Hacking Apache Ambari for Open Data Platform Initiative

October 27, 2015 Marie Nedich



On Saturday, October 17th, Open Data Platform Initiative (ODPi) founding partners Hortonworks and Pivotal co-sponsored a HackFest for Apache Ambari. Participants were directed to use Apache Ambari’s extensible framework to write an Ambari Service or create customized Views to help understand, view, and manage cluster resources in a multi-tenant Hadoop environment. Apache Ambari simplifies Apache Hadoop® management through software dedicated to provisioning, managing, and monitoring clusters. The software’s easy-to-use Hadoop management web UI is backed by RESTful APIs.

Attendees met over breakfast at Pivotal’s headquarters, located near Los Altos Hills. The event kicked off with a reminder about the HackFest rules and goals of teamwork, community, and learning. Following a short Overview of the Apache Ambari & Extensible Framework by Alejandro Fernandez, Member of Technical Staff at Hortonworks, working groups comprised of single individuals or teams of up to three individuals were formed. Teams and individuals worked intensely throughout the day and there was great energy and a feeling of collaboration as all the attendees hacked away.



Over 30 hackers attended and participated in the daylong HackFest. There was a total of six submissions and the three winners were selected following the criteria of Value, Usability, Functionality, and Presentation. Each team demoed and talked about what they worked on, their successes and failures, and most importantly, what they learned. The three winners developed the following submissions:

  1. Ambari Cassandra Service by Greg Hill
    A Cassandra service definition for use within Apache Ambari.
  2. Catalog Service for Ambari by Juanjo Marron & Tuong Truong
    Creates a new centralized database common-service in Ambari to provide a single database instance for other services in the stack. This new catalog service can be added to Ambari common-services directory, so others stacks can extend it.
  3. Ambari Service Deployer by Jesus Alvarez
    Installs Ambari Services hosted on GitHub, which may or may not be in a stack distribution. Generic repo mapping for services were added to this project which can install on any ambari 2.X distro. It can also pass in a GitHub URL to a new Ambari Service and will attempt to create an install block based on the current Ambari Installation.

Staff from both Hortonworks and Pivotal also participated and presented their work at the end of the day. The Pivotal team implemented a valuable extension Install View, which adds the configuration of additional repos so the Ambari agent can install RPMs. Team Hortonworks created a Hadoop Log Search, which contains a service and view for searching, querying, filtering, and displaying logs statistics.


Pivotal congratulates the winners and thank all the HackFest participants for their hard work, and their willingness to rise to the challenge of producing and contributing an Ambari View or Service within such a short time period. We also thank the technical mentors for sharing knowledge and expertise throughout the day. Planning and executing this event could not have been done without our ODPi co-sponsor and co-organizer, Hortonworks.

The overall feedback from the participants has been positive and we can’t wait to organize another hackathon. Until the next one, developers can participate, share, and learn more about Pivotal’s open source technologies by joining the Pivotal Open Source Hub Meetup Group, and the ODPi Meetup group, and learn more about Apache Ambari by visiting its website and signing up for the mailing list.

Editor’s Note: Apache, Apache Hadoop, Hadoop and Apache Ambari are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation in the United States and/or other countries.

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