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From Mohammad Nour El-Din <nour.moham...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [VOTE] ALOIS to enter the incubator
Date Thu, 26 Aug 2010 16:54:42 GMT
+1 notbinding

On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 4:30 PM, Benson Margulies <bimargulies@gmail.com> wrote:
> OK, I read the syntax of this sideways.
>
> +1, binding, from me.
>
> On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 12:26 PM, Urs Lerch <mail@ulerch.net> wrote:
>> Hi
>>
>> There is, at least in my opinion, a very clear statement regarding the
>> licencing:
>>
>>  = Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan =
>>
>>  ALOIS is currently under a GPL licence. Since there are only two
>>  contributors so far, both from the same company, there is no problem
>>  to re-licence the code and contribute it to Apache. The commitment of
>>  the company's owner has been granted.
>>
>> The names of the two contributors are listed elsewhere in the proposal.
>> Do you think that ain't enough?
>>
>> Best
>> Urs
>>
>>
>> Am Donnerstag, den 26.08.2010, 12:17 -0400 schrieb Benson Margulies:
>>> I don't see anything explicit in here about relicensing from GPL to
>>> ASL. Perhaps that was hashed out before I joined the PMC?
>>>
>>> I'm +0 tending toward -1 without an explicit statement that the
>>> copyright owners are known and on board with the license change.
>>>
>>> On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 12:09 PM, Urs Lerch <mail@ulerch.net> wrote:
>>> > Hi,
>>> >
>>> > I would like to call a vote for accepting "ALOIS" for incubation in
>>> > the Apache Incubator. The full proposal is available below and on the
>>> > proposal wiki page (http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/AloisProposal).  We
>>> > ask the Incubator PMC to sponsor it, with Scott Deboy volunteering as
>>> > Champion and Mentor. Additional mentors are warmly welcome.
>>> >
>>> > Please cast your vote:
>>> >
>>> > [ ] +1, bring ALOIS into Incubator
>>> > [ ] +0, I don't care either way,
>>> > [ ] -1, do not bring ALOIS into Incubator, because...
>>> >
>>> > This vote will be open for 72 hours and only votes from the Incubator
>>> > PMC are binding.
>>> >
>>> > Thanks,
>>> > Urs
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > --------------------------------------------
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Preface =
>>> >
>>> > ALOIS is a log collection and correlation software with reporting and
>>> > alarming functionalities. It has been implemented by the Swiss company
>>> > IMSEC for a customer about five years ago. GPL-licenced, implemented in
>>> > Ruby and completely based on other OSS-licensed components, it was
>>> > designed for the open source community right from the start. Now that
>>> > the software has shown its functioning over several years in production
>>> > with the one customer and one IMSEC-internal installation, it seems to
>>> > be the right time to open it to a wider community.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Abstract =
>>> >
>>> > ALOIS stands for „Advanced Logging and Intrusion Detection System“ and
>>> > is meant to be a fully implemented open source SIEM (security
>>> > information and event management) system.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Proposal =
>>> >
>>> > While almost all other SIEM software, be it closed or open source,
>>> > concentrate on the technological part of security monitoring, ALOIS is
>>> > aimed to monitor the security of the content. It intends to be
>>> > pro-active in the detection of potential loss, theft, mistaken
>>> > modification or unauthorized access. ALOIS works on log messages and
>>> > thus contains all the basic functionality of a conventional SIEM, as
>>> > centralized collecting, normalizing, aggregation, analyzing and
>>> > correlating of all log messages, as well as reporting all security
>>> > related events. Therefore it can be used as any other SIEM.
>>> >
>>> > ALOIS consists of five modules interacting to ensure a scaleable
>>> > functionality of a SIEM:
>>> >
>>> >  * Insink is the message sink, which is the receiving entry point for
>>> > all the different log messages into ALOIS. It is partly based on the
>>> > syslog-ng software. Insink listens for messages (UDP), waits for
>>> > messages (TCP), receives message collections (files, emails) and
>>> > pre-filters them to prevent from message flow overload.
>>> >
>>> >  * Pumpy is the incoming FIFO buffer, implemented as a relational
>>> > database tables. which contain the incoming original messages (in raw
>>> > format). In a complex system setup, there may be several insink
>>> > instances, e.g. for a group of hosts, for specific types of messages, or
>>> > for high-avaliablity.
