Cloudera Engineering Blog · Support Posts
Automating the creation of short-lived clusters for testing purposes frees our support engineers to spend more time on customer issues.
The first step for any support engineer is often to replicate the customer’s environment in order to identify the problem or issue. Given the complexity of Cloudera customer environments, reproducing a specific issue is often quite difficult, as a customer’s problem might only surface in an environment with specific versions of Cloudera Enterprise (CDH + Cloudera Manager), configuration settings, certain number of nodes, or the structure of the dataset itself. Even with Cloudera Manager’s awesome setup wizards, setting up Apache Hadoop can be quite time consuming, as the software was never designed with ephemeral clusters in mind.
Cloudera’s own enterprise data hub is yielding great results for providing world-class customer support.
Here at Cloudera, we are constantly pushing the envelope to give our customers world-class support. One of the cornerstones of this effort is the Cloudera Support Interface (CSI), which we’ve described in prior blog posts (here and here). Through CSI, our support team is able to quickly reason about a customer’s environment, search for information related to a case currently being worked, and much more.
In this installment of “Meet the Engineer”, get to know Customer Operations Engineering Manager/Apache Sqoop committer Kathleen Ting (@kate_ting).
What do you do at Cloudera, and in what open-source projects are you involved?
I’m a support manager at Cloudera, and an Apache Sqoop committer and PMC member. I also contribute to the Apache Flume and Apache ZooKeeper mailing lists and organize and present at meetups, as well as speak at conferences, about those projects.
At Cloudera, we put great pride into drinking our own champagne. That pride extends to our support team, in particular.
Cloudera Manager, our end-to-end management platform for CDH (Cloudera’s open-source, enterprise-ready distribution of Apache Hadoop and related projects), has a feature that allows subscription customers to send a snapshot of their cluster to us. When these cluster snapshots come to us from customers, they end up in a CDH cluster at Cloudera where various forms of data processing and aggregation can be performed.
At 5 pm PDT on June 30, a leap second was added to the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). Within an hour, Cloudera Support started receiving reports of systems running at 100% CPU utilization. The Support Team worked quickly to understand and diagnose the problem and soon published a solution. Bugs due to the leap second coupled with the Amazon Web Services outage would make this Cloudera’s busiest support weekend to date.
Since Hadoop is written in Java and closely interoperates with the underlying OS, Cloudera Support troubleshoots not only all 17 components in the Hadoop ecosystem, but also any underlying Linux and Java bugs. Last weekend many of our customers were affected by the now infamous “leap second” bugs. Initially, many assumed that Java and Linux would process the leap second gracefully. However, we soon discovered that this wasn’t the case and depending on the version of Linux being used, several distinct issues were observed.