Hadoop creation and the projects that were added to it since then blew up the big data landscape. It became the basis of innumerable speculations around its success and impact on the industry. And over time, it’s popularity amongst companies providing Big Data solutions only increased. In the present times, Hadoop is often termed as the “only cost-sensible and scalable open-source alternative to commercially available Big Data management packages.”

As a result, the demand for professionals skilled in Hadoop remains all-time high. There are on an average more than 1500 job openings for techies with the knowledge of Hadoop on a daily basis on Dice.com. 

Even though much sought after, skilled Hadoop talent is scarce. Which is where being abreast with Hadoop can provide a great professional leap to any techie. Hadoop Administrator is one such profile that high demand right now. 

hadoop administration

Here’s all you need to know about about the profile of a Hadoop Admin. 

Who is a Hadoop Admin? 

Hadoop Admin becomes a vital role in any organisation that works with big data. Often turned as the nuts and bolts of a business, a Hadoop Admin ensures a smooth development, production and deployment of big data solutions. He not only formulates the functioning of big data solutions, but he also overlooks an error-free execution of the same too. 

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A Hadoop Admin manages all big data or Hadoop tools in the Hadoop ecosystem. More often than not, you’d come across descriptions of the role of a Hadoop admin which would define it as managing Hadoop clusters. However, while that’s an aspect of the role, there is much more to the profile. Any organisation with a production cluster needs an admin to ensure its smooth functioning. 

One of the first questions that may pop-up in your head is that what exactly are Hadoop Clusters. Let’s clear that out for you. 

What are Hadoop Clusters?

hadoop clusters

A Hadoop cluster is a group of servers that come together specifically to store and analyse big data-  structured, semi-structured or unstructured. Think of it as pillars of the ecosystem that share the data analysis workload together by being connected through a network. A cluster allows parallel processing of data across multiple nodes.

Key Responsibility of a Hadoop Admin

Now, when multiple nodes would work on the same “big data”, it is imperative to ensure that they work in synchronisation with each other. This is where a Hadoop Admin comes in to ensure that data processing and analysis of multiple nodes of a cluster happens smoothly. Where multiple clusters are involved, the admin ensures harmony and efficient functioning within and among the clusters. 

His role, however, extends beyond the clusters as he overlooks the entire Hadoop ecosystem. He keeps track of all the big data jobs, maintains the Hadoop infrastructure and even debugs the Hadoop application whenever needed.

Skills Required to become a Hadoop Admin

The Fundamentals

For any role, you can never ignore the basics that are required for the job. As a Hadoop admin, knowledge of computation and programming in Python, therefore, become fundamental. Provided that the role revolves around big data, understanding the principles and characteristics of big data and its usage becomes crucial too. 

Hadoop Ecosystem

It’s a no-brainer that a Hadoop admin should be trained in the tools of the Hadoop Ecosystem. The Hadoop ecosystem has many tools that help manage, ingest, store, analyse and maintain data. 

data ecosystem

Here are the components of Hadoop Ecosystem:

  • Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS): Used for data storage.
  • Yet Another Resource Negotiator (YARN): Used for allocating resources and scheduling tasks.
  • MapReduce: Used for writing applications that process large data
  • Spark: Used for real-time data analytics in a distributed computing environment.
  • PIG, HIVE: Used for data processing using query like SQL.
  • HBASE:  It is an open-source, non-relational distributed database.
  • Mahout, Spark MLlib: Used for creating machine learning applications that are scalable.
  • Apache Drill: Used to drill/analyse large data.  
  • Oozie: Used for scheduling Hadoop Jobs as one logical work.
  • Flume, Sqoop: Used for ingesting data.
  • Solr & Lucene: Used for searching & indexing of documents in the Hadoop Ecosystem.

While you may not be well-versed with all of them, being skilled in at least HDFS, YARN, MapReduce, Spark is a must. Apart from this, you should also be acquainted with Hadoop Cluster monitoring tools like Pepperdata, Cloudera Manager, Apache Ambari and Driven.

Linux and Unix

Hadoop runs on Linux. So, invariable you must know Linux to work on Hadoop. You should know Linux and its commands. You should also be familiar with Linux Tunning. Linux OS is a freely distributable, cross-platform operating system based on Unix. You should also master Unix commands and have sound knowledge of Unix based filing system. A good add on would be to be familiar with open source configuration management and deployment tools and shell scripting. 

General Operational Expertise

data operations

As a Hadoop admin, you manage the operation of the Hadoop ecosystem. Operational expertise like good troubleshooting skills is a must. You must have an understanding of the system’s capacity, and bottlenecks. This also includes familiarity with the basis of memory management areas, OS, storage, and networks.


The role of a Hadoop Admin required field expertise and mastery in skills. If this is a role that you are keen on growing into, Tom White’s Hadoop-The Definitive Guide can be a great resource to understand the working of the Hadoop ecosystem. If you are looking for a holistic course on it, these are two great options to start with: 

In The End

For those who think they have what it takes to become a Hadoop admin, find Hadoop Admin job opportunities in some of the best tech-startups on Workship. 

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