Skip to main content

Monitoring Spark on EMR with InfluxDB and Grafana

· 7 min read

In this post, we configure and visualize Spark metrics (e.g. Executor JVM Heap usage) for Spark application running on Amazon EMR (hereafter, EMR) using InfluxDB and Grafana as follows.

What we will do

  1. Setting up InfluxDB on Amazon EC2
  2. Setting up Grafana on Amazon EC2
  3. Configuring Spark Metrics
  4. Monitoring Spark Application running on EMR

Setting up the base resources

You need to set up the following resources to walk through this post contents.

  • EMR (Release Label): emr-5.27.0
    • Spark 2.4.4
    • Hadoop 2.8.5
  • Amazon Linux 2 instance (ami-0a887e401f7654935) was used in us-east-1 for InfluxDB and Grafana.
  • Used dataset for Spark application: Amazon Customer Reviews Dataset

1. Setting up InfluxDB on Amazon EC2

We won't see how to setup of EC2 instance. After login the EC2 instance through SSH, install InfluxDB as follows (Ref: Installing InfluxDB OSS):

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/influxdb.repo
> [influxdb]
> name = InfluxDB Repository
> baseurl =\$basearch/stable
> enabled = 1
> gpgcheck = 1
> gpgkey =
name = InfluxDB Repository
baseurl =\$basearch/stable
enabled = 1
gpgcheck = 1
gpgkey =

The document says that you set name = InfluxDB Repository - RHEL \$releasever to influxdb.repo, however this configuration fails with 404 error in this case. (Ref: repo Add support for Amazon Linux · Issue #5035 · influxdata/influxdb · GitHub)

After adding repository, you can install InfluxDB:

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 yum.repos.d]$ sudo yum -y install influxdb
Loaded plugins: extras_suggestions, langpacks, priorities, update-motd
Resolving Dependencies
influxdb.x86_64 0:1.7.10-1


Then, start InfluxDB and check if it is running:

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ sudo systemctl start influxdb
[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ ps aux | grep influx
influxdb 4605 89.0 0.2 1041040 35612 ? Ssl 12:00 0:06 /usr/bin/influxd -config /etc/influxdb/influxdb.conf

2. Setting up Grafana on Amazon EC2

As same as the previous section about InfluxDB, you’ll add repository of Grafana, install and start Grafana-server (Ref: Install on RPM-based Linux | Grafana Labs)

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ cat /etc/yum.repos.d/grafana.repo

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ sudo yum install grafana -y
grafana.x86_64 0:6.6.1-1

Dependency Installed:
fontconfig.x86_64 0:2.10.95-11.amzn2.0.2 fontpackages-filesystem.noarch 0:1.44-8.amzn2 libXfont.x86_64 0:1.5.2-1.amzn2.0.2 libfontenc.x86_64 0:1.1.3-3.amzn2.0.2 stix-fonts.noarch 0:1.1.0-5.amzn2
urw-fonts.noarch 0:2.4-16.amzn2 xorg-x11-font-utils.x86_64 1:7.5-20.amzn2.0.2


[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ sudo systemctl start grafana-server
[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ ps aux | grep grafana
grafana 5251 2.1 0.2 1113740 41856 ? Ssl 12:10 0:00 /usr/sbin/grafana-server --config=/etc/grafana/grafana.ini --pidfile=/var/run/grafana/ --packaging=rpm cfg:default.paths.logs=/var/log/grafana cfg:default.paths.plugins=/var/lib/grafana/plugins cfg:default.paths.provisioning=/etc/grafana/provisioning

If possible, you should change the default configuration of username and password for Grafana. After this setup, you can access the Grafana-server through specified port number and then you can see following image:

3. Configuring Spark Metrics

In this section, you configure Spark metrics with login EMR via SSH. After launching EMR, login the Master Node and open /etc/spark/conf/ you can configure Spark metrics by adding Sink class to this property file. In this time, we'll configure pushing metrics to InfluxDB from Spark application, therefore add some InfluxDB configuration as follows:

# Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more
# contributor license agreements. See the NOTICE file distributed with
# this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership.
# The ASF licenses this file to You under the Apache License, Version 2.0
# (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with
# the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at
# Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
# distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
# See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
# limitations under the License.

