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From "James Dyer (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (SOLR-2382) DIH Cache Improvements
Date Tue, 02 Aug 2011 19:28:27 GMT


James Dyer commented on SOLR-2382:


I do not have any scientific benchmarks, but I can tell you how we use BerkleyBackedCache
and how it performs for us.  

In our main app, we fully re-index all our data every night (13+ million records).  Its basically
a 2-step process.  First we run ~50 DIH handlers, each of which builds a cache from databases,
flat files, etc.  The caches partition the data 8-ways.  Then a "master" DIH script does all
the joining, runs transformers on the data, etc.  We have all 8 invocations of this same "master"
DIH config running simultaneously indexing to the same Solr core, so each DIH invocation is
processing 1.6 million records directly out of caches, doing all the 1-many joins, running
transformer code, indexing, etc.  This takes 1-1/2 hours, so maybe 250-300 solr records get
added per second.  We're using fast local disks configured with raid-0 on an 8-core 64gb server.
 This app is running solr 1.4, using the original version of this patch, prior to my front-porting
it to trunk.  No doubt some of the time is spent contending for the Lucene index as all 8
DIH invocations are indexing at the same time

We also have another app that uses Solr4.0 with the patch I originally posted back in February,
sharing hardware with the main app.  This one has about 10 entities and uses a simple 1-dih-handler
configuration.  The parent entity drives directly off the database while all the child entities
use SqlEntityProcessor with BerkleyBackedCache.  There are only 25,000 fairly narrow records
and we can re-index everything in about 10 minutes.  This includes database time, indexing,
running transformers, etc in addition to the cache overhead.

The inspiration for this was that we were converting off of Endeca and we were relying on
Endeca's "Forge" program to join & denormalize all of the data.  Forge has a very fast
disk-backed caching mechanism and I needed to match that performance with DIH.  I'm pretty
sure what we have here surpasses Forge.  And we also get a big bonus in that it lets you persist
caches and use them as a subsequent input.  With Forge, we had to output the data into huge
delimited text files and then use that as input for the next step...

Hope this information gives you some idea if this will work for your use case.

> DIH Cache Improvements
> ----------------------
>                 Key: SOLR-2382
>                 URL:
>             Project: Solr
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>          Components: contrib - DataImportHandler
>            Reporter: James Dyer
>            Priority: Minor
>         Attachments: SOLR-2382-dihwriter.patch, SOLR-2382-entities.patch, SOLR-2382-entities.patch,
SOLR-2382-entities.patch, SOLR-2382-properties.patch, SOLR-2382-properties.patch, SOLR-2382-solrwriter-verbose-fix.patch,
SOLR-2382-solrwriter.patch, SOLR-2382-solrwriter.patch, SOLR-2382-solrwriter.patch, SOLR-2382.patch,
SOLR-2382.patch, SOLR-2382.patch, SOLR-2382.patch, SOLR-2382.patch, SOLR-2382.patch, SOLR-2382.patch,
> Functionality:
>  1. Provide a pluggable caching framework for DIH so that users can choose a cache implementation
that best suits their data and application.
>  2. Provide a means to temporarily cache a child Entity's data without needing to create
a special cached implementation of the Entity Processor (such as CachedSqlEntityProcessor).
>  3. Provide a means to write the final (root entity) DIH output to a cache rather than
to Solr.  Then provide a way for a subsequent DIH call to use the cache as an Entity input.
 Also provide the ability to do delta updates on such persistent caches.
>  4. Provide the ability to partition data across multiple caches that can then be fed
back into DIH and indexed either to varying Solr Shards, or to the same Core in parallel.
> Use Cases:
>  1. We needed a flexible & scalable way to temporarily cache child-entity data prior
to joining to parent entities.
>   - Using SqlEntityProcessor with Child Entities can cause an "n+1 select" problem.
>   - CachedSqlEntityProcessor only supports an in-memory HashMap as a Caching mechanism
and does not scale.
>   - There is no way to cache non-SQL inputs (ex: flat files, xml, etc).
>  2. We needed the ability to gather data from long-running entities by a process that
runs separate from our main indexing process.
>  3. We wanted the ability to do a delta import of only the entities that changed.
>   - Lucene/Solr requires entire documents to be re-indexed, even if only a few fields
>   - Our data comes from 50+ complex sql queries and/or flat files.
>   - We do not want to incur overhead re-gathering all of this data if only 1 entity's
data changed.
>   - Persistent DIH caches solve this problem.
>  4. We want the ability to index several documents in parallel (using 1.4.1, which did
not have the "threads" parameter).
>  5. In the future, we may need to use Shards, creating a need to easily partition our
source data into Shards.
> Implementation Details:
>  1. De-couple EntityProcessorBase from caching.  
>   - Created a new interface, DIHCache & two implementations:  
>     - SortedMapBackedCache - An in-memory cache, used as default with CachedSqlEntityProcessor
(now deprecated).
>     - BerkleyBackedCache - A disk-backed cache, dependent on bdb-je, tested with je-4.1.6.jar
>        - NOTE: the existing Lucene Contrib "db" project uses je-3.3.93.jar.  I believe
this may be incompatible due to Generic Usage.
>        - NOTE: I did not modify the ant script to automatically get this jar, so to use
or evaluate this patch, download bdb-je from

>  2. Allow Entity Processors to take a "cacheImpl" parameter to cause the entity data
to be cached (see EntityProcessorBase & DIHCacheProperties).
>  3. Partially De-couple SolrWriter from DocBuilder
>   - Created a new interface DIHWriter, & two implementations:
>    - SolrWriter (refactored)
>    - DIHCacheWriter (allows DIH to write ultimately to a Cache).
>  4. Create a new Entity Processor, DIHCacheProcessor, which reads a persistent Cache
as DIH Entity Input.
>  5. Support a "partition" parameter with both DIHCacheWriter and DIHCacheProcessor to
allow for easy partitioning of source entity data.
>  6. Change the semantics of entity.destroy()
>   - Previously, it was being called on each iteration of DocBuilder.buildDocument().
>   - Now it is does one-time cleanup tasks (like closing or deleting a disk-backed cache)
once the entity processor is completed.
>   - The only out-of-the-box entity processor that previously implemented destroy() was
LineEntitiyProcessor, so this is not a very invasive change.
> General Notes:
> We are near completion in converting our search functionality from a legacy search engine
to Solr.  However, I found that DIH did not support caching to the level of our prior product's
data import utility.  In order to get our data into Solr, I created these caching enhancements.
 Because I believe this has broad application, and because we would like this feature to be
supported by the Community, I have front-ported this, enhanced, to Trunk.  I have also added
unit tests and verified that all existing test cases pass.  I believe this patch maintains
backwards-compatibility and would be a welcome addition to a future version of Solr.

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