|Developer(s)||Apache Software Foundation|
|Initial release||March 28, 2008|
1.4.3 / 3 April 2018
|License||Apache License 2.0|
HBase is an open-source, non-relational, distributed database modeled after Google's Bigtable and written in Java. It is developed as part of Apache Software Foundation's Apache Hadoop project and runs on top of HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System), providing Bigtable-like capabilities for Hadoop. That is, it provides a fault-tolerant way of storing large quantities of sparse data (small amounts of information caught within a large collection of empty or unimportant data, such as finding the 50 largest items in a group of 2 billion records, or finding the non-zero items representing less than 0.1% of a huge collection).
HBase features compression, in-memory operation, and Bloom filters on a per-column basis as outlined in the original Bigtable paper. Tables in HBase can serve as the input and output for MapReduce jobs run in Hadoop, and may be accessed through the Java API but also through REST, Avro or Thrift gateway APIs. HBase is a column-oriented key-value data store and has been idolized widely because of its lineage with Hadoop and HDFS. HBase runs on top of HDFS and is well-suited for faster read and write operations on large datasets with high throughput and low input/output latency.
HBase is not a direct replacement for a classic SQL database, however Apache Phoenix project provides a SQL layer for HBase as well as JDBC driver that can be integrated with various analytics and business intelligence applications. The Apache Trafodion project provides a SQL query engine with ODBC and JDBC drivers and distributed ACID transaction protection across multiple statements, tables and rows that uses HBase as a storage engine.
HBase is now serving several data-driven websites,, but Facebook's Messaging Platform recently migrated from HBase to MyRocks. Unlike relational and traditional databases, HBase does not support SQL scripting; instead the equivalent is written in Java, employing similarity with a MapReduce application.
In the parlance of Eric Brewer’s CAP Theorem, HBase is a CP type system.
As of February 2017[update], the 1.2.x series is the current stable release line.
Use cases & production deployments
Enterprises that use HBase
The following is a list of notable enterprises that have used or are using HBase:
- Airbnb uses HBase as part of its AirStream realtime stream computation framework 
- Amadeus IT Group, as its main long-term storage DB.
- Bloomberg, for time series data storage
- Facebook used HBase for its messaging platform between 2010 and 2018
- Imgur uses HBase to power its notifications system
- Quicken Loans
- Rocket Fuel
- Sophos, for some of their back-end systems.
- Spotify uses HBase as base for Hadoop and machine learning jobs.
- Tuenti uses HBase for its messaging platform.
- Wide column store
- Apache Cassandra
- Oracle NOSQL
- Apache Accumulo
- Project Voldemort
- Apache Phoenix
- Chang, et al. (2006). Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data
- "Apache HBase – Powered By Apache HBase™". hbase.apache.org. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "Migrating Messenger storage to optimize performance". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
- Facebook: Why our 'next-gen' comms ditched MySQL Retrieved: 17 December 2010
- "Brief Look on Apache Hbase". Retrieved 26 December 2017.
- HBaseCon (2 August 2016). "Apache HBase at Airbnb". slideshare.net. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "Why Imgur Dropped MySQL in Favor of HBase - DZone Database". dzone.com. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "Tech Tuesday: Imgur Notifications: From MySQL to HBase - The Imgur Blog". blog.imgur.com. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- Doyung Yoon. "S2Graph : A Large-Scale Graph Database with HBase".
- Cheolsoo Park and Ashwin Shankar. "Netflix: Integrating Spark at Petabyte Scale".
- "Hbase at Salesforce.com".
- Josh Baer. "How Apache Drives Spotify's Music Recommendations".
- "Tuenti Group Chat: Simple, yet complex".
- "Tuenti Asyncthrift".
- Dimiduk, Nick; Khurana, Amandeep (28 November 2012). HBase in Action (1st ed.). Manning Publications. p. 350. ISBN 978-1617290527.
- George, Lars (20 September 2011). HBase: The Definitive Guide (1st ed.). O'Reilly Media. p. 556. ISBN 978-1449396107.
- Jiang, Yifeng (16 August 2012). HBase Administration Cookbook (1st ed.). Packt Publishing. p. 332. ISBN 978-1849517140.