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August 11, 2014
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Announcing Apache Argus: A Clarion Call


In May, Hortonworks acquired XA Secure and made a promise to contribute this technology to the Apache Software Foundation.  In June, we made it available for all to download and use from our website and today we are proud to announce this technology officially lives on as Apache Argus, an incubator project within the ASF.

This podling has been formed and now the process of graduating Argus to a top-level project (TLP) has begun. Given our proven commitment to the Apache Software Foundation process, we feel uniquely qualified to bring this important technology and it capabilities to the broader open source community.

Argus Charter

So, what exactly will Argus deliver?  With the delivery of YARN, which powers Hadoop’s ability to run multiple workloads operating on shared data sets within a single cluster, a heightened requirement for a centralized approach to security policy definition and coordinated enforcement has surfaced.

Argus will deliver this comprehensive approach to central security policy administration across the core enterprise security requirements of authentication, authorization, accounting and data protection. It already extends baseline features for coordinated enforcement across Hadoop workloads from batch, interactive SQL and real–time IN Hadoop. And we will leverage the extensible architecture of this security platform to apply policies consistently against additional Hadoop ecosystem components (beyond HDFS, Hive, and HBase) including Storm, Solr, Spark, and more. It truly represents a major step forward for the Hadoop ecosystem by providing a comprehensive approach – all completely as open source.

This represents a big step forward for Enterprise Hadoop and our customers are excited about it. Keith Manthey from Equifax said “Argus brings a level of security to Hadoop that is required for Enterprises to be able to consume it safely.”

We believe Argus represents a critical step for adoption of Hadoop across all enterprises.

Argus Calling

Getting to TLP is not a simple process. One of the most critical requirements for TLP graduation of any ASF project is “to have developed an open and diverse meritocratic community”. Under this criterion, a critical eye is placed on the project to make sure that contribution comes from many individuals but also that the list of committers and contributors comes from a variety of different companies. We wholeheartedly agree for a few reasons…

This is a clarion call for any and all developers to get involved to help architect, design and build out this critical project.  As proven over and over, a broad community based, open source effort is undoubtedly the most effective vehicle to deliver on key requirements within the Hadoop ecosystem.  Not only will it speed delivery of these key security requirements, but a collective input from a community of experienced individuals will ensure that the right functionality is delivered.  It will also take an army to not only deliver, but make sure the functions are tested and reliable.   In fact, the ISV community has already rallied.  We are proud to have three key Hadoop security companies speak out on their intent to help foster this project along and we need more.  Get involved.

And finally, we send a big congrats to the Argus team!


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