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From Adam Fuchs <scubafu...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: ACCUMULO-958 - Pluggable encryption in walogs
Date Wed, 30 Jan 2013 18:45:20 GMT
Bill,

The release date was not pushed back just for this ticket -- there were
several other changes that motivated that date change. We can discuss that
aspect separately from a discussion of ACCUMULO-958, and we need to start a
separate thread to talk about the remaining milestones before the 1.5.0
release.

I would also like to amend your statement to be "... the patch has no value
added [for] general users [without the addition of extensions that are not
included with the patch]." This is a more accurate yet much weaker premise,
and you should consider the implications on the broader ecosystem.

It seems to me that the main points against this patch are that it is
imperfect. I don't think that feature freeze is the time at which we should
demand perfection. Several valid issues have been raised, which should be
fixed by code freeze (the date of which is not yet set). However, the
utility of this work is obvious to me. At the end of the day, what bar are
we trying to set for inclusion of a patch?

Adam



On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM, William Slacum <
wilhelm.von.cloud@accumulo.net> wrote:

> Bottom line, the patch has no value added to general users. The idea behind
> pushing back a release date to stuff in unoperational code is very bad
> practice. It sets a precedent for not considering alternative approaches
> while simultaneously having no justification for choosing the approach we
> did. If a specific customer/group/person wants a feature, and that feature
> does not exist yet, the code is freely available to be modified,
> distributed and open to public review. Adam, I strongly disagree that
> forking the code is bad, considering the progress that other projects make
> specifically because they have experimental forks (HBase).
>
> On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 10:40 AM, Adam Fuchs <afuchs@apache.org> wrote:
>
> > Let me attempt to make another argument for why the 958 patch should be
> > included in 1.5.0. What this patch represents is not an encryption
> solution
> > for WAL, but an experimental extension point that will be used for
> building
> > an encryption solution as a pluggable module. We need to judge its merit
> > based on whether it is a successful experimental extension point or not.
> > There are three main reasons for including the patch in 1.5.0:
> > 1. Test the performance impact of the null cipher solution (default
> > configuration) in all the performance tests we will be running for the
> > 1.5.0 release. If it causes problems there then we can roll it back.
> > 2. Enable the use of this extension after 1.5 is released. External
> > experiments have dependencies on this extension point. Without the
> > extension point we will have to test with unreleased versions of
> Accumulo,
> > which would be less than ideal.
> > 3. It is not harmful and somebody wants it. The reason for wanting this
> > code in is well documented, so you need a very strong reason to throw it
> > out. Otherwise you will encourage forking of the project (which would be
> > bad).
> >
> > Adam
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM, Eric Newton <eric.newton@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Some comments about the comments in ACCUMULO-958:
> > >
> > > Josh writes:
> > >
> > > "We still have the ability to review this even after the feature freeze
> > > happens, it's just frustrating from my point of view in generating the
> > best
> > > 1.5.0 candidate possible (we tend to go through x.y.0 releases pretty
> > darn
> > > quick)."
> > >
> > > John writes:
> > >
> > > "Yes, but we get stuck on x.y.* for a year or so, so it does become a
> > race
> > > to get all the features you want to see in the next year."
> > >
> > > As Accumulo matures, we will need to start thinking a little more
> > flexibly
> > > about what goes into minor releases.  We have implemented new (small)
> > > features in minor releases before.
> > >
> > > I would have no problem including ACCUMULO-958 into 1.5.1 after a test
> > > phase, and after some basic experience with the feature.  However I'm
> > very
> > > uncomfortable including this in 1.5.0 because there is not a single
> test,
> > > and no real implementation behind the factory that anyone would use In
> > Real
> > > Life.  Is this an appropriate API?  I have no idea.  Comments in the
> code
> > > about the stability of the interface basically admit that the author
> > isn't
> > > completely comfortable with it, either.
> > >
> > > Let's not rush it, and when it is done right, I'm all for putting it
> into
> > > the next release.  For now, I would hold back incorporating these
> changes
> > > until they are more fully implemented. After we branch 1.5, commit this
> > to
> > > trunk, and back-port it to the 1.5 branch when experience and tests
> show
> > it
> > > is ready to be released.
> > >
> > > -Eric
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 9:13 AM, Josh Elser <josh.elser@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > All,
> > > >
> > > > It's been a few days and I haven't seen much chatter at all on
> > > > ACCUMULO-958 [1] since the patch was applied. There are a couple of
> > > > concerns I have that I definitely want to see addressed before a
> 1.5.0
> > > > release.
> > > >
> > > > - It worries me that the provided patch is fail-open (when we can't
> > load
> > > > the configured encryption strategies/modules, we don't decrypt
> > anything.
> > > I
> > > > think for a security-minded database, we should probably be
> defaulting
> > to
> > > > fail-close; but, that brings up an issue, what happens when we can't
> > > > encrypt a WAL? Do minor compactions fail gracefully? What does
> Accumulo
> > > do?
> > > >
> > > > - John said he had been reviewing the patch before he applied it; it
> > > > bothers me that there was a version of this patch that had been
> > reviewed
> > > > privately for some amount of time when we had already pushed back the
> > > > feature freeze date by a week waiting for features that weren't done.
> > > >
> > > > - The author noted himself with the deprecation of the CryptoModule
> > > > interface that "we anticipate changing [this] in non-backwards
> > compatible
> > > > ways as we explore requirements for encryption in Accumulo...". This
> > > tells
> > > > me that implementation of WAL encryption overall hasn't been properly
> > > > thought out.
> > > >
> > > > Given all of this, it gives me great pause to knowingly include this
> > > patch
> > > > into a 1.5.0 release. I see no signs that this has been truly thought
> > > out,
> > > > there is no default provided encryption strategy for 1.5.0 with this
> > > patch
> > > > for the WAL and there is still no support at all for RFile encryption
> > (no
> > > > end-to-end Accumulo encryption for a user). All of these issues
> > > considered
> > > > make me believe that this is an incomplete feature that is not ready
> > for
> > > an
> > > > Apache Accumulo release.
> > > >
> > > > Thoughts?
> > > >
> > > > - Josh
> > > >
> > > > [1] https://issues.apache.org/**jira/browse/ACCUMULO-958<
> > > https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/ACCUMULO-958>
> > > >
> > >
> >
>

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