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From "Doug Cutting (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Commented: (HADOOP-1700) Append to files in HDFS
Date Fri, 31 Aug 2007 03:48:31 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-1700?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel#action_12523991

Doug Cutting commented on HADOOP-1700:

> A revision number update can simply be recorded in memory.

So the namenode wouldn't persist the block version number, it would just keep track of the
highest revision that's yet been reported to it?  If for any reason all of the replicas are
not updated to the latest revision, the namenode would still need to issue replication and
deletion commands, right?  But I think you're arguing that in what's hopefully the common
case, when all replicas are sucessfully modified, the namenode need only increment its in-memory
block revision number and would not need to issue any other commands nor persist any data.
 That would indeed be a namenode performance advantage to this approach.

One cost of this approach is that block revision numbers would consume more memory per block
on the namenode, something we wish to minimize.  So there is something of a time/space tradeoff.

Some edge semantics would be different too.  If only one replica is updated, and its datanode
dies, and the namenode is restarted, then the change would silently be lost, no?  With new
block ids, this would result in a file with a missing block that could not be read.

> Append to files in HDFS
> -----------------------
>                 Key: HADOOP-1700
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-1700
>             Project: Hadoop
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>          Components: dfs
>            Reporter: stack
> Request for being able to append to files in HDFS has been raised a couple of times on
the list of late.   For one example, see http://www.nabble.com/HDFS%2C-appending-writes-status-tf3848237.html#a10916193.
 Other mail describes folks' workarounds because this feature is lacking: e.g. http://www.nabble.com/Loading-data-into-HDFS-tf4200003.html#a12039480
(Later on this thread, Jim Kellerman re-raises the HBase need of this feature).  HADOOP-337
'DFS files should be appendable' makes mention of file append but it was opened early in the
life of HDFS when the focus was more on implementing the basics rather than adding new features.
 Interest fizzled.  Because HADOOP-337 is also a bit of a grab-bag -- it includes truncation
and being able to concurrently read/write -- rather than try and breathe new life into HADOOP-337,
instead, here is a new issue focused on file append.  Ultimately, being able to do as the
google GFS paper describes -- having multiple concurrent clients making 'Atomic Record Append'
to a single file would be sweet but at least for a first cut at this feature, IMO, a single
client appending to a single HDFS file letting the application manage the access would be

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