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Distributed Data Structures

As mentioned in the Overview section, Hazelcast offers distributed implementations of many common data structures. For each of the client languages, Hazelcast mimics as closely as possible the natural interface of the structure. So, for example in Java, the map follows java.util.Map semantics. In the descriptions below, we mention each structure’s Java equivalent interface. All of these structures are usable from Java, .NET, C++, Node.js, Python, and Go.

  • Standard utility collections

    • Map is the distributed implementation of java.util.Map. It lets you read from and write to a Hazelcast map with methods such as get and put.

    • Queue is the distributed implementation of java.util.concurrent.BlockingQueue. You can add an item in one member and remove it from another one.

    • Ringbuffer is implemented for reliable eventing system.

    • Set is the distributed and concurrent implementation of java.util.Set. It does not allow duplicate elements and does not preserve their order.

    • List is similar to Hazelcast Set. The only difference is that it allows duplicate elements and preserves their order.

    • Multimap is a specialized Hazelcast map. It is a distributed data structure where you can store multiple values for a single key.

    • Replicated Map does not partition data. It does not spread data to different cluster members. Instead, it replicates the data to all members.

    • Cardinality Estimator is a data structure which implements Flajolet’s HyperLogLog algorithm.

  • Topic

    • Topic is the distributed mechanism for publishing messages that are delivered to multiple subscribers. It is also known as the publish/subscribe (pub/sub) messaging model.

    • Reliable Topic uses the same interface as Hazelcast Topic, except it is backed up by the Ringbuffer data structure.

  • Concurrency utilities

    • FencedLock is the distributed implementation of java.util.concurrent.locks.Lock. When you use lock, the critical section that Hazelcast Lock guards is guaranteed to be executed by only one thread in the entire cluster.

    • ISemaphore is the distributed implementation of java.util.concurrent.Semaphore. When performing concurrent activities, semaphores offer permits to control the thread counts.

    • IAtomicLong is the distributed implementation of java.util.concurrent.atomic.AtomicLong. Most of AtomicLong’s operations are available. However, these operations involve remote calls and hence their performances differ from AtomicLong, due to being distributed.

    • IAtomicReference is the distributed implementation of java.util.concurrent.atomic.AtomicReference. When you need to deal with a reference in a distributed environment, you can use Hazelcast IAtomicReference.

    • FlakeIdGenerator is used to generate cluster-wide unique identifiers.

    • ICountdownLatch is the distributed implementation of java.util.concurrent.CountDownLatch. Hazelcast CountDownLatch is a gate keeper for concurrent activities. It enables the threads to wait for other threads to complete their operations.

    • PN counter is a distributed data structure where each Hazelcast instance can increment and decrement the counter value and these updates are propagated to all replicas.

  • Event Journal is a distributed data structure that stores the history of mutation actions on map or cache.