Deleting Columns in HBase


In HBase, calling DeleteColumn() method i.e., essentially a schema change to a column family or deleting column families will result in downtime of HBase Cluster?


The deleteColumn method on a <a href="http://hbase.apache.org/apidocs/org/apache/hadoop/hbase/client/Delete.html" rel="nofollow">Delete mutation</a> of HBase deletes specific column(s) from a specific row this is not a schema change since HBase does not retain a schema-level knowledge of columns of each row (and each row can have a different number and types of columns - think about it as a thinly populated matrix). The same is true for deleteFamily on this object.

There won't be a cluster downtime for this (and HBase will not actually delete the data until the next major compaction of the region)

If you want to drop a column family from the whole table you can do that via HBaseAdmin with the not so aptly named deleteColumn method (or the shell with alter 'table_name', {NAME => 'family_name', METHOD => 'delete'}) - in this case the table needs to be disabled first so while HBase won't suffer a downtime, the specific table will


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