Connecting and disconnecting an external key store - Amazon Key Management Service
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Connecting and disconnecting an external key store

New external key stores are not connected. To create and use Amazon KMS keys in your external key store, you need to connect your external key store to its external key store proxy. You can connect and disconnect your external key store at any time, and view its connection state.

While your external key store is disconnected, Amazon KMS cannot communicate with your external key store proxy. As a result, you can view and manage your external key store and its existing KMS keys. However, you cannot create KMS keys in your external key store, or use its KMS keys in cryptographic operations. You might need to disconnect your external key store at some point, such as when editing its properties, but plan accordingly. Disconnecting the key store might disrupt the operation of Amazon services that use its KMS keys.

You are not required to connect your external key store. You can leave an external key store in a disconnected state indefinitely and connect it only when you need to use it. However, you might want to test the connection periodically to verify that the settings are correct and it can be connected.

When you disconnect a custom key store, the KMS keys in the key store become unusable right away (subject to eventual consistency). However, resources encrypted with data keys protected by the KMS key are not affected until the KMS key is used again, such as to decrypt the data key. This issue affects Amazon Web Services, many of which use data keys to protect your resources. For details, see How unusable KMS keys affect data keys.

Note

External key stores are in a DISCONNECTED state only when the key store has never been connected or you explicitly disconnect it. A CONNECTED state does not indicate that external key store or its supporting components are operating efficiently. For information about the performance of your external key store components, see the graphs in Monitoring section of the detail page for each external key store. For details, see Monitoring an external key store.

Your external key manager might provide additional methods of stopping and restarting communication between your Amazon KMS external key store and your external key store proxy, or between your external key store proxy and external key manager. For details, see your external key manager documentation.

Connecting an external key store

When your external key store is connected to its external key store proxy, you can create KMS keys in your external key store and use its existing KMS keys in cryptographic operations.

The process that connects an external key store to its external key store proxy differs based on the connectivity of the external key store.

The connect operation begins the process of connecting your custom key store, but connecting an external key store it its external proxy takes approximately five minutes. A success response from the connect operation does not indicate that the external key store is connected. To confirm that the connection was successful, use the Amazon KMS console or the DescribeCustomKeyStores operation to view the connection state of external your key store.

When the connection state is FAILED, a connection error code is displayed in the Amazon KMS console and is added to the DescribeCustomKeyStore response. For help interpreting connection error codes, see Connection error codes for external key stores.

Disconnecting an external key store

When you disconnect an external key store with VPC endpoint service connectivity from its external key store proxy, Amazon KMS deletes its interface endpoint to the VPC endpoint service and removes the network infrastructure that it created to support the connection. No equivalent process is required for external key stores with public endpoint connectivity. This action does not affect the VPC endpoint service or any of its supporting components, and it does not affect the external key store proxy or any external components.

While the external key store is disconnected, Amazon KMS does not send any requests to the external key store proxy. The connection state of the external key store is DISCONNECTED. The KMS keys in the disconnected external key store are in an UNAVAILABLE key state (unless they are pending deletion), which means that they cannot be used in cryptographic operations. However, you can still view and manage your external key store and its existing KMS keys.

The disconnected state is designed to be temporary and reversible. You can reconnect your external key store at any time. Typically, no reconfiguration is necessary. However, if any properties of the associated external key store proxy have changed while it was disconnected, such as rotation of its proxy authentication credential, you must edit the external key store settings before reconnecting.

Note

While a custom key store is disconnected, all attempts to create KMS keys in the custom key store or to use existing KMS keys in cryptographic operations will fail. This action can prevent users from storing and accessing sensitive data.

To better estimate the effect of disconnecting your external key store, identify the KMS keys in the external key store and determine their past use.

You might disconnect an external key store for reasons such as the following:

  • To edit its properties. You can edit the custom key store name, proxy URI path, and proxy authentication credential while the external key store is connected. However, to edit the proxy connectivity type, proxy URI endpoint, or VPC endpoint service name, you must first disconnect the external key store. For details, see Editing external key store properties.

  • To stop all communication between Amazon KMS and the external key store proxy. You can also stop communication between Amazon KMS and your proxy by disabling your endpoint or VPC endpoint service. In addition, your external key store proxy or key management software might provide additional mechanisms to prevent Amazon KMS from communicating with the proxy or to prevent the proxy from accessing your external key manager.

  • To disable all KMS keys in the external key store. You can disable and re-enable KMS keys in an external key store by using the Amazon KMS console or the DisableKey operation. These operations complete quickly (subject to eventual consistency), but they act on one KMS key at a time. Disconnecting the external key store changes the key state of all KMS keys in the external key store to Unavailable, which prevents them from being used in any cryptographic operation.

