CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE my_mapping_table STORED AS KUDU TBLPROPERTIES ( 'kudu.table_name' = 'my_kudu_table' );
Kudu has tight integration with Apache Impala (incubating), allowing you to use Impala to insert, query, update, and delete data from Kudu tablets using Impala’s SQL syntax, as an alternative to using the Kudu APIs to build a custom Kudu application. In addition, you can use JDBC or ODBC to connect existing or new applications written in any language, framework, or business intelligence tool to your Kudu data, using Impala as the broker.
This documentation is specific to the certain versions of Impala. The syntax described will work only in the following releases:
The version of Impala 2.7.0 that ships with CDH 5.10.
SELECT VERSION() will
impalad version 2.7.0-cdh5.10.0.
Apache Impala 2.8.0 releases compiled from source.
SELECT VERSION() will
impalad version 2.8.0.
Older versions of Impala 2.7 (including the special
previously available) have incompatible syntax. Future versions are likely to be
compatible with this syntax, but we recommend checking that this is the latest
available documentation corresponding to the appropriate version you have
This documentation does not describe Impala installation procedures. Please refer to the Impala documentation and be sure that you are able to run simple queries against Impala tables on HDFS before proceeding.
No configuration changes are required within Kudu to enable access from Impala.
Although not strictly necessary, it is recommended to configure Impala with the locations of the Kudu Master servers:
flag in the Impala service configuration. If you are using Cloudera Manager,
please refer to the appropriate Cloudera Manager documentation to do so.
If this flag is not set within the Impala service, it will be necessary to manually
provide this configuration each time you create a table by specifying the
kudu_master_addresses property inside a
The rest of this guide assumes that the configuration has been set.
|This is only a small sub-set of Impala Shell functionality. For more details, see the Impala Shell documentation.|
Start Impala Shell using the
impala-shell command. By default,
attempts to connect to the Impala daemon on
localhost on port 21000. To connect
to a different host,, use the
-i <host:port> option. To automatically connect to
a specific Impala database, use the
-d <database> option. For instance, if all your
Kudu tables are in Impala in the database
-d impala_kudu to use
To quit the Impala Shell, use the following command:
When creating a new Kudu table using Impala, you can create the table as an internal table or an external table.
An internal table is managed by Impala, and when you drop it from Impala, the data and the table truly are dropped. When you create a new table using Impala, it is generally a internal table.
An external table (created by
CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE) is not managed by
Impala, and dropping such a table does not drop the table from its source location
(here, Kudu). Instead, it only removes the mapping between Impala and Kudu. This is
the mode used in the syntax provided by Kudu for mapping an existing table to Impala.
See the Impala documentation for more information about internal and external tables.
Tables created through the Kudu API or other integrations such as Apache Spark are not automatically visible in Impala. To query them, you must first create an external table within Impala to map the Kudu table into an Impala database:
CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE my_mapping_table STORED AS KUDU TBLPROPERTIES ( 'kudu.table_name' = 'my_kudu_table' );
Creating a new table in Kudu from Impala is similar to mapping an existing Kudu table to an Impala table, except that you need to specify the schema and partitioning information yourself.
Use the following example as a guideline. Impala first creates the table, then creates the mapping.
CREATE TABLE my_first_table ( id BIGINT, name STRING, PRIMARY KEY(id) ) PARTITION BY HASH PARTITIONS 16 STORED AS KUDU;
CREATE TABLE statement, the columns that comprise the primary key must
be listed first. Additionally, primary key columns are implicitly marked
When creating a new Kudu table, you are required to specify a distribution scheme.
See Partitioning Tables. The table creation example above is distributed into
16 partitions by hashing the
id column, for simplicity. See
Partitioning Rules of Thumb for guidelines on partitioning.
You can create a table by querying any other table or tables in Impala, using a
TABLE … AS SELECT statement. The following example imports all rows from an existing table
old_table into a Kudu table
new_table. The names and types of columns in
will determined from the columns in the result set of the
SELECT statement. Note that you must
additionally specify the primary key and partitioning.
CREATE TABLE new_table PRIMARY KEY (ts, name) PARTITION BY HASH(name) PARTITIONS 8 STORED AS KUDU AS SELECT ts, name, value FROM old_table;
Tables are divided into tablets which are each served by one or more tablet
servers. Ideally, tablets should split a table’s data relatively equally. Kudu currently
has no mechanism for automatically (or manually) splitting a pre-existing tablet.
