March 19, 2020 · AWS EMR

AWS EMR - Instance, Auto Scaling and Spot Configurations

When an EMR Cluster is created, some of the configurations to be opted and answered are what type of node configuration is needed, do we need auto scaling and how about spot instances. These options are inter related and can be sometimes confusing. This article is an attempt to explain these options.

Instance Configuration

It is about choosing what type of instance you need for the master, task and core nodes of the cluster. There are two options here.

Uniform Instance Groups

Instance Fleets

Auto Scaling

Spot Instances


Uniform instance group configurations are straight forward and they support spot instances as well as auto scaling which is an essential feature for critical workloads. Instance fleets while they don’t support auto scaling but they go well with spot instances because it comes with an option of adding wide range of node instances to an instance fleet. Production loads and critical workloads that need auto scaling should use uniform instance groups with auto scaling and spot instances if required, while other use cases can go with instance fleets.