HBase is an open-source, non-relational, distributed database modeled after Google's Bigtable. It is an Apache Software Foundation project that runs on top of the Hadoop Distributed File System. Its main claim to fame is that it provides a fault-tolerant way of storing large (huge, enormous) quantities of sparse data. For that reason, it has a big fanbase. HBase is enthusiastically supported by a thriving community of developers, and has strong user base with developers and users from companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Cloud-era, Horton Works, SalesForce, and many more.
The HBase community meets regularly through Meetup to discuss advances in HBase and share learnings and findings about how their peers use HBase. Their most recent meeting was held on October 29, 2012 at Wize Commerce San Mateo, CA. Over 240 engineers from all over Silicon Valley attended this meetup. In addition, 1,500-plus HBasers follow the HBase Meetups from various locations.
Abhijit Pol of RocketFuel was one of the presenters. He talked about how Rocket Fuel uses HBase with their low latency, very high-throughput applications to evaluate users in real time. Abhijit also discussed how Rocket Fuel has developed user models over massive amounts of data (several petabytes) by harnessing the power of HBase, which is designed for millions of columns and billions of rows while offering excellent system performance with goodies like horizontal scalability and fault tolerance. Efforts of this magnitude simply wouldn’t be possible without an infrastructure like HBase’s.
This Meetup was also highlighted by a talk from Jon Gray about what he and his cohorts at Continuuity, have been building on top of HBase. Yingji Zhang of Wize Commerce and his crew described how they’re porting MySQL to HBase. Jesse Yates and James Taylor of SalesForce talked about the fat snapshotting on HBase and the SQL layer for low-latency queries over HBase data. Finally, Jeremy Carroll of Klout discussed the HBase community and its road map.
Overall, a great time was had by all. The pizza and beer didn’t hurt. Many thanks to Wize Commerce for their generous hosting of this event