Affects Version/s: None
Fix Version/s: None
CentOS 5.4, x86_64
Right now, every region has a .regioninfo file that describes what the region contains. This is used by the add_table tool to recover a table from HDFS, when there are problems with the .META. table. Right now the .regioninfo file stores both region-specific as well as table-specific metadata (the columns), which can cause problems.
One such problem appears when some of the .regioninfo files are not updates. Workflow to reproduce this is:
1. Create a new table with a list of columns.
2. Push some data into the table, so at least one region exists.
3. Do an ALTER on the table and add some new columns.
3.1 Look at one of the .regioninfo files. They still contain the old list of columns.
4. Push some more data into the table, containing values for the new columns.
5. Run add_table.rb on this table.
6. Try to push the data at point 4 again. You will get errors - NoSuchColumnFamilyExists exception.
in our specific case, 10 out of the 140 regions of a table had the initial list of columns, and the others were updated (as part of splits, as we deduced). We had to run add_table, which replaced the .META. entries with the ones on disk, and as a result we couldn't get to our data anymore. Re-writing the .regioninfo with the correct column list (as done in HRegion.java) and re-adding the table fixed it for us,.
It should be possible to store the table information in a single location (e.g. /hbase/table_name/.tableinfo maybe?) and work on it on table create / alter which would prevent this case from happening again.