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From Dmitriy Ryaboy <dvrya...@gmail.com>
Subject Introducing Parquet: efficient columnar storage for Hadoop.
Date Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:45:25 GMT
Fellow Hadoopers,

We'd like to introduce a joint project between Twitter and Cloudera
engineers -- a new columnar storage format for Hadoop called Parquet (

We created Parquet to make the advantages of compressed, efficient columnar
data representation available to any project in the Hadoop ecosystem,
regardless of the choice of data processing framework, data model, or
programming language.

Parquet is built from the ground up with complex nested data structures in
mind. We adopted the repetition/definition level approach to encoding such
data structures, as described in Google's Dremel paper; we have found this
to be a very efficient method of encoding data in non-trivial object

Parquet is built to support very efficient compression and encoding
schemes. Parquet allows compression schemes to be specified on a per-column
level, and is future-proofed to allow adding more encodings as they are
invented and implemented. We separate the concepts of encoding and
compression, allowing parquet consumers to implement operators that work
directly on encoded data without paying decompression and decoding penalty
when possible.

Parquet is built to be used by anyone. The Hadoop ecosystem is rich with
data processing frameworks, and we are not interested in playing favorites.
We believe that an efficient, well-implemented columnar storage substrate
should be useful to all frameworks without the cost of extensive and
difficult to set up dependencies.

The initial code, available at https://github.com/Parquet, defines the file
format, provides Java building blocks for processing columnar data, and
implements Hadoop Input/Output Formats, Pig Storers/Loaders, and an example
of a complex integration -- Input/Output formats that can convert
Parquet-stored data directly to and from Thrift objects.

A preview version of Parquet support will be available in Cloudera's Impala

Twitter is starting to convert some of its major data source to Parquet in
order to take advantage of the compression and deserialization savings.

Parquet is currently under heavy development. Parquet's near-term roadmap
* Hive SerDes (Criteo)
* Cascading Taps (Criteo)
* Support for dictionary encoding, zigzag encoding, and RLE encoding of
data (Cloudera and Twitter)
* Further improvements to Pig support (Twitter)

Company names in parenthesis indicate whose engineers signed up to do the
work -- others can feel free to jump in too, of course.

We've also heard requests to provide an Avro container layer, similar to
what we do with Thrift. Seeking volunteers!

We welcome all feedback, patches, and ideas; to foster community
development, we plan to contribute Parquet to the Apache Incubator when the
development is farther along.

Nong Li, Julien Le Dem, Marcel Kornacker, Todd Lipcon, Dmitriy Ryaboy,
Jonathan Coveney, and friends.

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