Potential Issues

  • Switching between unencrypted and encrypted repositories

    • If a user has an existing write-ahead repository (WriteAheadFlowFileRepository) that is not encrypted (uses the SequentialAccessWriteAheadLog) and switches their configuration to use an encrypted repository, the application handles this and all flowfile records will be recovered on startup. Future writes (including re-serialization of these same flowfiles) will be encrypted. If a user switches from an encrypted repository to an unencrypted repository, the flowfiles cannot be recovered, and it is recommended to delete the existing flowfile repository before switching in this direction. Automatic roll-over is a future effort (NIFI-6994) but NiFi is not intended for long-term storage of flowfile records so the impact should be minimal. There are two scenarios for roll-over:

      • Encrypted → unencrypted - if the previous repository implementation was encrypted, these records should be handled seamlessly as long as the key provider available still has the keys used to encrypt the claims (see Key Rotation)

      • Unencrypted → encrypted - currently handled seamlesssly for SequentialAccessWriteAheadLog but there are other initial implementations which could be handled

    • There is also a future effort to provide a standalone tool in NiFi Toolkit to encrypt/decrypt an existing flowfile repository to make the transition easier. The translation process could take a long time depending on the size of the existing repository, and being able to perform this task outside of application startup would be valuable (NIFI-6994).

  • Multiple repositories - No additional effort or testing has been applied to multiple repositories at this time. Current implementations of the flowfile repository allow only for one repository, though it can reside across multiple volumes and partitions. It is possible/likely issues will occur with repositories on different physical devices. There is no option to provide a heterogenous environment (i.e. one encrypted, one plaintext partition/directory).

  • Corruption - when a disk is filled or corrupted, there have been reported issues with the repository becoming corrupted and recovery steps are necessary. This is likely to continue to be an issue with the encrypted repository, although still limited in scope to individual records (i.e. an entire repository file won't be irrecoverable due to the encryption). It is important for the continued operation of NiFi to ensure that the disk storing the flowfile repository does not run out of available space.