Fortanix Data Security Manager Installation Guide - On-Prem

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1.0  Introduction

This article describes the process of installing and configuring the Fortanix Data Security Manager (DSM). This setup is a two-phase process as follows: 

  • System Installation and Configuration: In this phase, you install the operating system and configure the network on the servers.  
  • Fortanix DSM Installation and Configuration: In this phase, you install the Fortanix DSM service and configure the Fortanix DSM cluster. 

2.0  Quick Setup

fx-2200-2-2133.jpg Figure 1: FX2200 Series 2 front view


back-transparent.png Figure 2: FX2200 Series 2 back view

To set up IPMI for FX2200 Series 2, refer to the IPMI Setup Guide.

2.1 List of Required Open Ports

For the list of open ports, refer to the Port Requirements.

3.0  Prerequisites

Before beginning the Fortanix DSM installation process, ensure that the following requirements are met:

  1. You have at least three Fortanix FX2200 servers
  2. Network configuration (IP address, subnet mask, and gateway) has been assigned for each server.
  3. If you are not planning on using an external load balancer, an additional IP address should be allocated for Fortanix DSM. This will serve as the cluster IP address to which Fortanix DSM clients will connect.
  4. It is recommended assigning two Fully Qualified Domains (FQDNs) for the Fortanix DSM cluster. If the hostnames are assigned in your domain, for example,, then the preferred hostnames are, and
  5. You should add DNS entries (A records) for the above two FQDNs, all mapped to the cluster IP address described above, to your DNS server.
  6. All the ports mentioned in “List of required open ports” should be open between servers.
  7. You should have the ability to issue or generate certificates for certificate requests (CSRs) generated by Fortanix DSM with the subject alternative name (SAN) containing the above-stated hostnames.
  8. You should be able to configure NTP on the servers. If the servers are not going to have access to public NTP servers, then they need to be able to connect to an NTP server on your network.
  9. You should have received the software installation packages from Fortanix. The usual way of distribution is using a downloadable link from
  10. Ensure that none of the nodes in the cluster has the same hostname.
    The hostnames MUST be in lower case.
  11. If you are using a multi-node cluster, ensure that you update the hostname. Perform the following steps:
    1. Use the command sudo hostnamectl set-hostname name to update the hostname.
    2. Add the hostname in /etc/hosts.
    3. Verify that the hostname is correctly updated using the command cat /etc/hostname.
  12. Ensure IPMI IPs are assigned to the servers if you want to remotely manage the servers. For details of the IPMI setup, refer to the IPMI Guide.
  13. Get the default username/password for the FX2200 appliance. These will be distributed by email from Fortanix post shipment of the servers to the relevant contact person in your team.

4.0 System Installation and Configuration

4.1 Remote Administration by IPMI

If your server has IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) setup, then you can remotely configure the server for the rest of the network configuration. For details of the IPMI setup, refer to the IPMI guide.

Once network configuration is completed, then direct SSH can be used for remote login. Perform the following steps for IPMI remote login:

  1. Use IPMI web page accessible at the specified IPMI IP address through any browser. For example,
  2. Use IPMI credentials provided by the Data center team which performed the IPMI setup. Go to Section Remote Control -> Console Redirection. This opens a Java console which provides the terminal view of the server. Now boot the server and login using the system administrator credentials provided by the Fortanix team. You can now follow the rest of the steps.

4.2  Network Configuration

Configure a network interface with an IP address, subnet mask, and gateway, such that the servers are reachable from any intended client. You can do this using the console over IPMI if IPMI has been setup.

If you are using Fortanix supplied servers, note that these servers have two network interfaces. You can just use one network interface. If your network topology/deployment requires separating interfaces for external traffic and intracluster traffic, then you may set up both the network interfaces.

For setting up the network, edit the /etc/network/interfaces file to specify IP address, gateway, netmask, and DNS server information. Refer to the following sample file to help you get started.

