TableMapReduceUtil now restores the option to set scanner caching (the number of rows which are cached before returning the result to the client) on the Scan object that is passed in. This functionality was lost due to a bug in HBase 0.95 (HBASE-11558), which is fixed for HBase 0.98.5 and 0.96.3. The priority order for choosing the scanner caching is as follows:
Caching settings which are set on the scan object.
Caching settings which are specified via the configuration option
hbase.client.scanner.caching, which can either be set manually in
hbase-site.xml or via the helper method
The default value
HConstants.DEFAULT_HBASE_CLIENT_SCANNER_CACHING, which is set to
Optimizing the caching settings is a balance between the time the client waits for a result and the number of sets of results the client needs to receive. If the caching setting is too large, the client could end up waiting for a long time or the request could even time out. If the setting is too small, the scan needs to return results in several pieces. If you think of the scan as a shovel, a bigger cache setting is analogous to a bigger shovel, and a smaller cache setting is equivalent to more shoveling in order to fill the bucket.
The list of priorities mentioned above allows you to set a reasonable default, and override it for specific operations.
See the API documentation for Scan for more details.