This guide walks you through building a simple Spring Boot application enabled with Security, specifically Auth and TLS using SSL. You should already be familiar with Spring Boot and Apache Geode/VMware Tanzu GemFire.

Refer to the Security chapter in the reference documentation for more information.

1. Background

Security is critical to most applications. It is important to be able to control who or what can access your application and what the subject is allowed to do. This is where Auth2 (Authentication & Authorization) comes in.

Authentication is used to verify a client’s identity (human or application) in exchange for some sort of credentials. Once authenticated, a client must be authorized before they can perform any actions. Authorization checks the permissions required to perform an action (e.g. read data, modify data, change configuration, and so on) against the permissions assigned to the client’s identity

Of course, sending passwords and other sensitive information as plain text over the wire is not very secure, so we also need to enable SSL/TLS to encrypt the information as it is transmitted. Now, our applications are secure.

Apache Geode nor SBDG provide any support for securing data at rest, such as with disk encryption. This concern is typically left to hardware-based solutions.
See the Spring Boot for Apache Geode (SBDG) chapter on Security for more information.

2. Securing a Client Application

Enabling auth on the client is mostly taken care of by Spring Boot’s Auto-configuration.

For more details on Spring Boot’s Auto-configuration applied to Security, and securing the client and server, see here.

In Spring Boot application.properties, set the spring.data.gemfire.security.username and spring.data.gemfire.security.password properties to the username and password your application will use to authenticate.

Enabling SSL on the client requires you to put a trusted.keystore file (a Java KeyStore) in a well-known place, such as your application’s working directory or your home directory, and Auto-configuration will do the rest.

If your trusted.keystore has a password (as it should), you will need to specify it using the spring.data.gemfire.security.ssl.keystore.password property in your Spring Boot application.properties file. You can generate a Keystore using Java Keytool.

See Spring Boot for Apache Geode’s (SBDG) chapter on Auth for Clients for more information.

3. Securing a Server Application

Auto-configuration does not do as much for you when configuring auth on the server as it does on the client. In order to enable auth, you need to do two things.

First, annotate your configuration class with @EnableSecurity. Second, because Apache Geode’s security is integrated with Apache Shiro, define at least one Shiro Realm as a bean in your Spring ApplicationContext.

Example Shiro Realm bean:
	@Bean
	PropertiesRealm shiroRealm() {

		PropertiesRealm propertiesRealm = new PropertiesRealm();

		propertiesRealm.setResourcePath("classpath:shiro.properties");
		propertiesRealm.setPermissionResolver(new GeodePermissionResolver());

		return propertiesRealm;
	}

You can find more information on Apache Shiro and how to configure a Realm here.

Enabling SSL on the server is essentially the same as for the client, just put your trusted.keystore file (a Java KeyStore) in a well-known place, like your application’s working directory or your home directory. If your trusted.keystore has a password (as it should), you will need to specify it using the spring.data.gemfire.security.ssl.keystore.password property in your Spring Boot application.properties file. You can generate a Keystore using Java Keytool.

See Spring Boot for Apache Geode’s (SBDG) chapter on Auth for Servers for more information.

4. Example

To demonstrate the proper way to configure a Spring Boot application with security, we put together a simple example. The example is made up of two main parts:

A client - BootGeodeSecurityClientApplication.

A server - BootGeodeSecurityServerApplication.

4.1. What it Does

The example is very minimal and only performs some basic data access operations in a secure context. The server starts up, and then the client connects to the server and tries to do two things:

  1. Write a new value into Customers, which succeeds.

  2. Read a value from Customers, which fails because the user that the client authenticates with is only authorized to write data, not read it.

This behavior may change depending on the credentials used to authenticate. For example, running with “cluster_operator” credentials on the platform will result in both read and write operations succeeding.

