Glidein WMS Manual


The glideinWMS package holds the Condor glidein based Workload Management System (WMS).


This document describes the glidein based WMS and its architecture in details. Most of the components of glideinWMS described in this manual can be installed by the installation tool provided with the glideinWMS. Please refer to the installation guide for more details.

The Glidein Mechanism

As the title says, this WMS is based on glideins. But what are the glideins?

A glidein is, simply put, a properly configured Condor Startd submitted as a Grid job.
Once the glidein starts on a worker node, it will join the the specified Condor pool, making the obtained Grid-batch slot a slot in the Condor pool. At this point, a regular Condor job can start there as if was a dedicated resource. See the picture below for a schematic overview.

Condor glideins are a convenient way to expand a Condor pool. Apart from the task of submitting new glideins as needed, everything else stays the same as in a dedicated pool.

WMS Overview

The glidein based WMS is made of two pieces:

  • One or more glidein factories: The glidein factories are the one that know about available Grid sites and know how to submit glideins to them.
  • One or more VO frontends: The VO frontends are the ones that know about the VO job specifics and know how many and what kind of glideins are needed.

The two pieces communicate via a common Condor Collector; see the image below for a schematic view.

A single WMS (identified by the Condor Collector) can serve multiple frontends via multiple factories. It is a truly many-to-many system. However, the current implementation does not support prioritization between different frontends, so it is best to have only one frontend; multiple factories will instead work as desired.

More details can be found on the Glidein Factory page, and on the VO Frontend page.

Data exchange overview

In the previous section we described the general architecture of the WMS. Let now have a look at the type of information that the two pieces publish.

The Glidein Factory Class-Ad

A factory publishes one class-ad per glidein entry. The class-ad contains

  • the name of the glidein (and the factory),
  • the attributes that describe the glidein,
  • the list of parameters that the glidein accepts. All the parameters have also default values associated with them, in case a frontend does not redefine them, and
  • the (optional) public key algorithm, ID and value, together with the supported symmetric algorithms, that the frontend can use to push back encrypted values.
  • Plus a list of monitoring values (like how many glideins are already in the queues, etc.)

Look at the picture below for a generic description.

Please notice that the glidein attributes can be completely arbitrary; the only predefined attributes are the glidein and factory name, plus the convention that anything that starts with GlideinParam is a parameter and anything that starts with GlideinMonitor is a monitoring attribute.

Once the factory starts serving frontends, it will publish also another ClassAd for every frontend served. This ClassAd contains only monitoring information, and is not used by the glideinWMS itself.
Find below a graphical representation of these ClassAds.

The VO Frontend Class-Ad

A VO frontend will obtain the list all available glideins and select the ones that fit its needs, based on the published attributes. For each fitting glidein, a frontend class-ad will be published. Such a class-ad will contain

  • the name of the frontend and a request ID,
  • the desired glidein name,
  • the (optional) URL and signatures for the frontend specific scripts and data,
  • the desired rate and limits of glidein submissions,
  • the glidein parameters (in clear),and
  • the (optional) factory public key ID used, together with
    • the symmetric encryption algorithm and key,
    • the encrypted identity, and
    • the encrypted parameters.
  • Plus a list of monitoring values (like how many jobs are currently running, etc.)

If encryption is used, the the encrypted identity must must match the AuthenticatedIdentity attribute inserted by the condor collector (needs Condor version 7.3.1 or better)

Have a look at the picture below for a generic description.

The most important parameters that the VO fronted sends to the factory are:

  • The address of the VO pool collector(s) - GLIDEIN_Collector.
  • The pilot proxies. If present, these are always encrypted. Three types of information are sent:
    • Number of proxies sent - nr_x509_proxies
    • The proxy identifiers; given an identifier, the proxy DN must not change between updates. - x509_proxy_0_identifier ... x509_proxy_N_identifier
    • The security classes; proxies within the same class may have access to one another - x509_proxy_0_security_class ... x509_proxy_N_security_class
    • The proxies themselves - x509_proxy_0 ... x509_proxy_N
  • The security name associated with the proxies - SecurityName. The factory uses it for frontend whitelisting. If present, it is always encrypted.

The picture below shows this in a graphics format.

In the current implementation, the only glidein rate setting parameters supported are ReqIdleGlideins, that tells the factory how many idle glideins to keep in the queue at any given time, and ReqMaxRunningGlideins, that tells the factory to stop submitting new glideins when the number of running glidiens reaces that level. Future versions may contain more sophisticated controls, like the maximum number of glideins to keep in the queue or the maximum rate at which the glideins should be submitted.

Implementation details

Due to the amount of material available, the documentation is being kept on the Glidein Factory page, and on the VO Frontend page.

The Condor pool

To make a working Glidein-based WMS, you will need to install one or more Condor pools:

If you want, you can merge several of them together, but at least logically, they are separate, and I would strongly suggest to keep them separate unless you have just a small system.

