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Implementation Notes

Notes on the implementation before it is implemented. Think of it something like readme driven development.

Indexing

Avoid Post-Commit Hook

  • The object must be sent 2 * N times. It needs to be N times for the KV write and another N times for indexing. In the worst case all of those messages have to traverse the network and in the best case 2N - 2 messages have to. If the object size is 5MB--the block size in RiakCS--then 30MB of data must traverse the network, 15MB of which is redundant.

  • Post-commit is executed on the coordinator after the object is written and a client reply is sent. This provides no back pressure to the client.

  • Post-commit error handling is wrong. It hides errors and just increments a counter kept by stats. You must alter the logging levels at runtime to discover the cause of the errors.

  • Post-commit is only invoked during user put requests. Indexing changes also need to occur during read-repair and handoff events. Any time the KV object changes the index needs to change as well (at minimum the object hash must be updated).

Add Event Hooks to VNodes

  • Gives Yokozuna access to all object modifications.

  • Exploits locality, avoids redundant transmission of the object across the network.

  • Provides back-pressure during client writes.

  • Could set the stage for atomic commits between KV and other services if that's something we wanted to pursue.

  • A downside is that now more is happening on the KV vnode which is a high contention point as it is. Measuring and careful thought is needed here.

Ideas for Implementation

  • I'm not sure if this is a generic vnode thing or specific to the KV vnode. Right now I'm leaning towards the latter.

  • The events Yokozuna needs to react to: put, read-repair (which is ultimately a put), and handoff (which once again is just a put). Maybe all I need is a low-level hook into the KV backend put. Might help to think of Yokozuna as a backend to KV that compliments the primary backend. Using a low-level put hook covers all cases since it is invoked any time the object is modified. It also provides some future proofing as it should always be the least common denominator for any future object mutation (e.g. if some new type of event was added to KV that causes the object to be modified).

  • Invoke the hook IFF the object has changed and the write to the backend was successful. Have to look at PrepPutRes from prepare_put and Reply from perform_put.

  • The deletion of an object from a backend is a separate code path. Need to hook into that as well.

  • The handoff object put is a different code path, see do_diffobj_put. Need to hook into this.

  • Yokozuna handoff piggy-backs KV handoff (by re-indexing on put versus sending across Solr index data) and therefore Yokozuna vnode handoff is simple matter of dropping the index. Actually, this is a lie. If the KV vnode doesn't handoff first then an entire partition of replicas is lost temporarily. The Yokozuna vnode needs a way to tell the handoff system that it cannot start handoff until the KV service for the same partition performs handoff. This could be done by returning {waiting_for, [riak_kv]}. The vnode manager will probably have to be modified.

Searching

Solr already provides distributed search. However, it is up to the client, in this case Yokozuna, which shards to run the query against. The caller specifies the shards and Solr handles the collating.

The shards should be mutually exclusive if you want the results to be correct. If the same doc id appears in the rows returned then Solr will remove all but one instance. Which instances Solr removes is non-deterministic. In the case where the duplicates aren't in the rows returned and the total rows matching is greater than those returned then numCount may be incorrect.

This poses a problem for Yokozuna since it replicates documents. A document spans multiple shards thus neighboring shards will have overlapping document sets. Depending on the number of partitions (also referred to as ring size) and number of nodes it may be possible to pick a set of shards which contain the entire set of documents with no overlap. In most cases, however, overlap cannot be avoided.

The presence of overlap means that Yokozuna can't simply query a set of shards. The overlapping could cause numCount to be wildly off. Yokozuna could use a Solr Core per index/partition combination but this could cause an explosion in the number of Core instances. Also, more core instances means more file descriptor usage and less chance for Solr to optimize Core usage. A better approach is to filter the query.

Riak Core contains code to plan and execute coverage queries. The idea is to calculate a set of partitions which when combined covers the entire set of data. The list of unique nodes, or shards, and the list of partitions can be obtained from coverage. The question is how to filter the data in Solr using the partitions generated by the coverage plan?

At write time Yokozuna sends the document to N different partitions. Each partition does a write to it's local Solr Core instance. A Solr document is a set of field-value pairs. Yokozuna can leverage this fact by adding a partition number field (_pn) during the local write. A document will be replicated N times but each replica will contain a different _pn value based on it's owning partition. That takes care of the first half of the problem, getting the partition data in Solr. Next it must be filtered on.

The most obvious way to filter on _pn is append to the user query. For example, if the user query is text:banana then Yokozuna would transform it to something like text:banana AND (_pn:<pn1> OR _pn:<pn2> ... OR _pn:<pnI>). The new query will only accept documents that have been stored by the specified partitions. This works but a more efficient, and perhaps elegant, method is to use Solr's filter query mechanism.