  • Replace interface_name with the name of the network interface on your server which are enp80s0f0 and enp80s0f1.
  • Replace with appropriate values.
  • After editing the file, save changes and reboot the server.

Example /etc/network/interfaces file:

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system 
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5). source /etc/network/interfaces.d/* # The loopback network interface auto lo iface lo inet loopback # The primary network interface auto interface_name iface interface_name inet static address gateway netmask dns-nameserver dns-nameserver

To set the hostname on each node, in the following file, remove sdkms-server, and replace with the intended hostname.

sudo vi /etc/hostname

In the following file, add the IP hostname and/or FQDN.

sudo vi /etc/hosts

Reboot the system for changes to take effect.

4.3 LACP Bonding Configuration

The Fortanix DSM appliance can be configured to have LACP bonding.

Following is an example of network configuration that shows how to set it up:

  1. Run the following command to install “ifenslave” package:
    sudo apt-get install ifenslave
  2. Example interfaces file location is /etc/network/interfaces:
    # The ordering of these interfaces is important, see comment for bond0 below.
    auto enp80s0f0
    iface enp80s0f0 inet manual
        bond-master bond0
        # This command is important, see comment for bond0 below.
        pre-up ifup bond0 &
    # The ordering of these interfaces is important, see comment for bond0 below.
    auto enp80s0f1
    iface enp80s0f1 inet manual
        bond-master bond0
        # This command is important, see comment for bond0 below.
        pre-up ifup bond0 &
    # The ifenslave scripts are written for all interfaces being brought up at once. However, `ifup` will bring interfaces up one-by-one. Without doing anything extra, this will result in a deadlock or a 60-timeout, depending on the order of the master and slave interfaces. We make sure to bring up the bond master simultaneously with a slave, by running the ifup command for the master in the background using `pre-up`. `ifup` implements locking and state checking to make sure that a single device is only brought up once.
    auto bond0
    iface bond0 inet static
        bond-miimon 100
        bond-mode 802.3ad
        bond-slaves yes
        address ...
        gateway ...
    netmask ... dns-nameservers ...

5.0  Fortanix DSM Installation and Configuration 

This section describes the tasks to install the Fortanix DSM software and configure the Fortanix DSM cluster.

5.1  Install Fortanix DSM

Perform the following steps to install the Fortanix DSM package on all the servers: 

  1. The latest installation file is available at This needs a customer account, which Fortanix provides for the relevant contact person.
  2. Download and copy the Fortanix DSM installation file sdkms_<version> to each server. The latest installation files are hosted on
  3. Run the following command to install the package, replacing the package name with the filename of the package in your Fortanix DSM distribution. 
    sudo chmod +x
    sudo ./

    Run the following command to reboot the system if a new version of kernel was installed: 

    sudo reboot
  4. Run the following command to reset on all servers: 
    sdkms-cluster reset --delete-data --reset-iptables

5.2   NTP Configuration 

NTP is required to be able to run Fortanix DSM. If the servers are not going to have access to public NTP servers, you will need to update the NTP configuration file (/etc/ntp.conf) to specify NTP server(s) on your network. To enable local NTP when an external NTP server is not available, add the directive below to the config.yaml file (which is referenced in Section 5.4).

5.2.1 External NTP Options

  1. Comment out servers for the NTP Pool Project and NTP server as a fallback section and add the following server IP addresses:

    # pool iburst
    # pool iburst
    # pool iburst
    # pool iburst

    # Use Ubuntu's ntp server as a fallback.
    # pool

  2. Run the following command to restart NTP:

    sudo systemctl restart ntp
    ntpq -p

5.2.2 Internal NTP Options

You can run a local NTP server when an external NTP server is not available. This will run the NTP pod on each node and will keep the time synchronized within the cluster to one of the cluster nodes.

  localntp: true

5.3  Begin Fortanix DSM Configuration 

This step needs to be run on only one of the servers.  

