Secondary index on HBase
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DELI: a Log-Structured Secondary Index for HBase/NoSQL


DELI is a secondary index for NoSQL systems. It currently supports global indexing and is applicable for HBase alike NoSQL systems where write performance is optimized through a LSM tree structure [link].

DELI stands for "DEferred Lightweight Indexing". Its unique design (given there are other secondary indices for HBase and NoSQL systems) is that:

  • It strictly follows the log-structured design principle that all writes must be append-only.
  • It couples the index-base-table sync-up with the compaction.

By this design, DELI preserves the performance characteristic of original HBase (i.e. write optimized) while adding support for secondary index. Details can be found in the referenced research paper below, which is published in [CCGrid 2015].


  1. Install docker on your machine; [link]

  2. Launch the docker container running DELI image.

    sudo docker run -i -t tristartom/deli-hadoop-hbase-ubuntu /bin/bash 
  3. Inside the container's bash, run the following to demonstrate a DELI client program.

    #step 0                       
    source ~/.profile
    #step 1: first start hdfs                       
    cd ~/app/hadoop-2.6.0 
    bin/hdfs namenode -format 
    #step 2: then run hbase                         
    cd ~/app/hbase-0.99.2 
    #step 3: run deli demo program
    cd ~/app/deli
    ant #compile the deli client
    ./tt_sh/ #demonstrate data can be accessed through a value-based Get (GetByIndex).

If you observe Result is key1 by the end of printout, it means the demo runs successfully. The demo source code can be found in ~/app/deli/src/tthbase/client/


"Deferred Lightweight Indexing for Log-Structured Key-Value Stores", Yuzhe Tang, Arun Iyengar, Wei Tan, Liana Fong, Ling Liu, in Proceedings of the 15th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGrid 2015), Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, May 2015, [pdf]

Updates: DELI is awarded the best paper in CCGRid 2015 [link]!