Storage for AppSSO

This topic tells you how to configure the storage for Application Single Sign-On (commonly called AppSSO).


AppSSOs AuthServer handles data pertaining to user’s session, identity, access tokens and approved or rejected consents. For production environments, it is critical to provide your own storage source to enable enterprise functions such as data backup and recovery, auditing and long-term persistence according to your organization’s data and security policies.

AppSSO currently only supports Redis v6.0 or above as a storage solution. v6.0 introduced TLS support to ensure encrypted client-server communication - AppSSO enforces TLS by default.

Storage provided by default refers to an AuthServer resource where is not set.

Although data in motion is encrypted by using TLS, data at rest is not encrypted by default through AuthServer. Each storage provider is responsible for encrypting their own data. See data types for more information about storage.

Securing Data at rest

To be compliant with HIPAA, FISMA, PCI and GDPR, you must encrypt data at rest. Securing the underlying infrastructure that Redis uses is crucial to protect against a potential attack. The National Institute for Standards and Technology – Federal Information Processing Standards (NIST-FIPS) sets the standard for best practice when it comes to data security in the US. Symmetric cryptography can be used to protect data at rest. This means that the same key encrypts and decrypts the data, so there is no need for a different private and public key. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption algorithm is an industry standard for securing data at rest. For the highest level security, VMware recommends using a 256-bit key.

Configuring Redis

To configure Redis as authorization server storage, you must have the following information of your Redis server:

  • Server CA certificate (optional): the Certificate Authority (CA) certificate to verify Redis TLS connections. It is not required if Redis Server certificate is signed by a public CA.
  • host (required): the domain name, IP address, or host name of your Redis server.
  • port (optional): the port number of your Redis server. It default to 6379 and must be a string.
  • username (optional): the username to authenticate against your Redis server.
  • password (optional): the password to authenticate against your Redis server.

AppSSO takes the secure-by-default approach and does not establish non-encrypted communication channels. The AuthServer resource enters an error state if a non-encrypted connection is attempted.

mTLS is not supported, however Vanilla Redis uses mTLS by default. It can be turned off by setting tls-auth-clients no. For more information, see Redis documentation.

The following steps introduce the path to configuring Redis with AppSSO:

  1. Configuring Redis Server CA certificate
  2. Configuring a Redis Secret
  3. Attaching storage to an AuthServer

Configuring Redis Server CA certificate

If your Redis includes a custom or non-public Server CA certificate, you must instruct AppSSO to trust the CA certificate. This is required for the authorization server to communicate with your Redis over TLS. See CA certificates for more information about configuring a CA certificate with AppSSO.

Configuring a Redis Secret

To provide coordinates (the location details) of your Redis server, you must create a Secret resource that follows well-known Secret entries conventions. For more information, see Service Bindings 1.0.0 specification.

Example of a properly formatted Secret resource:


The Secret must be created in the same namespace as your AuthServer.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: redis-credentials
  namespace: my-authserver
type:        # optional, must equal '' if defined
  type: "redis"                      # required, must equal 'redis'
  ssl: "true"                        # required, must equal 'true'
  host: ""   # required
  port: "6379"                       # optional, must be a string, defaults to "6379" if left empty
  password: "!!veryStrongPassword!!" # optional
  username: "redis01-user"           # optional

Attaching storage to an AuthServer

After a Redis Secret resource is applied, you can reference the Secret in An example of an AuthServer with a reference to a Redis Secret is as follows:

kind: AuthServer
  name: my-authserver-example
  namespace: my-authserver
  # ...
        apiVersion: "v1"
        kind: "Secret"
        name: redis-credentials

After AuthServer is applied, ensure its Status is Ready.

Inspecting storage of an AuthServer

You can inspect the status of an AuthServer’s storage as follows:

kubectl get authserver <authserver-name> \
  --namespace <authserver-namespace> \
  --output jsonpath="{}" | jq

Expect to see the following output with the actual Redis host and port:

  "redis": {
    "host": "ci-redis.authservers.svc.cluster.local",
    "port": "6379"

Storage provided by default

If no storage is defined, an AuthServer provides its own short-lived ephemeral storage solution, Redis. The provided Redis is configured to never flush any data to any volume that might be attached to the pods that operate the authorization server.


The default storage configuration is desisged for prototyping or testing environments and must not be used in production environments.

To view details for Redis of an AuthServer:

# Get the Redis image
kubectl get authserver <authserver-name> \
  --namespace <authserver-namespace> \
  --output jsonpath="{.status.deployments.redis}" | jq

# Get the Redis host and port
kubectl get authserver <authserver-name> \
  --namespace <authserver-namespace> \
  --output jsonpath="{}" | jq

Data types

The following data is stored in Redis:

  • Client information

    • Authorization grant type
    • Client id
  • User session

    • Session token
    • Refresh token
  • Identity and access tokens


    This is the data that carries the highest level risk.

    • Authentication token including the principal
      • Personally identifying information such as email and name
  • Approved or rejected consents

    • A client identifier
    • A reference to the user
    • A list of the Authorities that the user has granted to this client

Known limitations of storage providers

Redis Cluster

When your storage is provided by Redis Cluster, additional settings might be required.

The nodes and the maximum number of redirects must be set in your Service Bindings’ Secret. For example, in addition to the entries in Configuring a Redis Secret, you must provide cluster settings as follows:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: redis-cluster-credentials
  namespace: authservers
  cluster.max-redirects: 5

cluster.nodes must be a comma-separated list of <ip>:<port>.

check-circle-line exclamation-circle-line close-line
Scroll to top icon