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Title: Secure Storage Architectures

The purpose of this report is to clarify the challenges associated with storage for secure enclaves. The major focus areas for the report are: - review of relevant parallel filesystem technologies to identify assets and gaps; - review of filesystem isolation/protection mechanisms, to include native filesystem capabilities and auxiliary/layered techniques; - definition of storage architectures that can be used for customizable compute enclaves (i.e., clarification of use-cases that must be supported for shared storage scenarios); - investigate vendor products related to secure storage. This study provides technical details on the storage and filesystem used for HPC with particular attention on elements that contribute to creating secure storage. We outline the pieces for a a shared storage architecture that balances protection and performance by leveraging the isolation capabilities available in filesystems and virtualization technologies to maintain the integrity of the data. Key Points: There are a few existing and in-progress protection features in Lustre related to secure storage, which are discussed in (Chapter 3.1). These include authentication capabilities like GSSAPI/Kerberos and the in-progress work for GSSAPI/Host-keys. The GPFS filesystem provides native support for encryption, which is not directly available in Lustre. Additionally, GPFS includes authentication/authorization mechanisms for inter-cluster sharing of filesystemsmore » (Chapter 3.2). The limitations of key importance for secure storage/filesystems are: (i) restricting sub-tree mounts for parallel filesystem (which is not directly supported in Lustre or GPFS), and (ii) segregation of hosts on the storage network and practical complications with dynamic additions to the storage network, e.g., LNET. A challenge for VM based use cases will be to provide efficient IO forwarding of the parallel filessytem from the host to the guest (VM). There are promising options like para-virtualized filesystems to help with this issue, which are a particular instances of the more general challenge of efficient host/guest IO that is the focus of interfaces like virtio. A collection of bridging technologies have been identified in Chapter 4, which can be helpful to overcome the limitations and challenges of supporting efficient storage for secure enclaves. The synthesis of native filesystem security mechanisms and bridging technologies led to an isolation-centric storage architecture that is proposed in Chapter 5, which leverages isolation mechanisms from different layers to facilitate secure storage for an enclave. Recommendations: The following highlights recommendations from the investigations done thus far. - The Lustre filesystem offers excellent performance but does not support some security related features, e.g., encryption, that are included in GPFS. If encryption is of paramount importance, then GPFS may be a more suitable choice. - There are several possible Lustre related enhancements that may provide functionality of use for secure-enclaves. However, since these features are not currently integrated, the use of Lustre as a secure storage system may require more direct involvement (support). (*The network that connects the storage subsystem and users, e.g., Lustre s LNET.) - The use of OpenStack with GPFS will be more streamlined than with Lustre, as there are available drivers for GPFS. - The Manilla project offers Filesystem as a Service for OpenStack and is worth further investigation. Manilla has some support for GPFS. - The proposed Lustre enhancement of Dynamic-LNET should be further investigated to provide more dynamic changes to the storage network which could be used to isolate hosts and their tenants. - The Linux namespaces offer a good solution for creating efficient restrictions to shared HPC filesystems. However, we still need to conduct a thorough round of storage/filesystem benchmarks. - Vendor products should be more closely reviewed, possibly to include evaluation of performance/protection of select products. (Note, we are investigation the option of evaluating equipment from Seagate/Xyratex.) Outline: The remainder of this report is structured as follows: - Section 1: Describes the growing importance of secure storage architectures and highlights some challenges for HPC. - Section 2: Provides background information on HPC storage architectures, relevant supporting technologies for secure storage and details on OpenStack components related to storage. Note, that background material on HPC storage architectures in this chapter can be skipped if the reader is already familiar with Lustre and GPFS. - Section 3: A review of protection mechanisms in two HPC filesystems; details about available isolation, authentication/authorization and performance capabilities are discussed. - Section 4: Describe technologies that can be used to bridge gaps in HPC storage and filesystems to facilitate...« less
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  1. Tennessee Technological University
  2. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Work for Others (WFO)
Country of Publication:
United States