Handling secrets

Resources supported by Azure Service Operator may require secrets as input (passwords, SSH keys, etc). They may also produce secrets as “output” (storage keys, connection strings, etc).

ASO has integration with Kubernetes secrets to interact with these different types of secrets.

How to provide secrets to Azure

Resources may have fields in their spec that expect a reference to a Kubernetes Secret. For example, in order to create a VM, you may want to specify an SSH password to enable SSH access to that VM.

The field in the spec will be a SecretReference, which refers to a particular Kubernetes Secret key.

Example (from the MySQL FlexibleServer sample):

apiVersion: dbformysql.azure.com/v1api20230630
kind: FlexibleServer
  name: samplemysql
  namespace: default
  location: eastus
    name: aso-sample-rg
  version: "8.0.21"
    name: Standard_D4ds_v4
    tier: GeneralPurpose
  administratorLogin: myAdmin
  administratorLoginPassword: # This is the name/key of a Kubernetes secret in the same namespace
    name: server-admin-pw
    key: password
    storageSizeGB: 128

Rotating credentials

Azure Service Operator is watching the referenced secret for changes, so rotating these credentials is as simple as editing the secret to contain a different credential. In the example above, if we update the content of the server-admin-pw secret password key to a new value, that will automatically change the password on the FlexibleServer as well.

Note that if you have any applications that hardcoded the old password they will fail to authenticate until they are also updated to the new password. This will also happen for any pods referring to the secret as an environment variable. For this reason, we recommend if you expect to perform secret rotation to mount the secret as a pod volume instead.

How to retrieve secrets created by Azure

Some Azure resources produce secrets themselves. ASO supports automatically querying these secrets and storing them in the SecretDestination you specify.

These secrets will be written to the destination(s) you specify once the resource has successfully been provisioned in Azure. The resource will not move to Condition Ready=True until the secrets have been written.


apiVersion: documentdb.azure.com/v1alpha1api20210515
kind: DatabaseAccount
  name: sample-db-account
  namespace: default
  location: westcentralus
    name: aso-sample-rg
  kind: MongoDB
  databaseAccountOfferType: Standard
    - locationName: westcentralus
        name: mysecret
        key: primarymasterkey
        name: mysecret
        key: secondarymasterkey
      documentEndpoint: # Can put different secrets into different Kubernetes secrets, if desired
        name: myendpoint
        key: endpoint

Rotating credentials

Azure Service Operator does not currently support rotation Azure generated credentials through Kubernetes. ASO will (after some time) pick up rotations that happen via az cli or other tools. In order to avoid downtime during the sync time, applications must have access to both the primary and secondary key and fall back from the primary to the secondary in the case authentication fails. The recommended pattern for rotating credentials that support a primary and secondary key is to rotate the primary key with the az cli or Azure portal, wait for 30m and then rotate the secondary key as well. As mentioned above, pods using the secrets ASO populates containing the Azure generated secrets should mount the secrets as a volume so that they are automatically updated as soon as ASO picks up the new secret value.