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Engineering Leadership

The following is a repost of my answer to a question on LinkedIn, but I thought it may prove useful to people evaluating Hadoop distributions.

The following is a substantially over simplified set of choices (in alphabetical order):

Amazon: Apache Hadoop provided as a web service. Good solution if your data is collected on Amazon…saves you the trouble of uploading gigs and gigs of data.

Apache: Apache Hadoop is the core code based upon which the various distributions are based.

Cloudera: CHD3 is based on Hadoop 1 (the current stable version) and CDH4 is based on Hadoop 2. CDH is based on Apache Hadoop. The only piece that’s not open source (AFAIK) is Cloudera Manager, which allows you to install up to 50 nodes for free before you go to the paid version. Cloudera is an extremely popular solution that runs on a wide variety of operating systems.

Hortonworks: HDP1 is 100% open source and is based on Hadoop 1. HDP is designed to run on RedHat/CentOS/Oracle Linux.

IBM: IBM BigInsights adds the GPFS filesystem to Hadoop, and is a good choice if your company already is an IBM shop…and you need to integrate with other IBM solutions. Free version is available as InfoSphere BigInsights Basic Edition. Basic Edition does not include all of the value add features found in Enterprise Edition (such as GPFS-SNC).

MapR: MapR uses a proprietary file system plus additional changes to Hadoop that addresses issues with the platform. They have a shared nothing architeture for the NameNode and JobTracker. MapR M3 is available for free, while M5 is a paid version with more features (such as the shared nothing NameNode). People who have used MapR tend to like it.

Once you start to use Hadoop in your day-to-day business operations, you’ll quickly find that uptime is an important consideration. No one wants to explain to the CEO why a report is not delivered. While most of Hadoop’s architecture is designed to work in the face of node failure (such as the DataNodes), other components such as the NameNode must be configured with an HA option.

The following is a quick and dirty list of Hadoop HA options:

  • Cloudera CDH4 (free)
    • Uses shared storage
  • Hortonworks (free)
    • Option 1: Use Linux HA (Uses shared storage)
    • Option 2: Use VMWare
  • IBM BigInsights ($$$)
    • GPFS-SNC: Provides a shared nothing HA option
  • MapR M5 ($$$)
    • Shared nothing HA for both NameNode and JobTracker

 

If you’re brave, you can also apply Facebook’s patches to Apache Hadoop to get an “Avatar” based HA option. This is what FB uses in production.

Introduction

I had configured only YARN in my original post on how to Install Cloudera Hadoop (CDH4) with YARN (MRv2) in Pseudo mode on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Importantly, YARN is not ready for production yet, so we’ll go ahead and install MRv1 to get some production development done.

Stop the YARN Daemons

We first have to stop all daemons associated with YARN only packages.

sudo service hadoop-yarn-resourcemanager stop
sudo service hadoop-yarn-nodemanager stop
sudo service hadoop-mapreduce-historyserver stop

Install the Missing MRv1 Packages

Next, we’ll install 2 packages that are required for Map Reduce v1, but were not also part of the MRv2/YARN installation.

sudo apt-get install hadoop-0.20-mapreduce-jobtracker
sudo apt-get install hadoop-0.20-mapreduce-tasktracker

Start the MapReduce v1 Daemons

sudo service hadoop-0.20-mapreduce-jobtracker start
sudo service hadoop-0.20-mapreduce-tasktracker start

Introduction

Start the HBase Shell

All subsequent commands in this post assume that you are in the HBase shell, which is started via the command listed below.

hbase shell

You should see output similar to:


12/08/12 12:30:52 WARN conf.Configuration: hadoop.native.lib is deprecated. Instead, use io.native.lib.available
HBase Shell; enter 'help<RETURN>' for list of supported commands.
Type "exit<RETURN>" to leave the HBase Shell
Version 0.92.1-cdh4.0.1, rUnknown, Thu Jun 28 18:13:01 PDT 2012

Create a Table

We will initially create a table named test with one column family named columnfamily1.

Using a long column family name, such as columnfamily1 is a horrible idea in production. Every cell (i.e. every value) in HBase is stored fully qualified. This basically means that long column family names will balloon the amount of disk space required to store your data. In summary, keep your column family names as terse as possible.

create 'table1', 'columnfamily1'

List all Tables

list

You’ll see output similar to:


TABLE
table1 1 row(s) in 0.0370 seconds

Let’s now create a second table so that we can see some of the features of the list command.

create 'test', 'cf1'
list

You will see output similar to:

TABLE
table1
test
2 row(s) in 0.0320 seconds

If we only want to see the test table, or all tables that start with “te”, we can use the following command.

list 'te'

or

list 'te.*'

Manually Insert Data into HBase

If you’re using HBase, then you likely have data sets that are TBs in size. As a result, you’ll never actually insert data manually. However, knowing how to insert data manually could prove useful at times.

To start, I’m going to create a new table named cars. My column family is vi, which is an abbreviation of vehicle information.

