can spark run without yarn

Understanding If Spark Can Run Without Yarn: An In-Depth Guide

If you are familiar with Spark, you may have heard of Yarn, a resource manager commonly used to run Spark applications in large-scale clusters. However, have you ever wondered if you can run without Yarn? This guide will explore how Spark can be deployed and run without Yarn, discussing the benefits, limitations, and best practices of running Spark in standalone or alternative cluster modes. Before we delve into using DK yarn as a substitute for Aran yarn, let’s first discuss whether Spark can run without Yarn.

Key Takeaways

  • Spark can run without Yarn in standalone or alternative cluster modes.
  • Running Spark without Yarn can offer benefits such as simplified cluster management and flexibility in deployment options.
  • However, it may also have limitations, such as decreased fault tolerance and performance compared to running Spark with Yarn.
  • Best practices for running Spark without Yarn include optimizing resource utilization, monitoring cluster health, and using alternative storage options.
  • Real-world use cases of Spark without Yarn can be found in various industries and applications, showcasing its versatility and adaptability.

can spark run without yarn

Exploring Spark Standalone Mode

Spark standalone mode is a deployment mode that enables the running of Apache Spark without the need for Hadoop or Yarn. This mode is ideal for small to medium-sized clusters where installing and managing a Hadoop cluster is unnecessary.

In standalone mode, Spark is run on its cluster manager, which means it takes care of the resource allocation and scheduling of tasks. This mode is beneficial for testing and development environments where the priority is to get Spark up and running quickly.

One significant advantage of using standalone mode is the reduced complexity and reduced overhead. Running Spark in standalone mode eliminates the need for a Hadoop cluster and simplifies the installation and setup.

However, standalone mode is also limited, particularly when managing a large cluster. Unlike Yarn, it does not provide the ability to handle workloads outside of Spark, such as Hive and MapReduce. Additionally, there may be better choices than standalone mode for production environments requiring strict resource management and job prioritization.

Spark standalone mode can be configured to run on Linux, Windows, and macOS. The following table shows the comparison between Spark standalone mode and other deployment modes:

Standalone Mode YARN Mode Mesos Mode
Cluster Management Spark Yarn Mesos
Resource Manager Spark Yarn Mesos
Workload Management Spark only Hadoop ecosystem Hadoop ecosystem

In conclusion, Spark’s standalone mode is an effective deployment option for small to medium-sized Spark clusters. It provides a simple setup process and reduces overhead, making it an ideal solution for testing and development environments. However, there may be better choices for larger production environments requiring strict resource management and job prioritization.

Understanding Spark Cluster Mode Without Yarn

This section will delve into running Spark in cluster mode without Yarn. As mentioned earlier, Spark can be configured to run on a standalone cluster without requiring Yarn as the resource manager. You can deploy Spark clusters on your hardware or cloud infrastructure using standalone mode without Hadoop or Yarn.

When running Spark in cluster mode without Yarn, Spark acquires cluster resources directly from the underlying cluster manager. The cluster manager can be Mesos, Kubernetes, or a standalone cluster manager.

Before you start running Spark on a standalone cluster without Yarn, there are some prerequisites you need to take care of:

  • Install the same version of Spark on all nodes of the cluster.
  • Ensure the cluster has a file system supported by Spark, such as HDFS, S3, or Azure Blob Storage.
  • Set up a shared file system among all Spark nodes for storing application files.
  • Configure Spark to use the appropriate cluster manager.

Running Spark in standalone mode is relatively simple and less resource-intensive, making it a popular choice for small to medium-sized data processing tasks. It eliminates the need for a dedicated resource manager, saving operational costs.

However, there are some limitations to running Spark in standalone mode. Standalone mode does not support dynamic allocation of resources, which means that resources are fixed and cannot be increased after the cluster has been started. It also does not provide automatic fault tolerance, which requires manual configuration on the user’s part.

