HBase Storage Mechanism

Let’s study about HBase Storage Mechanism,


HBase is a column-oriented NOSQL database, where data is stored in tables. In Hbase tables are sorted by its Rowid. As shown in the below diagram.

The hbase table schema defines only column families, which contains key value pairs. A table can have multiple column families and each column family can have any number of columns. In this case column values are stored contiguously on the disk. Each cell value of the table has a timestamp (digital record of the time of occurrence of a particular event).


Hbase tables has following components like,

  1. Table is a collection of rows.
  2. Row is a collection of column families.
  3. Column family is a collection of columns.
  4. Column is a collection of key value pairs.
  5. Timestamp is a combination of date and time. This makes easy to search for a particular version of data.

Hbase is similar to a relational database it contains rows and columns, but it is not a relational database.

Let us understand the difference between Column-oriented and Row-oriented databases.

Column-oriented databases
Row-oriented databases
It store table records in a sequence of columns.It store table records in a sequence of rows.
Designed for huge tables, size range from TB to PB.Designed for small tables, size range from GB to TB.
It will analyze a large set of semi-structured, unstructured and structured data.It will process structured data alone.
The main application is OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) like data mining, data warehousing, applications including analytics, etc.The main application is OLTP (Online Transactional Processing) like banking and finance domains.

“I hope this article clear about the column oriented database concept in the HBase Storage Mechanism”