[openstack-dev] [Oslo] oslo.messaging on VMs

Steven Dake sdake at redhat.com
Thu Mar 6 19:33:56 UTC 2014

On 03/06/2014 10:24 AM, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 06, 2014 at 07:25:37PM +0400, Dmitry Mescheryakov wrote:
>> Hello folks,
>> A number of OpenStack and related projects have a need to perform
>> operations inside VMs running on OpenStack. A natural solution would
>> be an agent running inside the VM and performing tasks.
>> One of the key questions here is how to communicate with the agent. An
>> idea which was discussed some time ago is to use oslo.messaging for
>> that. That is an RPC framework - what is needed. You can use different
>> transports (RabbitMQ, Qpid, ZeroMQ) depending on your preference or
>> connectivity your OpenStack networking can provide. At the same time
>> there is a number of things to consider, like networking, security,
>> packaging, etc.
>> So, messaging people, what is your opinion on that idea? I've already
>> raised that question in the list [1], but seems like not everybody who
>> has something to say participated. So I am resending with the
>> different topic. For example, yesterday we started discussing security
>> of the solution in the openstack-oslo channel. Doug Hellmann at the
>> start raised two questions: is it possible to separate different
>> tenants or applications with credentials and ACL so that they use
>> different queues? My opinion that it is possible using RabbitMQ/Qpid
>> management interface: for each application we can automatically create
>> a new user with permission to access only her queues. Another question
>> raised by Doug is how to mitigate a DOS attack coming from one tenant
>> so that it does not affect another tenant. The thing is though
>> different applications will use different queues, they are going to
>> use a single broker.
> Looking at it from the security POV, I'd absolutely not want to
> have any tenant VMs connected to the message bus that openstack
> is using between its hosts. Even if you have security policies
> in place, the inherent architectural risk of such a design is
> just far too great. One small bug or misconfiguration and it
> opens the door to a guest owning the entire cloud infrastructure.
> Any channel between a guest and host should be isolated per guest,
> so there's no possibility of guest messages finding their way out
> to either the host or to other guests.
> If there was still a desire to use oslo.messaging, then at the
> very least you'd want a completely isolated message bus for guest
> comms, with no connection to the message bus used between hosts.
> Ideally the message bus would be separate per guest too, which
> means it ceases to be a bus really - just a point-to-point link
> between the virt host + guest OS that happens to use the oslo.messaging
> wire format.
> Regards,
> Daniel
I agree and have raised this in the past.

IMO oslo.messaging is a complete nonstarter for guest communication 
because of security concerns.

We do not want guests communicating on the same message bus as 
infrastructure.  The response to that was "well just have all the guests 
communicate on their own unique messaging server infrastructure".  The 
downside of this is one guests activity could damage a different guest 
because of a lack of isolation and the nature in which message buses 
work.  The only workable solution which ensures security is a unique 
message bus per guest - which means a unique daemon per guest.  Surely 
there has to be a better way.

The idea of isolating guests on a user basis, but allowing them to all 
exchange messages on one topic doesn't make logical sense to me.  I just 
don't think its possible, unless somehow rpc delivery were changed to 
deliver credentials enforced by the RPC server in addition to calling 
messages.  Then some type of credential management would need to be done 
for each guest in the infrastructure wishing to use the shared message bus.

The requirements of oslo.messaging solution for a shared agent is that 
the agent would only be able to listen and send messages directed 
towards it (point to point) but would be able to publish messages to a 
topic for server consumption (the agent service, which may be integrated 
into other projects).  This way any number of shared agents could 
communicate to one agent service, but those agents would be isolated 
from one another.

Perhaps user credentials could be passed as well in the delivery of each 
RPC message, but that means putting user credentials in the VM to start 
the communication.  Bootstrapping seems like a second obvious problem 
with this model.

I prefer a point to point model, much as the metadata service works 
today.  Although rpc.messaging is a really nice framework (I know, I 
just ported heat to oslo.messaging!) it doesn't fit this problem well 
because of the security implications.


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