In conclusion, running Spark in cluster mode without Yarn is possible using Mesos, Kubernetes, or a standalone cluster manager. While standalone mode offers simplicity and cost savings, it does not support dynamic allocation of resources or automatic fault tolerance.

Pros and Cons of Running Spark without Yarn

We’ve explored how Spark can run without Yarn in standalone and cluster modes. However, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of running Spark without Yarn before deciding.


  • Eliminates the need for a dedicated resource manager, reducing operational costs.
  • Simple to deploy and use, especially for small to medium-sized datasets or tasks.


  • Lacks dynamic allocation of resources, which can cause resource underutilization or oversubscription.
  • It does not offer automatic fault tolerance, requiring manual configuration on the user’s part.
  • It may not be suitable for large-scale data processing tasks that require more complex resource allocation and management.

By weighing these pros and cons against your specific use case, you can determine whether running Spark without Yarn is the best choice for your needs.

Spark Without Resource Manager

While Yarn is Spark’s most popular resource manager, running Spark without a dedicated resource manager is possible. This section will discuss the benefits and considerations of using Spark without a resource manager and explore alternative options.

Alternatives to Yarn

There are several alternatives to Yarn, including Apache Mesos and Kubernetes. These open-source platforms offer features beyond resource management, such as container orchestration and scheduling, that can benefit Spark applications.

Using Mesos or Kubernetes with Spark can provide better resource utilization, fault tolerance, and flexible deployment options for containerized Spark applications.

Benefits of Running Spark without a Resource Manager

Running Spark without a resource manager can offer several benefits, including:

  • Greater control over resource allocation and scheduling, as Spark can directly manage resources without an intermediary manager
  • Reduced overhead and complexity by eliminating the need for a separate resource manager application
  • Lower latency for Spark jobs, as there is no additional layer between Spark and the hardware

Considerations for Running Spark without a Resource Manager

While there are benefits to using Spark without a resource manager, there are also some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Managing resources can be more complex and time-consuming, especially for larger clusters.
  • Without a resource manager, Spark may not have access to certain cluster features, such as automatic scaling.
  • Spark may need to be manually configured for specific hardware configurations, which can be challenging for non-experts

Running Spark without a dedicated resource manager can provide greater control and flexibility for Spark applications but also requires careful consideration and management.

Running Spark Without HDFS

One common question about running Spark is whether it can be done without HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System). The answer is yes; Spark can be configured to work with different file systems, allowing it to run without HDFS. This section will explore the options for running Spark without a distributed file system and discuss the benefits and considerations of each.

Alternative Storage Options

When running Spark without HDFS, alternative storage options can be used. One example is Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service), which provides a scalable and highly available object-based storage solution. Spark can access data stored in S3 using the S3A connector, which provides a Hadoop-compatible API for interacting with S3.

Another option is to use a local file system. However, this is not recommended for large-scale data processing, as it can lead to performance issues and scalability challenges.

Configuring Spark for Different File Systems

Spark can be configured to work with different file systems through storage connectors. These connectors provide the necessary APIs and drivers for Spark to interact with the file system. For example, the S3A connector can access data stored in Amazon S3.

When using alternative file systems, specific configurations may need to be adjusted in Spark’s configuration files. For example, the Spark. Master property should be set to “local” to indicate that Spark runs in standalone mode.

Considerations for Running Spark without HDFS

While running Spark without HDFS can provide flexibility and cost savings, there are some considerations to consider. Without HDFS, fault tolerance and data replication must be handled differently, impacting performance and reliability.

Additionally, some Spark features may only be available when running with HDFS. For example, Spark Streaming’s checkpointing feature requires a distributed file system for storing metadata.

Spark on Different Execution Environments

Spark offers various execution environments, each with its advantages and use cases.

Standalone Mode

Spark standalone mode is the default execution environment that allows Spark to run without Yarn or Hadoop. This mode is helpful for testing, development, and running Spark on small clusters where Yarn or Hadoop may not be available or required. Spark standalone mode offers simple cluster management, efficient resource utilization, and easy scalability.