5.3.1  Setup Deployment Specific Configuration File

Run the following command to copy the template file in the home directory and then edit it: 

cp ~/config.yaml.example config.yaml

When deploying Fortanix DSM you have options with respect to the load balancer, remote attestation, internet subnet and remote syslog logging. Based on the option you select, edit the config.yaml file as explained:

Load Balancer Options:

Use the built-in load balancer – this is the default option.

  • Edit the config.yaml file to set the correct cluster IP address by adding the value of the parameter "clusterIp" under "sdkms" section.
      nwIface: enp80s0f0
  • Use an external load balancer
    • Edit the config.yaml file to add the following parameters under "global" section (consider the yaml  file format and spacing).
        clusterIp: # mandatory field, set to dummy for external LB
        externalLoadBalancer: true
      # keepalived:
      # nwIface: enp80s0f0

Remote Attestation Options:

  • Remote attestation enabled.
    • This is the default option and no additional changes in config.yaml file is required.
    • This option requires that the appliances have internet access so they can connect to the Fortanix attestation proxy service.
  • Required URLs for remote attestation.
    • Edit the config.yaml file to add the following parameters under "global" section (consider the yaml file format and spacing).


            url: ftx-proxy 
        nwIface: enp80s0f
  • Remote attestation disabled.
    • Edit the config.yaml file to add the following parameters under "global" section (consider the yaml file format and spacing).
        attestation: null
        nwIface: enp80s0f0

Internal Subnet Options:

  • Kubernetes requires two internal networks for intra-cluster communication. By default, use and when unspecified.
  • To configure custom subnet for Kubernetes internal network, set serviceSubnet and podSubnet  under the "global" section (consider the yaml file format and spacing) as shown:

Remote Syslog Logging Setting Options:

Fluentd supports forwarding logs to single syslog server and to multiple syslog servers.

  • To configure forwarding the 'container', 'sdkms', and 'system' logs from all the nodes in the cluster to one or more remote syslog servers, set the host, port, protocol, and log_type parameters for each type of log under "advancedSyslog" option of fluentd section of the config.yaml file (consider the yaml file format and spacing).
    The “remoteSyslog” option, which allowed forwarding all logs to one remote Syslog server, will be deprecated in future releases of Fortanix DSM. Use "advancedSyslog" option to use the enhanced log forwarding functionality.
    The valid values for,
    • host: Any valid IP address
    • port: Any valid port
    • protocol: Either tcp or udp
    • log_type: Either one of "CONTAINER", "SYSTEM", "SDKMS"
    The following is an example for advancedSyslog if the forwarding is for 3 syslog servers:
    - host:
    log_type: "CONTAINER"
    - host:
    log_type: "SYSTEM"
    - host:
    log_type: "SDKMS"

Log Filtering Options:

There are three kinds of logs produced for every request:

  • A connection log, indicating that a new connection has been made and the IP from where the connection is made.
  • A request log, indicating that a request has been received, along with the IP from where that request is coming from and the associated HTTP Method and URL.
  • A response log, indicating that a response has been returned, along with the associated status code.

When Log Filtering is enabled, it will cache request logs matching a shortlist of method-URL pairs. If the corresponding response is a success, the request and response logs are discarded. If the response is not a success, then both the request and response logs are printed.

The filtered combinations are:

  • GET /sys/v1/health
  • HEAD /sys/v1/health
  • HEAD /

Since Kubernetes and most load balancers create a new connection for each request they make, this feature will attempt to profile individual IPs. If an IP is found to only make health check-related requests (that is, one of the three filter combinations listed above), then the connection logs from these IPs will also be filtered. If one of these IPs later makes a non-filtered request, its connections logs will no longer be filtered until it returns to making only filtered requests.

Log Filtering is enabled by updating the cluster-wide configuration. When enabled, the backend will no longer emit logs associated with successful health checks.

