Certificates

Cloud Native PostgreSQL has been designed to natively support TLS certificates. In order to set up a Cluster, the operator requires:

  • a server Certification Authority (CA) certificate
  • a server TLS certificate signed by the server Certification Authority
  • a client Certification Authority certificate
  • a streaming replication client certificate generated by the client Certification Authority

Note

You can find all the secrets used by the cluster and their expiration dates in the cluster's status.

Cloud Native PostgreSQL is very flexible when it comes to TLS certificates, and primarily operates in two modes:

  1. operator managed: certificates are internally managed by the operator in a fully automated way, and signed using a CA created by Cloud Native PostgreSQL
  2. user provided: certificates are generated outside the operator and imported in the cluster definition as secrets - Cloud Native PostgreSQL integrates itself with cert-manager (see examples below)

You can also choose a hybrid approach, where only part of the certificates is generated outside CNP.

Operator managed mode

By default, the operator generates a single Certification Authority and uses it for both client and server certificates, which are then managed and renewed automatically.

Server Certificates

Server CA Secret

The operator generates a self-signed CA and stores it in a generic secret containing the following keys:

  • ca.crt: CA certificate used to validate the server certificate, used as sslrootcert in clients' connection strings.
  • ca.key: the key used to sign Server SSL certificate automatically

Server TLS Secret

The operator uses the generated self-signed CA to sign a server TLS certificate, stored in a Secret of type kubernetes.io/tls and configured to be used as ssl_cert_file and ssl_key_file by the instances so that clients can verify their identity and connect securely.

Server alternative DNS names

You can specify DNS server alternative names that will be part of the generated server TLS secret in addition to the default ones.

Client Certificates

Client CA Secret

The same self-signed CA as the Server CA is used by default. The public part will be passed as ssl_ca_file to all the instances in order to be able to verify client certificates it signed. The private key will be stored in the same secret and used to sign Client certificates generated by the kubectl cnp plugin.

Client streaming_replica Certificate

The operator uses the generated self-signed CA to sign a client certificate for the user streaming_replica, storing it in a Secret of type kubernetes.io/tls. This certificate will be passed as sslcert and sslkey in replicas' connection strings, to allow securely connecting to the primary instance.

User-provided certificates mode

Server Certificates

If required, you can also provide the two server certificates, generating them using a separate component such as cert-manager. In order to use a custom server TLS certificate for a Cluster, you must specify the following parameters:

  • serverTLSSecret: the name of a Secret of type kubernetes.io/tls, containing the server TLS certificate. It must contain both the standard tls.crt and tls.key keys.
  • serverCASecret: the name of a Secret containing the ca.crt key.

Note

The operator will still create and manage the two secrets related to client certificates.

Note

If you want ConfigMaps and Secrets to be automatically reloaded by instances, you can add a label with key k8s.enterprisedb.io/reload to it, otherwise you will have to reload the instances using the kubectl cnp reload subcommand.

See below for a complete example.

Example

Given the following files:

  • server-ca.crt: the certificate of the CA that signed the server TLS certificate.
  • server.crt: the certificate of the server TLS certificate.
  • server.key: the private key of the server TLS certificate.

Create a secret containing the CA certificate:

kubectl create secret generic my-postgresql-server-ca \
  --from-file=ca.crt=./server-ca.crt

Create a secret with the TLS certificate:

kubectl create secret tls my-postgresql-server \
  --cert=./server.crt --key=./server.key

Create a Cluster referencing those secrets:

kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
apiVersion: postgresql.k8s.enterprisedb.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example
spec:
  instances: 3
  certificates:
    serverCASecret: my-postgresql-server-ca
    serverTLSSecret: my-postgresql-server
  storage:
    storageClass: standard
    size: 1Gi
EOF

The new cluster will use the provided server certificates for TLS connections.

Cert-manager Example

Here is a simple example about how to use cert-manager to set up a self-signed CA and generate the needed TLS server certificate:

---
apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Issuer
metadata:
  name: selfsigned-issuer
spec:
  selfSigned: {}
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: my-postgres-server-cert
  labels:
    k8s.enterprisedb.io/reload: ""
---
apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Certificate
metadata:
  name: my-postgres-server-cert
spec:
  secretName: my-postgres-server-cert
  usages:
    - server auth
  dnsNames:
    - cluster-example-lb.internal.mydomain.net
    - cluster-example-rw
    - cluster-example-rw.default
    - cluster-example-rw.default.svc
    - cluster-example-r
    - cluster-example-r.default
    - cluster-example-r.default.svc
    - cluster-example-ro
    - cluster-example-ro.default
    - cluster-example-ro.default.svc
  issuerRef:
    name: selfsigned-issuer
    kind: Issuer
    group: cert-manager.io

A Secret named my-postgres-server-cert is created by cert-manager, containing all the needed files and can be referenced from a Cluster as follows:

apiVersion: postgresql.k8s.enterprisedb.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example
spec:
  instances: 3
  certificates:
    serverTLSSecret: my-postgres-server-cert
    serverCASecret: my-postgres-server-cert
  storage:
    size: 1Gi

You can find a complete example using cert-manager to manage both server and client CA and certificates in the cluster-example-cert-manager.yaml deployment manifest.

Client Certificate

If required, you can also provide the two client certificates, generating them using a separate component such as cert-manager or hashicorp vault. In order to use a custom CA to verify client certificates for a Cluster, you must specify the following parameters:

  • replicationTLSSecret: the name of a Secret of type kubernetes.io/tls, containing the client certificate for user streaming_replica. It must contain both the standard tls.crt and tls.key keys.
  • clientCASecret: the name of a Secret containing the ca.crt key of the CA that should be used to verify client certificate.

Note

The operator will still create and manage the two secrets related to server certificates.

Note

As the Cluster is not in control of the client CA secret key, client certificates can not be generated using kubectl cnp certificate anymore.

Note

If you want ConfigMaps and Secrets to be automatically reloaded by instances, you can add a label with key k8s.enterprisedb.io/reload to it, otherwise you will have to reload the instances using the kubectl cnp reload subcommand.

Cert-manager Example

Here a simple example about how to use cert-manager to set up a self-signed CA and generate the needed TLS server certificate:

---
apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Issuer
metadata:
  name: selfsigned-issuer
spec:
  selfSigned: {}
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: my-postgres-client-cert
  labels:
    k8s.enterprisedb.io/reload: ""
---
apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Certificate
metadata:
  name: my-postgres-client-cert
spec:
  secretName: my-postgres-client-cert
  usages:
    - client auth
  commonName: streaming_replica
  issuerRef:
    name: selfsigned-issuer
    kind: Issuer
    group: cert-manager.io

A Secret named my-postgres-client-cert is created by cert-manager, containing all the needed files and can be referenced from a Cluster as follows:

apiVersion: postgresql.k8s.enterprisedb.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example
spec:
  instances: 3
  certificates:
    clientCASecret: my-postgres-client-cert
    replicationTLSSecret: my-postgres-client-cert
  storage:
    size: 1Gi

You can find a complete example using cert-manager to manage both server and client CA and certificates in the cluster-example-cert-manager.yaml deployment manifest.