Considering security specific to a multi-node or process ND environment


WAS ND supports centralized management of distributed nodes and appservers. This support inherently brings complexity, especially when security is included. Because everything is distributed, security plays an even larger role in ensuring that communications are appropriately secure between appservers and node agents, and between node agents (a node-specific configuration manager) and the dmgr (a domain-wide, centralized configuration manager).

Because the processes are distributed, the authentication mechanism that must be used is LTPA. The LTPA tokens are encrypted, signed and forwardable to remote processes. However, the tokens have expirations. The SOAP connector, which is the default connector, is used for administrative security and does not have retry logic for expired tokens. However, the protocol is stateless so a new token is created for each request if there is not sufficient time to run the request with the given time left in the token. An alternative connector is the RMI connector, which is stateful, and has some retry logic to correct expired tokens by resubmitting the requests after the error is detected. Also, because tokens have time-specific expiration, the synchronization of the system clocks is crucial to the proper operation of token-based validation. If the clocks are off by too much (approximately 10-15 minutes), we can encounter unrecoverable validation failures that can be avoided by having them in sync. Verify that the clock time, date, and time zones are all the same between systems. It is acceptable for nodes to be across time zones, provided that the times are correct within the time zones (for example, 5 PM CST = 6 PM EST, and so on).

Consider the following issues when using or planning for a ND environment.

 

 

Results

Proper understanding of the security interactions between distributed servers greatly reduces the problems that are encountered with secure communications. Security adds complexity because additional function must be managed. For security to work properly, it needs thorough consideration during the planning of the infrastructure.

 

Next steps

When we have security problems that are related to the WAS ND environment, see Troubleshooting security configurations to find additional information about the problem. When trace is needed to solve a problem because servers are distributed, it is often required to gather trace on all servers simultaneously while recreating the problem. This trace can be enabled dynamically or statically, depending on the type of problem that is occurring.

 

Related tasks


Troubleshooting security configurations