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Spark on Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

Apache Spark supports Kubernetes resource manager using KubernetesClusterManager (and KubernetesClusterSchedulerBackend) with k8s://-prefixed master URLs (that point at Kubernetes API servers).

Spark on Kubernetes uses TaskSchedulerImpl (Apache Spark) for task scheduling.

Kubernetes GA

As per SPARK-33005 Kubernetes GA Preparation, Spark on Kubernetes is fully supported and production ready! 🎉

Inactive Executor Pods

Spark on Kubernetes defines spark-exec-inactive label to mark executor pods as inactive after they have finished (successfully or not) but spark.kubernetes.executor.deleteOnTermination configuration property is false (when ExecutorPodsLifecycleManager is requested to handle executor pods snapshots).

This label is used to skip executor pods when PollRunnable is requested to fetch status of all executor pods in a Spark application from Kubernetes API server.

Cluster Deploy Mode

Spark on Kubernetes uses KubernetesClientApplication in cluster deploy mode (as the SparkApplication (Apache Spark) to run).


Use spark-submit --deploy-mode, spark.submit.deployMode or DEPLOY_MODE environment variable to specify the deploy mode of a Spark application.


Volumes and volume mounts are configured using spark.kubernetes.[type].volumes.-prefixed configuration properties with type being driver or executor (for the driver and executor pods, respectively).

KubernetesVolumeUtils utility is used to extract volume configuration based on the volume type:

Volume Type Configuration Property
emptyDir [volumesPrefix].[volumeType].[volumeName].options.medium
hostPath [volumesPrefix].[volumeType].[volumeName].options.path
persistentVolumeClaim [volumesPrefix].[volumeType].[volumeName].options.claimName

Executor volumes (spark.kubernetes.executor.volumes.-prefixed configuration properties) are parsed right when KubernetesConf utility is used for a KubernetesDriverConf (and a driver pod created). That makes executor volumes required when driver volumes are defined.

Static File Resources

File resources are resources with file or no URI scheme (that are then considered file-based indirectly).

In Spark applications, file resources can be the primary resource (application jar, Python or R files) as well as files referenced by spark.jars and spark.files configuration properties (or their --jars and --files options of spark-submit, respectively).

When deployed in cluster mode, Spark on Kubernetes uploads file resources of a Spark application to a Hadoop DFS-compatible file system defined by the required spark.kubernetes.file.upload.path configuration property.

Local URI Scheme

A special case of static file resources are local resources that are resources with local URI scheme. They are considered already available on every Spark node (and are not added to a Spark file server for distribution when SparkContext is requested to add such file).

In Spark on Kubernetes, local resources are used for primary application resource that are already included in a container image.

./bin/spark-submit \
  --master k8s://$K8S_SERVER \

Executor Pods State Synchronization

Spark on Kubernetes uses ExecutorPodsPollingSnapshotSource for polling Kubernetes API server for executor pods of a Spark application every polling interval (based on spark.kubernetes.executor.apiPollingInterval configuration property).

ExecutorPodsPollingSnapshotSource is given an ExecutorPodsSnapshotsStore that is requested to replace a snapshot regularly.

ExecutorPodsSnapshotsStore keeps track of executor pods state snapshots and allows subscribers to be regularly updated (e.g. ExecutorPodsAllocator and ExecutorPodsLifecycleManager).

Dynamic Allocation of Executors

Spark on Kubernetes supports Dynamic Allocation of Executors using ExecutorPodsAllocator.

The Internals of Apache Spark

Learn more about Dynamic Allocation of Executors in The Internals of Apache Spark.

Internal Resource Marker

Spark on Kubernetes uses spark-internal special name in cluster deploy mode for internal application resources (that are supposed to be part of an image).

Given renameMainAppResource, DriverCommandFeatureStep will re-write local file-scheme-based primary application resources to spark-internal special name when requested for the base driver container (for a JavaMainAppResource application).


This demo is a follow-up to Demo: Running Spark Application on minikube. Run it first.

Note --deploy-mode cluster and the application jar is "locally resolvable" (i.e. uses file: scheme indirectly).

./bin/spark-submit \
  --master k8s://$K8S_SERVER \
  --deploy-mode cluster \
  --name spark-docker-example \
  --class meetup.SparkApp \
  --conf spark.kubernetes.container.image=spark-docker-example:0.1.0 \
  --conf spark.kubernetes.context=minikube \
  --conf spark.kubernetes.namespace=spark-demo \
  --conf spark.kubernetes.authenticate.driver.serviceAccountName=spark \
  --conf spark.kubernetes.file.upload.path=/tmp/spark-k8s \
  --verbose \
$ kubectl get po -l spark-role=driver
NAME                                           READY   STATUS   RESTARTS   AGE
spark-docker-example-dfd7d076e7099718-driver   0/1     Error    0          7m25s

Note spark-internal in the below output.

$ kubectl describe po spark-docker-example-dfd7d076e7099718-driver


Last update: 2021-03-07