June 17, 2012

Storage Infrastructure Behind Facebook Messages: Using HBase at Scale

IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE)

By: Amitanand Aiyer, Mikhail Bautin, Guoqiang Jerry Chen, Pritam Damania, Prakash Khemani, Kannan Muthukkaruppan, Karthik Ranganathan, Nicolas Spiegelberg, Liyin Tang, Madhuwanti Vaidya

Abstract

Facebook Messages, which combines messages, chat and email into a real-time conversation, is the first application in Facebook to use HBase in production.

In this article, we will discuss why we chose HBase for this use case, the early improvements we did to make HBase production ready, engineering and operational challenges encountered along the way, and the continued work we have had to do once in production, to improve HBase’s efficiency and reliability. We will also describe some of the other use cases of HBase at Facebook.