Apache Yarn is the most common and widely used execution environment for Spark. Yarn provides a robust and efficient resource management system, making it ideal for running Spark on large clusters. Yarn ensures fair allocation of resources and dynamic handling of failures, thus improving the overall stability and efficiency of Spark applications.


Apache Mesos is another popular execution environment for Spark. Mesos offers similar benefits to Yarn, such as efficient resource utilization and dynamic failure handling. However, Mesos is designed to work with mixed workloads, making it ideal for running Spark alongside other big data platforms and applications.


Running Spark on Kubernetes is a relatively new and emerging execution environment. Kubernetes provides container orchestration and cluster management, making deploying and managing Spark clusters easy. Kubernetes enables efficient resource allocation, scaling, and easy integration with other containerized applications.

Choosing the proper execution environment for Spark depends on several factors, such as cluster size, workload type, and resource requirements. Understanding the strengths and advantages of each environment can help optimize Spark’s performance and efficiency.

Comparing Spark Performance with and without Yarn

One of the most common questions asked by Spark users is whether running Spark with Yarn has a noticeable impact on performance compared to Spark running without Yarn. The response may be more direct and contingent on various factors.

In general, running Spark without Yarn may offer better performance in terms of job execution times and resource utilization. This is because Yarn adds an extra layer of complexity to the Spark architecture, leading to longer job startup times and slower resource allocation and scheduling.

However, Yarn also offers several benefits, such as fine-grained resource control, dynamic resource allocation, and fault tolerance. These features can be handy for large-scale deployments and complex job workflows.

Spark running without Yarn may also face limitations, such as limited scalability and more manual configuration for cluster deployment and management. In contrast, Spark, running with Yarn, can benefit from integrating other Hadoop ecosystem tools like HDFS and Hive.

Overall, the choice between running Spark with or without Yarn depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the deployment, the specific use case, and the performance requirements. Generally, testing both options and comparing the outcomes is recommended to ascertain the most suitable fit.

Some factors to consider when comparing Spark performance with and without Yarn include:

  • Resource allocation and utilization
  • Job startup and execution times
  • Fault tolerance and failure recovery
  • Integration with other Hadoop ecosystem tools

It’s important to acknowledge that the disparity in performance between Spark with and without Yarn could fluctuate based on the particular use case and workload in question. Therefore, performing benchmark tests with representative workloads is recommended to determine the optimal configuration for each deployment.

Pros and Cons of Running Spark without Yarn

Running Spark without Yarn has several advantages and disadvantages that users should consider before deploying Spark in standalone or alternative cluster modes.

Advantages of Using Spark without Yarn

  • Flexibility: Spark can run on a standalone cluster without needing a dedicated resource manager like Yarn, providing more flexibility in how users manage their clusters.
  • Reduced Complexity: Deploying Spark in standalone mode simplifies the overall architecture, reducing the number of moving parts and making it easier to troubleshoot issues.
  • Lower Overhead: Running Spark in standalone mode can also reduce overhead costs associated with running Yarn and Hadoop.

Disadvantages of Using Spark without Yarn

  • Resource Allocation: Without Yarn, Spark must manage its resource allocation, which can lead to over or under-utilization of resources.
  • Job Scheduling: Yarn provides a centralized job scheduler, whereas Spark’s standalone mode requires users to implement their job scheduling mechanisms, which can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Fault Tolerance: Yarn provides built-in fault tolerance mechanisms, including automatically recovering failed tasks and nodes. Without Yarn, Spark must manage its fault tolerance.

