Reference architecture: manage compute on AKS and storage on ADLS gen2


This architecture document explains how to deploy:

  • A DSS instance running on an Azure virtual machine

  • Dynamically-spawned Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) clusters for computation (Python and R recipes/notebooks, in-memory visual ML, visual and code Spark recipes, Spark notebooks)

  • Ability to store data in Azure DataLake Storage (ADLS) gen2


We assume that all operations described here are done within a common Azure Resource Group (RG), in which the Service Principal (SP) you are using has sufficient permissions to:

  • Manage AKS clusters

  • Push Docker images to Azure Container Registry (ACR)

  • Read/write from/to ADLS gen 2

Main steps

Prepare the instance

  • Setup an AlmaLinux 8 Azure VM in your target RG

  • Install and configure Docker CE

  • Install kubectl

  • Setup a non-root user for the dssuser

Install DSS

  • Download DSS, together with the “generic-hadoop3” standalone Hadoop libraries and standalone Spark binaries.

  • Install DSS, see Installing and setting up

  • Build base container-exec and Spark images, see Initial setup

Setup containerized execution configuration in DSS

  • Create a new “Kubernetes” containerized execution configuration

  • Set as the “Image registry URL”

  • Push base images

Setup Spark and metastore in DSS

  • Create a new Spark configuration and enable “Managed Spark-on-K8S”

  • Set as the “Image registry URL”

  • Push base images

  • Set metastore catalog to “Internal DSS catalog”

Setup ADLS gen2 connections

  • Setup as many Azure blob storage connections as required, with appropriate credentials and permissions

  • Make sure that “ABFS” is selected as the HDFS interface

Install AKS plugin

  • Install the AKS plugin

  • Create a new “AKS connection” preset and fill in:

    • the Azure subscription ID

    • the tenant ID

    • the client ID

    • the password (client secret)

  • Create a new “Node pools” preset and fill in:

    • the machine type

    • the default number of nodes

Create your first cluster

  • Create a new cluster, select “Create AKS cluster” and enter the desired name

  • Select the previously created presets

  • In the “Advanced options” section, type an IP range for the Service CIDR (e.g. and an IP address for the DNS IP (e.g.

  • Click on “Start/attach”. Cluster creation takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

Use your cluster

  • Create a new DSS project and configure it to use your newly-created cluster

  • You can now perform all Spark operations over Kubernetes

  • ADLS gen2 datasets that are built will sync to the local DSS metastore.