How to enable HTTPS and SSL termination in a Quarkus app
fetched at January 6, 2021

When it comes to the container world, it is common to have an application deployed to a cluster that needs to be secured. In this article, I will show you how to enable HTTPS and SSL termination for a Quarkus application that is running in Red Hat OpenShift.

Create the secret

First, we will need a paired key and certificate. If you do not have any available, you can use the following command to create a development-only key and certificate:

~ openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -new -nodes -x509 -days 3650 -keyout key.pem -out cert.pem

This will create two files (key.pem and cert.pem) that we need to inject into our pods to make them available to the Quarkus application. This can easily be achieved using secrets and volumes by following these steps:

    1. Create a key/value secret in the Create Key/Value Secret dialog box.
    2. Add two keys, one for the file cert.pem and one for the key.pem, as shown in Figure 1.
Create Key/Value Secret dialog box filled in with Secret Name https-secret and Key/Value entries for cert.pem and key.pem

Figure 1: First, create your key/value secret in OpenShift.

Once created, add the secret to the application’s workload as shown in Figure 2.

Add Secret to Workload dialog box with example secret selected, and Add secret as set to Volume with example path selected

Figure 2: Second, add the secret to your workload.

We now add it as a volume with a mount path of our choice. This will mount and add both the cert and the key files to all application pods.

Enable HTTPS

Once the secret has been added to the workload, we’ll need to set up some environment variables in order to enable HTTPS and for Quarkus to expose the proper port. The most important parts of the configuration are the environment variables referring to the SSL certificate. For more information about options available when configuring SSL in Quarkus see this section of the Quarkus HTTP Reference Guide.

Figure 3 shows an example of the resulting configuration.

SSL certificate-related environment variables, see the description for the variables and their values.

Figure 3: Third, set up your environment variables, especially for your SSL certificate.

With this configuration, we’re redirecting all of the insecure requests, and we’re telling Quarkus to use the key and the certificate (that we have mounted in the previous step) into the pods.

Now our Quarkus application should be exposing port 8443 for HTTPS. If we go to the application logs, we should see a message like the following:

The application log with the example application's launch record highlighted, which shows what ports it's listening on.

Figure 4: And finally, make sure that your Quarkus application is exposing port 8443 for HTTPS.

Exposing the app to the real world

Great, the Quarkus application is now exposing the proper port and accepting connections through HTTPS. At this point, we can consider the Quarkus work done. However, if we don’t expose our app to the external world, this is useless.

In order to make our app available externally, we are going to need a service and a route. A service serves as an internal load balancer. It identifies a set of replicated pods in order to proxy the connections it receives to them. Services are assigned an IP address and port that, when accessed, proxy to an appropriate backing pod.

A service uses a label selector to find all of the running containers that provide a certain network service on a certain port. Here’s a service example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  generateName: test-ssl-apicurioregistry-service-
  namespace: default
spec:
 selector:
  app: test-ssl-apicurioregistry
 ports:
  - protocol: TCP
  port: 8443
  targetPort: 8443

An OpenShift route is a way to expose a service by giving it an externally-reachable host name. For more information on how to create or manage secured routes, see the Secured Routes section of the OpenShift documentation.

Here’s a secured route example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Route
metadata:
  name: secured-registry
  namespace: default
spec:
  to:
   kind: Service
   name: test-ssl-apicurioregistry-service-mjdzd
   weight: 100
  port:
   targetPort: 8443
  tls:
   termination: passthrough
   insecureEdgeTerminationPolicy: Redirect
   wildcardPolicy: None

Check the configuration

We can easily check our configuration using the OpenShift client:

➜  ~ oc get routes
NAME                                            HOST/PORT                                                          PATH   SERVICES                                  PORT    TERMINATION            WILDCARD
secured-registry                                secured-registry-default.apps.carnalca.ipt.integrations.rhmw.io           test-ssl-apicurioregistry-service-mjdzd   8443    passthrough/Redirect   None  
➜  ~ oc get svc test-ssl-apicurioregistry-service-mjdzd
NAME                                      TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
test-ssl-apicurioregistry-service-mjdzd   ClusterIP   172.30.122.25           8443/TCP   21h

Conclusion

In this article, I showed you how to secure the traffic of a Quarkus application. From the Quarkus properties to the OpenShift resources, you have seen the simplest way to achieve this goal. While I’ve used some defaults, there are many other features and configurations to explore. Here I am just covering the basics on how to secure a Quarkus application in OpenShift while keeping everything as simple as possible. I hope sharing this experience will be helpful to others.

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