Introducing hybrid access mode for Amazon Web Services Glue Data Catalog to secure access using Amazon Web Services Lake Formation and IAM and Amazon S3 policies

by Aarthi Srinivasan | on

Amazon Web Services Lake Formation helps you centrally govern, secure, and globally share data for analytics and machine learning. With Lake Formation, you can manage access control for your data lake data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3 ) and its metadata in Amazon Web Services Glue Data Catalog in one place with familiar database-style features. You can use fine-grained data access control to verify that the right users have access to the right data down to the cell level of tables. Lake Formation also makes it simpler to share data internally across your organization and externally. Further, Lake Formation integrates with Amazon Web Services analytics services such as Amazon Athena , Amazon Redshift Spectrum, Amazon EMR , and Amazon Web Services Glue ETL for Apache Spark. These services allow querying Lake Formation managed tables, thus helping you extract business insights from the data quickly and securely.

Before the introduction of Lake Formation and its database-style permissions for data lakes, you had to manage access to your data in the data lake and its metadata separately through Amazon Web Services Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and S3 bucket policies. With an IAM and Amazon S3 access control mechanism, which is more complex and less granular compared to Lake Formation, you need more time to migrate to Lake Formation because a given database or table in the data lake could have its access controlled by either IAM and S3 policies or Lake Formation policies, but not both. Also, various use cases operate on the data lakes. Migrating all use cases from one permissions model to another in a single step without disruption was challenging for operations teams.

To ease the transition of data lake permissions from an IAM and S3 model to Lake Formation, we’re introducing a hybrid access mode for Amazon Web Services Glue Data Catalog. Please refer to the What’s New and documentation . This feature lets you secure and access the cataloged data using both Lake Formation permissions and IAM and S3 permissions. Hybrid access mode allows data administrators to onboard Lake Formation permissions selectively and incrementally, focusing on one data lake use case at a time. For example, say you have an existing extract, transform and load (ETL) data pipeline that uses the IAM and S3 policies to manage data access. Now you want to allow your data analysts to explore or query the same data using Amazon Athena. You can grant access to the data analysts using Lake Formation permissions, to include fine-grained controls as needed, without changing access for your ETL data pipelines.

Hybrid access mode allows both permission models to exist for the same database and tables, providing greater flexibility in how you manage user access. While this feature opens two doors for a Data Catalog resource, an IAM user or role can access the resource using only one of the two permissions. After Lake Formation permission is enabled for an IAM principal, authorization is completely managed by Lake Formation and existing IAM and S3 policies are ignored. Amazon Web Services CloudTrail logs provide the complete details of the Data Catalog resource access in Lake Formation logs and S3 access logs.

In this blog post, we walk you through the instructions to onboard Lake Formation permissions in hybrid access mode for selected users while the database is already accessible to other users through IAM and S3 permissions. We will review the instructions to set-up hybrid access mode within an Amazon Web Services account and between two accounts.

Scenario 1 – Hybrid access mode within an Amazon Web Services account

In this scenario, we walk you through the steps to start adding users with Lake Formation permissions for a database in Data Catalog that’s accessed using IAM and S3 policy permissions. For our illustration, we use two personas:  Data-Engineer, who has coarse grained permissions using an IAM policy and an S3 bucket policy to run an Amazon Web Services Glue ETL job and Data-Analyst, whom we will onboard with fine grained Lake Formation permissions to query the database using Amazon Athena.

Scenario 1 is depicted in the diagram shown below, where the Data-Engineer role accesses the database hybridsalesdb using IAM and S3 permissions while Data-Analyst role will access the database using Lake Formation permissions.

Prerequisites

To set up Lake Formation and IAM and S3 permissions for a Data Catalog database with Hybrid access mode, you must have the following prerequisites:

  • An Amazon Web Services account that isn’t used for production applications.
  • Lake Formation already set up in the account and a Lake Formation administrator role or a similar role to follow along with the instructions in this post. For example, we’re using a data lake administrator role called LF-Admin. To learn more about setting up permissions for a data lake administrator role, see Create a data lake administrator .
  • A sample database in the Data Catalog with a few tables. For example, our sample database is called hybridsalesdb and has a set of eight tables, as shown in the following screenshot. You can use any of your datasets to follow along.

Personas and their IAM policy setup

There are two personas that are IAM roles in the account: Data-Engineer and Data-Analyst. Their IAM policies and access are described as follows.

The following IAM policy on the Data-Engineer role allows access to the database and table metadata in the Data Catalog.

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "glue: Get*"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<account-id>:catalog",
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<account-id>:database/hybridsalesdb",
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<account-id>:table/hybridsalesdb/*"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

The following IAM policy on the Data-Engineer role grants data access to the underlying Amazon S3 location of the database and tables.

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "AllowDataLakeBucket",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "s3:ListBucket",
                "s3:GetBucketLocation",
                "s3:Put*",
                "s3:Get*",
                "s3:Delete*"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:s3:::<bucket-name>",
                "arn:aws:s3:::<bucket-name>/<prefix>/"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

The Data-Engineer also has access to the Amazon Web Services Glue console using the Amazon Web Services managed policy arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AWSGlueConsoleFullAccess and regressive iam:Passrole to run an Amazon Web Services Glue ETL script as below.

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
       {
           "Sid": "PassRolePermissions",
           "Effect": "Allow",
           "Action": [
               " iam:PassRole" ],
           "Resource": [  
		   "arn:aws:iam::<account-id>:role/Data-Engineer"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

The following policy is also added to the trust policy of the Data-Engineer role to allow Amazon Web Services Glue to assume the role to run the ETL script on behalf of the role.

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Principal": {
                "Service": "glue.amazonaws.com"
            },
            "Action": "sts:AssumeRole"
        }
    ]
}

See Amazon Web Services Glue studio set up for additional permissions required to run an Amazon Web Services Glue ETL script.

The Data-Analyst role has the data lake basic user permissions as described in Assign permissions to Lake Formation users .

{
"Version": "2012-10-17",
"Statement": [
    {
        "Effect": "Allow",
        "Action": [
            "glue:GetTable",
            "glue:GetTables",
            "glue:GetTableVersions",
            "glue:SearchTables",
            "glue:GetDatabase",
            "glue:GetDatabases",
            "glue:GetPartitions",
            "lakeformation:GetDataAccess",
            "lakeformation:GetResourceLFTags",
            "lakeformation:ListLFTags",
            "lakeformation:GetLFTag",
            "lakeformation:SearchTablesByLFTags",
            "lakeformation:SearchDatabasesByLFTags"
        ],
        "Resource": "*"
    }
    ]
}

Additionally, the Data-Analyst has permissions to write Athena query results to an S3 bucket that isn’t managed by Lake Formation and Athena console full access using the Amazon Web Services managed policy arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonAthenaFullAccess.

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": "s3:ListAllMyBuckets",
            "Resource": "*"
        },
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "s3:ListBucket",
                "s3:GetBucketLocation"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:s3:::<athena-results-bucket>"
            ]
        },
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "s3:Put*",
                "s3:Get*",
                "s3:Delete*"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:s3:::<athena-results-bucket>/*"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

Set up Lake Formation permissions for Data-Analyst

Complete the following steps to configure your data location in Amazon S3 with Lake Formation in hybrid access mode and grant access to the Data-Analyst role.

  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console as a Lake Formation administrator role.
  2. Go to Lake Formation.
  3. Select Data lake locations from the left navigation bar under Administration.
  4. Select Register location and provide the Amazon S3 location of your database and tables. Provide an IAM role that has access to the data in the S3 location. For more details see Requirements for roles used to register locations .
  5. Select the Hybrid access mode under Permission mode and choose Register location.
  6. Select Data lake locations under Administration from the left navigation bar. Review that the registered location shows as Hybrid access mode for Permission mode.
  7. Select Databases from Catalog on the left navigation bar. Choose hybridsalesdb. You will select the database that has the data in the S3 location that you registered in the preceding step. From the Actions drop down menu, select Grant.
  8. Select Data-Analyst for IAM users and roles. Under LF-Tags or catalog resources, select Named Data Catalog resources and select hybridsalesdb for Databases.
  9. Under Database permissions, select Describe. Under Hybrid access mode, select the checkbox Make Lake Formation permissions effective immediately. Choose Grant.
  10. Again, select Databases from Catalog on the left navigation bar. Choose hybridsalesdb. Select Grant from the Actions drop down menu.
  11. On the Grant window, select Data-Analyst for IAM users and roles. Under LF-Tags or catalog resources, choose Named Data Catalog resources and select hybridsalesdb for Databases.
  12. Under Tables, select the three tables named hybridcustomer, hybridproduct, and hybridsales_order from the drop down.
  13. Under Table permissions, select Select and Describe permissions for the tables.
  14. Select the checkbox under Hybrid access mode to make the Lake Formation permissions effective immediately.
  15. Choose Grant.
  16. Review the granted permissions by selecting the Data lake permissions under Permissions on the left navigation bar. Filter Data permissions by Principal = Data-Analyst.
  17. On the left navigation bar, select Hybrid access mode. Verify that the opted in Data-Analyst shows up for the hybridsalesdb database and the three tables.
  18. Sign out from the console as the Lake Formation administrator role.

Validating Lake Formation permissions for Data-Analyst

  1. Sign in to the console as Data-Analyst.
  2. Go to the Athena console. If you’re using Athena for the first time, set up the query results location to your S3 bucket as described in Specifying a query result location .
  3. Run preview queries on the table from the Athena query editor.

Validating IAM and S3 permissions for Data-Engineer

  1. Sign out as Data-Analyst and sign back in to the console as Data-Engineer.
  2. Open the Amazon Web Services Glue console and select ETL jobs from the left navigation bar.
  3. Under Create job, select Spark script editor. Choose Create.
  4. Download and open the sample script provided here .
  5. Copy and paste the script into your studio script editor as a new job.
  6. Edit the catalog_id, database, and table_name to suit your sample.
  7. Save and Run your Amazon Web Services Glue ETL script by providing the IAM role of Data-Engineer to run the job.
  8. After the ETL script succeeds, you can select the output logs link from the Runs tab of the ETL script.
  9. Review the table’s schema, top 20 rows, and the total number of rows and columns from the Amazon Web Services CloudWatch logs.

Thus, you can add Lake Formation permissions to a new role to access a Data Catalog database without interfering with another role that is accessing the same database through IAM and S3 permissions.

Scenario 2 – Hybrid access mode set up between two Amazon Web Services accounts

This is a cross-account sharing scenario where a data producer shares a database and its tables to a consumer account. The producer provides full database access for an Amazon Web Services Glue ETL workload on the consumer account. At the same time, the producer shares a few tables of the same database to the consumer account using Lake Formation. We walk you through how you can use hybrid access mode to support both access methods.

Prerequisites

  • Cross-account sharing of a database or table location that’s registered in hybrid access mode requires the producer or the grantor account to be in version 4 of cross-account sharing in the catalog setting to grant permissions on the hybrid access mode resource. When moving from version 3 to version 4 of cross-account sharing, existing Lake Formation permissions aren’t affected for database and table locations that are already registered with Lake Formation (Lake Formation mode). For new data set location registration in hybrid access mode and new Lake Formation permissions on this catalog resource, you will need version 4 of cross-account sharing.
  • The consumer or recipient account can use other versions of cross-account sharing. If your accounts are using version 1 or version 2 of cross-account sharing and if you want to upgrade, follow Updating cross-account data sharing version settings to first upgrade the catalog setting of cross-account sharing to version 3, before upgrading to version 4.

The producer account set up is similar to that of scenario 1 and we discuss the extra steps for scenario 2 in the following section.

Set up in producer account A

The consumer Data-Engineer role is granted Amazon S3 data access using the producer’s S3 bucket policy and Data Catalog access using the producer’s Data Catalog resource policy.

The S3 bucket policy in the producer account follows:

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
        "Sid": "data engineer role permissions",
        "Effect": "Allow",
        "Principal": {
            "AWS": "arn:aws:iam::<consumer-account-id>:role/Data-Engineer"
        },
        "Action": [
            "s3:GetLifecycleConfiguration",
            "s3:ListBucket",
            "s3:PutObject",
            "s3:GetObject",
            "s3:DeleteObject"
        ],
        "Resource": [
            "arn:aws:s3:::<producer-account-databucket>",
            "arn:aws:s3:::<producer-account-databucket>/*"
        ]
        }
    ]
}

The Data Catalog resource policy in the producer account is shown below. You also need the glue:ShareResource IAM permission for Amazon Web Services Resource Access Manager (Amazon Web Services RAM) to enable cross-account sharing.

{
"Version" : "2012-10-17",
"Statement" : [
    {
    "Effect" : "Allow",
    "Principal" : {
        "AWS" : "arn:aws:iam::<consumer-account-id>:role/Data-Engineer"
    },
    "Action" : "glue:Get*",
    "Resource" : [
        "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:catalog", 
        "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:database/hybridsalesdb", 
        "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:table/hybridsalesdb/*"
    ]
    },
    {
        "Effect" : "Allow",
        "Principal" : {
        "Service" : "ram.amazonaws.com"
        },
        "Action" : "glue:ShareResource",
        "Resource" : [
            "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:table/*/*", 
            "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:database/*", 
            "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:catalog"
        ]
        }
    ]
}

Setting the cross-account version and registering the S3 bucket

  1. Sign in to the Lake Formation console as an IAM administrator role or a role with IAM permissions to the PutDataLakeSettings() API. Choose the Amazon Web Services Region where you have your sample data set in an S3 bucket and its corresponding database and tables in the Data Catalog.
  2. Select Data catalog settings from the left navigation bar under Administration. Select Version 4 from the dropdown menu for Cross account version settings. Choose Save.
    Note: If there are any other accounts in your environment that share catalog resources to your producer account through Lake Formation, upgrading the sharing version might impact them. See <title of documentation page> for more information.
  3. Sign out as IAM administrator and sign back in to the Lake Formation console as a Lake Formation administrator role.
  4. Select Data lake locations from the left navigation bar under Administration.
  5. Select Register location and provide the S3 location of your database and tables.
  6. Provide an IAM role that has access to the data in the S3 location. For more details about this role requirement, see Requirements for roles used to register locations .
  7. Choose the Hybrid access mode under Permission mode, and then choose Register location.
  8. Select Data lake locations under Administration from the left navigation bar. Confirm that the registered location shows as Hybrid access mode for Permission mode.

Granting cross-account permissions

The steps to share the database hybridsalesdb to the consumer account are similar to the steps to set up scenario 1.

  1. In the Lake Formation console, select Databases from Catalog on the left navigation bar. Choose hybridsalesdb. Select your database that has the data in the S3 location that you registered previously. From the Actions drop down menu, select Grant.
  2. Select External accounts under Principals and provide the consumer account ID. Select Named catalog resources under LF-Tags or catalog resources. Choose hybridsalesdb for Databases.
  3. Select Describe for Database permissions and for Grantable permissions.
  4. Under Hybrid access mode, select the checkbox for Make Lake Formation permissions effective immediately. Choose Grant.

Note: Selecting the checkbox opts-in the consumer account Lake Formation administrator roles to use Lake Formation permissions without interrupting access to the consumer account’s IAM and S3 access for the same database.

  1. Repeat step 2 up to database selection to grant permission to the consumer account ID for table level permission. Select any three tables from the drop-down menu for table level permission under Tables.
  2. Select Select under Table permissions and Grantable permissions. Select the checkbox for Make Lake Formation permissions effective immediately under Hybrid access mode. Choose Grant.
  3. Select the Data lake permissions  on the left navigation bar. Verify the granted permissions to the consumer account.
  4. Select the Hybrid access mode on the left navigation bar. Verify the opted-in resources and principal.

You have now enabled cross-account sharing using Lake Formation permissions without revoking access to the IAMAllowedPrincipal virtual group.

Set up in consumer account B

In scenario 2, the Data-Analyst and Data-Engineer roles are created in the consumer account similar to scenario 1, but these roles access the database and tables shared from the producer account.

In addition to arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AWSGlueConsoleFullAccess and arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/CloudWatchFullAccess, the  Data-Engineer role also has permissions to create and run an Apache Spark job in Amazon Web Services Glue Studio.

Data-Engineer has the following IAM policy that grants access to the producer account’s S3 bucket, which is registered with Lake Formation in hybrid access mode.

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "AllowDataLakeBucket",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "s3:ListBucket",
                "s3:GetBucketLocation",
                "s3:GetLifecycleConfiguration",
                "s3:Put*",
                "s3:Get*",
                "s3:Delete*"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:s3:::<producer-account-databucket>/*",
                "arn:aws:s3:::<producer-account-databucket>"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

Data-Engineer has the following IAM policy that grants access to the consumer account’s entire Data Catalog and producer account’s database hybridsalesdb and its tables.

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "glue:*"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<consumer-account-id>:catalog",
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<consumer-account-id>:database/*",
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<consumer-account-id>:table/*/*",

            ]
        },
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "glue:Get*"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:catalog",
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:database/hybridsalesdb",
                "arn:aws:glue:<Region>:<producer-account-id>:table/hybridsalesdb/*"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

The Data-Analyst has the same IAM policies similar to scenario 1, granting basic data lake user permissions. For additional details, see Assign permissions to Lake Formation users .

Accepting Amazon Web Services RAM invites

  1. Sign in to the Lake Formation console as a Lake Formation administrator role.
  2. Open the Amazon Web Services RAM console. Select Resource shares from Shared with me on the left navigation bar. You should see two invites from the producer account, one for database level share and one for table level share.
  3. Select each invite, review the producer account ID, and choose Accept resource share.

