The root password supplied during the frontend installation is now used only for the root password of the frontend. Earlier, this password would be used for the MySQL database, Wordpress, and as root passwords for all compute nodes. All these services are now configured randomly-generated passwords.
To set the root passwords for individual backend nodes, the user can now use command line tool rocks add host sec_attr ... attr=root_pw to add a specific root password. rocks sync host sec_attr ... for the password to be set. Root passwd on the frontend is changed using the OS-supplied passwd command.
The rationale behind setting random root passwords for all backend nodes is that, if by some means, an attacker gained access to the root account of a backend node, and then the adversary could ran an offline attack against the crypted version of the root password, none of the other nodes would be compromised.
We've introduced the concept of secure attributes in the database. Any attribute such as passwords, private keys, etc can be stored in the secure attributes table in the database. This table is locked down to be readable only by root, and no one else. It's contents are not transferred during kickstart, and can only be synced using rocks sync host sec_attr, which will update the host specific secure attributes. Each attribute must also have a plugin associated with it, to specify the action to be performed on the backend nodes with the secure attribute as its data.
Changes to 411 infrastructure
411 files can now only be requested by privileged accounts on backend nodes. This is enforced by checking that 411 requests originate only from privileged ports. Iptables is used to filter out requests that come in from non-privileged ports.
411 filters now support pre-send, filter, and post-receive functions. These functions are used to modify the contents of the 411 files being distributed, and to perform local system actions once the 411 files have been received and written to disk. These filters are present in the form of 411 plugins which are stored, modified, and enhanced on the frontend.
The 411 shared key is now distributed outside the kickstart file. This is driven by the command line. The client makes an RPC request to the frontend, and the frontend transfers the 411 shared key out-of-band. It uses rocks command line tools to verify that the request is coming from within the cluster.
Introduction of the categories and indicies for resolving host specific properties in the database.
With this release, we've laid the foundation for creating and using random categories of host groups.
In the previous releases of rocks, the only categories available to system administrators by which they could group hosts were - Global category, Appliance category, OS category, and Hosts category.
With this release, we've introduced the capability of being able to create user specified categories. Some examples are - rack category, where hosts are grouped by rack, a bio category - where hosts can be grouped by whether or not a set of hosts have the bio roll installed, etc.
We've also introduced the concept of category resolution, where when resolving all the categories that a host can belong to, we can specify an chain of resolution. For example - we can state that compute-0-0 belongs to categories [global, linux, compute, rack0, bio]. In our resolution, we can state that we want the properties of the hosts to be picked up from [global, compute, rack0]. This way compute-0-0 picks up only the properties that are part of its resolution chain of categories.
Since this feature is still prototypical, at the moment, it is used only internally for firewall commands and single resolution chain. Subsequent releases will apply the same technique to attributes and routes.
Changes to Firewall commands
The rocks firewall commands now require the presence of a rulename for every iptables rule. These rules are then ordered lexicographically by rule name.
The firewall command structure has some significant changes to reflect the categories and indicies feature described in the previous bullet point. Please look at the rocks command line documentation for more details on how to run the rocks firewall commands.
Introduction of Perl and Python rolls
Two new rolls have been added to Rocks.
Perl Roll - The Perl roll contains Perl 5.14.1, and plenty of CPAN modules that are required for the application software in Rocks to function properly. This version of Perl in installed in /opt/perl.
Python Roll - The version of Python that the core rocks utils depend on, is version 2.4.2. This is a rather dated version of Python. To provide users with the latest versions of python, we've create a Python roll which contains Python version 2.7.2 and version 3.2.1. These are both installed in /opt/python/.
Base: Updated anaconda to v22.214.171.124
Base: Built against CentOS 5.6 with Updates as of August 7, 2011
Base: database secured during installation. DB security now setup using script.
Base: Only root can create tables in cluster db. Use the rocks.my.cnf file to connect to db as root, because the db is already secured by the time this xml file.
Base: Default random root passwords for client nodes
Base: Added a Development Appliance. This is a backend appliance designed for building rolls without impacting the frontend. The appliance uses the frontend yum repository by default but can be configured to use it own local repository for full isolation.
Base: Removed foundation-perl, cpan, and cpan-support. These have been moved to the Perl roll
Base: Save the debug files from the ramdisk onto /root of the hard disk, so we can use them for post-install analysis.
Base: Properly report disk partitions into the database for software RAID file systems. Increase installation speeds for clients with software RAID file systems.
Base: 411 shared key is no longer transferred through kickstart. It is transferred through "rocks sync host sharedkey" 411 configuration is now generated through "rocks report host config411" 411 files are not transferred during kickstart. They are now transferred at first boot.
