HBase, one API to rule them all

Posted on 6 May 2015

In a recent podcast with O’Reilly, Cloudera’s Michael Stack underlined the recent contributions of Google’s engineering team to the HBase roadmap. At the time, he mostly underlined Google’s huge experience and overall advance on the wide-column datastore technology, and their huge value add in making HBase an even better database.

Today’s announcement of a Cloud Bigtable offering on Cloud Platform put his remark into a new light. As emphasized by Google, Cloud BigTable is fully compatible with the HBase 1.0 API. So clearly, erasing any differences that may have arisen over time between the HBase and Bigtable APIs was valuable to both sides. With client API changes first between 0.94 and 0.96 and to a lesser extent between 0.99 and 1.0 (cleanup mostly), HBase path to 1.0 has been a touch slow and tortuous. But it was well worth the wait!

In a world where multiple NoSQL database coexist, HBase may never entirely rule, but the HBase API has risen to preeminence. As of v1.0, the HBase API will be the access layer to not only Apache HBase, but also Accumulo, Hypertable, MapR-DB, Facebook’s Hydrabase and last but not least Google’s Cloud Bigtable. No matter whether you select an on-premise release from Cloudera and Hortonworks, HBase on Azure HDInsight or Cloud Bigtable on Google Cloud Platform, the underlying data model and your access to data will remain the same. Needless to say, this is a huge advantage as it guarantees full portability of your developments across all these different infrastructure solutions.

Overall, the team here at Ubeeko is delighted to welcome a new, super fast cloud option in the HBase community. As an ISV building an application platform on top of the Hadoop database, we are thrilled to see our focus on the HBase API broadly validated in the market and endorsed by a market leader such as Google. And our customers and partners stand to win big as well: the HFactory application platform can now seamlessly be deployed on Google Cloud Platform, and we will release a pre-packaged solution shortly.

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