Running Apache Storm Securely

The current release of Apache Storm offers no authentication or authorization. It does not encrypt any data being sent across the network, and does not attempt to restrict access to data stored on the local file system or in Apache Zookeeper. As such there are a number of different precautions you may want to enact outside of storm itself to be sure storm is running securely.

The exact detail of how to setup these precautions varies a lot and is beyond the scope of this document.

Network Security

It is generally a good idea to enable a firewall and restrict incoming network connections to only those originating from the cluster itself and from trusted hosts and services, a complete list of ports storm uses are below.

If the data your cluster is processing is sensitive it might be best to setup IPsec to encrypt all traffic being sent between the hosts in the cluster.


Default PortStorm ConfigClient Hosts/ProcessesServer
2181storm.zookeeper.portNimbus, Supervisors, and Worker processesZookeeper
6627nimbus.thrift.portStorm clients, Supervisors, and UINimbus
8080ui.portClient Web BrowsersUI
8000logviewer.portClient Web BrowsersLogviewer
3772drpc.portExternal DRPC ClientsDRPC
3773drpc.invocations.portWorker ProcessesDRPC
670{0,1,2,3}supervisor.slots.portsWorker ProcessesWorker Processes


The UI and logviewer processes provide a way to not only see what a cluster is doing, but also manipulate running topologies. In general these processes should not be exposed except to users of the cluster. It is often simplest to restrict these ports to only accept connections from local hosts, and then front them with another web server, like Apache httpd, that can authenticate/authorize incoming connections and proxy the connection to the storm process. To make this work the ui process must have logviewer.port set to the port of the proxy in its storm.yaml, while the logviewers must have it set to the actual port that they are going to bind to.


Nimbus's Thrift port should be locked down as it can be used to control the entire cluster including running arbitrary user code on different nodes in the cluster. Ideally access to it is restricted to nodes within the cluster and possibly some gateway nodes that allow authorized users to log into them and run storm client commands.


Each DRPC server has two different ports. The invocations port is accessed by worker processes within the cluster. The other port is accessed by external clients that want to query the topology. The external port should be restricted to hosts that you want to be able to do queries.


Supervisors are only clients they are not servers, and as such don't need special restrictions.


Worker processes receive data from each other. There is the option to encrypt this data using Blowfish by setting topology.tuple.serializer to and setting topology.tuple.serializer.blowfish.key to a secret key you want your topology to use.


Zookeeper uses other ports for communications within the ensemble the details of which are beyond the scope of this document. You should look at restricting Zookeeper access as well, because storm does not set up any ACLs for the data it write to Zookeeper.