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From Paul Mackles <pmack...@adobe.com>
Subject bulk deletes
Date Fri, 05 Oct 2012 18:17:36 GMT
We need to do deletes pretty regularly and sometimes we could have hundreds of millions of
cells to delete. TTLs won't work for us because we have a fair amount of bizlogic around the
deletes.

Given their current implemention  (we are on 0.90.4), this delete process can take a really
long time (half a day or more with 100 or so concurrent threads). From everything I can tell,
the performance issues come down to each delete being an individual RPC call (even when using
the batch API). In other words, I don't see any thrashing on hbase while this process is running
– just lots of waiting for the RPC calls to return.

The alternative we came up with is to use the standard bulk load facilities to handle the
deletes. The code turned out to be surpisingly simple and appears to work in the small-scale
tests we have tried so far. Is anyone else doing deletes in  this fashion? Are there drawbacks
that I might be missing? Here is a link to the code:

https://gist.github.com/3841437

Pretty simple, eh? I haven't seen much mention of this technique which is why I am a tad paranoid
about it.

Thanks,
Paul


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