Simplify Certificate Lifecycle Management And Build Security Into OpenShift Kubernetes Engine With AppViewX KUBE+

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Building on top of Kubernetes, Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine is a container application platform that offers additional features and tools to further simplify and streamline the application lifecycle management process.

Openshift provides developer-friendly tools and features, such as built-in CI/CD pipelines and integrated monitoring. It also offers enterprise-grade security and multi-cloud support, enabling organizations to build, deploy, and manage applications consistently across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

While OpenShift streamlines administration tasks and resource management, reducing the maintenance overhead compared to self-managed Kubernetes environments, the crucial component of PKI and certificate lifecycle management is a shared responsibility for customers.

Ensuring Secure Connections in OpenShift Kubernetes Engine with SSL/TLS Certificates

SSL/TLS certificates are instrumental in fortifying the security of web applications and services, and are widely used across OpenShift Kubernetes Engine to secure cluster communications. In large OpenShift Kubernetes deployments, it’s not uncommon to see hundreds to thousands of TLS/SSL certificates in use.

The various TLS termination points within OpenShift Kubernetes deployments speaks to the volume of certificates used and the overall complexity of certificate management within containerized environments. Each termination point outlined below demands meticulous certificate management to uphold the security and integrity of communications:

  • Load Balancer termination: Publicly-trusted TLS certificates are used for terminating TLS at the load balancers positioned in front of the OpenShift clusters.
  • Ingress termination: When end-to-end encryption is not required, offload processing to the ingress controller to enhance workload performance to, in turn, simplify configuration and management.
  • Router termination: In OpenShift, the router handles SSL/TLS termination, meaning it manages the secure connections from external users before passing the traffic to the applications within the cluster.
  • Pod-level termination: For stronger security, enabling end-to-end encryption from the client to a Kubernetes pod is critical. Here, TLS terminates within the pod, securing communication within the Kubernetes cluster.
  • Mutual TLS within pods: mTLS encrypts internal data flows and provides secure authentication, focusing on in-transit security within the Kubernetes cluster.

Kubernetes Application Access Flow

Challenges of Certificate Lifecycle Management (CLM) in OpenShift Environments

As OpenShift Kubernetes Engine continues to gain traction, certificate lifecycle management emerges as a pressing concern. As mentioned above, effective certificate lifecycle management (CLM) in OpenShift environments is vital, but highly complex. The complexity and challenges of OpenShift CLM is further compounded by:

  • Manual, Inefficient Processes: With lack of native PKI/CLM tools in Openshift, teams resort to manual CLM processes which introduces risk and human error, hinders productivity, exposes vulnerabilities, and jeopardizes security.
  • Siloed Teams with Conflicting Priorities: Disparate CLM processes and priorities across clusters, leads to inconsistency, hindering DevOps’ speed and InfoSec’s demand for security. This disconnect slows down release cycles and creates security blind spots.
  • Sacrificing Security for Speed: DevOps teams often resort to using unapproved CAs or self-signed certificates for the sake of speed and without approval from security and PKI teams, leading to security weaknesses and compliance issues.
  • Lack of Visibility and Automation: Continuous certificate monitoring, management, and renewal is vital in Kubernetes. Yet, manually tracking, renewing, and provisioning hundreds to thousands of certificates is not feasible. Without clear visibility into all certificates and automation to streamline renewal and provisioning, organizations suffer from missed expirations and renewals, causing outages, vulnerabilities, and service disruptions.
  • Lack of Centralized PKI Governance and Control: Ad-hoc PKI approaches lead to weak crypto standards, non compliant certificates, and security and compliance risks.

Simplify certificate lifecycle management across Kubernetes environments with AppViewX KUBE+

AppViewX KUBE+ Streamlines OpenShift Certificate Lifecycle Management

AppViewX KUBE+ is a comprehensive automated certificate lifecycle management solution that is purpose-built to address both the operational and security challenges of managing certificates in Kubernetes environments. The seamless and direct integration between AppViewX KUBE + and OpenShift, provides teams with centralized certificate visibility, end-to-end automation and policy-driven control to secure containerized workloads while keeping DevOps speed and agility intact.

Organizations can streamline and simplify certificate lifecycle management across OpenShift Kubernetes with the powerful features of AppViewX KUBE+ including:

  • Smart Discovery and Inventory: Scan and discover all SSL/TLS certificates (from public/private Certificate Authorities (CAs) or self-signed) across Kubernetes clusters. Build a centralized inventory with full visibility into all certificate data, including namespace and secrets, chain of trust, location, expiration date and crypto standards.
  • End-to-End Automation: Automate the entire certificate lifecycle in OpenShift from certificate generation, issuance and provisioning, to auto-renewal and revocation. Seamless self-service capabilities allow teams to easily request and manage SecOps-validated certificates on their own, without lag time, ensuring DevOps speed and agility.
  • Policy-Driven Control: Zero-touch enforcement of certificate and PKI policies helps eliminate rogue or non-compliant certificate issuance. Security and PKI teams can easily govern certificate issuance and management, aligning with DevOps needs and striking a balance between speed, agility, and security.

Kubernetes Certificate Lifecycle Management


Take the complexity and risks out of Openshift certificate lifecycle management with AppViewX KUBE+. Contact us today for a personalized demo or more information!

Simplify Certificate Management Across Ingress, Service Mesh, and Kubernetes Infrastructure Components


  • certificate lifecycle management
  • Certificate Management
  • CI/CD pipelines
  • DevOps
  • Load Balancer
  • OpenShift CLM
  • PKI
  • Smart Discovery
  • tls certificates

About the Author

Karthik Kannan

VP - Product Management

VP - Product Management at AppViewX heading Automation and Low Code Suite. Oversee product lifecycle: vision > concept > ideation > design > launch.

More From the Author →

Vignesh Kumar Kathiravan

Product Manager

Passionate about container and kubernetes security

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