4.2. Classes

4.2.1. BootGeodeSecurityClientApplication

Spring Boot, Apache Geode Client Application
@SpringBootApplication
@EnableClusterAware
@EnableEntityDefinedRegions(basePackageClasses = Customer.class)
public class BootGeodeSecurityClientApplication {

	private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger("example.app.security");

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		new SpringApplicationBuilder(BootGeodeSecurityClientApplication.class)
			.web(WebApplicationType.SERVLET)
			.build()
			.run(args);
	}

	@Bean
	ApplicationRunner runner(@Qualifier("customersTemplate") GemfireTemplate customersTemplate) {

		return args -> {

			Customer williamEvans = Customer.newCustomer(2L, "William Evans");

			customersTemplate.put(williamEvans.getId(), williamEvans);

			logger.info("Successfully put [{}] in Region [{}]",
				williamEvans, customersTemplate.getRegion().getName());

			try {
				logger.info("Attempting to read from Region [{}]...", customersTemplate.getRegion().getName());
				customersTemplate.get(2L);
			}
			catch (Exception cause) {
				logger.info("Read failed because \"{}\"", cause.getCause().getCause().getMessage());
			}
		};
	}
}

This class is a Spring Boot, Apache Geode client application (i.e. ClientCache) configured to authenticate when connecting to a cluster of servers using connections secured with SSL.

The @SpringBootApplication annotation declares the application to be a Spring Boot application. With SBDG on the application classpath, a ClientCache instance will be auto-configured automatically, making the application a cache client capable of connecting to the cluster.

Finally, we declare a ApplicationRunner bean to perform some basic data access operations secured by the server to observe the effects of security.

Because SDBG auto-configures a ClientCache instance by default, you do not need to explicitly annotate your @SpringBootApplication class with SDG’s @ClientCacheApplication annotation. In fact doing so disables some of the auto-configuration, like security, applied by SBDG OOTB. The same is true when you declare one of the [@PeerCacheApplication, @CacheServerApplication] annotations, which changes your @SpringBootApplication class completely, from a client to a server-side GemFire/Geode process. Therefore, be careful! See the relevant chapter in the reference documentation for more details.

4.2.2. BootGeodeSecurityServerApplication

Spring Boot, Apache Geode Server Application
@SpringBootApplication
@CacheServerApplication
@EnableSecurity
public class BootGeodeSecurityServerApplication {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		new SpringApplicationBuilder(BootGeodeSecurityServerApplication.class)
			.web(WebApplicationType.NONE)
			.build()
			.run(args);
	}

	@Bean
	PropertiesRealm shiroRealm() {

		PropertiesRealm propertiesRealm = new PropertiesRealm();

		propertiesRealm.setResourcePath("classpath:shiro.properties");
		propertiesRealm.setPermissionResolver(new GeodePermissionResolver());

		return propertiesRealm;
	}
}

This class is a Spring Boot, Apache Geode server application (i.e. CacheServer) that requires clients (i.e. ClientCache) to authenticate when connecting to the server and to communicate using SSL.

Unlike the client application class above, we annotate this @SpringBootApplication class with @CacheServerApplication to override the default ClientCache auto-configured by SBDG OOTB. This makes the application a GemFire/Geode Server on startup, capable of serving clients.

We must additionally annotate the server application class with SBDG’s @EnableSecurity annotation to enable GemFire / Geode Security on the server-side. By explicitly declaring a PropertiesRealm bean, we are using Apache Shiro as the auth provider, supplying the security credentials (users, roles and permissions) via a Java Properties file:

Apache Shiro Properties file containing the security credentials configuration
# Assign user 'jdoe' the role of 'viewer' having 'DATA:WRITE' permissions.
user.jdoe = [email protected], viewer
role.viewer = DATA:WRITE

In addition to the auth (authentication/authorization) configuration, we must additionally supply a Java Keystore file to encrypt the connection between the client and server using SSL, as discussed above. All you need to do is create a Java Keystore file and put it in your application classpath root. SBDG will take care of the rest.

Of course, if you have secured your Java Keystore file with a password (as you should) then you must additionally supply the password in application.properties, like so:

Application.properties containing Auth (username/password) and SSL configuration
# Spring Boot client application.properties

spring.data.gemfire.management.use-http=false
spring.data.gemfire.security.username = jdoe
spring.data.gemfire.security.password = [email protected]
spring.data.gemfire.security.ssl.keystore.password=s3cr3t

The SSL related configuration is used by both the client and server.