Depending on the cluster, this can amount to a substantial reduction in the volume of logs later forwarded over Syslog. The default is false.

  useLogFilter: true | false

Hybrid Cluster Configuration:

With Release 3.25, Hybrid clustering of "Series- I and Series II ", "Azure and Series- I or Series- II ", and "AWS and Series- I or Series- II running Fortanix DSM in same (SGX/non-SGX) software mode" is possible. This allows nodes of different types to participate in a single cluster. When using an internal DSM load balancer (that uses keepalived) with hybrid clusters consisting of Fortanix Series-I and Fortanix Series-II appliances, fetch the network interface names (Series-I = eno1 and Series-II = enp80s0f0f0) of the appliances and configure the config.yaml file as follows:

  nwIface: enp80s0f0,eno1

5.3.2  Proxy Support for Outbound Connections

You can add cluster-wide proxy configuration for outbound connections. This is defined in the yaml configuration files.

The Global proxy functionality is only available in SGX based deployments (FX2200 and Azure CC VMs). The configuration is defined in the .global.proxy entry. It holds two values:

  • url: proxy value (mandatory).
  • exclude: Comma separated list of hostnames and optionally port that should not use the proxy (optional).
      url: <proxy_url>
      exclude: <host>,<host:port>

exclude Options:

  • The hosts in exclude will be suffix matched. For example: exclude: will match and but will not match
  • Any leading '.' is removed. For example: exclude: is the same as exclude:
  • CIDR notation is accepted. For example: will match all IP addresses in the format
  • The wildcards (*) or regex are NOT supported, and hostnames are not resolved to IP addresses.
  • The exclude entry will automatically contain hostnames used internally.

5.3.3  HAProxy Support

To enable HAProxy support, you must modify the proxyHeaderConfig field of the config.yaml file for the cluster and reapply it with the cluster tool. The field has three possible values:

  • disabled is the default condition and is equivalent to the field missing from the config.yaml file.
  • "maybefrom=<cidr1>,<cidr2>,...", where the CIDR ranges point to the server(s) initiating the proxy protocol enabled connection.
  • requiredfrom=<cidr1>,<cidr2>,...", where the CIDR ranges point to the server(s) initiating the proxy protocol enabled connection.

The minimum format is:

proxyHeaderConfig: disabled
# OR
proxyHeaderConfig: "requiredfrom=<cidr>,<cidr>,..."
# OR
proxyHeaderConfig: "maybefrom=<cidr>,<cidr>,..."
  • It is important that there are no spaces within the quotes and that the entire value is wrapped in double quotes, as in the example above.
  • The CIDRs should narrowly contain the addresses of the load balancers that will be injecting the Proxy Protocol headers and MUST exclude the cluster's pod subnet.

There are two options to securely handle transitions in accordance with the PROXY header spec. The sequence for enabling support is:

  1. The proxyHeaderConfig field is disabled.
  2. If you have an extant cluster that does not use proxy protocol, the process for enabling it is to first apply the maybefrom variant to the pods, with the given CIRDs pointing to the IPs of the load balancer. These should be as specific as possible. Once that is done, the proxy header is enabled on the load balancer serving the cluster.
  3. Next, the config is changed to the requiredfrom variant with the same CIDRs. On fresh clusters, the header can start off as requiredfrom, if the load balancer already has proxy support enabled.

To disable it, the opposite steps are followed, that is:

  1. First, the config is changed to maybefrom.
  2. The load balancer's proxy support is disabled, and then the config is changed to disabled.

5.3.4 Sealing Key Policy

A Sealing key is used to wrap a cluster master key. Each node has its own unique Sealing key. Sealing key is derived and not saved anywhere in the system.

The Sealing Key policy defines what type of Sealing key should be used in the cluster.

