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Data Governance
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Removing ADLS Gen 2 path (metastore root) in Unity Catalog Metastore


In my organization, we are using Databricks unity catalog and we have a metastore created for our region which holds all of our workspaces. When we created the metastore last year, we set a metastore root location for it (If I remember correctly, metastore root path was not optional at that time, I could be wrong)

With this setup, we have created many catalogs, external locations, user assignments in our 20+ workspaces. None of our catalogs use the metastore root path for managed tables. All of the catalogs have their own storage locations for managed tables. We want our admins to follow this practice of using separate storage paths for each catalog, but it is not enforced. They could make a mistake and use the metastore root for their catalogs.

Now we see the option to create a metastores without a root storage in unity catalog. This is ideal for us as this would now force admins to always define a separate storage path whenever they create a catalog.

But we are not sure on how to implement this in our existing metastore. Apparently we can't remove the root storage from the metastore now. We can delete the metastore, create a new one and then move all the workspaces into the new one. But not sure if this would break all user assignments we have done so far the existing catalogs, external locations, workspaces, etc.

Could anyone help us in finding a solution here.
Thanks in advance


Contributor III

What I did was that I isolated Root Storage from Workspaces (you can't reach storage from Network Perspective and Authentication Perspective) - it is ugly but it works.

What you could try is to do that via API (like update metastore to NULL storage root) - sometimes I was able to achieve more using API then UI (even not documented things ) .

I would avoid migrating entire metastore unless your entire UC is base on code (all Create statement for UC Obejcts) 

Hi @Wojciech_BUK 
Thanks for your comment. It is exactly what we have right now. Metastore root storage is not reachable from any of the workspaces, so cannot put any data there. But still people could mistakenly still create the catalogs using that. I guess we'll work with that for now.
Thanks for your suggestion on using APIs. Worth taking a look into.

New Contributor III
New Contributor III

If you have a way to reproduce metastore object creation then better to delete this metastore a create a new one with no root metastore bucket. That will also ensure that catalog cannot be created without specifying a location. If you have locked down your root metastore bucket location then that can't be used a catalog managed location as you will not be able to reach that external location.

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