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October 26, 2015
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Ensuring the Best Performance from your Hadoop Clusters, Proactively

When you count on your Hadoop environment to power business-critical applications, you can’t afford to let problems get in the way of performance. By getting ahead of issues before they lead to cluster degradation or downtime, you can deliver the Big Data insights your business relies on with the speed and reliability competitive markets demand. That’s the thinking that led Hortonworks to fundamentally change our support model with the introduction of Hortonworks SmartSense®, a collection of tools and services that’s quickly becoming part of the standard operating procedure of many of our customers—with impressive results. If you’re not already using Hortonworks SmartSense, here’s what you need to know.

The need for Hortonworks SmartSense is obvious enough. The fast evolution of the Big Data industry is driving the constant addition of new and diverse workloads, and the continual restructuring of clusters to meet ever-increasing demand. That’s making it harder and harder to keep pace with change while maintaining industry best practices. It’s even more difficult when you’re working through inefficient use case processes between vendors and customers based on endless back-and-forth around information requests and troubleshooting.

Hortonworks SmartSense helps organizations avoid many problems from occurring in the first place, and resolve those that do arise far more quickly and efficiently, to keep their Hadoop up and running at its best.

  • For faster support case resolution, SmartSense quickly captures and bundles cluster diagnostic information as well as metrics and log files during support case creation to reduce back-and-forth between your Hadoop operations staff and Hortonworks support engineers.
  • To prevent issues form occurring in the first place, SmartSense regularly collects and analyzes cluster diagnostic information, and provides customized, actionable recommendations and analysis based on the latest industry best practices and field experience to help you keep each cluster node healthy.

SmartSense has already helped customers address diverse use cases to maintain and improve Hadoop operational performance. For one organization, SmartSense recommendations improved average job performance by 46% for diverse workloads consisting of Hive/Tez queries primarily orchestrated by Oozie. For another, SmartSense detected misconfigured network interface cards that had been causing a large number of dropped packets and negatively affecting performance. A customer nearing the end of its HDFS upgrade was alerted that it was dangerously close to running out of local disk space—in time for it to prevent HDFS from becoming completely unavailable.

Our customers have told us about the difference SmartSense is making for their businesses. For example:

  • “SmartSense allows us to ensure our configuration is following current best practices.”
  • “The continuous analysis is key, and the value it provides is tremendous.”
  • “I sleep better at night knowing that my cluster configuration is current and we don’t have cruft from previous upgrades that will cause us issues going forward … I have a lot less angst after using this solution.”
  • “It helped us identify a problem we would not have ever been able to identify ourselves … three of our nodes had broken symlinks and were not receiving configuration from Ambari. The only thing that would have caused us to search that out would be an issue, and it would take us a long time to track that down.”

What to learn more about Hortonworks Smartsense from Hortonworks customers? Please check out the original research conducted by TechValidate on Hortonworks customer’s success here. Below is an example of the type of comments that are being recorded directly from Hadoop operator and end users alike.

mattblogIf you’re not using SmartSense yet, customers with HDP subscription can download it from Hortonworks Customer Support Portal under the Tools tab. We hope you find it helpful for keeping your Hadoop environment at peak performance for your business!

About the Author


Matthew Morgan is the vice president of global product marketing for Hortonworks.  In this role, he leads Hortonworks product marketing, vertical solutions marketing, and worldwide sales enablement. His background includes twenty years in enterprise software, including leading worldwide product marketing organizations for Citrix, HP Software, Mercury Interactive, and Blueprint.  Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or visit his personal blog


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