Chapter 10. RFT Admin Guide

1. Building and Installing

RFT is built and installed as part of a default GT 4.0 installation. For basic installation instructions, see the GT 4.0 System Administrator's Guide. No extra installation steps are required for this component.

The following are specialized instructions for advanced developers who want to deploy latest code from CVS:

Build RFT from CVS:

  1. Configure your CVSROOT to point to the globus CVS location.

  2. Run:

    cvs co ws-transfer
  3. Run:

    cd ws-transfer/reliable
  4. Set GLOBUS_LOCATION to point to your globus installation.

  5. Run:

    ant deploy 

2. Configuring

2.1. Configuration overview

RFT has the following prerequisites:

  • Java WS Core - This is built and installed in a default GT 4.0 installation.
  • A host certificate (see Required Configuration).
  • GridFTP Server - GridFTP performs the actual file transfer and is built and installed in a default GT 4.0 installation.
  • PostgreSQL - PostgreSQL is used to store the state of the transfer to allow for restart after failures. The interface to PostgreSQL is JDBC, so any DBMS that supports JDBC can be used, although no others have been tested. For instructions on configuring the PostgreSQL database for RFT, click here.

2.2. Syntax of the interface

The security of the service can be configured by modifying the security descriptor. It allows for configuring the credentials that will be used by the service, type of authentication and authorization that needs to be enforced. By default, the following security configuration is installed:

  • Credentials set for use by the container are used. If they arenot specified, default credentials are used.
  • GSI Secure conversation authentication is enforced for all methods.

Note: Changing the required authentication and authorization method will require suitable changes to the clients that contact this service.

To alter the security descriptor configuration, refer to Security Descriptors. The file to be altered is $GLOBUS_LOCATION/etc/globus_wsrf_rft/security-config.xml.

2.3. Required configuration: configuring the PostgreSQL database

PostgreSQL (version 7.1 or greater) needs to be installed and configured for RFT to work. You can either use the packages which came with your operating system (RPMs, DEBs, ...) or build from source. We used PostgreSQL version 7.3.2 for our testing and the following instructions are good for the same.

  1. Install PostgreSQL. Instructions on how to install/configure PostgreSQL can be found here.

  2. Configure the postmaster daemon so that it accepts TCP connections. This can be done by adding the "-o -i" switch to the postmaster script (This is either the init.d script found in /etc/init.d/postgresql or /var/lib/, depending on how you installed PostgreSQL). Follow the instructions here to start the postmaster with the -i option.

  3. You will now need to create a PostgreSQL user that will connect to the database. This is usually the account under which the container is running. You can create a PostgreSQL user by running the following command: su postgres; createuser globus. If you get the following error: psql: could not connect to server: No such file or directory Is the server running locally and accepting connections on Unix domain socket "/tmp/.s.PGSQL.5432"? this generally means that either your postmaster is not started with the -i option or you didn't restart the postmaster after the above mentioned step.

  4. Now you need to set security on the database you are about to create. You can do it by following the steps below:

    sudo vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf and append the following line to the file:

    host rftDatabase "username" "host-ip" md5 Note: use crypt instead of md5 if you are using PostgreSQL 7.3 or earlier.

    sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql restart

  5. To create the database that is used for RFT run (as user globus): createdb rftDatabase.

  6. To populate the RFT database with the appropriate schemas run: psql -d rftDatabase -f $GLOBUS_LOCATION/share/globus_wsrf_rft/rft_schema.sql. Now that you have created a database to store RFT's state, the following steps configure RFT to find the database:

  7. Open $GLOBUS_LOCATION/etc/globus_wsrf_rft/jndi-config.xml.

  8. Find the dbConfiguration section under the ReliableFileTransferService <service> section.

  9. Change the connectionString to point to the machine on which you installed PostgreSQL and to the name of the database you used in step 2. If you installed PostgreSQL on the same machine as your Globus install, the default should work fine for you.

  10. Change the userName to the name of the user who owns/created the database and do the same for the password (it also depends on how you configured your database).

  11. Don't worry about the other parameters in the section. The defaults should work fine for now.

  12. Edit the configuration section under ReliableFileTransferService. There are two values that can be edited in this section:

    • backOff: Time in seconds you want RFT to backoff before a failed transfer is retried by RFT. The default should work fine for now.

    • maxActiveAllowed: This is the number of transfers the container can do at given point. The default should be fine for now.

2.4. RFT auto-registration with default WS MDS Index Service

With a default GT 4.0.1 installation, the RFT service is automatically registered with the default WS MDS Index Service running in the same container for monitoring and discovery purposes.


If you are using GT 4.0.0, we strongly recommend upgrading to 4.0.1 to take advantage of this capability.

