Aditi Dosi
3 min readSep 8, 2022


YARN: resource manager

YARN stands for Yet Another Resource Negotiator, but it’s commonly referred to by the acronym alone; the full name was self-deprecating humor on the part of its developers.

Apache Hadoop YARN is the resource management and job scheduling technology in the open source Hadoop distributed processing framework. One of Apache Hadoop’s core components, YARN is responsible for allocating system resources to the various applications running in a Hadoop cluster and scheduling tasks to be executed on different cluster nodes.

Apache Hadoop YARN decentralizes execution and monitoring of processing jobs by separating the various responsibilities into these components:

  • A global ResourceManager that accepts job submissions from users, schedules the jobs and allocates resources to them
  • A NodeManager slave that’s installed at each node and functions as a monitoring and reporting agent of the ResourceManager
  • An ApplicationMaster that’s created for each application to negotiate for resources and work with the NodeManager to execute and monitor tasks
  • Resource containers that are controlled by NodeManagers and assigned the system resources allocated to individual applications

YARN advantages

Using Apache Hadoop YARN to separate HDFS from MapReduce made the Hadoop environment more suitable for real-time processing uses and other applications that can’t wait for batch jobs to finish. Now, MapReduce is just one of many processing engines that can run Hadoop applications. It doesn’t even have a lock on batch processing in Hadoop anymore: In a lot of cases, users are replacing it with Spark to get faster performance on batch applications, such as extract, transform and load jobs.

Spark can also run stream processing applications in Hadoop clusters thanks to YARN, as can technologies including Apache Flink and Apache Storm. YARN has also opened up new uses for Apache HBase, a companion database to HDFS, and for Apache Hive, Apache Drill, Apache Impala, Presto and other SQL-on-Hadoop query engines. In addition to more application and technology choices, YARN offers scalability, resource utilization, high availability and performance improvements over MapReduce

The ResourceManager has two main components: Scheduler and ApplicationsManager.

The Scheduler is responsible for allocating resources to the various running applications subject to familiar constraints of capacities, queues etc. The Scheduler is pure scheduler in the sense that it performs no monitoring or tracking of status for the application. Also, it offers no guarantees about restarting failed tasks either due to application failure or hardware failures. The Scheduler performs its scheduling function based on the resource requirements of the applications; it does so based on the abstract notion of a resource Container which incorporates elements such as memory, cpu, disk, network etc.

The ApplicationsManager is responsible for accepting job-submissions, negotiating the first container for executing the application specific ApplicationMaster and provides the service for restarting the ApplicationMaster container on failure. The per-application ApplicationMaster has the responsibility of negotiating appropriate resource containers from the Scheduler, tracking their status and monitoring for progress.

MapReduce in hadoop-2.x maintains API compatibility with previous stable release (hadoop-1.x). This means that all MapReduce jobs should still run unchanged on top of YARN with just a recompile.

YARN supports the notion of resource reservation via the ReservationSystem, a component that allows users to specify a profile of resources over-time and temporal constraints (e.g., deadlines), and reserve resources to ensure the predictable execution of important jobs.The ReservationSystem tracks resources over-time, performs admission control for reservations, and dynamically instruct the underlying scheduler to ensure that the reservation is fulfilled.

In order to scale YARN beyond few thousands nodes, YARN supports the notion of Federation via the YARN Federation feature. Federation allows to transparently wire together multiple yarn (sub-)clusters, and make them appear as a single massive cluster. This can be used to achieve larger scale, and/or to allow multiple independent clusters to be used together for very large jobs, or for tenants who have capacity across all of them.