Dive into HTable internals

HTable is the class we can use to interact with a HBase table. Internally, it contains an instance of HConnection. This connection is returned by calling

HConnectionManager.getConnection(Configuration conf);

HConnectionManager is a Singleton non-instantiable class that manages HConnections. If you take a look at this HConnectionManager, there is a LinkedHashMap<Configuration, HConnectionImplementation> called HBASE_INSTANCES. It provides the mapping between Configuration and HConnection. This is to ensure that the same Configuration object would result in the same HConnection being returned by HConnectionManager. Different HTable clients would end up using the same HConnection if they were using the same Configuration. This allows they all to share the same cache of region locations information and avoid the repetitive region locations discovery. Also, the same zookeeper watcher/tracker could be reused.

The implementation of the HConnection is called HConnectionImplementation. When HConnection is instantiated, it setup zookeeper trackers/watchers on HBase master location/address and the .ROOT. region.

HConnectionImplementation provides RPC connection to HMaster, -ROOT- and .META. hosting servers. In Hadoop/HBase, RPC communication is implemented using java dynamic proxy pattern. For example, HMasterInterface acts as the proxy to call remote method on HBase master server.

To understand the underlying mechanism of RPC invocation involved in HTable, take a look at the put(Put put) method.

public void put(final Put put) throws IOException { doPut(Arrays.asList(put)); }

It will in turn call processBatchCallback method in HConnectionImplementation.

public &amp;amp;lt;R&amp;amp;gt; void processBatchCallback(
      List&amp;amp;lt;? extends Row&amp;amp;gt; list,
        byte[] tableName,
        ExecutorService pool,
        Object[] results,
        Batch.Callback&amp;amp;lt;R&amp;amp;gt; callback)
    throws IOException, InterruptedException

In this method, given a list of Put operations, basically it groups them by the region servers. All those Put operations destined for the same regionserver would be grouped together so that they could be dispatched together to the same region server. It uses the following hashmap to maintain the groupings.

Map&amp;amp;lt;HServerAddress, MultiAction&amp;amp;gt; actionsByServer = new HashMap&amp;amp;lt;HServerAddress, MultiAction&amp;amp;gt;();

It groups all the actions/operations by the HServerAddress. HServerAddress is a “label” for a HBase server made of host and port number.

Iterating through the map, it then fires up the requests to the corresponding region servers by creating Callable to be executed on the executor thread pool

for (Entry&amp;amp;lt;HServerAddress, MultiAction&amp;amp;gt; e : actionsByServer.entrySet()) {
 futures.put(e.getKey(), pool.submit(createCallable(e.getKey(), e.getValue(), tableName)));

Let’s look at the createCallable method

private &amp;amp;lt;R&amp;amp;gt; Callable&amp;amp;lt;MultiResponse&amp;amp;gt; createCallable(final HRegionLocation loc,
        final MultiAction&amp;amp;lt;R&amp;amp;gt; multi, final byte [] tableName) {
      final HConnection connection = this;
      return new Callable&amp;amp;lt;MultiResponse&amp;amp;gt;() {
       public MultiResponse call() throws IOException {
         return getRegionServerWithoutRetries(
             new ServerCallable&amp;amp;lt;MultiResponse&amp;amp;gt;(connection, tableName, null) {
               public MultiResponse call() throws IOException {
                 return server.multi(multi);
               public void connect(boolean reload) throws IOException {
                 server =
                   connection.getHRegionConnection(loc.getHostname(), loc.getPort());

An anonymous Callable class with the implemented call() method is returned by the above method and will be executed in the executor thread pool. In the implemented call method, the RPC client proxy, HRegionInterface server makes the remote RPC method call, server.multi(multi), marshalling the method and params to the remote server. The connect(boolean reload) method is to establish RPC connection to the region server.

server = connection.getHRegionConnection(loc.getHostname(), loc.getPort());

In the getHRegionConnection method, it uses HBaseRPC to create a dynamic proxy to the region server.

server = (HRegionInterface) HBaseRPC.waitForProxy(
                  serverInterfaceClass, HRegionInterface.VERSION,
                  address, this.conf,
                  this.maxRPCAttempts, this.rpcTimeout, this.rpcTimeout);

Stay tuned for my next post about HBaseRPC internals. We will dive into the mechanic of RPC call implementation in HBase.