However, if must use GT 4.0.0, or if this registration was turned off and you want to turn it back on, this is how it is configured:

There is a jndi resource defined in $GLOBUS_LOCATION/etc/globus_wsrf_rft/jndi-config.xml as follows :

  <resource name="mdsConfiguration" 

To configure the automatic registration of RFT to the default WS MDS Index Service, change the value of the parameter <reg> as follows:

  • true turns on auto-registration; this is the default in GT 4.0.1.

  • false turns off auto-registration; this is the default in GT 4.0.0.

2.4.1. Configuring resource properties

By default, the following resource properties (from the RFT Factory Resource) are sent to the default Index Service:

  • ActiveResourceInstances: A dynamic resource property of the total number of active RFT resources in the container at a given point of time.
  • TotalNumberOfTransfers: A dynamic resource property of the total number of transfers/deletes performed since the RFT service was deployed in this container.
  • TotalNumberOfActiveTransfers: A dynamic resource property of the number of active transfers across all rft resources in a container at a given point of time.
  • TotalNumberOfBytesTransferred: A dynamic resource property of the total number of bytes transferred by all RFT resources created since the deployment of the service.
  • RFTFactoryStartTime: Time when the service was deployed in the container. Used to calculate uptime.
  • DelegationServiceEPR: The end point reference of the Delegation resource that holds the delegated credential used in executing the resource.

You can configure which resource properties are sent in RFT's registration.xml file, $GLOBUS_LOCATION/etc/globus_wsrf_rft/registration.xml. The following is the relevant section of the file:

      <Content xsi:type="agg:AggregatorContent"
      <agg:AggregatorConfig xsi:type="agg:AggregatorConfig">
        <!-- Specifies that the index should refresh information
            every 60000 milliseconds (once per minute) -->
          <!-- specifies that all Resource Properties should be
              collected from the RFT factory -->

2.5. Registering RFT manually with default WS MDS Index Service

If a third party needs to register an RFT service manually, see Registering with mds-servicegroup-add in the WS MDS Aggregator Framework documentation.

3. Using MySQL

RFT in 4.0.1 works with MySQL database. A MySQL schema file is provided at $GLOBUS_LOCATION/share/globus_wsrf_rft/rft_schema_mysql.sql. You will need to download MySQL drivers (MySQL connector/J) from here and copy the driver jar to $GLOBUS_LOCATION/lib.You will also need to make following changes :

  1. Create a RFT Database and populate it with mysql schema.

    mysqladmin -h hostname create rftDatabase -p
    mysql -h hostname -D rftDatabase
    source share/globus_wsrf_rft/rft_schema_mysql.sql

    Note: If you are using older ( earlier than 4.1 ) versions of mysql you will need to use $GLOBUS_LOCATION/share/globus_wsrf_rft/rft_schema_mysql_pre4.0.sql schema to make RFT work. See Bug 3633 for more details. Older versions of the connector/J may also cause problems. See Bug 5509 for more details.

  2. Edit $GLOBUS_LOCATION/etc/globus_wsrf_rft/jndi-config.xml and change values of connectionString to jdbc:mysql:///rftDatabase from jdbc:postgresql://host/rftDatabase and driverName to com.mysql.jdbc.Driver from org.postgresql.Driver and userName and password to whatever was set during creation of users for mysql.

4. Deploying

RFT is deployed as part of a standard toolkit installation. Please refer to the System Administrator's Guide for details.

4.1. Deploying into Tomcat

RFT has been tested to work without any additional setup when deployed into Tomcat. Please follow these basic instructions to deploy GT4 services into Tomcat. Note: you need to configure the GT4 install with the needed RFT configuration (like database configuration, etc) before you deploy into Tomcat.

5. Testing

RFT Testing

  1. Set $GLOBUS_LOCATION to point to your Globus install.

  2. Start a gridftp server on the machine you are running the tests on the default port. This can be done by running:

    $GLOBUS_LOCATION/sbin/globus-gridftp-server -p 2811 &
  3. Start the container with RFT deployed in it.

  4. Edit $GLOBUS_LOCATION/share/globus_wsrf_rft_test/ Put in appropriate values for properties like authzValue (self or host), HOST (host ip of container), PORT (port on which the container is listening), sourceHost and destinationsHost (hostnames of gridftp servers). The default values will work fine if you are running the tests with a standard stand-alone container started with user credentials (self authorization is done in this case). If the container is started using host credentials, change authzVal to host. If the gridftp servers you are using for your testing are started as user, you need to supply subject names of the users in sourceSubject and destinationSubject for authorization with gridftp servers. If both the source and destination servers are started as one user, you can just fill in the user's subject in the subject field of If you are getting Authentication/Authorization Failures because of mismatched subject names then your authzVal and authType (uses transport security by default) need to be changed, depending on how you start the container. If you started the container with the -nosec option then you need to change authType to GSI_MESSAGE, PROTOCOL to http and PORT to 8080.

