If anyone else is also facing similar problems and have figured out a good workaround within the current design, then please share.


From: Ashish Rawat <ashish.rawat@guavus.com>
Date: Thursday, 27 August 2015 1:12 pm
To: "dev@spark.apache.org" <dev@spark.apache.org>
Subject: FW: High Availability of Spark Driver

Hi Patrick,

As discussed in another thread, we are looking for a solution to the problem of lost state on Spark Driver failure. Can you please share Spark’s long term strategy for resolving this problem.

<-- Original Mail Content Below -->

We have come across the problem of Spark Applications (on Yarn) requiring a restart in case of Spark Driver (or application master) going down. This is hugely inconvenient for long running applications which are maintaining a big state in memory. The repopulation of state in itself may require a downtime of many minutes, which is not acceptable for most live systems. 

As you would have noticed that Yarn community has acknowledged "long running services" as an important class of use cases, and thus identified and removed problems in working with long running services in Yarn.

It would be great if Spark, which is the most important processing engine on Yarn, also figures out issues in working with long running Spark applications and publishes recommendations or make framework changes for removing those. The need to keep the application running in case of Driver and Application Master failure, seems to be an important requirement from this perspective. The two most compelling use cases being:
  1. Huge state of historical data in Spark Streaming, required for stream processing
  2. Very large cached tables in Spark SQL (very close to our use case where we periodically cache RDDs and query using Spark SQL)

In our analysis, for both of these use cases, a working HA solution can be built by 
  1. Preserving the state of executors (not killing them on driver failures)
  2. Persisting some meta info required by Spark SQL and Block Manager.
  3. Restarting and reconnecting the Driver to AM and executors
This would preserve the cached data, enabling the application to come back quickly. This can further be extended for preserving and recovering the Computation State.

I would request you to share your thoughts on this issue and possible future directions.