Hashed Indexes

A hashed index is a secondary index that distributes keys across logical partitions to avoid creating hot spots when MapR Database updates the index with new keys from the JSON table.

Hot spots occur when data inserted into an indexed field has monotonically increasing values, or when a burst of write activity occurs. The former occurs with timestamp values. The latter occurs when you have a burst of updates on an indexed field over a small range of values. Hashed indexes enable MapR Database to evenly distribute new writes on an index and avoid hot spots.

Note: Hashed indexes do not resolve hot spots on the JSON table. For information about how to design rowkeys and avoid hot spots in the JSON table, see Table Rowkey Design.

Hashed indexes support the same conditional queries as non-hashed indexes, except that hashed indexes do not have a guaranteed sort order. Hashed indexes do not support ORDER BY queries due to the distribution of data across logical partitions. Consequently, sorting is performed by the query layer, which can increase the CPU costs and negatively impact performance.

By default, MapR Database creates ten partitions for a hashed index. You can modify this value when you create a hashed index using the maprcli table index add command or through the MCS. When a hashed index exists, MapR Database distributes table updates to the index across the logical partitions, which reside on different nodes. MapR Database orders the keys within each partition instead of ordering them across the entire index.
Note: Once you create an index with hashing enabled, you cannot disable hashing. You can remove the hashed index and then create a non-hashed (default) index on the field. See Removing Indexes and Adding Indexes.

Guidelines on Creating Hashed Indexes

  • Create a hashed index on fields with monotonically increasing values, such as timestamp values.
  • Create a hashed index on a fields that MapR Database updates in bursts of write activity, for example when MapR Database updates a small range of possible values for the indexed field.
  • Do not create hashed indexes for ORDER BY queries.
  • Use the maprcli table index list command or the MCS to determine if an index is hashed. See maprcli table index list or Listing Indexes.
  • After you create an index with hashing enabled, you cannot disable hashing.

Example Comparison of a Non-Hashed Index and Hashed Index

The following images depict a non-hashed (default) index and a hashed index. For the purpose of this example, assume that an index was created on the DateCreated field of a JSON table in MapR Database. Yellow highlighted areas indicate updates to the index.

Non-Hashed (Default) Index

The non-hashed index propagates DateCreated field updates from the JSON table to the index. Notice that the dates are sorted within the index and no partitions exist. Depending on the size of the index, the index may exist on one or multiple nodes


Hashed Index

The hashed index propagates DateCreated field updates across the index partitions which reside on different nodes. Notice that dates are sorted within each partition and each partition resides on a different node.