Installing and properly configuring a Condor pool is (unfortunately) a complex process, and this manual will not attempt to describe all the glory details. In this manual, it is assumed you have installed a Condor pool already (see for more information) and only the WMS specific options are discussed.

Most configuration changes needed by the Glidein-based WMS regard security; you definitely don't want just anybody to mess with you pool!

The WMS pool

The WMS pool can use any authentication mechanism you prefer; GSI (i.e. x509), Kerberos, etc., all work fine for this purpose. There is also nothing to hide, so encryption can be turned off. However, you do want to make sure that the information is not tampered with, so you should enable the integrity checks!

If you happen to know the IP addresses of all the factories and all the frontends, it is also good practice to limit the ability to submit new requests to only those nodes ( + obviously the Collector machine).

Here is a prototype of the security config:

HOSTALLOW_WRITE = machine1,machine2, ... ,machineN

For more information about GSI, look at the configuration of the glidein (user) pool. For all other kinds, please follow the instructions in the Condor manual.

To ease monitoring and debugging, it is also useful to allow unauthenticated read of the information; as said before, there is nothing to hide. However, be sure you enable this only for the Collector, and require the factory and the frontend to authenticate at all times, since this is needed for the integrity checks to work.

The lines to add, on the Collector machine, are:


Last, please notice that there is no need for a Negotiator in this pool. All the matching is done by the factory and frontend software itself. (An no need for Startds either.)

The glidein (user) pool

The glidein pool relies heavily on GSI, also known as x509, authentication. The reason for this is due to the nature of glideins; the Condor Startd is a Grid job. And thus have a x509 proxy available at startup.
So the glidein Condor pool must be set up to support at least GSI; other methods can be used too, to support your local user job submission policies.

Regarding other security features, integrity checks should be enabled and encryption should be left as an option for the transfer of sensitive information in user jobs.

Here is a prototype of the security config:


The GSI authentication needs some other parameters to be enabled, too. See the Condor manual for the full details.

First of all, you must tell Condor what kind of proxies you will trust; i.e. you must provide it with the public keys of all the trusted Certification Authorities (CAs).

Next, you have to tell condor how it will authenticate with the other parties. You can use either a host certificate/key pair or a regular proxy. The glidein will always use a proxy, but all the other Condor daemons (Collector, Negotiator and Schedd) can use a host certificate if they are running as root and the machine has the host certificates installed.  Please note that the two methods are equivalent, as Condor will extract, as needed, a proxy from the certificate using the provided key.

Last but not least, you must specify who do you trust. A sensitive sysadmin will want only the known DNs (Distinguished Names, i.e. the text representation of the proxy identity) to be allowed to impersonate Condor daemons. There are two places where this has to be set:

  • The first one is the so called Grid Mapfile (GRIDMAP); it must list all the DNs Condor will trust. For example:

    [] cat grid-mapfile 
    "/DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Head" condor1
    "/DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Factory1" condor2
    "/DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Frontend1" condor3

    Recent condor versions provide also another, more flexible unified map file (CERTIFICATE_MAPFILE). It can be use instead of the grid mapfile, and map users from all supported authentication domains.
    For example:

    [] cat condor_mapfile 
    GSI "/DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Head" condor1
    GSI "/DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Factory1" condor2
    GSI "/DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Frontend1" condor3
    GSI (.*) anonymous
    FS (.*) \1

    If you use GSI just for the maintenance of the glidein (user) pool, it should list only the trusted DNs.
    Please notice that if you use GSI for authenticating your users, too, you need to list all of them in the map file.

  • The second place is a list of trusted daemon DNs (GSI_DAEMON_NAME).
    Please notice that all the trusted DNs need to be listed in both places.

    Note: If you use gLExec with Condor, you also need to list all the users as trusted daemons. While suboptimal in security terms, it is a current (as of 7.0.0) Condor requirement.

A prototype of the above configuration is:

GSI_DAEMON_DIRECTORY = /opt/condor/certs
# Use a Proxy
# Use a Certificate/Key pair
GSI_DAEMON_NAME= /DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Head,\
 /DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Factory1,\
 /DC=org/DC=doegrids/OU=Robots/CN=FNAL CMSWMS Frontend1

Last, to ease monitoring and debugging, it is also useful to allow unauthenticated read of the information, unless you have strict privacy requirements in your environment.

To enable it, add the following lines:


As of Condor version 7.1.3 condor also supports a more efficient authentication mechanism between the condor_schedd/condor_shadow and condor_startd/condor_starter. This method uses the match ClaimId as a shared password for authentication between these daemons. Since using a shared secret is much cheaper that using GSI authentication, this should be used every time it is feasible.

To enable it, add the following lines:


Use this option for the schedd only; do not add this option to either the negotiator or collector as it will not work.

Obviously, this will only work with Condor versions 7.1.3 and above.

Please note that you do not need to worry about glidein security configuration at a global level; the glidein factory will make sure the settings are correct in the glideins.


Packages: glideinWMS

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