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From "Mich Talebzadeh" <>
Subject Indexes in Hive
Date Wed, 06 Jan 2016 06:24:21 GMT

Thinking loudly.

Ideally we should consider a totally columnar storage offering in which each
column of table is stored as compressed value (I disregard for now how
actually ORC does this but obviously it is not exactly a columnar storage).

So each table can be considered as a loose federation of columnar storage
and each column is effectively an index?

As columns are far narrower than tables, each index block will be very
higher density and all operations like aggregates can be done directly on
index rather than table. 

This type of table offering will be in true nature of data warehouse
storage. Of course row operations (get me all rows for this table) will be
slower but that is the trade-off that we need to consider.

Expecting users to write their own IndexHandler may be technically
interesting but commercially not viable as Hive needs to be a product on its
own merit not a development base. Writing your own storage attributes etc.
requires skills that will put off people seeing Hive as an attractive
proposition (requiring considerable investment in skill sets in order to
maintain Hive).

Thus my thinking on this is to offer true columnar storage in Hive to be a
proper data warehouse. In addition, the development tools cab ne made
available for those interested in tailoring their own specific Hive


Dr Mich Talebzadeh


Sybase ASE 15 Gold Medal Award 2008
A Winning Strategy: Running the most Critical Financial Data on ASE 15
Author of the books "A Practitioner's Guide to Upgrading to Sybase ASE 15",
ISBN 978-0-9563693-0-7. 
co-author "Sybase Transact SQL Guidelines Best Practices", ISBN
Publications due shortly:
Complex Event Processing in Heterogeneous Environments, ISBN:
Oracle and Sybase, Concepts and Contrasts, ISBN: 978-0-9563693-1-4, volume
one out shortly

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-----Original Message-----
From: Gopal Vijayaraghavan [] On Behalf Of Gopal
Sent: 05 January 2016 23:55
Subject: Re: Is Hive Index officially not recommended?

>So in a nutshell in Hive if "external" indexes are not used for 
>improving query response, what value they add and can we forget them for

The builtin indexes - those that write data as smaller tables are only
useful in a pre-columnar world, where the indexes offer a huge reduction in

Part #1 of using hive indexes effectively is to write your own
HiveIndexHandler, with usesIndexTable=false;

And then write a IndexPredicateAnalyzer, which lets you map arbitrary
lookups into other range conditions.

Not coincidentally - we're adding a "ANALYZE TABLE ... CACHE METADATA"
which consolidates the "internal" index into an external store (HBase).

Some of the index data now lives in the HBase metastore, so that the
inclusion/exclusion of whole partitions can be done off the consolidated

The experience from BI workloads run by customers is that in general, the
lookup to the right "slice" of data is more of a problem than the actual

And that for a workhorse data warehouse, this has to survive even if there's
a non-stop stream of updates into it.


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