Base: Unambiguous add host command. Previously it was not possible add hostnames that were command line actions. For example, you could not add a host called "attr" because the command "rocks add host attr" exists.
Base: Remove shadow attributes from attributes tables and added secure attributes tables.
Base: Set primary interface of login servers back to private. Otherwise SGE behaves badly.
Base: Firewall rules now have rulenames and lexical ordering.
Base: Add profile.d/ssh-keygen to login appliances
Base: Hard link /etc/ssh/authorized_keys/id_rsa.pub to /root/.ssh/id_rsa.pub. If a user (or update) sets root's directory permissions tightly, we still read the public key.
Base: Block non-priviledged traffic to 411 port from all networks, including localhost.
Base: Add variable to manage number parallel instances of "rocks sync host" commands.
Base: Support for pre-send, filtering, and post receive actions in 411.
Base: Minor modification to 411put. Use a get_filename function instead of a filename constant.
Base: 411 plugins can access host attributes
Base: 411 filters user password, and shadow information of users with UID < 500
Base: Initial Support for host categories and indicies.
Base: named.conf bug fixes - Now supports multiple subnets on non-octet boundaries.
Base: If yum install fails due to dependency error, force install using rpm --nodeps.
Base: Rocks run roll now honors the "--interpreter" flag to the post sections.
Base: Honor .<arch> directive to yum install. When installing packages use, "yum install <package>" instead of "yum install <packagefile>.rpm"
Base: Use YUM instead of RPM for rocks run roll This fixes two issues - On 64bit we were not installing the 32bit RPMs, and name.arch packages were not being installed.
Base: Support for HVM when using the Xen roll.
Base: Runtime optimization: Do not regenerate ALL pxeboot files. Just those for the hosts specified on the command line.
Base: Parallel class now takes care of serializing tasks that may overrun the system. If more than a set number of tasks are running, then requesting tasks will wait till slots are available to run Each task now prints out error messages if they fail on remote hosts. This way, we can track which syncs failed and which ones succeeded.
Base: Root ssh key needs to be passwordless to allow command/sync access to backend nodes. If root, create ssh key without passphrase. If normal user, create key interactively.
Base: Updated Java to 1.6 update 26
Base: Support for versioned centrals
HPC: Removed ganglia-web-frontend-addons from HPC roll
HPC: Update IOZone to 3.397
HPC: Update MPICH2 to v1.4
HPC: Update OpenMPI to v1.4.3
Ganglia: Updated to v3.2.0
Ganglia: gmond.conf cleaned to support updated version.
Ganglia: Updated apr to v1.4.5
Ganglia: Updated apr-utils to v1.3.13
Java: Tomcat-connectors rpm bug fix. Now no longer generates conflicts when installing tomcat httpd configuration.
SGE: Upgraded SGE to Open Grid Scheduler v6.2 update 5p2
SGE: Move the login appliance configuration out of the SGE roll and into the Base roll.
Web Server: Updated Wordpress to 3.1.3
Web Server: Updated Rocks Theme for Wordpress.
Web Server: Scrub root password from the installation and set the admin password to a string that never hashes.
Web Server: Wordpress admin password can be reset only if valid admin email is supplied.
Xen: Now support HVM as well as paravirtual instances
Xen: no longer need 'rocks-create-vlan'
Xen: added a report to create the xendomains configuration file
Xen: save the CA key and CA certificate that are used to authenticate
libvirt messages. Xen: touch /var/lock/subsys/xendomains in order to save running VMs
Xen: Ability to put frontend on arbitrary vm-container and set its name
Xen: Explicitly state default for virtualization type
Area51: set the right attr for the default tripwire email address
Area51: send tripwire reports to multiple recipients
Bio: Login appliance gets Bio Roll
Bio: Biopython now depends on Python Roll
Bio: BioPython upgraded to v1.5.7
Bio: BioPerl now depends on Perl Roll
Bio: BioPerl CPAN support utils updated
Bio: All BioPerl CPAN utils now built with cpan2dist
Bio: Updated EMBOSS to v6.3.1
Bio: Updated Autodock suite to v4.2.3
Bio: Update CGView to v2.0
Bio: Update fasta to v36.3.5a
Bio: Update MrBayes to v3.1.2
Bio: Update Blast to v2.2.25
Bio: Update reportlab to v2.5
Bio: Update t_coffee to v8.99
Bio: Update WGS to v6.1
Condor: Update Condor to v7.6.2
Condor: rocks login appliance submits jobs to condor
Condor: Experimental: Support submission to EC2
Condor: Add RANK parameter