  • To repair a failed connection attempt. If an attempt to connect an external key store fails (the connection state of the custom key store is FAILED), you must disconnect the external key store before you try to connect it again.

Connection state

Connecting and disconnecting changes the connection state of your custom key store. Connection state values are the same for Amazon CloudHSM key stores and external key stores.

To view the connection state of your custom key store, use the DescribeCustomKeyStores operation or Amazon KMS console. Connection state appears in each custom key store table, in the General configuration section of the detail page for each custom key store, and on the Cryptographic configuration tab of KMS keys in a custom key store. For details, see Viewing an Amazon CloudHSM key store and Viewing an external key store.

An custom key store can have one of the following connection states:

  • CONNECTED: The custom key store is connected to its backing key store. You can create and use KMS keys in the custom key store.

    The backing key store for an Amazon CloudHSM key store is its associated Amazon CloudHSM cluster. The backing key store for an external key store is external key store proxy and the external key manager that it supports.

    A CONNECTED state means that a connection succeeded and the custom key store has not been intentionally disconnected. It does not indicate that the connection is operating properly. For information about the status of the Amazon CloudHSM cluster associated with your Amazon CloudHSM key store, see Getting CloudWatch metrics for Amazon CloudHSM in the Amazon CloudHSM User Guide. For information about the status and operation of your external key store, see the graphs in the Monitoring section of the detail page for each external key store. For details, see Monitoring an external key store.

  • CONNECTING: The process of connecting an custom key store is in progress. This is a transient state.

  • DISCONNECTED: The custom key store has never been connected to its backing, or it was intentionally disconnected by using the Amazon KMS console or the DisconnectCustomKeyStore operation.

  • DISCONNECTING: The process of disconnecting an custom key store is in progress. This is a transient state.

  • FAILED: An attempt to connect the custom key store failed. The ConnectionErrorCode in the DescribeCustomKeyStores response indicates the problem.

To connect an custom key store, its connection state must be DISCONNECTED. If the connection state is FAILED, use the ConnectionErrorCode to identify and resolve the problem. Then disconnect the custom key store before trying to connect it again. For help with connection failures, see External key store connection errors. For help responding to a connection error code, see Connection error codes for external key stores.

To view the connection error code:

  • In the DescribeCustomKeyStores response, view the value of the ConnectionErrorCode element. This element appears in the DescribeCustomKeyStores response only when the ConnectionState is FAILED.

  • To view the connection error code in the Amazon KMS console, on detail page for the external key store and hover over the Failed value.

    
                        Connection error code on the custom key store details page

Connect an external key store (console)

You can use the Amazon KMS console to connect an external key store to its external key store proxy.

  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the Amazon Key Management Service (Amazon KMS) console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/kms.

  2. To change the Amazon Web Services Region, use the Region selector in the upper-right corner of the page.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Custom key stores, External key stores.

  4. Choose the row of the external key store you want to connect.

    If the connection state of the external key store is FAILED, you must disconnect the external key store before you connect it.

  5. From the Key store actions menu, choose Connect.

The connection process typically takes about five minutes to complete.When the operation completes, the connection state changes to CONNECTED.

If the connection state is Failed, hover over the connection state to see the connection error code, which explains the cause of the error. For help responding to a connection error code, see . To connect an external key store with a Failed connection state, you must first disconnect the custom key store.

Connect an external key store (API)

To connect a disconnected external key store, use the ConnectCustomKeyStore operation.

Before connecting, the connection state of the external key store must be DISCONNECTED. If the current connection state is FAILED, disconnect the external key store, and then connect it.

The connection process takes about five minutes to complete. Unless it fails quickly, ConnectCustomKeyStore returns an HTTP 200 response and a JSON object with no properties. However, this initial response does not indicate that the connection was successful. To determine whether the external key store is connected, see the connection state in the DescribeCustomKeyStores response.

The examples in this section use the Amazon Command Line Interface (Amazon CLI), but you can use any supported programming language.

To identify the external key store, use its custom key store ID. You can find the ID on the Custom key stores page in the console or by using the DescribeCustomKeyStores operation. Before running this example, replace the example ID with a valid one.

$ aws kms connect-custom-key-store --custom-key-store-id cks-1234567890abcdef0

The ConnectCustomKeyStore operation does not return the ConnectionState in its response. To verify that the external key store is connected, use the DescribeCustomKeyStores operation. By default, this operation returns all custom keys stores in your account and Region. But you can use either the CustomKeyStoreId or CustomKeyStoreName parameter (but not both) to limit the response to particular custom key stores. A ConnectionState value of CONNECTED indicates that the external key store is connected to its external key store proxy.

