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From Suresh Marru <>
Subject Re: [GSoC] Identity Server needs for Airavata
Date Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:48:15 GMT
Hi Supun,

You might find this useful and relevant -


On Mar 20, 2014, at 2:37 AM, Supun Nakandala <> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I am working on a proposal for this project.
> Thank you.
> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 10:20 AM, Sachith Withana <> wrote:
> This sounds like a really good project from which Airavata would benefit a lot ( seeing
the complications we have on the thrift security issues).
> Using either the use case 1 or the use case 3, the Cybergateway would also be able to
support the user authentication and authorization.
> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:29 AM, Suresh Marru <> wrote:
> Thanks Amila for the offline chat on this topic. Let me summarize our conversation.
> There are three basic use cases for Airavata:
> Use Case1: Airavata Client (lets say Gateway 1) has its own user store and would like
to interact with Airavata Server to do secure communications
> Use Case2: Airavata Client (lets say Gateway 2) uses open-id like third part authentication
and would like to interact with Airavata Server to delegate computations.
> Use Case3: Airavata Client (lets say Gateway 3) does not have any user store and expects
Airavata to provide identity management.
> Amila’s recommendation is not to bundle a user store with Airavata and for use case
3 suggest to deploy a third part identify server such as WS02 Identity server (which is open
source with Apache License).
> So this means we boil down to Airavata Clients doing their own authentication either
by a built in user store, or delegated to a open id like provider or deploying a third part
IS. Airavata will then have to assume for all the use cases, the authentication is already
done and enable authorization through a token for every request.
> Before we jump into a conclusion here are the possible solutions for the above use cases:
> Use Case 1:
> * Mutual Authentication - this seems to be most easy on implementation but might have
operational inconveniences.
> * One way SSL + sign in with a user-password - this seems to have security implications
on sharing the user name passwords.
> * Shared Secret - this is a good viable solution, as long as this secret (token) is short
lived and have proper expiration and revocation policies.
> Use Case 2:
> * If the third party identity provider has OAuth 2.0 support, then the Client sends a
token which Airavata uses to contact the OAuth server to retrieve user information
> * if the third part IS does not have OAuth then an additional service needs to be developed
to use a secured token service coupled with IS typically with a HTTPS access.
> * OpenID Connect enabled IS could potentially be viable here to provide authorization
in addition to authentication.
> Use Case 3:
> * Suggest third party IS or use of kerberos.
> For Airavata GSoC project, it will be good to explore Evernote security [1] and follow
similar strategy of obtaining a API Key (during gateway registration process) and use it for
all further communications. The authorization itself has to be similar to what Evernote uses
a separate UserStore Service [2] which is run separately then the note store service [3].
The thrift mailing list and Airavata Architecture list might provide better guidance on this
> Suresh
> [1] -
> [2] -
> [3] -
> On Mar 17, 2014, at 4:14 PM, Amila Jayasekara <> wrote:
> > Hi Suresh,
> >
> > I need to think about this in detail. I will send you a detail reply later.
> > It seems this is going to be an interesting idea.
> >
> > Thanks
> > Amila
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 3:51 PM, Suresh Marru <> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I would like to brainstorm on this project idea. I know it may be too late for GSoC,
but still if we conclude enough, we can probably motivate a student to pick on it.
> >
> > For Airavata thrift API, we have been relying on a assertion of mutual authentication
with client gateways. This still seems reasonable, but I worry about deployment headaches
of issuing and managing these PKI’s. More over, when Sachith had a brief interaction on
this topic on thrift dev list [1], it seems like mutual authentication is not current available.
The service authentication seems to be well supported though.
> >
> > Since Airavata based gateways at some point will need to work on Identity Management,
I wonder if prototyping a OAuth2 identify server integration with Airavata might help? If
this is worth exploring, making this a GSoC idea might not be a bad choice.
> >
> > Amila and others, any thoughts?
> >
> > Suresh
> > [1] -
> >
> -- 
> Thanks,
> Sachith Withana
> -- 
> Thank you
> Supun Nakandala
> Dept. Computer Science and Engineering
> University of Moratuwa

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