Until this feature has been implemented, you must specify your partitioning when
creating a table. When designing your table schema, consider primary keys that will allow you to
split your table into partitions which grow at similar rates. You can designate
partitions using a
PARTITION BY clause when creating a table using Impala:
Impala keywords, such as
CREATE TABLE cust_behavior ( _id BIGINT PRIMARY KEY, salary STRING, edu_level INT, usergender STRING, `group` STRING, city STRING, postcode STRING, last_purchase_price FLOAT, last_purchase_date BIGINT, category STRING, sku STRING, rating INT, fulfilled_date BIGINT ) PARTITION BY RANGE (_id) ( PARTITION VALUES < 1439560049342, PARTITION 1439560049342 <= VALUES < 1439566253755, PARTITION 1439566253755 <= VALUES < 1439572458168, PARTITION 1439572458168 <= VALUES < 1439578662581, PARTITION 1439578662581 <= VALUES < 1439584866994, PARTITION 1439584866994 <= VALUES < 1439591071407, PARTITION 1439591071407 <= VALUES ) STORED AS KUDU;
If you have multiple primary key columns, you can specify partition bounds
using tuple syntax:
('va',1), ('ab',2). The expression must be valid JSON.
Every Impala table is contained within a namespace called a database. The default
database is called
default, and users may create and drop additional databases
When a managed Kudu table is created from within Impala, the corresponding
Kudu table will be named
The following Impala keywords are not supported when creating Kudu tables:
WHERE clause of your query includes comparisons with the operators
<=, '\<', '\>',
IN, Kudu evaluates the condition directly
and only returns the relevant results. This provides optimum performance, because Kudu
only returns the relevant results to Impala. For predicates
LIKE, or any other
predicate type supported by Impala, Kudu does not evaluate the predicates directly, but
returns all results to Impala and relies on Impala to evaluate the remaining predicates and
filter the results accordingly. This may cause differences in performance, depending
on the delta of the result set before and after evaluating the
Tables are partitioned into tablets according to a partition schema on the primary key columns. Each tablet is served by at least one tablet server. Ideally, a table should be split into tablets that are distributed across a number of tablet servers to maximize parallel operations. The details of the partitioning schema you use will depend entirely on the type of data you store and how you access it. For a full discussion of schema design in Kudu, see Schema Design.
Kudu currently has no mechanism for splitting or merging tablets after the table has been created. You must provide a partition schema for your table when you create it. When designing your tables, consider using primary keys that will allow you to partition your table into tablets which grow at similar rates.
You can partition your table using Impala’s
PARTITION BY keyword, which
supports distribution by
HASH. The partition scheme can contain zero
HASH definitions, followed by an optional
RANGE definition. The
definition can refer to one or more primary key columns.
Examples of basic and advanced
partitioning are shown below.
PARTITION BY RANGE
You can specify range partitions for one or more primary key columns. Range partitioning in Kudu allows splitting a table based based on specific values or ranges of values of the chosen partition keys. This allows you to balance parallelism in writes with scan efficiency.
Suppose you have a table that has columns
following example creates 50 tablets, one per US state.
Monotonically Increasing Values
If you partition by range on a column whose values are monotonically increasing,
the last tablet will grow much larger than the others. Additionally, all data
being inserted will be written to a single tablet at a time, limiting the scalability
of data ingest. In that case, consider distributing by
CREATE TABLE customers ( state STRING, name STRING, purchase_count int, PRIMARY KEY (state, name) ) PARTITION BY RANGE (state) ( PARTITION VALUE = 'al', PARTITION VALUE = 'ak', PARTITION VALUE = 'ar', -- ... etc ... PARTITION VALUE = 'wv', PARTITION VALUE = 'wy' ) STORED AS KUDU;
PARTITION BY HASH
Instead of distributing by an explicit range, or in combination with range distribution, you can distribute into a specific number of 'buckets' by hash. You specify the primary key columns you want to partition by, and the number of buckets you want to use. Rows are distributed by hashing the specified key columns. Assuming that the values being hashed do not themselves exhibit significant skew, this will serve to distribute the data evenly across buckets.
You can specify multiple definitions, and you can specify definitions which
use compound primary keys. However, one column cannot be mentioned in multiple hash
definitions. Consider two columns,
Hash partitioning is a reasonable approach if primary key values are evenly distributed in their domain and no data skew is apparent, such as timestamps or serial IDs.
The following example creates 16 tablets by hashing the
sku columns. This spreads
writes across all 16 tablets. In this example, a query for a range of
is likely to need to read all 16 tablets, so this may not be the optimum schema for
this table. See Advanced Partitioning for an extended example.
CREATE TABLE cust_behavior ( id BIGINT, sku STRING, salary STRING, edu_level INT, usergender STRING, `group` STRING, city STRING, postcode STRING, last_purchase_price FLOAT, last_purchase_date BIGINT, category STRING, rating INT, fulfilled_date BIGINT, PRIMARY KEY (id, sku) ) PARTITION BY HASH PARTITIONS 16 STORED AS KUDU;
You can combine
RANGE partitioning to create more complex partition schemas.
