The security measures implemented for a VMware Tanzu Application Service for VMs (TAS for VMs) foundation and for VMware Tanzu GemFire for VMs service instances within that foundation attempt to reduce harm from agents with foundation access. For a general presentation on TAS for VMs security, see TAS for VMs Security in the VMware Tanzu Application Service for VMs documentation.

Transport-Layer Security (TLS) encryption prevents easy access to communication between components, and role-based authentication and authorization limits access to data.

TLS Encryption for the GemFire for VMs Service Instance

Without TLS encryption with and within the GemFire for VMs service instance, the diagram below identifies via green dotted-and-dashed lines the unencrypted, plaintext communication that a bad agent with TAS for VMs foundation access could listen to without TLS encryption.

TAS for VMs foundation without TLS encryption

Each of these unencrypted communication paths may be TLS-encrypted. Enabling TLS encryption implements a one-way authentication of apps, verifying the identity of cluster members.

You must also secure gfsh communication. Follow directions in Connect with gfsh over HTTPS.


To allow app access to the PCC network, create application security groups. Allow access on the following ports:

  • 1099
  • 8080
  • 40404
  • 55221

For more information, see Restricting App Access to Internal TAS for VMs Components in the VMware Tanzu Application Service for VMs documentation.

GemFire for VMs works with the IPsec Add-on for TAS for VMs. For more information, see IPsec for VMware Tanzu.

Security within the Cluster

The cluster within a GemFire for VMs service instance implements role-based authentication and authorizes cluster operations based upon the roles.

There are two sets of roles:

  • One set has four roles for users that integrate an external authentication such as LDAP via User Account and Authentication (UAA). See Configuring UAA Roles for a description of the roles and the configuration that completes the integration.

  • The other set of roles defaults when there is no external authentication integrated during the GemFire for VMs tile installation. The identifiers assigned for these roles are detailed in Create Service Keys. GemFire for VMs service instances are created with three default user roles for interacting with clusters:

    • Cluster operator: manages the VMware GemFire cluster and can access region data. Has the permissions CLUSTER:MANAGE, CLUSTER:WRITE, CLUSTER:READ, DATA:MANAGE, DATA:WRITE, and DATA:READ.
    • Developer: can access region data. Has the permissions CLUSTER:READ, DATA:WRITE, and DATA:READ.
    • Gateway sender: propagates region data to another GemFire for VMs service instance. Has the permission DATA:WRITE.

Which set is used for a GemFire for VMs service instance depends on the options chosen during GemFire for VMs tile installation.

All gfsh and JMX clients must authenticate as one of these user roles to access the cluster. To authorize operations, each user role is given predefined permissions for cluster operations. To accomplish a cluster operation, the user authenticates using one of the roles. Prior to initiating the requested operation, there is a verification that the authenticated user role has permission to do the operation. Read more about these permissions in Implementing Authorization.

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