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Apache Ranger

Apache Ranger delivers a comprehensive approach to security for a Hadoop cluster. It provides a centralized platform to define, administer and manage security policies consistently across Hadoop components.

What Ranger Does

Apache Ranger offers a centralized security framework to manage fine-grained access control across:

Using the Apache Ranger console, security administrators can easily manage policies for access to files, folders, databases, tables, or column. These policies can be set for individual users or groups and then enforced consistently across HDP stack.

The Ranger Key Management Service (Ranger KMS) provides a scalable cryptographic key management service for HDFS “data at rest” encryption. Ranger KMS is based on the Hadoop KMS originally developed by the Apache community and extends the native Hadoop KMS functionality by allowing system administrators to store keys in a secure database.

Ranger also provides security administrators with deep visibility into their Hadoop environment through a centralized audit location that tracks all the access requests in real time and support multiple destination sources including HDFS and Solr.

What Ranger Does

Apache Ranger has a decentralized architecture with the following internal components:

Component Description
Ranger admin portal The Ranger Admin portal is the central interface for security administration. Users can create and update policies, which are then stored in a policy database. Plugins within each component poll these policies at regular intervals. The portal also consists of an audit server that sends audit data collected from the plugins for storage in HDFS or in a relational database.
Ranger plugins Plugins are lightweight Java programs which embed within processes of each cluster component. For example, the Apache Ranger plugin for Apache Hive is embedded within Hiveserver2. These plugins pull in policies from a central server and store them locally in a file. When a user request comes through the component, these plugins intercept the request and evaluate it against the security policy. Plugins also collect data from the user request and follow a separate thread to send this data back to the audit server.
User group sync Apache Ranger provides a user synchronization utility to pull users and groups from Unix or from LDAP or Active Directory. The user or group information is stored within Ranger portal and used for policy definition.

Ranger can be deployed manually or can be deployed using Ambari, starting with Ambari 2.0.

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