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Notes of [Bigtable: a distributed… ] by Chang et al.

1. So! What is Bigtable?

Bigtable is similar to the table concept in database but it is deliberately designed for managing large-scaled, structured data across distributed storage systems.

2. So! How is it ‘deliberate’?

The big table is a multi-dimensional map index by a row key, a column key and a time stamp. The value is an uninterpreted array of bytes.

3. So! Give me an example of a Bigtable.

Consider web pages. The domain name might serve as the row key, the content of the html file might be indexed by column keys and further recorded with time stamps e.g., two weeks ago, yesterday, etc.

4. So! What’s the biggest difference between a Bigtable and a normal database table?

Normal database tables provide a relational model; but Bigtable only provides a simple data model that supports dynamic control over data layout and format, and allows clients to reason about the locality properties of the data represented in the underlying storage.

5. So! What Google products use Bigtables?

Google Earth, Google Analytics, Google Finance, web indexing in Google Search, etc.

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