YARN ResourceManager high availability architecture

Learn about the architecture of YARN ResourceManager High Availability to use it efficiently.

ResourceManager HA is implemented by means of an active-standby pair of ResourceManagers. On start-up, each ResourceManager is in the standby state; the process is started, but the state is not loaded. When one of the ResourceManagers is transitioning to the active state, the ResourceManager loads the internal state from the designated state store and starts all the internal services. The stimulus to transition to active comes from either the administrator (through the CLI) or through the integrated failover controller when automatic failover is enabled.

ResourceManager Restart

Restarting the ResourceManager allows for the recovery of in-flight applications if recovery is enabled. To achieve this, the ResourceManager stores its internal state, primarily application-related data and tokens, to the RMStateStore; the cluster resources are re-constructed when the NodeManagers connect. The available alternatives for the state store are MemoryRMStateStore (a memory-based implementation) and ZKRMStateStore (ZooKeeper-based implementation). Note that MemoryRMStateStore will not work for HA.


When running two ResourceManagers, a split-brain situation can arise where both ResourceManagers assume they are active. To avoid this, only a single ResourceManager should be able to perform active operations and the other ResourceManager should be "fenced". The ZooKeeper-based state store (ZKRMStateStore) allows only a single ResourceManager to make changes to the stored state, implicitly fencing the other ResourceManager. This is accomplished by the ResourceManager claiming exclusive create-delete permissions on the root znode. The ACLs on the root znode are automatically created based on the ACLs configured for the store; in case of secure clusters, Cloudera recommends that you set ACLs for the root host such that both ResourceManagers share read-write-admin access, but have exclusive create-delete access. The fencing is implicit and does not require explicit configuration (as fencing in HDFS does). You can plug in a custom "Fencer" if you choose to – for example, to use a different implementation of the state store.

Configuration and FailoverProxy

In an HA setting, you should configure two ResourceManagers to use different ports (for example, ports on different hosts). To facilitate this, YARN uses the notion of an ResourceManager Identifier (rm-id). Each ResourceManager has a unique rm-id, and all the RPC configurations (<rpc-address>; for example yarn.resourcemanager.address) for that ResourceManager can be configured via <rpc-address>.<rm-id>. Clients, ApplicationMasters, and NodeManagers use these RPC addresses to talk to the active ResourceManager automatically, even after a failover. To achieve this, they cycle through the list of ResourceManagers in the configuration. This is done automatically and does not require any configuration (as it does in HDFS).

Automatic Failover

By default, ResourceManager HA uses ZKFC (ZooKeeper-based failover controller) for automatic failover in case the active ResourceManager is unreachable or goes down. Internally, the StandbyElector is used to elect the active ResourceManager. The failover controller runs as part of the ResourceManager.

You can plug in a custom failover controller if you prefer.

Manual Transitions and Failover

You can use the command-line tool yarn rmadmin to transition a particular ResourceManager to active or standby state, to fail over from one ResourceManager to the other, to get the HA state of an ResourceManager, and to monitor an ResourceManager's health.