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From Michael Segel <michael_se...@hotmail.com>
Subject RE: Hardware configuration
Date Mon, 02 May 2011 13:57:25 GMT


That's actually a really good question.
Unfortunately, the answer isn't really simple.

You're going to need to estimate your growth and you're going to need to estimate your configuration.

Suppose I know that within 2 years, the amount of data that I want to retain is going to be
1PB, with a 3x replication factor, I'll need at least 3PB of disk. Assuming that I can fit
12x2TB drives in a node, I'll need 125-150 machines. (There's some overhead for logging and

Now this doesn't mean that I'll need to buy all of the machines today and build out the cluster.
It means that I will need to figure out my machine room, (rack space, power, etc...) and also
hardware configuration.

You'll also need to plan out your hardware choices too. An example.. you may want 10GBe on
the switch but not at the data node. However you're going to want to be able to expand your
data nodes to be able to add 10GBe cards.

The idea is that as I build out my cluster, all of the machines have the same look and feel.
So if you buy quad core CPUs and they are 2.2 GHz but 6 months from now, you buy 2.6 GHz cpus,
as long as they are 4 core cpus, your cluster will look the same.

The point is that when you lay out your cluster to start with, you'll need to plan ahead and
keep things similar. Also you'll need to make sure your NameNode has enough memory...

Having said that... Yahoo! has written a paper detailing MR2 (next generation of map/reduce). 
As the M/R Job scheduler becomes more intelligent about the types of jobs and types of hardware,
the consistency of hardware becomes less important. 

With respect to HBase, I suspect there to be a parallel evolution.

As to building out and replacing your cluster... if this is a production environment, you'll
have to think about DR and building out a second cluster. So the cost of replacing clusters
should also be factored in when you budget for hardware.

Like I said, its not a simple answer and you have to approach each instance separately and
fine tune your cluster plans.



> Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 09:53:05 +0300
> From: iulia.zidaru@1and1.ro
> To: user@hbase.apache.org
> CC: stack@duboce.net
> Subject: Re: Hardware configuration
> Thank you both. How would you estimate really big clusters, with
> hundreds of nodes? Requirements might change in time and replacing an
> entire cluster seems not the best solution...
> On 04/29/2011 07:08 PM, Stack wrote:
> > I agree with Michel Segel. Distributed computing is hard enough.
> > There is no need to add extra complexity.
> >
> > St.Ack
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 4:05 AM, Iulia Zidaru wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >> I'm wondering if having a cluster with different machines in terms of CPU,
> >> RAM and disk space would be a big issue for HBase. For example, machines
> >> with 12GBs RAM and machines with 48GBs. We suppose that we use them at full
> >> capacity. What problems we might encounter if having this kind of
> >> configuration?
> >> Thank you,
> >> Iulia
> >>
> >>
> --
> Iulia Zidaru
> Java Developer
> 1&1 Internet AG - Bucharest/Romania - Web Components Romania
> 18 Mircea Eliade St
> Sect 1, Bucharest
> RO Bucharest, 012015
> iulia.zidaru@1and1.ro
> 0040 31 223 9153
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