Re: [Sidrops] nlnet rp and rsync

Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com> Tue, 12 May 2020 14:07 UTC

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From: Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>
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Date: Tue, 12 May 2020 10:06:21 -0400
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To: Martin Hoffmann <martin@opennetlabs.com>
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Subject: Re: [Sidrops] nlnet rp and rsync
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Martin:

>> A client can use any of the protocols that it wants, but it seems
>> like unnecessary fragility to pick an alternate and then refuse to
>> consider rsync.  This seem counter to a graceful transition,
>> especially if there is a transition from RRDP to RRDP2 in the distant
>> future.
> 
> The decision to not fall back to rsync if RRDP succeeded once was
> actually made with publication point operators in mind. With most
> relying party software now supporting RRDP and preferring it over
> rsync, an operator will see most traffic via RRDP and only very small
> amounts on rsync. Given that unlike with HTTP where lots of tooling and
> services for reliable, scalable operation exist, you are basically on
> your own with rsync, they are likely to only provide a minimum service.
> Now, if the RRDP service becomes unavailable for whatever reason, all
> relying parties hitting the rsync service is not going to end well.
> 
> Since the absolute majority of these RRDP failures are of a transient
> nature and will be resolved by the next validation run, just skipping
> the publication point this time seems a reasonable choice. This could
> probably be improved by remember how many times it failed and switching
> back to rsync after, say, five failures, but I am not sure this is
> worth the effort.

That seems like a desirable improvement.

> As an aside, switching between rsync and RRDP isn’t free. Because an
> RRDP server can essentially publish objects for any rsync URI it wants,
> you have to keep separate trees for rsync and each and every RRDP
> server. So falling back to rsync actually means either downloading the
> full copy or updating a severely outdated copy. It’s not that big a
> deal in the grand scheme of things but worth noting.

I understand that rsync and RRDP offer a very different interface; however, rsync is still the mandatory-to-implement protocol.  And, you clearly already have the code in place to support it.

Russ