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MapR Takes a Run at Taming HBase

MapR says it’s given HBase enterprise-grade reliability and performance

MapR Technologies worked for months to make the elephantine curmudgeon known as Hadoop less snappy and irascible.

It dragged it out of the elephant house, scrubbed its hands and face, gave it some manners, told it which fork to use, slicked down its hair, polished its shoes and sent it out to live in civil society.

Then, beguiled by the fact that 45% of Hadoop shops also use HBase, it turned its hand to taming the equally irritable and hard-to-manage database that lets people run NoSQL queries against Hadoop data. This week it put its civilizing influence into public beta. It calls the widgetry M7.

MapR says it's given HBase enterprise-grade reliability and performance and put Hadoop and NoSQL capabilities together on the same platform capable of Big Data operations ranging from batch analytics to real-time analytics.

The widgetry, which mixes tables and files together, is supposed to have unified management, unified data protection, consistent access, more flexibility and 2x the performance of previous platforms.

Since it's effectively a complete platform, M7 is supposed to let folks do a lot more innovative things with data. The widgetry includes integrated snapshots, mirroring and instant recovery, along with consistently low latency.

HBase can now reportedly recover immediately from hardware and software failures, and is primed for disaster recovery and full data protection.

Even with multiple hardware or software outages and errors, MapR says applications are supposed to keep running without human intervention.

To get it to this yummy level, MapR threw out resource-eating compactions and capacity-limiting RegionServers. That way HBase could perform uniformly and consistently.

M7 is supposed to simplify HBase administration by ensuring there are no separate processes to monitor and manage, no pre-splitting, no manual database repair operations and no downtime for standard maintenance as well as no manual compactions and no manual region merges.

MapR marketing VP Jack Norris said once when he told an audience compactions were gone he got a very gratifying ovation.

MapR also minimized the read- and write-amplification factor by using newfangled data structures so inserts and updates are faster. And M7 supports in-memory columns so there are more options for improving database performance.

MapR says HBase's scalability has been improved "dramatically." M7 users can create more than a trillion tables. With M7, HBase has more than 20x the number of column families than Apache HBase and has increased row and cell sizes to handle large data objects.

It should broaden HBase's on-premise and in the cloud use cases and applications

M7 is binary-compatible with Apache HBase. Customers don't need to recompile or change code to take advantage of its enterprise-grade features. M7 also supports Apache HBase in the same cluster.

The widgetry should emerge from beta in Q1. By then MapR should have settled on pricing.

Registration to participate in the MapR M7 beta program is now open. See

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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