HBase Master

HBase Architecture

  • For more information on HBase Architecture, refer to this link

HBase Master

  • HMaster is the implementation of the Master Server. The Master server is responsible for monitoring all RegionServer instances in the cluster, and is the interface for all metadata changes.

  • The multi-master feature introduced in 0.20.0 does not add cooperating Masters; there is still just one working Master while the other backups wait. For example, if you start 200 Masters only 1 will be active while the others wait for it to die. The switch usually takes zookeeper.session.timeout plus a couple of seconds to occur.

At Start Up:

  • If run in a multi-Master environment, all Masters compete to run the cluster. If the active Master loses its lease in ZooKeeper (or the Master shuts down), then then the remaining Masters jostle to take over the Master role.

  • The HBase master publishes its location to clients via Zookeeper. This is done to support multimaster operation (failover). So if the HBase master self-discovers its location as a localhost address, then it will publish that. Region servers or clients which go to Zookeeper for the master location will get back an address in that case only useful if they happen to be co-located with the master.

  • What happens if the Hmaster goes down?
  • A common dist-list question is what happens to an HBase cluster when the Master goes down. Because the HBase client talks directly to the RegionServers, the cluster can still function in a “steady state.” Additionally, per Section 9.2, “Catalog Tables” ROOT and META exist as HBase tables (i.e., are not resident in the Master). However, the Master controls critical functions such as RegionServer failover and completing region splits. So while the cluster can still run for a time without the Master, the Master should be restarted as soon as possible.

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