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Ranger KMS Administration

The Ranger Key Management Service (Ranger KMS) is a open source, scalable cryptographic key management service supporting HDFS "data at rest" encryption.

Ranger KMS is based on the Hadoop KMS originally developed by the Apache community. The Hadoop KMS stores keys in a file-based Java keystore by default. Ranger extends the native Hadoop KMS functionality by allowing you to store keys in a secure database.

Ranger provides centralized administration of the key management server through the Ranger admin portal.

There are three main functions within the Ranger KMS:

  1. Key management. Ranger admin provides the ability to create, update or delete keys using the Web UI or REST APIs. All Hadoop KMS APIs work with Ranger KMS using the keyadmin username and password.

  2. Access control policies. Ranger admin also provides the ability to manage access control policies within Ranger KMS. The access policies control permissions to generate or manage keys, adding another layer of security for data encrypted in Hadoop.

  3. Audit. Ranger provides full audit trace of all actions performed by Ranger KMS.

Ranger KMS along with HDFS encryption are recommended for use in all environments. In addition to secure key storage using a database, Ranger KMS is also scalable, and multiple versions of Ranger KMS can be run behind a load balancer.

For more information about HDFS encryption, see HDFS "Data at Rest" Encryption.