Skip to content

Configure Vault

Follow the steps documented below to help establish trust between your centralized HashiCorp Vault server and your controller Managed clusters


The kubernetes auth method is used to establish trust between a cluster and the Vault Server

Step 1: Create Secret Store

  • Login into the Web Console as a Project Admin.
  • Click on Integrations > Secret Stores
  • Click on "New Secret Store"
  • Provide a Name , select "Vault" from the drop down for Provider
  • Click "CREATE" button to create this secret store

Create Vault

Step 2: Edit Secret Store

In the Edit Secret Store page:

  • Provide the Vault Host (FQDN or IP address of the Vault Server)
  • Users are allowed to skip the certificate verification by setting true or false from the drop-down. Set true to skip Vault CA Certificate Verification (or) false to provide the CA Certificate for verification, only if the certificate is self-signed
  • Provide the CA Cert (base64) when skip verification is set to false and only if certificate is self-signed
  • (Optional) Click on Add Clusters to add additional managed Kubernetes cluster to use this secret store
  • Click Save Changes to save the secret store settings

Create Vault


It will take ~30 seconds for the Vault integration configuration to be deployed to the managed Kubernetes clusters

Create Vault

Once the Vault integration configuration is deployed to the clusters, copy the related Vault settings for each of the clusters and complete the configuration in Vault (See Step 3)

  • Kubernetes Host
  • Token Reviewer JWT
  • Kubernetes CA Certificate

Create Vault

Upgrade Secret Store

To upgrade the secret store to the latest version, click the upgrade button available in the Edit page. This will upgrade the secretstore-admission-webhook image to latest version for the all the cluster(s) under that secretstore.

Step 3: Create Auth Path For Clusters

In order for Vault to grant access to the clusters to retrieve secrets, the Kubernetes Auth Method for each of the clusters will need to be created in Vault from the information retrieved in Step 2 above.

This step completes the establishment of "Trust" between the clusters and the central Vault Server. The settings in Vault can be updated using the Vault CLI, UI or API.


The steps described below are typically performed by a Vault Admin.

Follow these steps to perform the update using the Vault CLI.

Enable Auth Method for Path

Enable Kubernetes auth method for the auth path configured in Web console:

vault auth enable -path=<auth_path> kubernetes

Example of successful command output:

% vault auth enable -path=stage-gke-cluster kubernetes
Success! Enabled kubernetes auth method at: stage-gke-cluster/

Set Auth Method

Set the auth method with the information we received for the cluster from Step 2

vault write auth/<auth_path>/config \
    kubernetes_host=<from Rafay's Kubernetes Host value> \
    token_reviewer_jwt=<from Rafay's Token Reviewer JWT value> \
    kubernetes_ca_cert=<from Rafay's Kubernetes CA Cert value>

Example of successful command output:

% vault write auth/stage-gke-cluster/config \
    token_reviewer_jwt=@token_reviewer_jwt \
    kubernetes_host= \
Success! Data written to: auth/stage-gke-cluster/config

Create Role for Auth Path

Create a Role to the authpath so that applications can retrieve secrets from Vault

vault write auth/<auth_path>/role/<role_name> \
    bound_service_account_names=<service accounts> \
    bound_service_account_namespaces=<namespaces> \
    policies=<access_policy> \
    ttl=<token TTL>

Example of successful command output:

% vault write auth/stage-gke-cluster/role/demo \
    bound_service_account_names=vault-auth-demo,app-developer-sa \
    bound_service_account_namespaces=staging,qa \
    policies=default \
Success! Data written to: auth/stage-gke-cluster/role/demo

Create KV Secret Engine

Create a KV secret engine if it has not been already created by the Vault admin. Both KV v1 and v2 are supported. Customers are strongly recommended to use v2 since it has additional functionality such as versioning etc.

KV v1

vault secrets enable -path=<secret_path> kv

Example of successful command output:

% vault secrets enable -path=app-secrets-v1 kv
Success! Enabled the kv secrets engine at: app-secrets-v1/

KV v2

vault secrets enable -path=<secret_path> kv-v2

Example of successful command output:

% vault secrets enable -path=app-secrets-v2 kv-v2
Success! Enabled the kv-v2 secrets engine at: app-secrets-v2/

Create Secrets in KV Secret Path

Create the application secrets in KV secret path

vault kv put <secret_path>/<secret_name> key1=value1 key2=value2

Example of successful command output:

vault kv put app-secrets-v1/elasticsearch es_user=elastic es_password=mypassword
Success! Data written to: app-secrets-v1/elasticsearch

Let's check the secrets

vault kv get app-secrets-v1/elasticsearch
======= Data =======
Key            Value
---            -----
es_password    mypassword
es_user        elastic