Interactive Query for Hadoop with Apache Hive on Apache Tez

Benefits of the Stinger Initiative delivered

If you have any errors in completing this tutorial. Please ask questions or notify us on Hortonworks Community Connection!

In this tutorial, we’ll focus on taking advantage of improvements to Apache Hive and Apache Tez through the work completed by the community as part of the Stinger initiative

In this tutorial, we are going to look at some of the new features that Hive on Tez brings to HDP 2.3:

  • Performance improvements of Hive on Tez
  • Performance improvements of Vectorized Query
  • Cost-based Optimization Plans
  • Multi-tenancy with HiveServer2
  • SQL Compliance Improvements


A working HDP cluster – the easiest way to have a HDP cluster is to download the HDP Sandbox 

Download data

The dataset that we will need for this tutorial is here. Please download and save the file in a folder on your local machine.

Once you unzip the zip file –, you will see the following files inside. We will be using these data files for the following tutorial.

Let’s use the above two csv files (HVAC.csv & building.csv) to create two new tables using the following step. Navigate to using your browser. Click the HDFS Files view from the dropdown menu.

Go to the /tmp folder and if it is not already present, create a new directory called data using the controls toward the top of the screen. Then right-click on the folder and click Permissions. Make sure to check (blue) all of the permissions boxes.

Now, let’s upload the above data files into HDFS and create two hive tables using the following steps.

Upload the two files under /tmp/data using Upload at the top of the screen

Now head on over to the Hive view

We will now use hive and create the two tables. They will be named per the csv file names : “hvac” and “building”.