When deciding whether to use Spark with or without Yarn, it’s essential to consider the project’s specific use case, requirements, and constraints. Yarn may provide more robust resource management and fault tolerance for larger, more complex projects. In comparison, running Spark in standalone mode may be the best option for smaller projects for simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

Best Practices for Running Spark without Yarn

If you use Spark in standalone or alternative cluster modes, you can follow some best practices to optimize performance, resource utilization, and cluster management. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Optimize Resource Allocation

When running Spark without Yarn, you need to be careful about resource allocation to avoid over-provisioning or under-provisioning resources. Monitoring and managing memory and CPU usage is essential to ensure optimal performance. You can use Spark’s standalone cluster manager to efficiently allocate resources to your Spark applications based on their needs.

2. Use Dynamic Allocation

Dynamic allocation is a feature in Spark that allows you to allocate and deallocate resources dynamically based on workload. This can help optimize resource utilization and reduce costs. Enabling dynamic allocation in your Spark applications involves adjusting the relevant parameters within the Spark configuration settings.

3. Monitor Job Execution

Monitoring job execution is crucial to identifying and resolving performance issues. You can use Spark’s web UI to monitor and analyze job execution in real time. This can help you identify bottlenecks, optimize resource utilization, and improve performance.

4. Use High-Availability Mode

When running Spark in standalone or alternative cluster modes, it’s essential to ensure high availability to avoid single points of failure. You can use Spark’s high-availability mode to run your cluster in fault-tolerant mode. This can help ensure that your cluster stays up and running even in the face of failures.

5. Optimize Data Storage and Access

When running Spark without HDFS, you must carefully consider your data storage and access requirements. You can use alternative storage options like Amazon S3 or Azure Blob Storage to store your data. You can also use data formats like Parquet or ORC to optimize access and reduce transfer times.

By following these best practices, you can ensure optimal performance, resource utilization, and management when running Spark without Yarn. However, it’s important to note that the suitability of standalone or alternative cluster modes will depend on your specific use case and requirements.

Real-World Use Cases of Spark Without Yarn

Spark’s standalone mode can be an excellent alternative to Yarn. As a result, standalone deployment has been successfully implemented in many real-world use cases across different industries. Here are a few examples of Spark standalone mode applications:

1. Financial Analytics

Many financial institutions use Spark in standalone mode to perform real-time analytics on large datasets. The standalone mode enables the clusters to handle high-volume transactions in real-time, which is essential for financial analytics.

2. Healthcare Analytics

Hospitals and healthcare providers use Spark in standalone mode to process large datasets containing patient information, medical histories, and other data. The standalone mode enables healthcare providers to analyze the data faster and more accurately, leading to better patient outcomes.

3. E-commerce

Online retailers use Spark in standalone mode to handle large volumes of user data, such as product views, searches, and purchases. The standalone mode enables e-commerce companies to provide more personalized shopping experiences to customers.

These are just a few examples of the many real-world use cases where Spark is deployed in standalone mode. These use cases demonstrate the efficiency and flexibility of Spark for processing large data sets without relying on Yarn as a resource manager.


After examining various aspects of running Spark without Yarn, it is clear that it is indeed possible. Spark standalone mode provides an alternative deployment option for organizations leveraging Spark’s processing power without the overhead of a resource manager like Yarn. Additionally, Spark can be configured to run on alternative cluster management systems like Mesos or Kubernetes.

While running Spark without Yarn has advantages, including greater control over resource utilization and potentially improved performance, it also has some limitations. One such limitation is the lack of built-in fault tolerance, which can result in job failures if not managed effectively. Additionally, organizations may need to invest more resources to manage and maintain their Spark clusters without the support of a dedicated resource manager.

Further Exploration

With its versatile deployment options, Spark offers organizations the flexibility to choose the deployment mode that best suits their needs. While organizations persist in pursuing innovation and experimentation in big data processing, we advocate for Spark’s continued exploration in standalone mode and other available cluster management systems. By adopting best practices for running Spark without Yarn and carefully assessing the advantages and limitations of each deployment option, organizations can make informed decisions to optimize their Spark deployments and drive more excellent business value.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *