Backend TLS: Gateway to Backend

This task demonstrates how TLS can be achieved between the Gateway and a backend. This task uses a self-signed CA, so it should be used for testing and demonstration purposes only.

Envoy Gateway supports the Gateway-API defined BackendTLSPolicy.

Prerequisites

  • OpenSSL to generate TLS assets.

Installation

Follow the steps from the Quickstart to install Envoy Gateway and the example manifest.

TLS Certificates

Generate the certificates and keys used by the backend to terminate TLS connections from the Gateways.

Create a root certificate and private key to sign certificates:

openssl req -x509 -sha256 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -subj '/O=example Inc./CN=example.com' -keyout ca.key -out ca.crt

Create a certificate and a private key for www.example.com:

openssl req -out www.example.com.csr -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout www.example.com.key -subj "/CN=www.example.com/O=example organization"
openssl x509 -req -days 365 -CA ca.crt -CAkey ca.key -set_serial 0 -in www.example.com.csr -out www.example.com.crt

Store the cert/key in a Secret:

kubectl create secret tls example-cert --key=www.example.com.key --cert=www.example.com.crt

Store the CA Cert in another Secret:

kubectl create configmap example-ca --from-file=ca.crt

Setup TLS on the backend

Patch the existing quickstart backend to enable TLS. The patch will mount the TLS certificate secret into the backend as volume.

kubectl patch deployment backend --type=json --patch '
  - op: add
    path: /spec/template/spec/containers/0/volumeMounts
    value:
    - name: secret-volume
      mountPath: /etc/secret-volume
  - op: add
    path: /spec/template/spec/volumes
    value:
    - name: secret-volume
      secret:
        secretName: example-cert
        items:
        - key: tls.crt
          path: crt
        - key: tls.key
          path: key
  - op: add
    path: /spec/template/spec/containers/0/env/-
    value:
      name: TLS_SERVER_CERT
      value: /etc/secret-volume/crt
  - op: add
    path: /spec/template/spec/containers/0/env/-
    value:
      name: TLS_SERVER_PRIVKEY
      value: /etc/secret-volume/key
  '

Create a service that exposes port 443 on the backend service.

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  labels:
    app: backend
    service: backend
  name: tls-backend
  namespace: default
spec:
  selector:
    app: backend
  ports:
  - name: https
    port: 443
    protocol: TCP
    targetPort: 8443
EOF

Save and apply the following resource to your cluster:

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  labels:
    app: backend
    service: backend
  name: tls-backend
  namespace: default
spec:
  selector:
    app: backend
  ports:
  - name: https
    port: 443
    protocol: TCP
    targetPort: 8443

Create a BackendTLSPolicy instructing Envoy Gateway to establish a TLS connection with the backend and validate the backend certificate is issued by a trusted CA and contains an appropriate DNS SAN.

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: gateway.networking.k8s.io/v1alpha3
kind: BackendTLSPolicy
metadata:
  name: enable-backend-tls
  namespace: default
spec:
  targetRefs:
  - group: ''
    kind: Service
    name: tls-backend
    sectionName: "443"
  validation:
    caCertificateRefs:
    - name: example-ca
      group: ''
      kind: ConfigMap
    hostname: www.example.com
EOF

Save and apply the following resource to your cluster:

---
apiVersion: gateway.networking.k8s.io/v1alpha3
kind: BackendTLSPolicy
metadata:
  name: enable-backend-tls
  namespace: default
spec:
  targetRefs:
  - group: ''
    kind: Service
    name: tls-backend
    sectionName: "443"
  validation:
    caCertificateRefs:
    - name: example-ca
      group: ''
      kind: ConfigMap
    hostname: www.example.com

Patch the HTTPRoute’s backend reference, so that it refers to the new TLS-enabled service:

kubectl patch HTTPRoute backend --type=json --patch '
  - op: replace
    path: /spec/rules/0/backendRefs/0/port
    value: 443
  - op: replace
    path: /spec/rules/0/backendRefs/0/name
    value: tls-backend
  '

Verify the HTTPRoute status:

kubectl get HTTPRoute backend -o yaml

Testing

Get the External IP of the Gateway:

export GATEWAY_HOST=$(kubectl get gateway/eg -o jsonpath='{.status.addresses[0].value}')

Query the example app through the Gateway:

curl -v -HHost:www.example.com --resolve "www.example.com:80:${GATEWAY_HOST}" \
http://www.example.com:80/get

Inspect the output and see that the response contains the details of the TLS handshake between Envoy and the backend:

< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
[...]
 "tls": {
  "version": "TLSv1.2",
  "serverName": "www.example.com",
  "negotiatedProtocol": "http/1.1",
  "cipherSuite": "TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256"
 }

Get the name of the Envoy service created the by the example Gateway:

export ENVOY_SERVICE=$(kubectl get svc -n envoy-gateway-system --selector=gateway.envoyproxy.io/owning-gateway-namespace=default,gateway.envoyproxy.io/owning-gateway-name=eg -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')

Port forward to the Envoy service:

kubectl -n envoy-gateway-system port-forward service/${ENVOY_SERVICE} 80:80 &

Query the TLS-enabled backend through Envoy proxy:

curl -v -HHost:www.example.com --resolve "www.example.com:80:127.0.0.1" \
http://www.example.com:80/get

Inspect the output and see that the response contains the details of the TLS handshake between Envoy and the backend:

< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
[...]
 "tls": {
  "version": "TLSv1.2",
  "serverName": "www.example.com",
  "negotiatedProtocol": "http/1.1",
  "cipherSuite": "TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256"
 }