4.2.3. Customer

Customer class
@Region("Customers")
@EqualsAndHashCode
@ToString(of = "name")
@RequiredArgsConstructor(staticName = "newCustomer")
public class Customer {

	@Id @NonNull @Getter
	private Long id;

	@NonNull @Getter
	private String name;

}

This is a simple application domain class to represent a customer. The Customer class is annotated with SDG’s @Region mapping annotation to declare that the "Customers" Region will contain Customer objects that will be accessed securely from the client.

4.2.4. SecurityController

SecurityController class
@RestController
public class SecurityController {

	@Autowired
	private Environment environment;

	@GetMapping("/message")
	public String getMessage() {
		return String.format("I'm using SSL with this Keystore: %s",
			this.environment.getProperty("spring.data.gemfire.security.ssl.keystore"));
	}
}

This class is a Spring RestController exposing an REST service endpoint at “/message” to verify the clients use of SSL.

4.3. Running the Example

4.3.1. Running Locally

To run the example, first start the BootGeodeSecurityServerApplication and then run BootGeodeSecurityClientApplication.

In the terminal you should see the following output:

Output when running locally
Successfully put [Customer(name=William Evans)] in Region [Customers]
Attempting to read from Region [Customers]...
Read failed because "jdoe not authorized for DATA:READ:Customers:2"

You can also hit the endpoint at localhost:8080/message to verify the application is using SSL.

4.3.2. Running on VMware Tanzu GemFire [VMs]

In order for this sample to work, your VMware Tanzu GemFire [VMs] tile must be setup to work with TLS. Instructions to enable TLS for the VMware Tanzu GemFire [VMs] tile can be found here.

Once TLS has been enabled, create your service instance with the -c '{"tls":true}' flag.

For example:

Create Service Instance enabled with TLS
cf create-service p-cloudcache [plan-name] [service-instance-name] -c '{"tls":true}'

Replace [plan-name] with the plan you are selecting and [service-instance-name] with the desired name of your service.

Update manifest.yml with the [service-instance-name]
services:
- [your-service-instance-name]

Before deploying the application to the platform, you must update the username and password in the application.properties file with the correct credentials for your service instance.

Once your service instance is created you’ll need to create a service-key for the service.

Create Service Key
cf create-service-key [service-instance-name] [service-key-name]

Replace [service-instance-name] with the name of your service instance (from above). [service-key-name] is what you would like to call this service key.

Once the service key is created, access the credentials in the service with the following command:

Review Service Key Details
cf service-key [service-instance-name] [service-key-name]

Replace [service-instance-name] with the name of your service instance and [service-key-name] with the name of your service key (from the previous step above).

In the output, look for the “users” section. For this example, we used the “cluster_operator” user credentials.

VCAP_SERVICES credentials block
{
...
 "users": [
  {
   "password": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
   "roles": [
    "cluster_operator"
   ],
   "username": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
  },
  {
   "password": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
   "roles": [
    "developer"
   ],
   "username": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
  },
  {
   "password": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
   "roles": [
    "readonly"
   ],
   "username": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
  }
 ],
 "wan": {}
}

Now build the sample with Gradle:

Build with Gradle
$ gradlew :spring-geode-samples-boot-security:build

Then push the application to the platform using cf push.

Push to CF
$ cf push <app-name> -u none -p ~/spring-boot-data-geode/spring-geode-samples/boot/security/build/libs/spring-geode-samples-boot-security-1.3.12.RELEASE.jar
...

Once the app is running, check the logs with cf logs security-app --recent and you should see output like the following:

Log output from the platform
Successfully put [Customer(name=William Evans)] in Region [Customers]
Attempting to read from Region [Customers]...
Read failed because "jdoe not authorized for DATA:READ:Customers:2"

Replace <cf-instance> with the name of your CloudFoundry instance to verify that the application is using SSL.

Congratualtions! You have taken your first steps towards securing Apache Geode and VMware Tanzu GemFire applications with Spring Boot.