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From "Robert Joseph Evans (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (HADOOP-8758) Support for pluggable token implementations
Date Tue, 04 Sep 2012 13:23:07 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-8758?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13447676#comment-13447676
] 

Robert Joseph Evans commented on HADOOP-8758:
---------------------------------------------

One really nice use case that Daryn Sharp has talked a lot about is testing.  If you could
easily replace Kerberos with a mock all of the unit tests can be run with security enabled.
 There are a lot of security bugs that creep in because we cannot test with security on all
the time.  

It also would allow us to use tokens when "security" is off.  This would reduce the number
of code paths dramatically which in turn is will improve the coverage of the unit tests. 
I don't know of many people that really will want to replace Kerberos entirely in their grids
some might, but at a minimum from a testing and stability perspective it is very interesting.

                
> Support for pluggable token implementations
> -------------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: HADOOP-8758
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-8758
>             Project: Hadoop Common
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: ipc, security
>            Reporter: Kan Zhang
>            Assignee: Kan Zhang
>
> Variants of the delegation token mechanism have been employed by different Hadoop services
(NN, JT, RM, etc) to re-authenticate a previously Kerberos-authenticated client. While existing
delegation token mechanism compliments Kerberos well, it doesn't necessarily have to be coupled
with Kerberos. In principle, delegation tokens can be coupled with any authentication mechanism
that bootstraps security. In particular, it can be coupled with other token implementations
that use the same DIGEST-MD5 auth method. For example, a token can be pre-generated in an
out-of-band manner and configured as a shared secret key between NN and JT to allow JT to
make initial authentication to NN. This simple example doesn't deal with token renewal etc,
but it helps to illustrate the point that if we can support multiple pluggable token implementations,
it opens up the possibility for different users to plug in the token implementation of their
choice to bootstrap security. Such token based mechanism has advantages over Kerberos in that
1) it doesn't require Kerberos infrastructure, 2) it leverages existing SASL DIGEST-MD5 auth
method and doesn't require adding a new RPC auth method.

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