>>> >
>>> >  * Prisma contains logic to split up the text of log messages into
>>> > separate fields, based on regular expressions. Actually, "prisma" is a
>>> > set of "prismi", each one prisma for one type of log message (apache,
>>> > cisco etc. Several prismi can be applied to the same message. This
>>> > allows for stacked messages, i.e. forwarded log messages contained in
>>> > compressed files contained in e-mail messages. The data retrieved form
>>> > the log messages is stored in a database called Dobby. Due to prisma
>>> > being written in Ruby, prismi can be applied interactively (when having
>>> > system access).
>>> >
>>> >  * Dobby is the central log database. It should be separated from the
>>> > Pumpy database for availability and performance reasons. The current
>>> > implementation is based on MySQL.
>>> >
>>> >  * The Analyzer contains the two sub-systems Lizard and Reptor. Lizard
>>> > is the analysis engine and user interface of ALOIS, implemented in Ruby
>>> > on Rails using AJAX. It allows for interactive browsing through the
>>> > collected data, exclusion/inclusion/selection of data, data sorting,
>>> > data filtering, creation of views, ad-hoc textual and graphical
>>> > reporting. Reptor allows for automatic activation of views and
>>> > comparison of these views' results to a predefined result (pattern
>>> > matching). In case of mismatch, Reptor sends the result to predefined
>>> > e-mail addresses.
>>> >
>>> > Its modular design guarantees ALOIS to scale from little to large
>>> > organizations. Since there exists a Debian package, it's easy to build a
>>> > test system or even a productive system for small environments.
>>> >
>>> > Although the software has been in productive use for a few years, there
>>> > is still a lot of desired functionality missing. The plugability of new
>>> > connected systems is given, but needs some revision. It is a given goal
>>> > of the project to allow modules in other programming language.
>>> > Furthermore, it has been discussed if parts of the existing
>>> > implementation may be replaced with other proven open source software,
>>> > e.g. the correlation engine or the web frontend. The other way round, it
>>> > has been discussed that the filter creation engine would make a good
>>> > tool for any kind of structured data, and thus could be separated from
>>> > ALOIS and standardized as a stand-alone tool.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Background =
>>> >
>>> > It's not simple to know what happens in a bigger network. There's a
>>> > multitude of applications, services and appliances working together.
>>> > Many of them provide some kind of events or state information. The
>>> > network administrator needs to get hands on all of them. But they come
>>> > in many different flavors and multiple canals. Therefore, it's hard to
>>> > get the big picture. Furthermore, we have learned that it's impossible
>>> > to protect a system against all malicious attacks and to keep all the
>>> > possible faulty handling away. A monitoring of the systems to guarantee
>>> > a pro-active handling is therefore needed..
>>> >
>>> > Therefore, more and more organizations collect and analyze all logfiles
>>> > in a centralized system, called a SIEM (security information and event
>>> > management). The technology provides two major functions for security
>>> > events from networks, systems and applications: log management and
>>> > compliance reporting (SIM – security information management) and
>>> > real-time monitoring and incident management (SEM – security event
>>> > management).
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Rationale =
>>> >
>>> > Why another security information and event management system? It's true,
>>> > there's already plenty of them. While the proprietary software is way
>>> > too expensive for smaller to mid-sized companies, we find that the open
>>> > source solutions are either too simple or not completely open. For
>>> > example, behind each of the well known systems “OSSIM” and “Prelude”,
>>> > there is a company that either closes central functionality for its own
>>> > business or has dual licensing and therefore asks the full copyright for
>>> > all contributed code.
>>> >
>>> > ALOIS is aimed to be totally free and open for all contributions. The
>>> > openness provided for other programming languages is certainly proof of
>>> > this. The plug-ability - yet to be further developed - is meant to
>>> > guarantee that individual needs can be realized without stressing the
>>> > whole system too much. In our opinion, the Linux kernel is a good
>>> > example that this can work very well.
>>> >
>>> > Since we are in accordance with „the Apache way“, we would be very
>>> > pleased if ALOIS could become part of the Apache community. In Addition,
>>> > the Apache Logging Services would be a perfect home for the software.
>>> > Furthermore, it's not the intention to compete with the already existing
>>> > log viewer and analyzing tool „Chainsaw“. Since Chainsaw is a relatively
>>> > easy tool, it meets a rather different need. Nevertheless, if the two
>>> > projects use synergies, both can profit.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Initial Goals =
>>> >
>>> > When this project started ins 2005, there was no proven SIEM open source
>>> > software and the commercial tools were way too expensive for the needed
>>> > environment. Therefore, we decided together with a customer of ours to
>>> > implement an open source SIEM tool from scratch. Now the software has
>>> > run in a production environment for several years and has proven its
>>> > functionality and reliabilty.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Current Status =
>>> >
>>> > == Meritocracy ==
>>> >
>>> > As already mentioned, ALOIS is already in production use in two
>>> > organizations. All the code has been written by two persons of the same
>>> > company in a paid employment relationship. It is obvious that this is
>>> > way different from the open source approach within Apache. But
>>> > nevertheless, the two developers have always worked as a team and the
>>> > decisions were made in consensus whenever possible. But it is no secret,
>>> > that these developers have to learn to behave in an open community.
