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From Howard Chu <>
Subject Re: [ApacheDS] Default partition design ideas (was: Re: [ApacheDS] Going to need to implement a splay tree)
Date Sat, 02 Feb 2008 08:23:09 GMT
Alex Karasulu wrote:
> On Jan 30, 2008 8:00 AM, Emmanuel Lecharny <
> <>> wrote:

>     Those long must be fetched
>     quickly, as we will always get an entry by its ID. Using a BTree for
>     that is time consuming, as fetching an entry will be done in O(log(N)).

> You're absolutely right a hash would be much better. We don't need to
> sort the ID's.

Way back in the OpenLDAP 2.1 days we used hashes for our indexing in back-bdb. 
But we found that B-Trees still performed better, even though index lookups 
have nearly zero locality of reference. The problem is with large DBs, the 
hash tables grow too large to fit entirely in cache. Once the table grows past 
a certain size, you can no longer directly reference the records; there's a 
lot of expensive paging in/out that needs to be done. With a B-Tree, the 
number of internal pages in the tree is still very small relative to the total 
number of data pages, so you get a lot of cache reuse referencing those pages. 
So we switched everything to use B-Trees in OpenLDAP 2.2...

Hashing is faster *in theory*, but in practice it loses out.

>     We should use a Hash to speedup entries retrieval (of course, at the
>     risk that the worst case scenario can transform a search operation to
>     cost N read, but this is unlikely...). The only point to consider is
>     that this ID is incremental, so the hash function must be chosen
>     carefully.

A good hash function is one that evenly distributes the input keys across the 
entire hash table. This makes hashing extremely cache-unfriendly when doing 
sequential traversals of a database, or sequentially bulk-loading.

>     As the data are moved frequently, even on read,
>     this will increase the cost of searching so much that it will kill the
>     main advantage of LDAP vs RDBMS. So, yes, we can use Splay trees in
>     memory, but we can't store splay trees on disk.

> Yeah I agree. We can use splay trees for caches or for these low
> duplicate count records.

You will find that anything that turns memory read operations into memory 
write operations will scale very poorly in a multiprocessor system.

> Yeah they're great ideas. We just need to have a solid SLAMD lab and
> start testing these ideas out. I got the machines:
> 9 load injectos
> 1 SLAMD Server
> 1 beefy server for running ApacheDS
> We just need someone to step up and help us manage this environment.
> Any volunteers would be appreciated.

Wish I could shake some more time loose right away, this is the really fun 
part. ;)
   -- Howard Chu
   Chief Architect, Symas Corp.
   Director, Highland Sun
   Chief Architect, OpenLDAP

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