# syntax: [instance].sink|source.[name].[options]=[value]


# InfluxDB
# Enable InfluxDB

# Enable jvm source for instance master, worker, driver and executor

After completion of Spark metrics, download jar files from following links and put them on home directory on your EMR (in this time). These jar files are used for getting Spark metrics based on DropWizard metrics format and pushing metrics to InfluxDB on EC2.

4. Monitoring Spark Application running on EMR

In this section, you write Spark code, and then run the code through spark-submit. After that, you visualize Spark metrics (in this time, we'll see JVM Heap metrics) using Grafana (query to InfluxDB).

4-1. Creating and Running the Spark app

In this section, we'll use following PySpark code as an exmple.

import calendar
import time

from pyspark.context import SparkContext
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession
from pyspark.sql.functions import *

# Variables
APP_NAME = 'monit_spark'
INPUT = 's3://<BUCKET and PATH>'

now = datetime.datetime.utcnow()
TS = str(calendar.timegm(now.utctimetuple()))
# OUTPUT = "hdfs:///garbage-collection/" + APP_NAME + "-" + TS + "/"
OUTPUT = "s3://<BUCKET and PATH>/" + APP_NAME + "-" + TS + "/"

print("The data will be output to {}".format(OUTPUT))

# Main
spark = SparkSession.builder.appName(APP_NAME).getOrCreate()
df ="parquet").load(INPUT)

df_rep = df.repartition('review_date')

Then, run the code with spark-submit in cluster mode. When executing spark-submit, don't forget to pass spark.executor.extraClassPath arguments and jars to the command.

$ nohup spark-submit \
--master yarn \
--deploy-mode cluster \
--jars 'metrics-influxdb.jar,spark-influx-sink.jar'
--conf 'spark.driver.extraClassPath=spark-influx-sink.jar:metrics-influxdb.jar' \
--conf 'spark.executor.extraClassPath=spark-influx-sink.jar:metrics-influxdb.jar' \
--conf 'spark.sql.shuffle.partitions=xxx' \ >> app.log &

4-2. Querying for InfluxDB and Monitoring Spark App

After confirmation of running Spark application, check if Spark application pushing metrics at first. To check this, you need to access the EC2 instance via SSH and run a query for InfluxDB as follows.

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-7-156 ~]$ influx -database <DB_NAME> -execute 'SHOW MEASUREMENTS'
name: measurements

You can confirm stored metrics in InfluxDB, then access to Grafana running on the EC2 intance. You'll add InfluxDB as a data source (see How to setup Grafana for InfluxDB) and then create a panel to visualize Spark metrics for the Dashboard. In that page, you can set a query to get metrics which are pushed to InfluxDB by the Spark application as follows.

Additionally, add the title and description of the panel.

After those configuration, save this panel from "save" button in the upper side of the page. Finally you can monitor metrics of Spark driver and executor JVM Heap usage!


How to setup Grafana for InfluxDB

After login Grafana, you need "data source" firstly. You can add the data source through following steps:

  1. Click "Configuration" (from left-side bar)
  2. Click "Data Sources"
  3. Go to "Add data source" and then select "InfluxDB"
  4. Just specify "URL" and "Database" (as follows), and move on "Save & Test"

After adding data source, you can add a panel to the dashboard by clicking "+" > "Dashboard" > "Add Query" in the left-bar.

How to get periodic metrics

If you want some periodic metrics, you can see with following query as an example:

SELECT mean("used") AS used_mean FROM 
WHERE $timeFilter GROUP BY time(30s)


  1. AWS service icons are downloaded from Architecture Icons.
  2. Apache Spark logo is downloaded from Index of /images.
  3. InfluxDB logo is downloaded from Downloads / InfluxData Branding Docs.
  4. Grafana logo is downloaded from grafana/grafana_icon.svg at master · grafana/grafana · GitHub.
  5. GitHub - palantir/spark-influx-sink: A Spark metrics sink that pushes to InfluxDb