The next major version - 0.96- of Apache HBase have several new features. The "Singularity", because you will have to start and stop your cluster to upgrade to 0.96. 0.96 requires Apache Hadoop 1.0.0 at least, and supported on Hadoop 2.0.0 as well. 0.96 uses protobufs all the time. All of its serializations to ZooKeeper, to the filesystem, and over rpc are protobufs. It runs on JDK7. Metrics have been edited and converted to use Hadoop Metrics2. It has HBase Snapshots and PrefixTreeCompression, etc. This presentation captures a high-level overview of what's new in HBase 0.96.