Monthly Archives: August 2019

Getting Spark 2.4.3 Multi-node (Stand-alone) Cluster Working With Docker

I recently went looking for a good Docker recipe to locally launch a Spark 2.4.3 cluster in stand-alone mode. Running in ‘local’ mode is good for roughing out your business logic and unit tests, but it will not flush out bugs that only surface in a fully distributed environment. That is where integration tests come in, and while some organizations will set up a test cluster for this purpose, you don’t want to be twiddling your thumbs when your network is down, or your admin decides to take down the test cluster you depend on for maintenance. This is where Docker comes to our rescue.

This project contains a fairly recent (2.2.0) Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml that will bring up a multi-node stand-alone Spark cluster, but I wanted 2.4.3. So, I forked the project and brought it up to date, plus I added a little example project to make it easy to test out.

Below I lay out the steps you can follow to get a stand-alone cluster up and running on whatever machine you use (provided you have git, docker and docker-compose already installed). Three caveats: (1) the docker-compose.yml is set to version “2” and if you use a later version than me, you might need to set it to “3”, (2) this was tested on Linux, but I am very sure that Docker commands on Mac will work the same — not at all sure about Windows, (3) I am assuming you have the proper version of Scala for Spark 2.4.3 installed (2.12.x) on your machine, and that you have downloaded Spark 2.4.3 locally on your machine to run spark-submit.

Getting The Cluster Up In Your Environment

Open two terminals, in each one cd to /tmp. In the first, type:

git clone
cd docker-spark-standalone
docker-compose up

You will see logs for the client (client_1), master (master_1), and worker (worker_1) nodes of the cluster. Don’t worry if you see

    Failed to connect to master/

in the worker_1 log at the start of the boot process. The worker is trying to connect to a master which is not fully up. This will work itself out, and in 5 seconds or so you should see:

master_1  | 19/08/25 02:56:35 INFO Master: Registering worker with 4 cores, 4.0 GB RAM
worker_1  | 19/08/25 02:56:35 INFO Worker: Successfully registered with master spark://master:7077

Now, in the second window type:

cd /tmp/docker-spark-standalone/spark-example
sbt package

This will create the .jar file you will submit to spark as follows:

spark-submit --master spark:// --class SimpleApp  \
    --name simple  target/scala-2.12/simple-project_2.12-1.0.jar

You should then see output that looks something like this:

2019-08-24 20:08:25 WARN  Utils:66 - Your hostname, chris-laptop resolves to a loopback address:; using instead (on interface wlp4s0)
2019-08-24 20:08:25 WARN  Utils:66 - Set SPARK_LOCAL_IP if you need to bind to another address
2019-08-24 20:08:25 WARN  NativeCodeLoader:62 - Unable to load native-hadoop library for your platform... using builtin-java classes where applicable
2019-08-24 20:08:25 INFO  SparkContext:54 - Running Spark version 2.3.1
2019-08-24 20:08:25 INFO  SparkContext:54 - Submitted application: Simple Application

            .....  Lots more junk...

2019-08-24 20:08:30 INFO  CodeGenerator:54 - Code generated in 12.991607 ms
|hi ho|

No luck Submitting From My IDE.

After importing the sample project into Intellij I thought there would be no problem running it via right click. But regretably, that was not my fate. I am continuing to see the error below when I run locally, which is really irksome. org.apache.spark.rpc.netty.NettyRpcEndpointRef; local class incompatible:

If I figure this out I will update this post.

Spark Structured Streaming Joins With No Watermarks Can Blow Out Your Memory

As I learn more about Spark Structured Streaming I have been diving into the posts on Bartosz Konieczny’s excellent @waitingforcode blog. One entry from a while back included a unit test that illustrates how not adding watermarks to either or both sides of two joined streams can cause old data to pile up in memory as Spark waits for new data that can potentially match the join key of previously-seen records. Bartosz presents this unit test here and I’ve reproduced the code below with some additional comments.

The key concept underlying this unit test is that records are added roughly every second to two streams,   mainEventsStream and   joinedEventsStream. Each time through loop iteration “i” we add key${i} to both mainEventsStream and   joinedEventsStream (these adds occur with very little time gap between them, and are shown in the red and blue timelines, respectively, in the diagram below), and we also add key${i-10} (shown in green in the same diagram) to joinedEventsStream. The test introduces a sleep so that key${i-10} arrives on joinedEventsStream 1 second before key${i} hits mainEventsStream and joinedEventsStream. Roughly 10 seconds after key${i} hits joinedEventsStream on the blue timeline this key will be added again to joinedEventsStream, per the green timeline (showing the 10 second lag.)

Note what happens at time t-10: the record for k${0} on mainEventsStream has previously matched the corresponding ‘non-lagged’ k${0} record that was added to joinedEventsStream per the blue timeline at the end of t-0. At t-10 the record for k${0} on mainEventsStream will also match the ‘lagged-by-10’ k${0} record added to joinedEventsStream on the green timeline (at t-10.) So there there will be two JoinResults for k${0}, and the timestamps between these records will differ by between 9 and 10 seconds. This is validated by the section of the unit test code commented as // validate the two join results differ by between 9 and 10 seconds.

So we see that the record for k${0} was kept hanging around in the buffer for mainEventsStream until the second match with joinedEventsStream. In fact there is no reason this k${0} record (and all other records) will ever be cleared, because Spark has no idea whether or not a third matching record will arrive on joinedEventsStream. This is why we need watermarks in Spark Structured Streaming: to let Spark know when this old data can be discarded.