During deployment, the VMware Identity Manager machine is set up inside the internal network. If you want to provide access to the service for users connecting from outside networks, you must install a load balancer or a reverse proxy, such as Apache, Nginx, or F5, in the DMZ.

If you do not use a load balancer or reverse proxy, you cannot expand the number of VMware Identity Manager machines later. You might need to add more machines to provide redundancy and load balancing. The following diagram shows the basic deployment architecture that you can use to enable external access.

Figure 1. External Load Balancer Proxy with Virtual Machines

Specify VMware Identity Manager FQDN during Deployment

During the deployment of the VMware Identity Manager machine, you enter the VMware Identity Manager FQDN and port number. These values must point to the host name that you want end users to access.

The VMware Identity Manager machine always runs on port 443. You can use a different port number for the load balancer. If you use a different port number, you must specify it during deployment. Do not use 8443 as the port number, as this port number is the VMware identity Manager administrative port and is unique for each machine in a cluster.

Load Balancer Settings to Configure

Load balancer settings to configure include enabling X-Forwarded-For headers, setting the load balancer time-out correctly, and enabling sticky sessions. In addition, SSL trust must be configured between the VMware Identity Manager machine and the load balancer.

  • X-Forwarded-For Headers

    You must enable X-Forwarded-For headers on your load balancer. VMware Identity Manager identifies the source IP address in the X-Forwarded-For headers and determines which authentication method to use based on the source IP address. See the documentation provided by your load balancer vendor for more information.

  • Load Balancer Timeout

    For VMware Identity Manager to function correctly, you might need to increase the load balancer request timeout from the default. The value is set in minutes. If the timeout setting is too low, you might see this error, “502 error: The service is unavailable”.

  • Enable Sticky Sessions

    You must enable the sticky session setting on the load balancer if your deployment has multiple VMware Identity Manager machines. The load balancer binds a user's session to a specific instance.

  • WebSocket support

    The load balancer must have WebSocket support to enable secure communication channels between connectors and the VMware Identity Manager nodes.

  • Ciphers with forward secrecy

    Apple iOS App Transport Security requirements apply to the Workspace ONE app on iOS. To enable users to use the Workspace ONE app on iOS, the load balancer must have ciphers with forward secrecy. The following ciphers meet this requirement:


    as stated in the iOS 11 iOS Security document:

    "App Transport Security provides default connection requirements so that apps adhere to best practices for secure connections when using NSURLConnection, CFURL, or NSURLSession APIs. By default, App Transport Security limits cipher selection to include only suites that provide forward secrecy, specifically ECDHE_ECDSA_AES and ECDHE_RSA_AES in GCM or CBC mode."