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From Don Bosco Durai <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Apache Argus Proposal
Date Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:45:45 GMT

Argus main focus is to holistically solve the security challenges within the complex ecosystem
of Hadoop. Argus solution will leverage existing solutions where applicable, which might include
using security from Shiro for some of the Web or REST applications authentication.



> Interesting proposal, it seems like the core technology being described
> has a lot in common with Apache Shiro
> Has collaboration with that community been considered whether just in
> terms of reusing existing Shiro components wherever possible or something
> deeper e.g. inviting Shiro developers to help bootstrap the community?
> Rob

> On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 7:16 PM, Selvamohan Neethiraj
> <> wrote:
>> Apache Argus Proposal (
>> == Abstract ==
>> Argus is a framework to enable, monitor and manage comprehensive data security across
the Hadoop platform.
>> The name “Argus” is derived from Argus Panoptes, a 100-eyed giant in Greek mythology,
endowed with a role to keep “an eye” open and be an effective watchman at all times.
>> == Background ==
>> The vision with Argus is to provide comprehensive security across the Apache Hadoop
ecosystem. With the advent of  Apache YARN, the Hadoop platform can now support a true data
lake architecture. Enterprises can potentially run multiple workloads, in a multi tenant environment.
Data security within Hadoop needs to evolve to support multiple use cases for data access,
while also providing a framework for central administration of security policies and monitoring
of user access.
>> XA Secure, a Hadoop security focused startup, developed the initial technology behind
Argus. XA Secure was acquired by Hortonworks, which now is contributing the technology to
the open source community to extend and innovate.
>> == Rationale ==
>> Many of the projects in the Hadoop ecosystem have their own authentication, authorization,
and auditing components. There are no central administration and auditing capabilities. We
are looking to address these enterprises security needs of central administration and comprehensive
security through the Argus project.
>> Our initial focus would be around authorization and auditing, the longer term vision
would be to tie all aspects around data security within the Hadoop platform.
>> == Proposal Details ==
>> The vision of Argus is to enable comprehensive data security across the Hadoop platform.
The goal is provide a single user interface or API to manage security policies, monitor user
access and policy changes history. The framework would work with individual components in
enforcing these policies and in capturing relevant audit information.
>> Initial Goals
>>        1.      Donate the Argus source code and documentation to the Apache Software
>>        2.      Setup and standardize the open governance of the Argus project
>>        3.      Build a user and developer community
>>        4.      Deeper Integration with Hadoop Platform
>>                a.      Enable integration with Apache Storm, Apache Knox and Apache
Falcon for authorization and auditing
>>        5.      Configurable centralized storage of audit data into HDFS
>>        6.      Enable framework to be run in both Linux and Windows environments
>>        7.      Rationalize install procedure, making it easier for enterprises to
>> == Longer Term Goals ==
>> In longer term, Argus should provide a comprehensive security framework for Hadoop
platform components, covering the following
>>        1.      Centralized security administration to manage all security related
tasks in a central UI
>>        2.      Fine grained authorization to do a specific action and/or operation
with Hadoop component/tool and managed through a central administration tool
>>                a.      Standardize authorization method across all Hadoop components
>>                b.      Enhanced support for different authorization methods - Role
based access control, attribute based access control etc
>>                c.      Enable tag based global policies
>>        3.      Centralize auditing of user access and administrative actions (security
related) within all the components of Hadoop
>> == Current Status ==
>> Argus’ technology is currently being used by enterprises and is under active development.
>> The key components of Argus are:
>>        •       Enterprise Security Administration Portal
>>                ◦       A Java Web Application, designed for administration of security
policies from a single location for the entire hadoop cluster (and even multiple hadoop clusters)
>>        •       Security Agents
>>                ◦       A light-weight Java Agent, which will be embedded into the
hadoop component (e.g. Hive, HBase and Hadoop) as an authorization provider to enforce the
security policies and also collect access events/logs.
>>        •       User/Group Synchronizer Module
>>                ◦       A standalone daemon which allows the user/group information
to be synched from the enterprise user repositories like LDAP/AD to Argus local database.
This user/group information in Argus local database will help the security policy administrators
>>                        ▪       to define security policies by  selecting users/groups
from a drop-down box (instead of typing their name/group in a text-box).
>>                        ▪       to delegate policy administration to other users/groups
>>                        ▪       to restrict view of reports based on the users/groups
>>        •       Centralized Audit Logs and Monitoring
>>                ◦       Log events to central data storage/database
>>                ◦       Interactive query of audit events
>>                ◦       Audit administrator actions
>> The initial version provides ability to
>>        1.      Define security policies using a central security administration UI.
>>        2.      Fine grained access control for HDFS (file level) , Hive (column level)
and HBase (column level)
>>        3.      Framework to record access/operational events/logs as part of auditing
and view using a central monitoring UI.