$ aws kms describe-custom-key-stores --custom-key-store-name ExampleXksVpc { "CustomKeyStores": [ { "CustomKeyStoreId": "cks-9876543210fedcba9", "CustomKeyStoreName": "ExampleXksVpc", "ConnectionState": "CONNECTED", "CreationDate": "2022-12-13T18:34:10.675000+00:00", "CustomKeyStoreType": "EXTERNAL_KEY_STORE", "XksProxyConfiguration": { "AccessKeyId": "ABCDE98765432EXAMPLE", "Connectivity": "VPC_ENDPOINT_SERVICE", "UriEndpoint": "https://example-proxy-uri-endpoint-vpc", "UriPath": "/example/prefix/kms/xks/v1", "VpcEndpointServiceName": "com.amazonaws.vpce.us-east-1.vpce-svc-example" } } ] }

If the ConnectionState value in the DescribeCustomKeyStores response is FAILED, the ConnectionErrorCode element indicates the reason for the failure.

In the following example, the XKS_VPC_ENDPOINT_SERVICE_NOT_FOUND value for the ConnectionErrorCode indicates that Amazon KMS can't find the VPC endpoint service that it uses to communicate with the external key store proxy. Verify that the XksProxyVpcEndpointServiceName is correct, the Amazon KMS service principal is an allowed principal on the Amazon VPC endpoint service, and that the VPC endpoint service does not require acceptance of connection requests. For help responding to a connection error code, see Connection error codes for external key stores.

$ aws kms describe-custom-key-stores --custom-key-store-name ExampleXksVpc { "CustomKeyStores": [ { "CustomKeyStoreId": "cks-9876543210fedcba9", "CustomKeyStoreName": "ExampleXksVpc", "ConnectionState": "FAILED", "ConnectionErrorCode": "XKS_VPC_ENDPOINT_SERVICE_NOT_FOUND", "CreationDate": "2022-12-13T18:34:10.675000+00:00", "CustomKeyStoreType": "EXTERNAL_KEY_STORE", "XksProxyConfiguration": { "AccessKeyId": "ABCDE98765432EXAMPLE", "Connectivity": "VPC_ENDPOINT_SERVICE", "UriEndpoint": "https://example-proxy-uri-endpoint-vpc", "UriPath": "/example/prefix/kms/xks/v1", "VpcEndpointServiceName": "com.amazonaws.vpce.us-east-1.vpce-svc-example" } } ] }

Disconnect an external key store (console)

You can use the Amazon KMS console to connect an external key store to its external key store proxy. This process takes about 5 minutes to complete.

  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the Amazon Key Management Service (Amazon KMS) console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/kms.

  2. To change the Amazon Web Services Region, use the Region selector in the upper-right corner of the page.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Custom key stores, External key stores.

  4. Choose the row of the external key store you want to disconnect.

  5. From the Key store actions menu, choose Disconnect.

When the operation completes, the connection state changes from DISCONNECTING to DISCONNECTED. If the operation fails, an error message appears that describes the problem and provides help on how to fix it. If you need more help, see External key store connection errors.

Disconnect an external key store (API)

To disconnect a connected external key store, use the DisconnectCustomKeyStore operation. If the operation is successful, Amazon KMS returns an HTTP 200 response and a JSON object with no properties. The process takes about five minutes to complete. To find the connection state of the external key store, use the DescribeCustomKeyStores operation.

The examples in this section use the Amazon Command Line Interface (Amazon CLI), but you can use any supported programming language.

This example disconnects an external key store with VPC endpoint service connectivity. Before running this example, replace the example custom key store ID with a valid one.

$ aws kms disconnect-custom-key-store --custom-key-store-id cks-1234567890abcdef0

To verify that the external key store is disconnected, use the DescribeCustomKeyStores operation. By default, this operation returns all custom keys stores in your account and Region. But you can use either the CustomKeyStoreId and CustomKeyStoreName parameter (but not both) to limit the response to particular custom key stores. The ConnectionState value of DISCONNECTED indicates that this example external key store is no longer connected to its external key store proxy.

$ aws kms describe-custom-key-stores --custom-key-store-name ExampleXksVpc { "CustomKeyStores": [ { "CustomKeyStoreId": "cks-9876543210fedcba9", "CustomKeyStoreName": "ExampleXksVpc", "ConnectionState": "DISCONNECTED", "CreationDate": "2022-12-13T18:34:10.675000+00:00", "CustomKeyStoreType": "EXTERNAL_KEY_STORE", "XksProxyConfiguration": { "AccessKeyId": "ABCDE98765432EXAMPLE", "Connectivity": "VPC_ENDPOINT_SERVICE", "UriEndpoint": "https://example-proxy-uri-endpoint-vpc", "UriPath": "/example/prefix/kms/xks/v1", "VpcEndpointServiceName": "com.amazonaws.vpce.us-east-1.vpce-svc-example" } } ] }