>>> > Understanding this potential problem, they already got support by a
>>> > freelance consulter, who has the corresponding experience and knowledge.
>>> >
>>> > == Community ==
>>> >
>>> > Until today there is no real community, because the project hasn't been
>>> > published officially, although it had been completely published on the
>>> > web site for a couple of months (until a server relaunch). Convinced by
>>> > the concept and design of the software, we are open and hope to reach
>>> > many contributors and users. We think that it is realistic, because the
>>> > SIEM issue has yet not been resolved in the OSS space.
>>> >
>>> > == Core Developers ==
>>> >
>>> > ALOIS was developed by Simon Hürliman and Flavio Pellanda, both employed
>>> > by the company IMSEC. Concerning Design and Architecture, Marcus
>>> > Holthaus, owner of IMSEC, gave his input as security specialist. Since
>>> > the beginning of this year, Urs Lerch, a doctorate on the subject of
>>> > commercial open source software development, supports the team with his
>>> > knowledge. Simon Hürlimann has left the company three years ago, but is
>>> > still active in the OSS environment (although not for ALOIS). Current
>>> > employee Daniel Lutz (a Debian Developer) has also contributed to the
>>> > project.
>>> >
>>> > == Alignment ==
>>> >
>>> > Besides that we strongly believe in the „Apache way“, we think that
>>> > although that Apache hosts the Logging Services and different security
>>> > projects, there is a gap when it comes to a superordinate security view.
>>> > We therefore think it a good idea to add our SIEM project to the Apache
>>> > repository. On the other side, Apache would become an even more complete
>>> > software repository.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Known Risks =
>>> >
>>> > == Orphaned products ==
>>> >
>>> > Since the software is only maintained by employers of one company, there
>>> > is a severe risk of being orphaned. But, on the one hand, the company
>>> > has a sustained interest in keeping the project alive, because there are
>>> > plans to offer services on top of ALOIS, and IMSEC uses the software for
>>> > SIEM on their own systems. For this reason there exists a budget for the
>>> > development and support of ALOIS. On the other hand, we believe that
>>> > ALOIS is of great interest for other people and companies tied to IT
>>> > security. Therefore, our step to the Apache incubator is also a step to
>>> > a bigger community.
>>> >
>>> > == Inexperience with Open Source ==
>>> >
>>> > While ALOIS has always been licenced under the GPL, access to the source
>>> > code, bug tracker and version control system has been restricted to
>>> > internal users for most of the time. But the company has a strong
>>> > believe in the open source movement and therefore engages its employees
>>> > to take part in the community. Furthermore, it is also a strategic
>>> > decision to build services on top of linux.
>>> >
>>> > We understand that the Apache Incubator is a great opportunity for us to
>>> > get assistance, when it comes to specific questions on the open source
>>> > development. Even more, the company has created a part time position for
>>> > the open source community work.
>>> >
>>> > == Homogenous Developers ==
>>> >
>>> > Although ALOIS has been developed by employees of only one company,
>>> > there is a thorough openness. The company is designed to stay small and
>>> > therefore works with several independent partners. Furthermore, its
>>> > employees work in geographically different parts of the country.
>>> > Therefore, it is no new experience for the developers to work in a
>>> > distributed environment and argue rather than to command. Already today
>>> > the employees are enforced to document all face-to-face communication in
>>> > the internal wiki. Sketches are photographed and stored in the project's
>>> > digital folder.
>>> >
>>> > == Reliance on Salaried Developers ==
>>> >
>>> > Until today all the development of ALOIS has been made in a paid
>>> > emplyoment. Therefore we know that this brings a significant danger.
>>> > Since it is our stated aim to encourage participation and recruit
>>> > commiters, we hope to eliminate this risk as soon as possible.
>>> > Furthermore, the employees of IMSEC are all open source enthusiasts and
>>> > are in one way or another active in the community. Although we have no
>>> > certainty, there is good indication that the current commiters would
>>> > continue their work on ALOIS, even if they wouldn't be paid for it.
