RASCAL Data Streaming Backend -- Which Technology to use?

David Makalsky dmakalsky at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 15:41:12 UTC 2008

Thank you Peter, Colin and Herb.  Streaming via https is doable, and I  
can implement it as well.  This will of course require an additional  
configuration of ssl on the deployed server.

We must however remember that once an SSL session is started, we have  
to stay authenticated to the same physical server, so session affinity  
is an issue.  I will work through some of the details and draft a  
design proposal for how this will work.

Again, thanks everyone for your feedback and input.


David Makalsky

On 7-Oct-08, at 11:17 AM, Herb Wideman wrote:

> Hi David,
> I'd like to echo Peter's call for the use of a secure communications
> protocol. From the research perspective, data security is critical as
> our research consent agreements with subjects as well as our ethics
> review submissions to the university and/or school boards typically
> include clauses stating that any data gathered will be kept  
> confidential
> by the research team, with an exception only being made for external
> publication when this is done in such a way as to ensure subject  
> anonymity.
> Herb
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 18:08:10 -0400
> From: Peter Rowley <prowley at yorku.ca>
> Subject: Re: RASCAL Data Streaming Backend -- Which Technology to use?
> To: David Makalsky <dmakalsky at gmail.com>
> Cc: Fluid Mailing List <fluid-work at fluidproject.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<OFB2B98947.23F82F6E-ON852574DA.0076296B-852574DA.00799877 at yorku.ca>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Hi David and everyone,
> Following David's suggestion, I've converted an e-mail I sent to him  
> into
> one for fluid-work, so everyone can get in on the discussion.
> Based on some discussions within CNS at York, I'd suggest looking more
> closely at using HTTPS, i.e. HTTP over SSL.  HTTPS...
> - due to the possibility that the screen recordings contain secure  
> data
> and thus the need to transmit them securely to the server,
> - due to the fact that it encodes credentials used for authorization  
> to
> deposit recordings on the server, and
> - due to its acceptability to sysadmins from a security perspective
> (stemming from the nature of the protocol and greater level of comfort
> with the security of Apache than a typical FTP server),
> - due to its ability to pass through most firewalls,
> - due to it being built into Java SE, so licensing is not an issue
> As for the scalability, HTTP upload is certainly used for massive  
> sites
> such as Flickr.  Your approach to uploading the file in smaller  
> (e.g. 1MB)
> chunks is probably a good one to continue; you'll need to build (or  
> find)
> a simple protocol above HTTPS to keep track of which chunks still  
> have to
> be transmitted.
> As for alternatives, JDBC and JMS are overly complex for this, and  
> has firewall issues in some situations (Google "sftp firewall").
> Peter
> David Makalsky <dmakalsky at gmail.com>
> Sent by: fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org
> 10/03/08 05:57 PM
> To
> Fluid Mailing List <fluid-work at fluidproject.org>
> cc
> Subject
> RASCAL Data Streaming Backend -- Which Technology to use?
> Hi,
> We have a functional requirement in RASCAL for data to be streamed
> from the clients' browser (applet) to the server.  This is the data
> that will be converted into the video of the users' desktop (and audio
> from the microphone).  This functionality is essential, since without
> it, the data wouldn't get to the server.
> Currently, this solution is implemented via ftp.  An ftp connection is
> established from the client to the server and the data is uploaded in
> a separate thread in 1 MB chunks.  We chose this solution for various
> reasons (discussion in the table below) but would like to open this up
> to the fluid community.  Which of the proposed solutions below would
> you suggest, or are there other completely different solutions that we
> should consider?
> Regards,
> David Makalsky
>> ****
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