days to Istio 1.5

Authorization Policy Trust Domain Migration

This task shows you how to migrate from one trust domain to another without changing authorization policy.

In Istio 1.4, we introduce an alpha feature to support trust domain migration for authorization policy. This means if an Istio mesh needs to change its trust domain, the authorization policy doesn't need to be changed manually. In Istio, if a workload is running in namespace foo with the service account bar, and the trust domain of the system is my-td, the identity of said workload is spiffe://my-td/ns/foo/sa/bar. By default, the Istio mesh trust domain is cluster.local, unless you specify it during the installation.

Before you begin

  1. Read the authorization concept guide.

  2. Install Istio with a custom trust domain and mutual TLS enabled.

    $ cat <<EOF > ./td-installation.yaml
    apiVersion: install.istio.io/v1alpha2
    kind: IstioControlPlane
    spec:
      values:
        global:
          controlPlaneSecurityEnabled: false
          mtls:
            enabled: true
          trustDomain: old-td
    EOF
    $ istioctl manifest apply --set profile=demo -f td-installation.yaml
    
  3. Deploy the httpbin sample in the default namespace and the sleep sample in the default and sleep-allow namespaces:

    ZipZipZip
    $ kubectl label namespace default istio-injection=enabled
    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/httpbin/httpbin.yaml@
    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/sleep/sleep.yaml@
    $ kubectl create namespace sleep-allow
    $ kubectl label namespace sleep-allow istio-injection=enabled
    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/sleep/sleep.yaml@ -n sleep-allow
    
  4. Apply the authorization policy below to deny all requests to httpbin except from sleep in the sleep-allow namespace.

    $ kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
    apiVersion: security.istio.io/v1beta1
    kind: AuthorizationPolicy
    metadata:
      name: service-httpbin.default.svc.cluster.local
      namespace: default
    spec:
      rules:
      - from:
        - source:
            principals:
            - old-td/ns/sleep-allow/sa/sleep
        to:
        - operation:
            methods:
            - GET
      selector:
        matchLabels:
          app: httpbin
    ---
    EOF
    

Notice that it may take tens of seconds for the authorization policy to be propagated to the sidecars.

  1. Verify that requests to httpbin from:

    • sleep in the default namespace are denied.
    $ kubectl exec $(kubectl get pod -l app=sleep -o jsonpath={.items..metadata.name}) -c sleep -- curl http://httpbin.default:8000/ip -s -o /dev/null -w "%{http_code}\n"
    403
    
    • sleep in the sleep-allow namespace are allowed.
    $ kubectl exec $(kubectl -n sleep-allow get pod -l app=sleep -o jsonpath={.items..metadata.name}) -c sleep -n sleep-allow -- curl http://httpbin.default:8000/ip -s -o /dev/null -w "%{http_code}\n"
    200
    

Migrate trust domain without trust domain aliases

  1. Install Istio with a new trust domain.

    $ cat <<EOF > ./td-installation.yaml
    apiVersion: install.istio.io/v1alpha2
    kind: IstioControlPlane
    spec:
      values:
        global:
          controlPlaneSecurityEnabled: false
          mtls:
            enabled: true
          trustDomain: new-td
    EOF
    $ istioctl manifest apply --set profile=demo -f td-installation.yaml
    

    Istio mesh is now running with a new trust domain, new-td.

  2. Delete secrets of sleep and httpbin in default namespace and in sleep-allow namespace. Notice if you install Istio with SDS, you don't need to follow this step. Learn more about Provisioning Identity through SDS

    $ kubectl delete secrets istio.sleep; kubectl delete secrets istio.httpbin;
    
    $ kubectl delete secrets istio.sleep -n sleep-allow
    
  3. Redeploy the httpbin and sleep applications to pick up changes from the new Istio control plane.

    $ kubectl delete pod --all
    
    $ kubectl delete pod --all -n sleep-allow
    
  4. Verify that requests to httpbin from both sleep in default namespace and sleep-allow namespace are denied.

    $ kubectl exec $(kubectl get pod -l app=sleep -o jsonpath={.items..metadata.name}) -c sleep -- curl http://httpbin.default:8000/ip -s -o /dev/null -w "%{http_code}\n"
    403
    
    $ kubectl exec $(kubectl -n sleep-allow get pod -l app=sleep -o jsonpath={.items..metadata.name}) -c sleep -n sleep-allow -- curl http://httpbin.default:8000/ip -s -o /dev/null -w "%{http_code}\n"
    403
    

    This is because we specified an authorization policy that deny all requests to httpbin, except the ones the old-td/ns/sleep-allow/sa/sleep identity, which is the old identity of the sleep application in sleep-allow namespace. When we migrated to a new trust domain above, i.e. new-td, the identity of this sleep application is now new-td/ns/sleep-allow/sa/sleep, which is not the same as old-td/ns/sleep-allow/sa/sleep. Therefore, requests from the sleep application in sleep-allow namespace to httpbin were allowed before are now being denied. Prior to Istio 1.4, the only way to make this work is to change the authorization policy manually. In Istio 1.4, we introduce an easy way, as shown below.

Migrate trust domain with trust domain aliases

  1. Install Istio with a new trust domain and trust domain aliases.

    $ cat <<EOF > ./td-installation.yaml
    apiVersion: install.istio.io/v1alpha2
    kind: IstioControlPlane
    spec:
      values:
        global:
          controlPlaneSecurityEnabled: false
          mtls:
            enabled: true
          trustDomain: new-td
          trustDomainAliases:
            - old-td
    EOF
    $ istioctl manifest apply --set profile=demo -f td-installation.yaml
    
  2. Without changing the authorization policy, verify that requests to httpbin from:

    • sleep in the default namespace are denied.
    $ kubectl exec $(kubectl get pod -l app=sleep -o jsonpath={.items..metadata.name}) -c sleep -- curl http://httpbin.default:8000/ip -s -o /dev/null -w "%{http_code}\n"
    403
    
    • sleep in the sleep-allow namespace are allowed.
    $ kubectl exec $(kubectl -n sleep-allow get pod -l app=sleep -o jsonpath={.items..metadata.name}) -c sleep -n sleep-allow -- curl http://httpbin.default:8000/ip -s -o /dev/null -w "%{http_code}\n"
    200
    

Best practices

Starting from Istio 1.4, when writing authorization policy, you should consider using the value cluster.local as the trust domain part in the policy. For example, instead of old-td/ns/sleep-allow/sa/sleep, it should be cluster.local/ns/sleep-allow/sa/sleep. Notice that in this case, cluster.local is not the Istio mesh trust domain (the trust domain is still old-td). However, in authorization policy, cluster.local is a pointer that points to the current trust domain, i.e. old-td (and later new-td), as well as its aliases. By using cluster.local in the authorization policy, when you migrate to a new trust domain, Istio will detect this and treat the new trust domain as the old trust domain without you having to include the aliases.

Clean up

$ kubectl delete authorizationpolicy service-httpbin.default.svc.cluster.local
$ kubectl delete deploy httpbin; k delete service httpbin; k delete serviceaccount httpbin
$ kubectl delete deploy sleep; k delete service sleep; k delete serviceaccount sleep
$ kubectl delete namespace sleep-allow
$ istioctl manifest generate --set profile=demo -f td-installation.yaml | kubectl delete -f -
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