You can specify zero or more
HASH definitions, followed by zero or one
Each definition can encompass one or more columns. While enumerating every possible distribution
schema is out of the scope of this document, a few examples illustrate some of the
Consider the simple hashing example above, If you often query for a range of
values, you can optimize the example by combining hash partitioning with range partitioning.
The following example still creates 16 tablets, by first hashing the
id column into 4
buckets, and then applying range partitioning to split each bucket into four tablets,
based upon the value of the
sku string. Writes are spread across at least four tablets
(and possibly up to 16). When you query for a contiguous range of
sku values, you have a
good chance of only needing to read from a quarter of the tablets to fulfill the query.
By default, the entire primary key is hashed when you use
CREATE TABLE cust_behavior ( id BIGINT, sku STRING, salary STRING, edu_level INT, usergender STRING, `group` STRING, city STRING, postcode STRING, last_purchase_price FLOAT, last_purchase_date BIGINT, category STRING, rating INT, fulfilled_date BIGINT, PRIMARY KEY (id, sku) ) PARTITION BY HASH (id) PARTITIONS 4, RANGE (sku) ( PARTITION VALUES < 'g', PARTITION 'g' <= VALUES < 'o', PARTITION 'o' <= VALUES < 'u', PARTITION 'u' <= VALUES ) STORED AS KUDU;
PARTITION BY HASHDefinitions
Again expanding the example above, suppose that the query pattern will be unpredictable, but you want to ensure that writes are spread across a large number of tablets You can achieve maximum distribution across the entire primary key by hashing on both primary key columns.
CREATE TABLE cust_behavior ( id BIGINT, sku STRING, salary STRING, edu_level INT, usergender STRING, `group` STRING, city STRING, postcode STRING, last_purchase_price FLOAT, last_purchase_date BIGINT, category STRING, rating INT, fulfilled_date BIGINT, PRIMARY KEY (id, sku) ) PARTITION BY HASH (id) PARTITIONS 4, HASH (sku) PARTITIONS 4 STORED AS KUDU;
The example creates 16 partitions. You could also use
HASH (id, sku) PARTITIONS 16.
However, a scan for
sku values would almost always impact all 16 partitions, rather
than possibly being limited to 4.
Kudu 1.0 and higher supports the use of non-covering range partitions, which address scenarios like the following:
Without non-covering range partitions, in the case of time-series data or other schemas which need to account for constantly-increasing primary keys, tablets serving old data will be relatively fixed in size, while tablets receiving new data will grow without bounds.
In cases where you want to partition data based on its category, such as sales region or product type, without non-covering range partitions you must know all of the partitions ahead of time or manually recreate your table if partitions need to be added or removed, such as the introduction or elimination of a product type.
Non-covering range partitions have some caveats. Be sure to read the link:/docs/schema_design.html [Schema Design guide].
This example creates a tablet per year (5 tablets total), for storing log data. The table only accepts data from 2012 to 2016. Keys outside of these ranges will be rejected.
CREATE TABLE sales_by_year ( year INT, sale_id INT, amount INT, PRIMARY KEY (sale_id, year) ) PARTITION BY RANGE (year) ( PARTITION VALUE = 2012, PARTITION VALUE = 2013, PARTITION VALUE = 2014, PARTITION VALUE = 2015, PARTITION VALUE = 2016 ) STORED AS KUDU;
When records start coming in for 2017, they will be rejected. At that point, the
range should be added as follows:
ALTER TABLE sales_by_year ADD RANGE PARTITION VALUE = 2017;
In use cases where a rolling window of data retention is required, range partitions may also be dropped. For example, if data from 2012 should no longer be retained, it may be deleted in bulk:
ALTER TABLE sales_by_year DROP RANGE PARTITION VALUE = 2012;
Note that, just like dropping a table, this irrecoverably deletes all data stored in the dropped partition.
For large tables, such as fact tables, aim for as many tablets as you have cores in the cluster.
For small tables, such as dimension tables, aim for a large enough number of tablets that each tablet is at least 1 GB in size.
In general, be mindful the number of tablets limits the parallelism of reads, in the current implementation. Increasing the number of tablets significantly beyond the number of cores is likely to have diminishing returns.
Impala allows you to use standard SQL syntax to insert data into Kudu.
This example inserts a single row.
INSERT INTO my_first_table VALUES (99, "sarah");
This example inserts three rows using a single statement.
INSERT INTO my_first_table VALUES (1, "john"), (2, "jane"), (3, "jim");
When inserting in bulk, there are at least three common choices. Each may have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your data and circumstances.