>>> >
>>> > == Relationships with Other Apache Products ==
>>> >
>>> > The Apache Logging Service would be a perfect home for ALOIS as a
>>> > centralized logging collection and analyzing tool. Furthermore, we think
>>> > that we could share part of the code with the Chainsaw subproject, since
>>> > both need similar functionality in the web frontend. Since it is our
>>> > statet aim to replace our own code with proofen open source libraries,
>>> > we are open for any collaboration with other projects. For example, the
>>> > replacement of the MySQL with a NoSQL database might be useful for
>>> > performance reasons; therefore HBase is a good candidate.
>>> >
>>> > == An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ==
>>> >
>>> > The Apache brand is in fact for its own a very good reason to join the
>>> > Incubator. But much more our desire to become part of the Apache
>>> > Incubator is our strong believe in open source software in general and
>>> > in the „Apache way“ in particular. We would love to learn from the
>>> > experience and knowledge of the foundation's members and participants,
>>> > which is an important part of the brand as well. The foundation has
>>> > shown many times, that it has the processes and people to succeed in
>>> > launching a project. We would be very proud to be part of this success
>>> > story.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Documentation =
>>> >
>>> > The documentation is rather weak and scattered. It has mainly been
>>> > maintained on a wiki and is open to improvement. Since we are totally
>>> > aware that this is a killer for a successfull open source project, we
>>> > have already started an internal project with its own budget to improve
>>> > this shortcomming. Once the project has been launched, writing a blog or
>>> > open a forum are other possibilities we already thought of.
>>> >
>>> > Furthermore, as the employees are used to work in a geographycally
>>> > distributed environment, a lot of the internal communication happens in
>>> > a chat. Thus, opening a new chat channel for the community is scheduled.
>>> > (To document the discussions for all those who were off-line, we would
>>> > send the logs daily to the mailing list.)
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Initial Source =
>>> >
>>> > Although the initial source comes from a project for a customer. it has
>>> > an open source licence since the beginning. Therefore it doesn't have
>>> > any propriatary code in it. A thorough revision before releasing it to a
>>> > public repository is recommend and is also in planning.
>>> >
>>> > The initial source will be a snapshot of the version control system,
>>> > accompanied by a related debian package.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan =
>>> >
>>> > ALOIS is currently under a GPL licence. Since there are only two
>>> > contributors so far, both from the same company, there is no problem to
>>> > re-licence the code and contribute it to Apache. The commitment of the
>>> > company's owner has been granted.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = External Dependencies =
>>> >
>>> > So far, no external dependencies are known. As mentioned before, a
>>> > thorough revision of the codebase is in planning. There it can be
>>> > controlled, that no other licence is affected by the code.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Cryptography =
>>> >
>>> > ALOIS does not involve cryptographic code.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Required Resources =
>>> >
>>> > == Mailing lists ==
>>> >
>>> > The following mailing lists will be required:
>>> >
>>> >  * alois-private
>>> >  * alois-dev
>>> >  * alois-commits
>>> >  * alois-users
>>> >
>>> > == Subversion Directory ==
>>> >
>>> > https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/incubator/alois
>>> >
>>> > == Issue Tracking ==
>>> >
>>> > JIRA ALOIS (ALOIS)
>>> >
>>> > == Other Resources ==
>>> >
>>> > We would like to open a chat channel. If this isn't possible within the
>>> > infrastructure of Apache, we would love to do this in our own already
>>> > existing infrastructure.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Initial Commiters =
>>> >
>>> >  * NAME             EMAIL                          
   AFFILIATION  CLA
>>> >  * Flavio Pellanda  flavio.pellanda at logintas dot ch IMSEC      
 no
>>> >  * Urs Lerch        mail at ulerch dot net             IMSEC
       no
>>> >  * Daniel Lutz      daniel.lutz at logintas dot ch     IMSEC    
   no
>>> >  * Marcus Holthaus  marcus.holthaus at imsec dot ch    IMSEC      
 no
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > = Sponsors =
>>> >
>>> > == Champion ==
>>> >
>>> >  * Scott Deboy <sdeboy at apache dot org>
>>> >
>>> > == Nominated Mentors ==
>>> >
>>> >  * Scott Deboy <sdeboy at apache dot org>
>>> >
>>> > == Sponsoring Entity ==
>>> >
>>> > The Incubator PMC (requested) b
>>> >
>>>
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>>
>>
>
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>



-- 
Thanks
- Mohammad Nour
  Author of (WebSphere Application Server Community Edition 2.0 User Guide)
  http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg247585.html
- LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mnour
- Blog: http://tadabborat.blogspot.com
----
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving"
- Albert Einstein

"Writing clean code is what you must do in order to call yourself a
professional. There is no reasonable excuse for doing anything less
than your best."
- Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

"Stay hungry, stay foolish."
- Steve Jobs

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