Use the following two queries to create the tables a then load the data

create table building
(BuildingID int,
 BuildingMgr string,
 BuildingAge string,
 HVACproduct string,
 Country string) 
create table hvac (
recorddate string,
Time string,
TargetTemp int,
ActualTemp int,
System int,
SystemAge int,
BuildingID int) 

~~~PIC OF tables IN DB EXPLORER~~~

We’re are now going to load the data into the two tables using the LOAD DATA INPATH Hive command

LOAD DATA INPATH '/tmp/data/building.csv' OVERWRITE INTO TABLE building;

You should now be able to obtain results when selecting small amounts of data from either table

Speed Improvements

To take a look at the speed improvements of Hive on Tez, we can run some sample queries. For this we will use the above two tables – hvac and building.

By default, the Hive view runs with Tez as it’s execution engine. That’s because Tez has great speed improvements over the original MapReduce execution engine. But by how much exactly are these improvements? Well let’s find out!

Step 1 :

First you’ll we’re going to need to click on the Hive view Settings tab. Then we’re going to need to add a new setting.

Image hive

Then we’re going to need to find the property which is hive.execution.engine. Select this property and then for it’s value select, mr (short for MapReduce).

Image hive

Step 2:

We are now going to test a query using MapReduce as our execution engine. Execute the following query and wait for the results.

select h.*,, b.hvacproduct, b.buildingage, b.buildingmgr 
from building b join hvac h 
on b.buildingid = h.buildingid;

enter image description here

This query was run using the MapReduce framework.

Step 3 :

Now we can enable Hive on Tez execution and take advantage of Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) execution representing the query instead of multiple stages of MapReduce program which involved a lot of synchronization, barriers and IO overheads. This is improved in Tez, by writing intermediate data set into memory instead of hard disk.

Head back to the Settings in the Hive view and now change the hive.execution.engine to tez.

Step 4 :

Run the same query as we had run earlier in Step 2, to see the speed improvements with Tez.

select h.*,, b.hvacproduct, b.buildingage, b.buildingmgr 
from building b join hvac h 
on b.buildingid = h.buildingid;

enter image description here

Check the output of this job. It shows the usage of the containers.
Here is the rest of the output log:

enter image description here

You should notice that the results will have appeared much quicker while having the execution engine set to Tez. This is currently the default for all Hive queries.

Congratulations! You have successfully run your Hive on Tez Job.

Step 5:

Now let’s try a new query to work with

select a.buildingid, b.buildingmgr, max(a.targettemp-a.actualtemp)
from hvac a join building b
on a.buildingid = b.buildingid
group by a.buildingid, b.buildingmgr;

Try executing the query first on MapReduce execution engine, then on Tez. You should notice a considerable gap in execution time

Here is the result.

To experience this further, you could use your own dataset, upload to your HDP Sandbox using steps above and execute with and without Tez to compare the difference.

Step 6:

You can track your Hive on Tez jobs in HDP Sandbox Web UI as well. Please go to : and track your jobs while running or post to see the details.

enter image description here

You can click on your job and see further details.

Stats & Cost Based Optimization (CBO)

Cost Based Optimization(CBO) engine uses statistics within Hive tables to produce optimal query plans.

Benefits of CBO:

  1. Reduces need of a specialists to tune queries
  2. More efficient query plans lead to better cluster utilization

Types of Stats

There are two types of stats which could be collected so that the optimizer could use it in the decision making process :

  1. Table Stats
  2. Column Stats

The ‘explain’ plan feature can be used to see if the correct stats are being used.

Note : CBO requires column stats. 

Phases in which stats could be collected

  1. While data is inserted:hive.stats.autographer = [true, **false**]
  2. On existing data : table levelANALYZE TABLE table [partion(key)] COMPUTE STATISTICS;
  3. On existing data : column levelANALYZE TABLE table [partion(key)] COMPUTE STATISTICS FOR COLUMNS col1,col2,...;

Configuration to make CBO effective for your query

  1. hive.compute.query.using.stats = [true, **false**];
  2. hive.stats.fetch.column.stats = [true, **false**];
  3. hive.stats.fetch.partition.stats = [true, **false**];
  4. hive.cbo.enable = [true, **false**];

Currently, CBO for Hive is enabled by defaults. You can see this if you head over to the Hive configuration tab in Ambari.

Hive Configs PIC 12

As you can see the CBO flag is on, meaning that Hive will attempt to optimize complex queries in order to shorten the execution time.

However, the only caveat is that for each table you will need to compute statistics before CBO can be utilized.

  • ANALYZE TABLE table [partion(key)] COMPUTE STATISTICS;
  • ANALYZE TABLE table [partion(key)] COMPUTE STATISTICS FOR COLUMNS col1,col2,...

Once these two commands are both executed, Hive will utilize CBO on more complex queries.

Multi-tenancy with HiveServer2

There could be contentions when multiple users run large queries simultaneously. Processing queries with many containers could lead to lower latency. For this, 3 controls could be put in place:

  • Container re-use timeout
  • Tez split wave tuning
  • Round Robin Queuing setup

Diagnose: Job Viewer

Hive Job Viewer available in Ambari is a simple exploration and troubleshooting Graphical tool for Hive jobs.

The purposes of this Job Viewer are as follows:

  • Visualize execution DAG
  • Drill Down into individual stages for:
    • Execution status
    • Duration
    • Number of bytes read and written, No of containers, etc.
      DAG Viewer is releasing soon, which will be available in Ambari.

To see the job executions visually, you can open the TEZ tab in the Hive view.


Run a simple query such as:

select * from hvac;

Then, once you’ve run the query, if you click on TEZ then you should see a bunch of information pop up about the query execution

Try clicking on the different parts above, such as Graphical View and explore some of the other execution information from Tez.

PIC 14

SQL Compliance

There are several SQL query enhancements in this version of Hive.

Query Enhancements Support extensions:

  • Expanded Join Semantics – Supports from table1, table2 where table1.col1=table2.col2
  • IN, NOT IN subqueries in WHERE Clause
  • Correlated Subqueries with equality operation only
  • Common Table Expressions (CTE)
  • The CHAR datatype – trailing White Space

Authorization System enhancements:

  • SQL Authorizations : Actions
    • Grant/Revoke
      • Create
      • Insert
      • Select
      • Drop
      • Delete
      • All
        • Create Roles & Grant with admin option
        • Using views to restrict data visibility

We will go into these in much more details in a later tutorial.

We hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you’ve had any trouble completing this tutorial or require assistance, please head on over to Hortonworks Community Connection where hundreds of Hadoop experts are ready to help!


April 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I found great value in reading this tutorial about Hive on Tez and the performance benchmarks published. A small suggestion would be to include performance improvements in the COUNT(DISTINCT ) calculation, which I’m under the strong assumption has been made. This is one of the metrics highly sought after in any big data set and the most resource intensive to render. Thanks for hearing me out and continue the good work in streamlining big data management for all of us.

April 13, 2014 at 6:20 am

Does the execution mode as mr or tez or vectorization command has to be given each time before you run query ?

    Peter Rudenko
    April 22, 2014 at 5:05 am

    By default execution engine is mr, so you don’t need to specify it explicitly. If you want to run query on tez engine you need whether to add each time for hive session set hive.execution.engine=tez; or change this value permanently in hive-site.xml (manually or through ambari).

April 22, 2014 at 11:29 am

This is a great stuff from Hortonworks Distribution of Hadoop.Is it available on HDInsight(Azure level) and HDInsight Emulator(local) yet?Do you have any comparison stats with Cloud era Impala ?

July 17, 2014 at 4:59 am

What is the default timeout for TEZ session and how to increase the timeout of tez session?

June 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm

just note that if you got this exception

ParseException line 1:7 Failed to recognize predicate ‘date’. Failed rule: ‘identifier’ in table or column identifier

It’s caused by that the ‘date’ is a reserved keyword. Please try to set to false and try again

    September 26, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    select “date”, count(buildingid) from hvac group by “date”;

    use quotes for key word from manual

    There are two ways if the user still would like to use those reserved keywords as identifiers: (1) use quoted identifiers, (2) set

    November 19, 2015 at 12:04 am

    When i used this command:
    select date, count(buildingid) from hvac_orc group by date;
    I got this exception:
    FAILED: ParseException line 1:7 Failed to recognize predicate ‘date’. Failed rule: ‘identifier’ in table or column identifier

    I dont know how to try to set to false and try again. However, i used this command:
    select `date`, count(buildingid) from hvac group by `date`;

    Thanks !

      November 19, 2015 at 12:14 am

      It’s here to solves exeption:

Kumar Basapuram
December 16, 2015 at 3:06 am

useful content about the different execution engines like Tez and vectorized execution engines and Cost Based Optimization Techniques.

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