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From Cedric McDougal <mcdougal...@gmail.com>
Subject Understanding the HBase Scanner and Null Cells
Date Fri, 13 Nov 2009 15:19:01 GMT

I'm using HBase for a project in which I have very few columns in each table
with greatly varying lengths. For example, in one table I might have one
column with 1 million rows of data and one column with 100. In other words,
there will be a lot of null cells in each table.

What I'm wondering is how these null cells are treated when the table is
read into memory using the scan operation? I'm assuming they are read into a
buffer, found to be null, then discarded, but I'm not really sure what is
happening within the system during the scan. Will a large number of null
cells noticeably slow down the scan or are they handled very quickly? Would
it be too expensive to have a single table with a lot of nulls vs. having
multiple tables with very few?


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