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Managing Spark on Kubernetes instead of YARN

Rohit Choudhary argues that it’s a good idea to move from YARN to Kubernetes for your Spark clusters:

When it comes to data operations, Spark provides a tremendous advantage as a resource for data operations because it aligns with the things that make data ops valuable. It is optimized for machine learning and AI, which are used for batch processing (in real-time and at scale), and it is adept at operating within different types of environments.

Spark doesn’t completely manage these clusters of machines but instead uses a cluster manager (known as a scheduler). Most companies have traditionally used the Java Virtual Machine (JVM)-based Hadoop YARN to manage their clusters. But with the dramatic rise of Kubernetes and cloud-native computing, many organizations are moving away from YARN to Kubernetes to manage their Spark clusters. Spark on Kubernetes is even now generally available since the Apache Spark 3.1 release in March 2021.

I see some of the benefits there but am not totally sold, especially given the complexity of Kubernetes and its own lack of built-in security measures.