[Bro-Dev] design summary: porting Bro scripts to use Broker

Siwek, Jon jsiwek at illinois.edu
Fri Oct 20 11:26:17 PDT 2017

> On Oct 6, 2017, at 5:58 PM, Robin Sommer <robin at icir.org> wrote:
> In the most simple version of this, the cluster framework would just
> hard-code a subscription to "bro/cluster/". And then scripts like the
> Intel framework would just publish all their events to "bro/cluster/"
> directly through Broker.

I just noticed that Bro configures Broker to use its new automatic multihop message forwarding which interacts poorly with a generic “bro/cluster” topic that every node subscribes to.

When configuring a simple cluster of 1 manager, 1 worker, and 1 proxy using the traditional cluster layout (worker connects to both, and proxy connects to manager), I wanted nodes to keep track of which peers are still alive.  To do this I have a simple “hello” event that is sent on seeing a new connection containing the needed information (a broker node id mapping to cluster node name).  Sending that event over the “bro/cluster” topic causes it to be routed around until the TTL kills it. 

In this particular case, maybe not so bad since it’s expected to happen infrequently, but doesn’t seem like something that’s desirable or intuitive in a general sense.  It’s trivial to just disable automatic message forwarding via a global flag, though before going that way, I want to check if I’m missing other context/use-cases.  For the current script-porting work, are there plans/expectations to use automatic message forwarding or to change the traditional cluster topology so it doesn’t contain cycles?

- Jon

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