[Lustre-devel] security: MGS connection

Eric Barton eeb at sun.com
Wed Jun 4 12:24:12 PDT 2008

Comments inline

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric.Mei at Sun.COM [mailto:Eric.Mei at Sun.COM] 
> Sent: 04 June 2008 7:38 PM
> To: Eric Barton
> Cc: 'Lustre Development Mailing List'; 'Peter Braam'
> Subject: Re: [Lustre-devel] security: MGS connection
> Eric Barton wrote:
> >> Here is the user interface change according to previous discussion, 
> >> please review:
> >>
> >> - The security flavor of MGS connection is determined by each node, not 
> >>   controllable by MGS.
> > 
> > Is this an unavoidable fact of life or a design decision?
> I think it's not completely unavoidable. For example, MGC can do initial 
> connect without protect, and tell MGS what kind of security mode it 
> support, and MGS replay with its decision, and MGC reconnect with 
> choosed flavor.
> This way will be much more complicated. And more importantly, what if 
> someone hijack the initial non-protected connection? Things seem not 
> getting any better...

I meant some way to ensure the MGS only allows connections with
a certain level of security which might depend on who was connecting
(of course "who" would have to be authenticated).  I would hope this
could be configured outside of lustre?

> > I don't think it's acceptable to allow a previous mount to compromise
> > the security of a later mount.
> Indeed it looks not so good. But the fact of per-node shared MGS 
> connection means only one flavor could be used. To avoid the confusion, 
> to me the only way is don't allow the choice via mount option, instead 
> to choose a "proper" one automatically somehow.

It's OK if the MGS will reject any connection attempt with insufficient
security.  In that case, you could put the security in the mount option
and it should probably be an error to specify different levels of security
when talking to the same MGS.

> > XXX
> > 
> > This raises the interesting question of whether servers (MGS included) can
> > demand a minimim level of security from clients connecting to them.  Is this
> > normally part of configuring security on a given node (e.g. to set the
> > machine credentials you mentioned above)?
> This is the root problem I guess: we can't assume there's security 
> environment ready on each nodes.

If the site needs security, it must be set up correctly.  Whether this is
done within lustre config or outside of it, or both is not the main point -
it _has_ to be set up correctly.

> The procedure of setup gss/kerberos is not extremely easy: configure 
> KDC, installing keytabs, configure gssapi, keyring, etc. And for most 
> Luster clusters, strong security are not needed at all, so people most 
> likely choose to skip that.

1. Making lustre easy to deploy with a null security flavor is a requirement
for sites that have no need for security.

2. Making it hard to deploy lustre with non-obvious "holes" in its security is
a requirement for sites that need security.

3. Making it easy to test lustre with security enabled anywhere is a "nice to have"
but not a requirement and it must certainly not be prioritised over (1) and (2).


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