Instructions and Ansible playbooks for deploying a Spark stand-alone cluster on OpenStack, cloned and adapted from

Johan Dahlberg authored on 11 Mar 2016
templates Install hdfs and small fixes to spark 8 years ago
vars Install hdfs and small fixes to spark 8 years ago Update 7 years ago
ansible.cfg Initial commit 8 years ago
create_spark_cloud_playbook.yml Point to var files 8 years ago
deploy_spark_playbook.yml Install hdfs and small fixes to spark 8 years ago
localhost_inventory Initial commit 8 years ago Initial commit 8 years ago

Setting up a stand-alone spark cluster on OpenStack

This describes how start a standalone Spark cluster on open stack, using two ansible playbooks. This has been tested on the Uppmax private cloud smog.

It will install spark and hdfs, and start the required services on the nodes. Please note that this is a proof-of-concept implementation, and that is is not ready for use in a production setting. Any pull requests to improve upon this to bring it closer to a production ready state are very much appreciated.

The open stack dymamic inventory code presented here is adapted from:

How to start it?

  • Create a host from which to run ansible in your OpenStack dashboard and associate a floating IP to is so that you can ssh in to it.
  • ssh to the machine you just created.
  • Install the pre-requisites:
    sudo apt-get install python-pip python-dev git
    sudo pip install ansible
    sudo pip install python-novaclient
  • Clone this repository:
    git clone
  • Create a dir called files in the repo root dir and copy you ssh-keys (these cannot have a password) there. This is used to enable password-less ssh access between the nodes:
  • Download you OpenStack RC file from the OpenStack dashboard (it's available under "Access & Security -> API Access")
  • Source your OpenStack RC file: source <path to rc file>, and fill in your OpenStack password. This will load information about you OpenStack Setup into your environment.
  • Create the security group for spark. Since spark will start some services on random ports this will allow all tcp traffic within the security group:
    nova secgroup-create spark "internal security group for spark"
    nova secgroup-add-group-rule spark spark tcp 1 65535
  • Setup the name of your network. export OS_NETWORK_NAME="<name of your network>" If you like you can add this to your OpenStack RC file, or set it in your bash_rc. (You can find the name of your network in your OpenStack dashboard)

  • Edit the setup variables to fit your setup. Open vars/main.yml and setup the variables as explained there.

  • One all the variables are in place you should now be able to create your instances:
    ansible-playbook -i localhost_inventory --private-key=<your_ssh_key> create_spark_cloud_playbook.yml
  • Then install spark on the nodes (I've noticed that sometimes it takes a while for the ssh-server on the nodes to start, so if you get an initial ssh-error, wait a few minutes and try again).
    ansible-playbook -i --private-key=<your_ssh_key> deploy_spark_playbook.yml
  • Once this has finished successfully your spark cluster should be up and running! ssh into the spark-master node and try your new Spark cluster it by kicking of a shell. Now you're ready to enter into the Spark world. Have fun!
    spark-shell --master spark://spark-master:7077 --executor-memory 6G


If you don't want to open the web-facing ports you can use ssh-forwarding to reach the web-interfaces, e.g

ssh -L 8080:spark-master:8080 -i <your key> ubuntu@<spark-master-ip>




  • Mikael Huss (@hussius) for sharing his insights on Spark and collaborating with me on this
  • Zeeshan Ali Shah (@zeeshanali) for helping me get going with OpenStack