Set up an encryption certificate and encrypt secrets on Windows clusters

This article shows how to set up an encryption certificate and use it to encrypt secrets on Windows clusters. For Linux clusters, see Set up an encryption certificate and encrypt secrets on Linux clusters.

Azure Key Vault is used here as a safe storage location for certificates and as a way to get certificates installed on Service Fabric clusters in Azure. If you are not deploying to Azure, you do not need to use Key Vault to manage secrets in Service Fabric applications. However, using secrets in an application is cloud platform-agnostic to allow applications to be deployed to a cluster hosted anywhere.

Obtain a data encipherment certificate

A data encipherment certificate is used strictly for encryption and decryption of parameters in a service's Settings.xml and environment variables in a service's ServiceManifest.xml. It is not used for authentication or signing of cipher text. The certificate must meet the following requirements:

  • The certificate must contain a private key.

  • The certificate must be created for key exchange, exportable to a Personal Information Exchange (.pfx) file.

  • The certificate key usage must include Data Encipherment (10), and should not include Server Authentication or Client Authentication.

    For example, when creating a self-signed certificate using PowerShell, the KeyUsage flag must be set to DataEncipherment:

    New-SelfSignedCertificate -Type DocumentEncryptionCert -KeyUsage DataEncipherment -Subject mydataenciphermentcert -Provider 'Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider v1.0'

Install the certificate in your cluster

This certificate must be installed on each node in the cluster. See how to create a cluster using Azure Resource Manager for setup instructions.

Encrypt application secrets

The following PowerShell command is used to encrypt a secret. This command only encrypts the value; it does not sign the cipher text. You must use the same encipherment certificate that is installed in your cluster to produce ciphertext for secret values:

Invoke-ServiceFabricEncryptText -CertStore -CertThumbprint "<thumbprint>" -Text "mysecret" -StoreLocation CurrentUser -StoreName My

The resulting base-64 encoded string contains both the secret ciphertext as well as information about the certificate that was used to encrypt it.

Next steps

Learn how to Specify encrypted secrets in an application.