Review of “Monitoring Hadoop” by Gurmukh Singh


This book is recently published, April 2015, and it covers Nagios, Ganglia, Hadoop monitoring and monitoring best practices.

The first part is rightfully devoted to Nagios. Nagios is covered quite in depth: install, verification and configuration. It gives you the right balance: it does not say everything that there is in a Nagios manual, but tells you sufficient information to install Nagios and prepare it to monitor specific Hadoop daemons, ports, and hardware.

The same goes for Ganglia: it is covered in sufficient detail for one to be able to install and run, with enough attention to Hadoop specifics.

What I did not find in the book, and what could be useful, is the fact that both Nagios and Ganglia are installed by the leading distributions: Cloudera Manager, Hortonworks Ambari and MapR. With these, one does not have to install and not much to configure, so it would have helped to apply the lessons learned to the specific configuration in each distribution. Nevertheless, there are enough companies who prefer to roll their own when it comes to Hadoop management and monitoring, and for whom it would be helpful to learn the install. Anyway, sometimes things don’t work as planned, and it is always good to know what’s under the hoot.

Now comes the overview of Hadoop daemons, YARN framework and Nagious server that comes with it. Here the books covers all that we might want to monitor, and how to connect Nagios and Ganglia with it. The book ends with a couple pages of best practices.

All in all, it is a worthwhile overview. Its only competitor would be “Hadoop Operations” by Eric Sammer, but the reviewed book is dedicated to monitoring and nothing else, so it covers some areas that Eric’s book does not. One can wish for some more material, and it may come in a second edition. Meanwhile, anybody who deals with monitoring Hadoop will find something here. Add your own experience, put it in a blog – guest posters welcome  – and you can make Hadoop behave.

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