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From "Karthik Ranganathan (Created) (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Created] (HDFS-2601) Proposal to build namenode HA inside HDFS itself
Date Tue, 29 Nov 2011 19:19:40 GMT
Proposal to build namenode HA inside HDFS itself

                 Key: HDFS-2601
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HDFS-2601
             Project: Hadoop HDFS
          Issue Type: New Feature
          Components: name-node
            Reporter: Karthik Ranganathan

Would have liked to make this a "brainstorming" JIRA but couldn't find the option for some

I have talked to a quite a few people about this proposal at Facebook internally (HDFS folks
like Hairong and Dhruba, as well as HBase folks interested in this feature), and wanted to
broaden the audience.

At the core of the HA feature, we need 2 things:
A. the secondary NN (or avatar stand-by or whatever we call it) needs to read all the fsedits
and fsimage data written by the primary NN
B. Once the stand-by has taken over, the old NN should not be allowed to make any edits

The basic idea is as follows (there are some variants, we can hone in on the details if we
like the general approach):

1. The write path for fsedits and fsimage: 

1.1 The NN uses a dfs client to write fsedits and fsimage. These will be regular hdfs files
written using the write pipeline.
1.2 Let us say the fsimage and fsedits files are written to a well-known location in the local
HDFS itself (say /.META or some such location)
1.3 The create files and add blocks to files in this path are not written to fsimage or fsedits.
The location of the blocks for the files in this location are known to all namenodes - primary
and standby - somehow (some possibilities here - write these block ids to zk or use reserved
block ids or write some meta-data into the blocks itself and store the blocks in a well known
location on all the datanodes)
1.4 If the replication factor on the write pipeline decreases, we close the block immediately
and allow NN to re-replicate to bring up the replication factor. We continue writing to a
new block

2. The read path on a NN failure
2.1 Since the new NN "knows" the location of the blocks for the fsedits and fsimage (again
the same possibilities as mentioned above), there is nothing to do to determine this
2.2 It can read the files it needs using the HDFS client itself

3. Fencing - if a NN is unresponsive, a new NN takes over, old NN should not be allowed to
perform any action
3.1 Use HDFS lease recovery for the fsedits and fsimage files - the new NN will close all
these files baing written to by the old NN (and hence all the blocks)
3.2 The new NN (avatar NN) will write its address into ZK to let everyone know its the master
3.3 The new NN now gets the lease for these files and starts writing into the fsedits and
3.4 The old NN cannot write into the file as the block it was writing to was closed and it
does not have the lease. If it needs to re-open these files, it needs to check zk to see it
is indeed the current master, if not it should exit.

4. Misc considerations:
4.1 If needed, we can specify favored nodes to place the blocks for this data in specific
set of nodes (say we want to use a different set of RAIDed nodes, etc). 
4.2 Since we wont record the entries for /.META in fsedits and fsimage, a "hadoop dfs -ls
/" command wont show the files. This is probably ok, and can be fixed if not.
4.3 If we have 256MB block sizes, then 20GB fsimage file would need 80 block ids - the NN
would need only these 80 block ids to read all the fsedits data. The fsimage data is even
lesser. This is very tractable using a variety of the techniques (the possibilities mentioned

The advantage is that we are re-using the existing HDFS client (with some enhancements of
course), and making the solution self-sufficient on the existing HDFS. Also, the operational
complexity is greatly reduced.


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