Granting Lake Formation permissions to Data-Analyst

  1. Open the Lake Formation console. As a Lake Formation administrator, you should see the shared database and tables from the consumer account.
  2. Select Databases from the Data catalog on the left navigation bar. Select the radio button on the database hybridsalesdb and select Create resource link from the Actions drop down menu.
  3. Enter rl_hybridsalesdb as the name for the resource link and leave the rest of the selections as they are. Choose Create.
  4. Select the radio button for rl_hybridsalesdb. Select Grant from the Actions drop down menu.
  5. Grant Describe permissions on the resource link to Data-Analyst.
  6. Again, select the radio button on rl_hybridsalesdb from the Databases under Catalog in the left navigation bar. Select Grant on target from the Actions drop down menu.
  7. Select Data-Analyst for IAM users and roles, keep the already selected database hybridsalesdb.
  8. Select Describe under Database permissions. Select the checkbox for Make Lake Formation permissions effective immediately under Hybrid access mode. Choose Grant.
  9. Select the radio button on rl_hybridsalesdb from Databases under Catalog in the left navigation bar. Select Grant on target from the Actions drop down menu.
  10. Select Data-Analyst for IAM users and roles. Select All tables of the database hybridsalesdb. Select Select under Table permissions.
  11. Select the checkbox for Make Lake Formation permissions effective immediately under Hybrid access mode.
  12. View and verify the permissions granted to Data-Analyst from the Data lake permissions tab on the left navigation bar.
  13. Sign out as Lake Formation administrator role.

Validate Lake Formation permissions as Data-Analyst

  1. Sign back in to the console as Data-Analyst.
  2. Open the Athena console. If you’re using Athena for the first time, set up the query results location to your S3 bucket as described in Specifying a query result location .
    • In the Query Editor page, under Data, select AWSDataDatalog for Data source.  For Tables, select the three dots next to any of the table names. Select Preview Table to run the query.
  3. Sign out as Data-Analyst.

Validate IAM and S3 permissions for Data-Engineer

  1. Sign back in to the console as Data-Engineer.
  2. Using the same steps as scenario 1, verify IAM and S3 access by running the Amazon Web Services Glue ETL script in Amazon Web Services Glue Studio.

You’ve added Lake Formation permissions to a new role Data-Analyst, without interrupting existing IAM and S3 access to Data-Engineer for a cross-account sharing use-case.

Clean up

If you’ve used sample datasets from your S3 for this blog post, we recommend removing relevant Lake Formation permissions on your database for the Data-Analyst role and cross-account grants. You can also remove the hybrid access mode opt-in and remove the S3 bucket registration from Lake Formation. After removing all Lake Formation permissions from both the producer and consumer accounts, you can delete the Data-Analyst and Data-Engineer IAM roles.

Considerations

Currently, only a Lake Formation administrator role can opt in other users to use Lake Formation permissions for a resource, since opting in user access using either Lake Formation or IAM and S3 permissions is an administrative task requiring full knowledge of your organizational data access setup. Further, you can grant permissions and opt in at the same time using only the named-resource method and not LF-Tags. If you’re using LF-Tags to grant permissions, we recommend you use the Hybrid access mode option on the left navigation bar to opt in (or the equivalent CreateLakeFormationOptin() API using the Amazon Web Services SDK or Amazon Web Services CLI) as a subsequent step after granting permissions.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we went through the steps to set up hybrid access mode for Data Catalog. You learned how to onboard users selectively to the Lake Formation permissions model. The users who had access through IAM and S3 permissions continued to have their access without interruptions. You can use Lake Formation to add fine-grained access to Data Catalog tables to enable your business analysts to query using Amazon Athena and Amazon Redshift Spectrum, while your data scientists can explore the same data using Amazon Sagemaker. Data engineers can continue to use their IAM and S3 permissions on the same data to run workloads using Amazon EMR and Amazon Web Services Glue. Hybrid access mode for the Data Catalog enables a variety of analytical use-cases for your data without data duplication.

To get started, see the documentation for hybrid access mode . We encourage you to check out the feature and share your feedback in the comments section. We look forward to hearing from you.


About the authors

Aarthi Srinivasan is a Senior Big Data Architect with Amazon Web Services Lake Formation. She likes building data lake solutions for Amazon Web Services customers and partners. When not on the keyboard, she explores the latest science and technology trends and spends time with her family.