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From Adam Fuchs <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] What to do about encryption at rest?
Date Sun, 01 Nov 2015 13:55:19 GMT
There's another way to look at the state of Accumulo's encryption at rest:
1. Encryption at rest works great for what it does, and the code being "at
rest" isn't necessarily a problem
2. Several organizations are using Accumulo's encryption at rest
effectively in operations
3. Encryption at rest has been a supported configuration option for over
two years with established plugin interfaces, and therefore it should be
considered part of the public API
4. Upstream alternatives (to my knowledge) have not been analyzed for
performance or security

The given option #2 would at least require an analysis of alternatives, and
we would have to decide what to do about backwards compatibility for users
using custom key stores and encryption strategies that may or may not be
supported by upstream alternatives.

As far as option #1 goes, I can get behind encouraging people to take up
projects to improve Accumulo's encryption. I think we're already going down
this path, but without having identified resources to do the improvements.
Any volunteers?


On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 4:22 PM, William Slacum <> wrote:

> So I've been looking into options for providing encryption at rest, and it
> seems like what Accumulo has is abandonware from a project perspective.
> There is no official documentation on how to perform encryption at rest,
> and the best information from its status comes from year (or greater) old
> ticket comments about how the feature is still experimental. Recently there
> was a talk that described using HDFS encryption zones as an alternative.
> From my perspective, this is what I see as the current situation:
> 1- Encryption at rest in Accumulo isn't actively being worked on
> 2- Encryption at rest in Accumulo isn't part of the public API or marketed
> capabilities
> 3- Documentation for what does exist is scattered throughout Jira comments
> or presentations
> 4- A viable alternative exists that appears to have feature parity in HDFS
> encryption
> 5- HBase has finer grained encryption capabilities that extend beyond what
> HDFS provides
> Moving forward, what's the consensus for supporting this feature?
> Personally, I see two options:
> 1- Start going down a path to bring the feature into the forefront and
> start providing feature parity with HBase
> or
> 2- Remove the feature and place emphasis on upstream encryption offerings
> Any input is welcomed & appreciated!

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