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  2. IMPALA-8561

ScanRanges with mtime=-1 can lead to inconsistent reads when using the file handle cache



    • Bug
    • Status: Resolved
    • Blocker
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • Impala 3.3.0
    • Impala 3.3.0
    • Backend
    • None


      colored textThe file handle cache relies on the mtime to distinguish between different versions of a file. For example, if file X exists with mtime=1, then it is overwritten and the metadata is updated so that now it is at mtime=2, the file handle cache treats them as completely different things and can never use a single file handle to serve both. However, some codepaths generate ScanRanges with an mtime of -1. This removes the ability to distinguish these two versions of a file and can read to consistency problems.

      A specific example is the code that reads the parquet footer HdfsParquetScanner::ProcessFooter(). We don't know ahead of time how big the Parquet footer is. So, we read 100KB (determined by FOOTER_SIZE). If the footer size encoded in the last few bytes of the file indicates that the footer is larger than that code here, then we issue a separate read for the actual size of the footer. That separate read does not inherit the mtime of the original read and instead uses an mtime of -1. I verified this by adding tracing and issuing a select against functional_parquet.widetable_1000_cols.

      A failure scenario associated with this is that we read the last 100KB using a ScanRange with mtime=2, then we find that the footer is larger than 100KB and issue a ScanRange with mtime=-1. This uses a file handle that is from a previous version of the file equivalent to mtime=1. The data it is reading may not come from the end of the file, or it may be at the end of the file but the footer has a different length. (There is no validation on the new read to check the magic value or metadata size reported by the new buffer.) Either would result in a failure to deserialize the thrift for the footer. For example, a problem case could produce an error message like:


      File hdfs://test-warehouse/example_file.parq of length 1048576 bytes has invalid file metadata at file offset 462017. Error = couldn't deserialize thrift msg:
      TProtocolException: Invalid data

      To fix this, we should examine all locations that can result in ScanRanges with mtime=-1 and eliminate any that we can. For example, the HdfsParquetScanner::ProcessFooter() code should create a ScanRange that inherits the mtime from the original footer ScanRange. Also, the file handle cache should refuse to cache file handles with mtime=-1.

      The code in HdfsParquetScanner::ProcessFooter() should add validation for the magic value and metadata size when reading a footer larger than 100KB to verify that we are reading something valid. The thrift deserialize failure gives some information, but catching this case more specifically would provide a better error message.


      • This is most often caused by overwriting files in-place (e.g. INSERT OVERWRITE from Hive) without refreshing the metadata. You can avoid the issue by avoiding these in-place rewrites or by consistently running REFRESH <tbl> in Impala after the modifications. After further consideration, there are several symptoms that are not resolved via REFRESH/INVALIDATE.
      • Setting --max_cached_file_handles=0 in the impalad startup options can work around the issue, at the cost of performance.



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              joemcdonnell Joe McDonnell
              joemcdonnell Joe McDonnell
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