This approach has the advantage of being easy to understand and implement. This approach is likely to be inefficient because Impala has a high query start-up cost compared to Kudu’s insertion performance. This will lead to relatively high latency and poor throughput.
INSERTstatement with multiple
If you include more
VALUES statements, Impala batches them into groups of 1024 (or the value
batch_size) before sending the requests to Kudu. This approach may perform
slightly better than multiple sequential
INSERT statements by amortizing the query start-up
penalties on the Impala side. To set the batch size for the current Impala
Shell session, use the following syntax:
|Increasing the Impala batch size causes Impala to use more memory. You should verify the impact on your cluster and tune accordingly.|
The approach that usually performs best, from the standpoint of
both Impala and Kudu, is usually to import the data using a
SELECT FROM statement
If your data is not already in Impala, one strategy is to import it from a text file, such as a TSV or CSV file.
Create the Kudu table, being mindful that the columns designated as primary keys cannot have null values.
Insert values into the Kudu table by querying the table containing the original data, as in the following example:
INSERT INTO my_kudu_table SELECT * FROM legacy_data_import_table;
In many cases, the appropriate ingest path is to
use the C++ or Java API to insert directly into Kudu tables. Unlike other Impala tables,
data inserted into Kudu tables via the API becomes available for query in Impala without
the need for any
INVALIDATE METADATA statements or other statements needed for other
Impala storage types.
In most relational databases, if you try to insert a row that has already been inserted, the insertion
will fail because the primary key would be duplicated. See Failures During
Impala, however, will not fail the query. Instead, it will generate a warning, but continue
to execute the remainder of the insert statement.
If the inserted rows are meant to replace existing rows,
UPSERT may be used instead of
INSERT INTO my_first_table VALUES (99, "sarah"); UPSERT INTO my_first_table VALUES (99, "zoe"); -- the current value of the row is 'zoe'
UPDATE my_first_table SET name="bob" where id = 3;
DELETE FROM my_first_table WHERE id < 3;
You can also delete using more complex syntax. A comma in the
FROM sub-clause is
one way that Impala specifies a join query. For more information about Impala joins,
DELETE c FROM my_second_table c, stock_symbols s WHERE c.name = s.symbol;
DELETE statements cannot be considered transactional as
a whole. If one of these operations fails part of the way through, the keys may
have already been created (in the case of
INSERT) or the records may have already
been modified or removed by another process (in the case of
You should design your application with this in mind.
You can change Impala’s metadata relating to a given Kudu table by altering the table’s properties. These properties include the table name, the list of Kudu master addresses, and whether the table is managed by Impala (internal) or externally.
ALTER TABLE my_table RENAME TO my_new_table;
Renaming a table using the
If a table is an internal table, the underlying Kudu table may be renamed by
ALTER TABLE my_internal_table SET TBLPROPERTIES('kudu.table_name' = 'new_name')
If another application has renamed a Kudu table under Impala, it is possible to re-map an external table to point to a different Kudu table name.
ALTER TABLE my_external_table_ SET TBLPROPERTIES('kudu.table_name' = 'some_other_kudu_table')
ALTER TABLE my_table SET TBLPROPERTIES('kudu.master_addresses' = 'kudu-new-master.example.com:7051');
ALTER TABLE my_table SET TBLPROPERTIES('EXTERNAL' = 'TRUE');
If the table was created as an internal table in Impala, using
CREATE TABLE, the
DROP TABLE syntax drops the underlying Kudu table and all its data. If
the table was created as an external table, using
CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE, the mapping
between Impala and Kudu is dropped, but the Kudu table is left intact, with all its
DROP TABLE my_first_table;
The examples above have only explored a fraction of what you can do with Impala Shell.
Kudu tables with a name containing upper case or non-ascii characters must be assigned an alternate name when used as an external table in Impala.
Kudu tables with a column name containing upper case or non-ascii characters may not be used as an external table in Impala. Non-primary key columns may be renamed in Kudu to work around this issue.
When creating a Kudu table, the
CREATE TABLE statement must include the
primary key columns before other columns, in primary key order.
Kudu tables containing
UNIXTIME_MICROS-typed columns may not be used as an
external table in Impala.
Impala can not create Kudu tables with
or nested-typed columns.
Impala can not update values in primary key columns.
LIKE predicates are not pushed to Kudu, and
instead will be evaluated by the Impala scan node. This may decrease performance
relative to other types of predicates.
Updates, inserts, and deletes via Impala are non-transactional. If a query fails part of the way through, its partial effects will not be rolled back.
The maximum parallelism of a single query is limited to the number of tablets in a table. For good analytic performance, aim for 10 or more tablets per host or use large tables.