Solr's filter query is like a regular query but it does not affect scoring and it's results are cached. Since a partition can contain many documents caching may sound scary. However the cache value is a BitDocSet which uses a single bit for each document. That means a megabyte of memory can cache over 8 million documents. The resulting query generated by Yokozuna then looks like the following.

q=text:banana&fq=_pn:P2 OR _pn:P5 ... OR _pn:P65

It may seem like this is the final solution but there is still one last problem. Earlier I said that the covering set of partitions accounts for all the data. This is true, but in most cases it accounts for a little bit more than all the data. Depending on the number of partitions (Q) and the number of replicas (N) there may be no possible way to select a set of partitions that covers exactly the total set of data. To be precise, if N does not evenly divide into Q then the number of overlapping partitions is L = N - (Q rem N). For the defaults of Q=64 and N=3 this means L = 3 - (64 rem 3) or L=2.

To guarantee that only the total set of unique documents is returned the overlapping partitions must be filtered out. To do this Yokozuna takes the original set of partitions and performs a series of transformations ending with the same list of partitions but with filtering data attached to each. Each partition will have either the value any or a list of partitions paired with it. The value indicates which of it's replicas to include based on the first partition that owns it. The value any means to include a replica no matter which partition is the first to own it. Otherwise the replica's first owner must be one of the partitions in the include list.

In order to perform this additional filter the first partition number must be stored as a field in the document. This is the purpose of the _fpn field. Using the final list of partitions, with the filtering data now added, each {P, all} pair can be added as a simple _pn:P to the filter query. However, a {P, IFPs} pair must restrain on the _fpn field as well. The P and IFPs must be applied together. If you don't constrain the IFPs to only apply to P then they will apply to the entire query and only a subset of the total data will be returned. Thus a {P, [IFP1, IFP2]} pair will be converted to (_pn:P AND (_fpn:IFP1 OR _fpn:IFP2)). The final query, achieving 100% accuracy, will look something like the following.

q=text:banana&fq=_pn:P2 OR _pn:P5 ... OR (_pn:P60 AND (_fpn:60)) OR _pn:63

Index Mapping & Cores

Solr has the notion of a core which allows multiple indexes to live under the same Solr/JVM instance. This is useful because it allows isolation of index files as well as schemas and configuration. Yokozuna exposes the notion of cores as indexes. Each index has a unique name and maps to one core.

  • Set persistent to true in solr.xml so that changes during runtime will persist on restart.

  • Must have an adminPath property for cores element or else dynamic manipulation will not work.

  • Potentially use adminHandler and create custom admin handler for Riak integration.

  • The core name is the unique index name used in yokozuna. I.e. yokozuna calls an index what Solr calls a core. However, there is a many-to-one mapping of external names, or aliases, to index names.

  • According to the Solr wiki it overwrites the solr.xml when core data is changed. In order to protect against corruption yokozuna might want to copy this off somewhere before each core modification.

  • The core CREATE command only works if the instance dir and config is already there. This means that yokozuna will have to store a default setup and copy it over before calling CREATE.

  • An HTTP endpoint yz/index/create will allow the creation of an index. Underneath it will call yz_index:create.

  • There is an implicit mapping from the index name to itself.

Integrating with Riak KV

  • Ideally, KV should know nothing about yokozuna. Rather yokozuna should register a hook with KV and deal with the rest. Yokozuna will have knowledge of Riak Object for now. This should probably be isolated to a module like yz_riak_kv or something.

  • Yokozuna is "enabled" on a bucket by first mapping a bucket name to an index. Second, the yz_riak_kv:postcommit hook must be installed on the bucket.

  • Using a postcommit should suffice for prototyping but tighter integration will be needed so that updates may be sent to yokozuna during events such as read-repair. I would still do this in the form of registering a callback versus coupling the two directly.

  • Yokozuna uses a postcommit because the data should exist before the index that references it. This could potentially cause overload issues since no indexing back pressure will be provided. There may be ways to deal with this in yokozuna rather than KV such as lagged indexing with an append-only log.

Module Breakdown

  • yz_riak_kv - All knowledge specific to Riak KV should reside in here to keep it isolated.

  • yz_index - All functionality re indexes such as mapping and administrative.

  • yz_solr - All functionality related to making a request to solr. In regards to indexes this module should provide functions to administrate cores.

API Breakdown

  • PUT yz/index?name=<name>&initial_schema=<schema_name> - create a new index with name (required) based on the initial_schema name or the default schema if none is provided.

  • PUT /yz/mapping?alias=<alias>&name=<name> - create a mapping from the alias to the index name.

  • PUT /yz/kv_hook?bucket=<bucket>&index=<index>&schema=<schema> - install a hook into KV on the bucket which maps to index and uses schema. This subsumes the above two so maybe they aren't needed for now.

  • yz_riak_kv:install_kv_hook(Bucket, Index, Schema) - Same as previous but via Erlang. The HTTP API is so the user can install the hook.

Use Case Rundown

  1. User registers yz hook for bucket B via PUT /yz/kv_hook?bucket=B&index=B&schema=default.

  2. User writes value V under bucket B and key K.

  3. The put_fsm is spun-up, object O is created.

  4. The quorum is met, the yz hook is called with object O.

  5. The index is determined by pulling B and retrieving registered index I.

  6. The object O is converted to the doc Doc for storage in Solr.

  7. N copies of Doc are written across N shards.

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