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Introduction to HDFS Erasure Coding in Apache Hadoop

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Thanks to blog contributors from Cloudera

Erasure coding, a new feature in HDFS, can reduce storage overhead by approximately 50% compared to replication while maintaining the same durability guarantees. This post explains how it works. HDFS by default replicates each block three times. Replication provides a simple and robust form of redundancy to shield against most failure scenarios. It also eases scheduling compute tasks on locally stored data blocks by providing multiple replicas of each block to choose from. However, replication is expensive: the default 3x replication scheme incurs a 200% overhead in storage space and other resources (e.g., network bandwidth when writing the data). For datasets with relatively low I/O activity, the additional block replicas are rarely accessed during normal operations, but still consume the same amount of storage space. Therefore, a natural improvement is to use erasure coding (EC) in place of replication, which uses far less storage space while st…

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