The schema that follows below is only for illustration purposes, and should not be used to create a production schema. In production, you should create a Row ID that helps to uniquely identify the row, and that is likely to be used in your queries. Therefore, one possibility would be to shift the Make, Model and Year left and use these items in the Row ID.

create 'cars', 'vi'

Let’s insert 3 column qualifies (make, model, year) and the associated values into the first row (row1).

put 'cars', 'row1', 'vi:make', 'bmw'
put 'cars', 'row1', 'vi:model', '5 series'
put 'cars', 'row1', 'vi:year', '2012'

Now let’s add a second row.

put 'cars', 'row2', 'vi:make', 'mercedes'
put 'cars', 'row2', 'vi:model', 'e class'
put 'cars', 'row2', 'vi:year', '2012'

Scan a Table (i.e. Query a Table)

We’ll start with a basic scan that returns all columns in the cars table.

scan 'cars'

You should see output similar to:

ROW           COLUMN+CELL
 row1          column=vi:make, timestamp=1344817012999, value=bmw
 row1          column=vi:model, timestamp=1344817020843, value=5 series
 row1          column=vi:year, timestamp=1344817033611, value=2012
 row2          column=vi:make, timestamp=1344817104923, value=mercedes
 row2          column=vi:model, timestamp=1344817115463, value=e class
 row2          column=vi:year, timestamp=1344817124547, value=2012
2 row(s) in 0.6900 seconds

Reading the output above you’ll notice that the Row ID is listed under ROW. The COLUMN+CELL field shows the column family after column=, then the column qualifier, a timestamp that is automatically created by HBase, and the value.

Importantly, each row in our results shows an individual row id + column family + column qualifier combination. Therefore, you’ll notice that multiple columns in a row are displayed in multiple rows in our results.

The next scan we’ll run will limit our results to the make column qualifier.

scan 'cars', {COLUMNS => ['vi:make']}

If you have a particularly large result set, you can limit the number of rows returned with the LIMIT option. In this example I arbitrarily limit the results to 1 row to demonstrate how LIMIT works.

scan 'cars', {COLUMNS => ['vi:make'], LIMIT => 1}

To learn more about the scan command enter the following:

help 'scan'

Get One Row

The get command allows you to get one row of data at a time. You can optionally limit the number of columns returned.

We’ll start by getting all columns in row1.

get 'cars', 'row1'

You should see output similar to:


COLUMN                   CELL
 vi:make                 timestamp=1344817012999, value=bmw
 vi:model                timestamp=1344817020843, value=5 series
 vi:year                 timestamp=1344817033611, value=2012
3 row(s) in 0.0150 seconds

When looking at the output above, you should notice how the results under COLUMN show the fully qualified column family:column qualifier, such as vi:make.

To get one specific column include the COLUMN option.

get 'cars', 'row1', {COLUMN => 'vi:model'}

You can also get two or more columns by passing an array of columns.

get 'cars', 'row1', {COLUMN => ['vi:model', 'vi:year']}

To learn more about the get command enter:

help 'get'

Delete a Cell (Value)

delete 'cars', 'row2', 'vi:year'

Let’s check that our delete worked.

get 'cars', 'row2'

You should see output that shows 2 columns.


COLUMN    CELL
vi:make   timestamp=1344817104923, value=mercedes
vi:model   timestamp=1344817115463, value=e class
2 row(s) in 0.0080 seconds

Disable and Delete a Table

disable 'cars'
drop 'cars'
disable 'table1'
drop 'table1'
disable 'test'
drop 'test'

View HBase Command Help

help

Exit the HBase Shell

exit

Introduction

I ran into an annoying error in HBase due to the localhost loopback. The solution was simple, but took some trial and error.

Error

I was following the HBase logs with the following command:

tail -1000f /var/log/hbase/hbase-hbase-master-freshstart.log

The following error kept poping up in the log file.

org.apache.hadoop.hbase.master.AssignmentManager: Unable to find a viable location to assign region -ROOT

Solution

sudo vi /etc/hosts

I changed:


127.0.0.1       localhost
127.0.1.1       freshstart

to:


#127.0.0.1      localhost
#127.0.1.1      freshstart
192.168.2.15   freshstart
127.0.0.1      localhost

192.168.2.15 is my internal IP address, and freshstart is my hostname.

At this point I rebooted as a quick and dirty way to restart all Hadoop / HBase services. Alternatively, you can start/stop all services.

Additional Thoughts

Updating the hosts file is an option for me currently since I have everything installed on a single machine. However, it seems that this error is a name resolution related issue, so a properly configured DNS server is likely necessary when deploying Hadoop / HBase in a production cluster.

Introduction

RazorSQL is a GUI tool for working with Postgresql.

Install RazorSQL

First, create the razorsql directory.

mkdir ~/Downloads/razorsql

Download RazorSQL into the ~/Downloads/navicat directory.

  1. Open a web browser to http://www.razorsql.com/download_linux.html.
  2. Click Download next to Linux (64-bit).

After the download completes, open a command prompt and enter the following commands. I have assumed that you downloaded the .zip file to the Downloads/razorsql directory.

cd ~/Downloads/razorsql
unzip razorsql5_6_4_linux_x64.zip
mv razorsql ~/bin/
cd ~/bin/razorsql
chmod 755 razorsql.sh
./razorsql.sh

Connect to a Database

The following steps are performed in the RazorSQL GUI.

  • From the menu, select Connections, click Add Connection Profil.
  • In the Connection Wizard, select Postgresql, click Continue.
    Add Connection Profile 01
  • In the 2nd screen, enter the information shown below.
    Add Connection Profile 02
  • Click Connect.

Introduction

The default installation of Postgresql does not allow TCP/IP connections, which also means JDBC connections wont’ work.

Enable TCP/IP Connections

cd /etc/postgresql/9.1/main

Let’s make a backup of the original config file.

sudo cp postgresql.conf postgresql.conf.org
sudo vi postgresql.conf

Find the line that contains

#listen_addresses = 'localhost'

and change it to:

listen_addresses = 'localhost'

If you want to allow remote connections, then you need to set listen_address to something like (assuming your machine’s IP Address is 192.168.1.2):
listen_addresses = ‘127.0.0.1 192.168.1.2’

You will also need to update the firewall to allow connections to this machine.

Restart the Postgresql Server

sudo service postgresql restart

Test the TCP/IP Connection

psql -h 127.0.0.1 -p 5433 -U postgres -W
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