Do you mean that users interacting with Cassandra through the CLI should be restricted based on a security service?  I agree.  However, I believe the more common case is to front the Cassandra service with an application layer, as you would expose a relational backend.  For that kind of service, the application should control the security.


Basically, a user request to Cassandra is not stateful; any request should be able to perform a transaction against any node in the cluster, using an appropriate consistency model for the request.  Requiring something like real time token synchronization across all nodes in a cluster seems outside of Cassandra’s  eventual consistency model.


Securing the data is intrinsically application-specific.  While I could see adding a plugin that makes the CLI access point secured, I would still want that to be made in a pluggable fashion, so it could be swapped out with a custom implementation.


Of course, this is just my point of view, but I make it after having written several security layers on J2EE apps over the years and none of them have been the same.  Besides that, I want the data layer to be highly efficient and in my opinion, it isn’t the work of the data service to impose security.




From: Brandon Williams []
Sent: November 11, 2009 4:44 PM
Subject: Re: Re: bandwidth limiting Cassandra's replication and access control


On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 9:40 AM, Coe, Robin <> wrote:

IMO, auth services should be left to the application layer that interfaces to Cassandra and not built into Cassandra.  In the tutorial snippet included below, the access being granted is at the codebase level, not the transaction level.  Since users of Cassandra will generally be fronted by a service layer, the java security manager isn’t going to suffice.  What this snippet could do, though, and may be the rationale for the request, is to ensure that unauthorized users cannot instantiate a new Cassandra server.  However, if a user has physical access to the machine on which Cassandra is installed, they could easily bypass that layer of security.


What if Cassandra IS the application you're exposing?  Imagine a large company that creates one large internal Cassandra deployment, and has multiple departments it wants  to create separate keyspaces for.  You can do that now, but there's nothing except a gentlemen's agreement to prevent one department from trashing another department's keyspace, and accidents do happen. You can front the service with some kind of application layer, but then you have another API to maintain, and you'll lose some performance this way.