Apache Ambari Metrics Collector issues in Azure HDInsight

This article describes troubleshooting steps and possible resolutions for issues when interacting with Azure HDInsight clusters.

Scenario: OutOfMemoryError or Unresponsive Apache Ambari Metrics Collector


The Ambari Metrics Collector is a daemon that runs on a specific host in the cluster and receives data from the registered publishers, Monitors, and Sinks.


  • You could receive a critical "Metrics Collector Process" alert in Ambari UI and show below similar message. Connection failed: timed out to <headnode fqdn>:6188
  • Ambari Metrics Collector maybe getting restarted in the headnode frequently
  • Some Apache Ambari metrics may not show up in Ambari UI or Grafana. For example, NAMENODE shows Started instead of Active/Standby status. The 'No Data Available' message might appear in Ambari Dashboard


The following scenarios are possible causes of these issues:

An out of memory exception happens frequently

Check the Apache Ambari Metrics Collector log /var/log/ambari-metrics-collector/ambari-metrics-collector.log*.

19:59:45,457 ERROR [325874797@qtp-2095573052-22] log:87 - handle failed
java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space

19:59:45,457 FATAL [MdsLoggerSenderThread] YarnUncaughtExceptionHandler:51 - Thread Thread[MdsLoggerSenderThread,5,main] threw an Error.  Shutting down now...
java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space

Busy garbage collection

  1. Apache Ambari Metrics Collector is not listening on 6188 in hbase-ams log /var/log/ambari-metrics-collector/hbase-ams-master-hn*.log

    2021-04-13 05:57:37,546 INFO  [timeline] timeline.HadoopTimelineMetricsSink: No live collector to send metrics to. Metrics to be sent will be discarded. This message will be skipped for the next 20 times.
  2. Get the Apache Ambari Metrics Collector pid and check GC performance

    ps -fu ams | grep 'org.apache.ambari.metrics.AMSApplicationServer'
  3. Check the garbage collection status using jstat -gcutil <pid> 1000 100. If you see the FGCT increase a lot in short seconds, it indicates Apache Ambari Metrics Collector is busy in Full GC and unable to process the other requests.


To avoid these issues, consider using one of the following options:

  1. Increase the heap memory of Apache Ambari Metrics Collector from Ambari > Ambari Metrics > CONFIGS > Advanced ams-env > Metrics Collector Heap Size

    Screenshot of editing Ambari Metric Service configuration properties.

  2. Follow these steps to clean up Ambari Metrics service (AMS) data.


    Cleaning up the AMS data removes all the historical AMS data available. If you need the history, this may not be the best option.

    1. Login into the Ambari portal
    2. Set AMS to maintenance
    3. Stop AMS from Ambari
    4. Identify the following from the AMS Configs screen 1. hbase.rootdir (Default value is file:///mnt/data/ambari-metrics-collector/hbase) 2. hbase.tmp.dir(Default value is /var/lib/ambari-metrics-collector/hbase-tmp)
    5. SSH into headnode where Apache Ambari Metrics Collector exists. As superuser:
    6. Remove the AMS zookeeper data by backing up and removing the contents of 'hbase.tmp.dir'/zookeeper
    7. Remove any Phoenix spool files from <hbase.tmp.dir>/phoenix-spool folder
    8. (It is worthwhile to skip this step initially and try restarting AMS to see if the issue is resolved. If AMS is still failing to come up, try this step) AMS data would be stored in hbase.rootdir identified above. Use regular OS commands to back up and remove the files. Example: tar czf /mnt/backupof-ambari-metrics-collector-hbase-$(date +%Y%m%d-%H%M%S).tar.gz /mnt/data/ambari-metrics-collector/hbase
    9. Restart AMS using Ambari.

For Kafka cluster, if the above solutions do not help, consider the following solutions.

  • Ambari Metrics Service needs to deal with lots of kafka metrics, so it's a good idea to enable only metrics in the allowlist. Go to Ambari > Ambari Metrics > CONFIGS > Advanced ams-env, set below property to true. After this modification, need to restart the impacted services in Ambari UI as required.

    Screenshot of editing Ambari Metric Service allowlisted metrics properties.

  • Handling lots of metrics for standalone HBase with limited memory would impact HBase response time. Hence metrics would be unavailable. If Kafka cluster has many topics and still generates a lot of allowed metrics, increase the heap memory for HMaster and RegionServer in Ambari Metrics Service. Go to Ambari > Ambari Metrics > CONFIGS > Advanced hbase-env > HBase Master Maximum Memory and HBase RegionServer Maximum Memory and increase the values. Restart the required services in Ambari UI.

    Screenshot of editing Ambari Metric Service hbase memory properties.

Next steps

If you didn't see your problem or are unable to solve your issue, visit one of the following channels for more support:

  • Get answers from Azure experts through Azure Community Support.

  • Connect with @AzureSupport - the official Microsoft Azure account for improving customer experience. Connecting the Azure community to the right resources: answers, support, and experts.

  • If you need more help, you can submit a support request from the Azure portal. Select Support from the menu bar or open the Help + support hub. For more detailed information, review How to create an Azure support request. Access to Subscription Management and billing support is included with your Microsoft Azure subscription, and Technical Support is provided through one of the Azure Support Plans.