On Jan 30, 2008 8:00 AM, Emmanuel Lecharny <elecharny@gmail.com> wrote:

...

There are many different things to consider. First, let's divide, then
conquer...

1) We have many different kind of data we want to manipulate. Let's list
them :
o Entries. They are stored into the MasterTable. An entry is a
serialized Attribute, associated with a unique identifier, which is
currently a Long (which allows our server to store up to 18 446 744 073
709 551 615 entries ... 18 quintillions !).

Yeah but you had an idea that was great today.  The id today is partition specific: meaning it is unique only within a partition.  As you suggested we need to make sure that it is unique to the server.  This will make it so we can conduct searches better which traverse across multiple partitions.

And we need to do this because we intend to nest partitions and do away with the PartitionNexus.
 
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.

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.

This should suite our needs:

http://jdbm.sourceforge.net/V1.0/doc/api/jdbm/htree/HTree.html
 
o DNs. This is a very specific case. DNs are unique, mono valued,
unordered elements. DNs are not attributes, too. It's unordered, as a DN
order depends on the RDN attribute's own order, which can be different
depending on the RDN's attribute. The consequence is that we should use
a Hash to store the DNs.

That's fine.  We can do this since the JDBM HTree allows us to iterate through values and keys even though it's not sorted which does not matter to us. 
 
o Attributes with single values. Typically, 'uid'. There are supposed to
be unique, too (ie, you can imagine that an uid can be found more than
once in a LDAP server (there is no reason why you should not be allowed
to store a user's UID in many places, if this user is registred in more
than once...

There is no uniqueness constraint on UID in LDAP. Perhaps you mean the entry UUID attribute?
 
For instance, I use the same uid on several computers, so I
may have to store these UID in different branches in my LDAP server). We
can use a Hash table to store such an attribute, because it's supposed
to be unique. If you have more than one reference, then the question
will be : how do I manage more than one value associated with this
attribute (cf next point).
Using a Hash table here means you know that this attribute is not only
holding a single value, but also it's unique within the whole server.
Dangerous ...

I think this is not a good idea for UID but it could be great for a UUID index.
 
o All other attributes (including single valued attributes which can be
found more than once) : HashMap is not really a good choice, except if
the admin *knows* that the number of values won't be enormous.

This is not a good idea because you need sorted access and traversal. Think about an index on age.  You have the > and < operators where you have to advance to some position and walk the index finding all entries that comply.

<IDEA>
Incidentally that just gave me an idea. The server's search mechanism is a bit dumb where ranges are given.  For example if I give it this range (age>45) and an index exists on the 'age' attribute then a cursor is walked and all entries on the walk are returned.  So there is a partial walk of the index.  Now when I give it this filter (& (age>45) (age<60)) then say a cursor is chosen for the first subfilter.  That walk happens and the second is used to assert that the age is less than 60.  When the cursor gets to 61 for example, it should stop but it does not - the walk continues but now the second subfilter says nope don't return it because it's over 61.  We could have in this case just abandoned the walk but the server does not because it's too stupid.  Some smarts are required to merge numeric ranges into a special kind of filter node.
</IDEA>

 
And we
have  specific cases where you have a Attribute <-> Value relation where
an attribute may have thousands (even millions !) of values. The
'member' attribute is a good example. But we also have to consider the
ATtribute <-> entries relation. A search request like
(ObjectClass='person') will use the ObjectClass index, and get all the
entries containing the 'person' value for tje ObjectClass attribute.
Potentially, thousands...

Heh or millions hopefully.
 
The current implementation, as explained by
Alex, instead of storing a list of all the entry IDs linked to the
'person' value, stores a TreeSet, which is managed in a separate file.

Not in a separate file.  The TreeSet is persisted as the value of a multivalued key to implement duplicate keys.  Careful not to mix this up with attributes or multivalued attributes.

Note that after some threshold though we switch to using another BTree to redirect to.  So when we do a lookup and find that the value is a reference (BTreeRedirect) then we just use another BTree in the same RecordManager (same file).
 

There is an indirection, a little bit like when you deal with a N-N
relation in a RDBMS context (when two tables are related with a N-N
relation, then you create a third table holding the relation between
both IDs).

I don't get this analogy at all.  It's totally off.

Can we do better ? Because this solution is costly, and not really
effective : you have to deal with the structure duality (you hold either
a list or a reference to a treeset, depending on the number of
elements), and this make it more complex to manage cache (i'm not sure
at this point that we can cache such elements...)

It's cached by the record manager.  The record manager caches blocks in the db file with data not the records themselves.
 
Alex proposal (using Splay trees) won't solve the problem, IMHO. It's
just a better way to store data in memory, with extended navigation
possibilities, but it does not help  when it comes to store this
structure on the disk.

Right exactly!  I had no intension at all of using a splay tree for anything other than as a replacement to a BTree.
 
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. 
 

Some other points to take into consideration is also the fact that we
may run short of memory, but we don't want the server to stop running,
just because we got an OOM exception. One way to handle this would be to
use weak references for the cache.I have no idea what it may imply for a
Splay tree implementation, but this must be studied.

I agree that we need to have a cache with weak references for sure.  We need to evaluate all this at some point.
 
Now, for those attributes, I have described another solution, based on
the fact that we use 'long' to store IDs :
http://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/DIRxSRVx11/Backend. I think
this might be interesting to dig those ideas a little bit to see if it
fits our need.

Yeah there were some neat ideas you had.  They're pretty experimental so we need to test them out.  Would be nice if we can get our lab up and running to test the differences in design.

BTW this backend documentation incorrect when it explains the present implementation.  Please yank that page and just extract your ideas to expose them because otherwise people learn incorrect things when you publish documentation with misconceptions in them.

I apologize if I sound negative - I rewrote the above 3 times to make it softer :). 

Note : Alex's need is more urgent, so I guess that we won't be able to
implement something very different than what we currently have. I just
wanted to present some of the ideas i'm playing with for years now...

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.

Thanks,
Alex