Sunday, March 30, 2014

AWS IAM services and features that play a role when moving Oracle workloads to AWS

Identity and access management (IAM) is a key component of AWS security.  IAM allows the creation of users, groups and roles. IAM services and features you will most likely consider when host Oracle on AWS are:

1. Security Token Service (STS) : STS generates temporary credentials for an IAM User or for users that you authenticate (federated users). Useful for improving security posture, mobile applications, and identity federation. Here are some basics of STS:
A. Generates a temporary Access Key, Secret Key, and Token
B. Expire automatically (15 minutes ~ 36 hours)
C. You write an “identity broker application” ( sample code here:
D. Users authenticate to your identity broker
E. Your identity broker provisions temporary credentials via STS
F. SSO via the management console: Temporary credentials can be used to sign user directly into the AWS Management Console

  Get the temporary temporary token (access key ID, secret Key, and security token) by issuing the get_federation_token API call.  The thing to keep in mind with your identity broker application is that you will have to have all the policies defined some where (in code as below, relational database, XML file, JSON templates, some file, etc) as you probably don't want to hard code in the application and will have 1000's of different users with different policies.
The role needs to have a policy associated. Here is the way it is done it code:

// Generate a new IAM policy (
$policy new CFPolicy($tokenarray(
    'Statement' => array(
            'Sid' => 'SID' . time(),
            'Action' => array('s3:GetObject''s3:GetObjectVersion''s3:ListBucket''s3:ListBucketVersions'),
            'Effect' => 'Allow',
            'Resource' => 'arn:aws:s3:::my-bucket/*'

Here is a REST web services call to generate temporary credentials:

or you can use the assume-role API or web services all in document above. Here you would not need to send in a policy as the role would have a policy:

2. IAM resource level permissions - More information can be found here:

3. IAM Roles: Roles can be used to securely allow EC2 instances access other AWS services, enables identity federation with STS, cross account access, and web identity federation. 

A. Allow your applications (e.g., Java) running on EC2 to securely access other services (e.g., S3, SQS, etc)
B. Identity federation (including STS)
C. Web Identity federation : Web Identity Federation allows authenticating via Login with Amazon, Facebook, or Google, getting temporary security credentials, and then using those credentials to make a request to AWS
D. Allow cross-account management/access
Jane in Account A may assume a Role in Account B, giving Jane an Access Key/Secret Key/Token that may be used to make API calls to Account B. 

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