Using RCFile Data Files

Impala supports creating and querying RCFile tables.

Creating RCFile Tables and Loading Data

To create a table in the RCFile format, use the STORED AS RCFILE clause in the CREATE TABLE statement.

Because Impala can query RCFile tables but cannot currently write to, after creating RCFile tables, use the Hive shell to load the data.

After loading data into a table through Hive or other mechanism outside of Impala, issue a REFRESH table_name statement the next time you connect to the Impala node, before querying the table, to make Impala recognize the new data.

Query Performance for RCFile Tables

In general, expect query performance with RCFile tables to be faster than with tables using text data, but slower than with Parquet tables.

Enabling Compression for RCFile Tables

You may want to enable compression on existing tables. Enabling compression provides performance gains in most cases and is supported for RCFile tables.

The compression type is specified in the SET mapred.output.compression.codec command.

For example, to enable Snappy compression, you would specify the following additional settings when loading data through the Hive shell.