How does a NameNode handle the failure of the data nodes?

HDFS has master/slave architecture. An HDFS cluster consists of a single NameNode, a master server that manages the file system namespace and regulates access to files by clients.
In addition, there are a number of DataNodes, usually one per node in the cluster, which manage storage attached to the nodes that they run on.
The NameNode and DataNode are pieces of software designed to run on commodity machines.
NameNode periodically receives a Heartbeat and a Block report from each of the DataNodes in the cluster. Receipt of a Heartbeat implies that the DataNode is functioning properly. A Blockreport contains a list of all blocks on a DataNode. When NameNode notices that it has not received a heartbeat message from a data node after a certain amount of time, the data node is marked as dead. Since blocks will be under replicated the system begins replicating the blocks that were stored on the dead DataNode. The NameNode Orchestrates the replication of data blocks from one DataNode to another. The replication data transfer happens directly between DataNode and the data never passes through the NameNode.

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