  5. The *.xfr files in $GLOBUS_LOCATION/share/globus_wsrf_rft_test/ are the transfer files that will be used in the tests. Again, the default values work fine if you followed the instructions so far.

  6. Run the following command, which will run all the RFT unit tests:

    ant -Dtests.jar=$GLOBUS_LOCATION/lib/globus_wsrf_rft_test.jar -f share/globus_wsrf_rft_test/runtests.xml
  7. Run the following command to generate the test reports in html form:

     ant -f  share/globus_wsrf_rft_test/runtests.xml generateTestReport

6. Security Considerations

6.1. Permissions of service configuration files

The service configuration files such as jndi-config.xml and server-config.wsdd (located under etc/<gar>/ directory) contain private information such as database passwords and usernames. Ensure that these configuration files are only readable by the user that is running the container.

The deployment process automatically sets the permissions of jndi-config.xml and server-config.wsdd as user readable only. However, this might not work correctly on all platforms and this does not apply to any other configuration files.

6.2. Access of information stored in the database

RFT stores the transfer requests in a database. Proper security measures need to be taken to protect the access of the data by granting/revoking appropriate permissions on tables that are created for RFT use and other steps that are appropriate and consistent with site specific security measures.

6.3. Permissions of persistent data

RFT uses the subscription persistence API from the GT4 core to store all of its subscription data under the ~/.globus/persisted directory. Ensure that the entire ~/.globus/persisted directory is only readable by the user running the container.

7. Troubleshooting

7.1. PostgreSQL not configured

Problem: If RFT is not configured properly to talk to a PostgreSQL database, you will see this message displayed on the console when you start the container:

"Error creating RFT Home: Failed to connect to database ... 
Until this is corrected all RFT request will fail and all GRAM jobs that require staging will fail". 

Solution: The usual cause is that Postmaster is not accepting TCP connections, which means that you must restart Postmaster with the -i option (see Section 2.3, “Required configuration: configuring the PostgreSQL database”).

7.2. More verbose error messages

Problem: Make RFT print more verbose error messages

Solution: Edit $GLOBUS_LOCATION/ and add the following line to it: For more verbosity add, which will print out Gridftp messages too.

7.3.  RFT fault-tolerance and recovery

RFT uses PostgreSQL to check-point transfer state in the form of restart markers and recover from transient transfer failures, using retry mechanism with exponential backoff, during a transfer. RFT has been tested to recover from source and/or destination server crashes during a transfer, network failures, container failures (when the machine running the container goes down), file system failures, etc. RFT Resource is implemented as a PersistentResource, so ReliableFileTransferHome gets initialized every time a container gets restarted. Please find a more detailed description of fault-tolerance and recovery in RFT below:

  • Source and/or destination GridFTP failures: In this case RFT retries the transfer for a configurable number of maximum attempts with exponential backoff for each retry (the backoff time period is configurable also). If a failure happens in the midst of a transfer, RFT uses the last restart marker that is stored in the database for that transfer and uses it to resume the transfer from the point where it failed, instead of restarting the whole file. This failure is treated as a container-wide backoff for the server in question. What this means is that all other transfers going to/from that server, across all the requests in a container, will be backed off and retried. This is done in order to prevent further failures of the transfers by using knowledge available in the database.
  • Network failures: Sometimes this happens due to heavy load on a network or for any other reason packets are lost or connections get timed out. This failure is considered a transient failure and RFT retries the transfer with exponential backoff for that particular transfer (and not the whole container, as with the source and/or destination GridFTP failures).
  • Container failures: These type of failures occur when the machine running the container goes down or if the container is restarted with active transfers. When the container is restarted, it restarts ReliableTransferHome, which looks at the database for any active RFT resources and restarts them.

7.3.1. Failure modes that are not addressed:

  • Running out of disk space for the database.

8. Usage statistics collection by the Globus Alliance

The following usage statistics are sent by default in a UDP packet at the end of life time of each RFT Resource (or when a RFT resource is destroyed).

  • Total number of files transferred by RFT since RFT was installed
  • Total number of bytes transferred by RFT since RFT was installed
  • Total number of files transferred in this RFT Resource
  • Total number of bytes transferred in this RFT Resource
  • Creation time of this RFT Resource
  • Factory Start Time

We have made a concerted effort to collect only data that is not too intrusive or private, and yet still provides us with information that will help improve the GRAM component. Nevertheless, if you wish to disable this feature, please see the Java WS Core System Administrator's Guide section on Usage Statistics Configuration for instructions.

Also, please see our policy statement on the collection of usage statistics.