Spark Jargon for Starters



A node is a machine, and there’s not a good reason to run more than one worker per machine. So two worker nodes typically means two machines, each a Spark worker.

1 Node = 1 Worker process

Workers hold many executors, for many applications. One application has executors on many workers

A worker node can be holding multiple executors (processes) if it has sufficient CPU, Memory and Storage.


Spark automatically deals with failed or slow machines by re-executing failed or slow tasks. For example, if the node running a partition of a map() operation crashes, Spark will rerun it on another node; and even if the node does not crash but is simply much slower than other nodes, Spark can preemptively launch a “speculative” copy of the task on another node, and take its result if that finishes.

Full memory requested to yarn per executor =
spark-executor-memory + spark.yarn.executor.memoryOverhead.
spark.yarn.executor.memoryOverhead =
Max(384MB, 7% of spark.executor-memory)

Enough theory.. Let’s go hands-on..

**Cluster Config:**
10 Nodes
16 cores per Node
64GB RAM per Node

First Approach: Tiny executors [One Executor per core]:

--num-executors = 16 (In this approach, we'll assign one executor per core total-cores-in-cluster num-cores-per-node * total-nodes-in-cluster 16 x 10 = 160)
--executor-cores = 1 (one executor per core)
--executor-memory = 4GB (amount of memory per executor mem-per-node/num-executors-per-node 64GB/16 = 4GB)

Second Approach: Fat executors (One Executor per node):

--num-executors = 10 (In this approach, we'll assign one executor per node total-nodes-in-cluster 10)
--executor-cores = 16 (one executor per node means all the cores of the node are assigned to one executor total-cores-in-a-node 16)
--executor-memory = 64GB (amount of memory per executor mem-per-node/num-executors-per-node 64GB/1 = 64GB)

Third Approach: Balance between Fat (vs) Tiny




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store