Apache NiFi 1.0.0 - Secure Site-To-Site

Site-to-Site makes it easy to securely and efficiently transfer data to/from nodes in one NiFi instance, to nodes in another NiFi instance. In this post we’ll look at how to setup a secure Site-to-Site transfer between two standalone instances.

Initial Configuration

We are going to create a similar setup from a previous post where we created a two-node secure cluster, except this time we will have two secure standalone instances.

Download NiFi 1.0.0 and create two copies of the NiFi distribution:

tar xzvf nifi-1.0.0-bin.tar.gz
mv nifi-1.0.0 nifi-1
cp -R nifi-1 nifi-2

Download the NiFi Toolkit and extract it:

tar xzvf nifi-toolkit-1.0.0-bin.tar.gz

We should now have the following directory structure:

ls -l

Lets use the toolkit to generate the secure configuration for our two instances:

cd nifi-toolkit-1.0.0
./bin/tls-toolkit.sh standalone -c ca.nifi.apache.org -C 'CN=bbende, OU=ApacheNiFi' -n 'localhost(2)'

Copy the configuration into each NiFi instance:

cd ..
cp nifi-toolkit-1.0.0/target/localhost/* nifi-1/conf/
cp nifi-toolkit-1.0.0/target/localhost_2/* nifi-2/conf/

Edit nifi-1/conf/authorizers.xml and nifi-2/conf/authorizers.xml and set the Initial Admin Identity to DN of the client certificate generated by the toolkit:

<property name="Initial Admin Identity">CN=bbende, OU=ApacheNiFi</property>

We can now start both instances:

./nifi-1/bin/nifi.sh start && ./nifi-2/bin/nifi.sh start

At this point we should be able to get into the UI of both NiFi instances, assuming the client p12 generated earlier was imported into our browser.

Secure Site-To-Site

For this example we are going to have nifi-1 push data to an Input Port on nifi-2.

Lets create a simple flow on nifi-2 with an Input Port followed by a LogAttribute processor:

In nifi-1 lets create a Remote Process Group (RPG) and point it at the URL of nifi-2:

NOTE: I am running nifi-1 on port 9445, and nifi-2 on port 9446.

We can see a warning on the RPG that says “forbidden”. This is because nifi-1 is attempting to make a request to nifi-2 to retrieve site-to-site information, such as which ports are available and what protocol to use, but nifi-2 has not granted permission to nifi-1 to make this request.

Think of each NiFi instance as a user, and those users need policies to grant them access to perform the desired actions.

In nifi-2 create a user with the DN of the certificate being used by nifi-1, in my case this is “CN=localhost, OU=NIFI”:

Now that we have a user for nifi-1, we can give that user access to retrieve Site-To-Site details.

From the global policies (top-right menu) we can select “retrieve site-to-site details” and create a new policy:

We also need to give nifi-1 access to the specific Input Port on nifi-2. So from nifi-2 we can select that Input Port and click the lock icon in the left palette to create a policy:

Now the RPG in nifi-1 should no longer have the forbidden warning, and should recognize the Input Port from nifi-2 (it can take a few seconds to update after creating the policies).

Lets create a simple flow to send some data to the RPG:

We also have to enable transmission on the RPG and turn on transmission to the Input Port. Right-click on the RPG and select Remote Ports, and toggle the on/off switch:

If we start the flow on nifi-1 we should start seeing data being sent through the RPG and showing up in nifi-2:


This post demonstrates how to create two secure NiFi instances with a secure data transfer between them. NiFi’s authorization model allows each instance to control which resources another instance has access to via site-to-site. In a multi-tenant environment this allows a NiFi instance to ensure that another instance can only send data to an Input Port it has access to, or receive data from an Output Port it has access to.

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