and makes
the code more complex that it should be.
> Said storage engine also has tons of technical debt. To pick an example, the fact that
during range queries we update {{SliceQueryFilter.count}} is pretty hacky and error prone.
Or the overly complex ways {{AbstractQueryPager}} has to go into to simply "remove the last
query result".
> So I want to bite the bullet and modernize this storage engine. I propose to do 2 main
> # Make the storage engine more aware of the CQL structure. In practice, instead of having
partitions be a simple iterable map of cells, it should be an iterable list of row (each being
itself composed of per-column cells, though obviously not exactly the same kind of cell we
have today).
> # Make the engine more iterative. What I mean here is that in the read path, we end up
reading all cells in memory (we put them in a ColumnFamily object), but there is really no
reason to. If instead we were working with iterators all the way through, we could get to
a point where we're basically transferring data from disk to the network, and we should be
able to reduce GC substantially.
> Please note that such refactor should provide some performance improvements right off
the bat but it's not it's primary goal either. It's primary goal is to simplify the storage
engine and adds abstraction that are better suited to further optimizations.

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