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From Selvamohan Neethiraj <>
Subject [PROPOSAL] Apache Argus Proposal
Date Tue, 15 Jul 2014 02:16:58 GMT
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 Foundation
	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 deploy

== 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
	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
	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.
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 components.

=== 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 standards.

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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