>>        4.      Support delegated policy administration
>>        5.      Centralized audit monitoring and query capabilities
>> === Meritocracy ===
>> We plan to invest in supporting a meritocracy. We will discuss the requirements in
an open forum. Several companies have already expressed interest in this project, and we intend
to invite additional developers to participate. We will encourage and monitor community participation
so that privileges can be extended to those that contribute.
>> === Community ===
>> We are happy to report that there are existing Apache committers and corporate users
who are closely involved in the project already. We hope to extend the user and developer
base further in the future and build a solid open source community around Argus, growing the
community and adding committers following the Apache meritocracy model.
>> === Core Developers ===
>> The initial technology within Argus was originally built by the team at XA Secure.
XA Secure was founded and managed by experienced members with a wide background in enterprise
security. Some of the XA’s core team have been proposed as core developers for this project.
The developer list also include an Apache member and PMC members from several Apache projects
(Hadoop, HBase, and Knox). A concern is that all of the core developers are employed by Hortonworks
and thus an emphasis will be on increasing the diversity of the developer community.
>> Alignment
>> The initial committers strongly believe that a unified security portal for Apache
Hadoop, Hive, and HBase will gain broad adoption as an open source, community driven project.
Our hope is that the Apache Falcon, Apache Storm,  Apache Knox, and other communities will
find tremendous value in Argus and will adopt it en masse.
>> == Known Risks ==
>> === Orphaned Products ===
>> The initial code behind Argus is under active development and is being actively used
by several enterprises. It is not expected to be orphaned.
>> === Inexperience  with Open Source ===
>> Many of the core developers have long-standing experience in open source, Dili Aramugam,
Kevin Minder and Larry McCay are committers on the Apache Knox project. Sanjay Radia and Owen
O’Malley are PMC members on several Apache projects. We have several mentors that will work
with the inexperienced committers on building a thriving developer community.
>> === Homogeneous Developers ===
>> The current core developers are all from Hortonworks. However, we expect to establish
a thriving developer community that includes users of Argus and developers of other Hadoop
>> === Reliance on Salaried Developers ===
>> Currently, all of the developers are paid to work on Argus. A key goal for the incubation
process will be to broaden the developer base.
>> Relationships with Other Apache Products
>> The biggest risk is fast rate of growth of new features within the Hadoop ecosystem
and security standards not being applied during the initial development of these new products.
We believe an active engagement from the Hadoop community would significantly aid adoption
of common security framework across the ecosystem and will help in establishing cross component
>> As mentioned in the Alignment section, Argus is closely integrated with Hadoop, Hive
and HBase in a numerous ways. We look forward to collaborating with those communities, as
well as other Apache communities.
>> There is some overlap between the goals of Argus and Apache Sentry. Apache encourages
disjoint teams to form independent projects, even when those projects overlap in scope. Additionally,
we feel that the distinct code bases, development teams, and different approaches to the problem
should be represented by different projects. This will provide better choices for users to
choose from.
>> === An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ===
>> While we respect the reputation of the Apache brand and have no doubts that it will
attract contributors and users, our interest is primarily to give Argus a solid home as an
open source project with a broad developer base and to encourage adoption by the related ASF
projects and foster innovation around security
>> == Documentation ==
>> == Initial Source ==
>> We will make the initial source available as a patch.
>> == Source and IP Submission Plan ==
>> 1.      All source will be moved to Apache Infrastructure
>> 2.      All outstanding issues in our in-house JIRA infrastructure will be replicated
into the Apache JIRA system.
>> 3.      We will be acquiring a twitter handle for project Argus (eg: @apacheargus
>> == External Dependencies ==
>> Argus has no external dependencies except for some Java libraries that are considered
ASF-compatible (JUnit, SLF4J, …) and Apache artifacts : Hadoop, Log4J and the transient
dependencies of all these artifacts.
>> == Cryptography ==
>> Argus does not incorporate encryption currently.
>> == Required Resources ==
>> === Mailing Lists: ===
>> 1.      argus-dev
>> 2.      argus-commits
>> 3.      argus-private
>> === Infrastructure: ===
>> 1.      Git repository
>> 2.      JIRA Argus
>> 3.      Gerrit for reviewing patches
>> The existing code includes local host integration tests, so we would like a Jenkins
instance to run them whenever a new patch is submitted.
>> == Initial Committers ==
>> * Balaji Ganesan (bganesan at
>> * Dilli Arumugam (darumugam at
>> * Don Bosco Durai (bdurai at
>> * Kevin Minder (kminder at
>> * Larry McCay (lmccay at
>> * Madhanmohan Neethiraj (mneethiraj at
>> * Owen O’Malley (omalley at
>> * Ramesh Mani (rmani at
>> * Sanjay Radia (sradia at
>> * Selvamohan Neethiraj (sneethiraj at
>> == Affiliations ==
>> * Balaji Ganesan - Hortonworks
>> * Dilli Arumugam - Hortonworks
>> * Don Bosco Durai - Hortonworks
>> * Kevin Minder - Hortonworks
>> * Larry McCay - Hortonworks
>> * Madhanmohan Neethiraj - Hortonworks
>> * Owen O’Malley - Hortonworks
>> * Ramesh Mani - Hortonworks
>> * Sanjay Radia - Hortonworks
>> * Selvamohan Neethiraj - Hortonworks
>> == Sponsors ==
>> === Champion: ===
>> * Owen O’Malley (omalley at - Hortonworks
>> === Nominated Mentors: ===
>> * Alan Gates - Hortonworks
>> * Devaraj Das - Hortonworks
>> * Jakob Homan - LinkedIn
>> * Owen O’Malley - Hortonworks
>> === Sponsoring Entity ===
>> Incubator PMC
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