With increased enterprise adoption of Hadoop, organizations are in need of hadoop administrators to take care of the large hadoop clusters they have. The job role of a Hadoop administrator is strong and the job’s outlook is healthy, with an average of 4300 hadoop admin jobs in US as of 13th Sept, 2016. A hadoop administrator’s job role is unspectacular but is necessary to keep hadoop clusters running smoothly in production, so a hadoop admin job involves being the nuts and bolts of the business. Some people have a fairly fizzy idea on what does a Hadoop Administrator do and how to become one, so we thought it would be helpful to take a detailed look at Hadoop Admin job roles and responsibilities and the path prospective hadoop admins can take to pursue a career in hadoop administration.
Security incidents like Sony Hack, Target Malware attacks or the Home Depot hack remind us of the fact that technology is only one part of the play. There are others like users, management, administrators and other stakeholders. All are equally important in the opera of business, but one area can destroy or accelerate the performance of the business quickly. Avoiding a bad performance takes teamwork but the stage manager of the play (administrator) has a key role to play in building and maintaining the performance. If any of the job responsibilities of administrator don’t go well then the performance of the system may not go well. Enter the stage manager of the big data world, the “Hadoop Administrator”.
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Who is a Hadoop Administrator?
As the name suggests, a Hadoop Administrator is one who administers and manages hadoop clusters and all other resources in the entire Hadoop ecosystem. A hadoop admin’s job is not visible to other IT groups or end users. The role of a Hadoop Admin is mainly associated with tasks that involve installing and monitoring hadoop clusters. Hadoop Admin job responsibilities might include some mundane tasks, but each one in important for the efficient and continued operation of Hadoop clusters, to prevent problems and to enhance the overall performance. A hadoop admin is the person responsible for keeping the company’s hadoop clusters safe and running efficiently.
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Hadoop Admin Job Roles and Responsibilities
Managing big data and hadoop clusters presents various challenges to hadoop admin’s with running test data through a couple of machines. Many a times, organizational deployments of Hadoop fail as the administrators try to replicate the processes and procedures tested on 1 or 2 different machines across more complex hadoop clusters. Hadoop Admins itself is a title that covers lot of various niches in the big data world : depending on the size of the company they work for, hadoop administrator might also be involved with performing DBA like tasks with HBase and Hive databases, security administration , and cluster administration. Instead of trying to put a hadoop admin in a pigeonhole, it is useful to take a look at what day to day activities a Hadoop Admin do –
- The typical responsibilities of a Hadoop admin include – deploying a hadoop cluster, maintaining a hadoop cluster, adding and removing nodes using cluster monitoring tools like Ganglia Nagios or Cloudera Manager, configuring the NameNode high availability and keeping a track of all the running hadoop jobs.
- Implementing, managing and administering the overall hadoop infrastructure.
- Takes care of the day-to-day running of Hadoop clusters
- A hadoop administrator will have to work closely with the database team, network team, BI team and application teams to make sure that all the big data applications are highly available and performing as expected.
- If working with open source Apache Distribution then hadoop admins have to manually setup all the configurations- Core-Site, HDFS-Site, YARN-Site and Map Red-Site. However, when working with popular hadoop distribution like Hortonworks, Cloudera or MapR the configuration files are setup on startup and the hadoop admin need not configure them manually.
- Hadoop admin is responsible for capacity planning and estimating the requirements for lowering or increasing the capacity of the hadoop cluster.
- Hadoop admin is also responsible for deciding the size of the hadoop cluster based on the data to be stored in HDFS.
- Ensure that the hadoop cluster is up and running all the time.
- Monitoring the cluster connectivity and performance.
- Manage and review Hadoop log files.
- Backup and recovery tasks
- Resource and security management
- Troubleshooting application errors and ensuring that they do not occur again.
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Skillset required to become a Hadoop Administrator
DeZyre Industry Experts say – “Hadoop administrator should have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge along with curiosity to satisfy that thirst.”
A hadoop admin should not settle for a quick fix to a problem but rather should have curiosity to find the root cause of the problem and solve it in an optimal way to prevent further issues.” So, if you have the diligence and curiosity to discover the root cause for a given problem then you already have one of the key skill to become a Hadoop administrator. Let’s look at other important skills required to become a Hadoop Administrator –
- Excellent knowledge of UNIX/LINUX OS because Hadoop runs on Linux.
- Knowledge of high degree configuration management and automation tools like Puppet or Chef for non-trivial installation.
- Knowledge of cluster monitoring tools like Ambari, Ganglia, or Nagios.
- Knowing of core java is a plus for a Hadoop admin but not mandatory.
- Good understanding of OS concepts, process management and resource scheduling.
- Basics of networking, CPU, memory and storage.
- Good hold of shell scripting
- A knack of all the components in the Hadoop ecosystem like Apache Pig, Apache Hive, Apache Mahout, etc.
Hadoop Admin is a highly technical job role and thus specialized training associated with management and monitoring of hadoop clusters is essential. There are very few colleges that offer degrees or certificates in Hadoop administration. The best way to begin your career as a Hadoop administrator is to take a comprehensive hadoop training dedicated specifically to Hadoop cluster administration.