Block cache is for uncompressed data while OS page contains the compressed data. Unless the request pattern is full-table sequential scan, the block cache is still quite useful. I think the size of the block cache should be the amont of hot data we want to retain within a compaction cycle, which is quite hard to estimate in some use cases.
Thanks a lot
From: lars hofhansl [[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: Does HBase RegionServer benefit from OS Page Cache


> 2) The blocks in the block cache will be naturally invalid quickly after the compactions.

Should one keep the block cache small in order to increase the OS page cache?

Does you data suggest we should not use the block cache at all?

-- Lars

 From: Liyin Tang <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2013 9:44 PM
Subject: Re: Does HBase RegionServer benefit from OS Page Cache

We (Facebook) are closely monitoring the OS page cache hit ratio in the
production environments. My experience is if your data access pattern is
very random, then the OS page cache won't help you so much even though the
data locality is very high. On the other hand, if the requests are always
against the recent data points, then the page cache hit ratio could be much

Actually, there are lots of optimizations could be done in HDFS. For
example, we are working on fadvice away the 2nd/3rd replicated data from OS
page cache so that it potentially could improve your OS page cache by 3X.
Also, by taking advantage of the tiered-based compaction+fadvice in HDFS,
the region server could keep more hot data in OS page cache based on the
read access pattern.

Another separate point is that we probably should NOT reply on the
memstore/block cache to keep hot data. 1) The more data in the memstore,
the more data the region server need to recovery from the server failures.
So the tradeoff is the recovery time. 2) The blocks in the block cache will
be naturally invalid quickly after the compactions. So region server
probably won't be benefit from large JVM size at all.

Thanks a lot

On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 6:13 PM, Ted Yu <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Coming up is the following enhancement which would make MSLAB even better:
> HBASE-8163 MemStoreChunkPool: An improvement for JAVA GC when using MSLAB
> On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 5:31 PM, Pankaj Gupta <[EMAIL PROTECTED]
> >wrote:
> > Thanks a lot for the explanation. It's good to know that MSlab is stable
> > and safe to enable (we don't have it enable right now, we're using 0.92).
> > This would allow us to more freely allocate memory to HBase. I really
> > enjoyed the depth of explanation from both Enis and J-D. I was indeed
> > mistakenly referring to HFile as HLog, fortunately you were still able
> > understand my question.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Pankaj
> > On Mar 21, 2013, at 1:28 PM, Enis Söztutar <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >
> > > I think the page cache is not totally useless, but as long as you can
> > > control the GC, you should prefer the block cache. Some of the reasons
> of
> > > the top of my head:
> > > - In case of a cache hit, for OS cache, you have to go through the DN
> > > layer (an RPC if ssr disabled), and do a kernel jump, and read using
> the
> > > read() libc vs  for reading a block from the block cache, only the
> HBase
> > > process is involved. There is no process switch involved and no kernel
> > > jumps.
> > > - The read access path is optimized per hfile block. FS page boundaries
> > > and hfile block boundaries are not aligned at all.
> > > - There is very little control to the page cache to cache / not cache
> > > based on expected access patterns. For example, we can mark META region
> > > blocks, and some column families, and hfile index blocks always cached
> or
> > > cached with high priority. Also, for full table scans, we can
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