Possible values are:

  • SGX - This is the default value. With this policy SGX sealing key is used. SGX sealing key cannot be retrieved from outside SGX. This provides security guarantees for sealing key.
  • Personalization Key - Personalization key is generated using Fortanix DSM Deterministic random bit generator (DRBG) and stored in tamper protected key storage module. In this policy type, the sealing is derived using SGX sealing key and personalization key. This provides additional protection of sealing key. Personalization key is zeroized upon tamper, which in turn disallows deriving the sealing key.
  • Recovery Key – In this policy type, the sealing key is derived using personalization key and a recovery key. Recovery key is automatically generated and can be retrieved by a sysadmin. In this policy, in addition to using personalization key based sealing key for wrapping cluster master key, recovery key is also used to wrap the cluster master key. This allows the sysadmin to recover a node using recovery key in case personalization key is zeroized. After the setup, a sysadmin must retrieve the recovery key and store securely.


When setting up a fresh cluster, add the following lines under the global section in config.yaml and provide one of the values mentioned above:

sealingKeyPolicy: VALUE


sealingKeyPolicy: personalizationKey

Node Recovery

If the personalization key or recovery key policy is used and if the personalization key is zeroized, then the node goes in "NeedsReocvery" state. In this state for the Fortanix DSM pod on this node to become functional, recovery needs to be performed. Recovery will allow the node to unwrap the corresponding cluster master key blob.

To perform recovery, run following script as root:


Recovery can be done with or without a recovery key.

  • If the recovery key is not available or if the sealing key policy value is "personalizationKey", then recovery requires that there be other working nodes in the cluster. In that case run the command as follows:
    sudo /opt/fortanix/sdkms/bin/ --node-name NODE_HOST_NAME
    • NODE_HOST_NAME is node name where recovery is to be performed.
  • If the recovery key is available and the sealing key policy is "recoveryKey", then recovery can be done even on a standalone node. In that case run the command as follows:
    sudo /opt/fortanix/sdkms/bin/ --node-name NODE_HOST_NAME --recovery-key
    • NODE_HOST_NAME is node name where recovery is to be performed.
    • RECOVERY_KEY_VALUE is the value of recovery key.

Updating sealing key policy in the existing cluster

For existing clusters, the sealing key policy is by default "sgx". The procedure for changing the sealing key policy is as follows:

  1. Update config.yaml to add one of following lines under the global section:
    sealingKeyPolicy: personalizationKey
    sealingKeyPolicy: recoveryKey
  2. Apply the updated config by running following command:
    sudo sdkms-cluster deploy --config ./config.yaml --stage DEPLOY
  3. Check if the new value was applied by running the following command and check the value of "sealingKeyPolicy".
    sudo KUBECONFIG=/etc/kubernetes/admin.conf kubectl get cm config-values -oyaml
  4. Run the following command:
    sudo /opt/fortanix/sdkms/bin/
  5. The policy change will be effective on the next upgrade.

5.3.5 Create Fortanix DSM Cluster

  1. Run the following command to create a Fortanix DSM cluster:
    sudo sdkms-cluster create --self=<server ip address/subnet mask> --config ./config.yaml
  2. Check the status of all pods to verify all pods are running correctly. Run the following command to list the pods and their status:
    sudo KUBECONFIG=/etc/kubernetes/admin.conf kubectl get pods -o wide

The Fortanix DSM related pods may continue to crash until the certificates are installed (next step), but verify that the pods related to Aesmd, Elasticsearch, and Cassandra are running.

If you want to set up a cluster that spans multiple sites or data centers, refer to the steps in the Data Center Labeling guide to label which nodes are in what data center.

5.3.6  Configure Data Center Labeling

After all nodes have successfully joined the cluster, you must perform data center labeling. Data center labeling configuration in a multi-site deployment improves read resiliency by enabling requests to read data from the local data center and supports the Read-Only mode of operation when a global quorum is lost and a local quorum is available. Please refer to the Fortanix DSM Data Center Labeling guide (use the automated script to configure DC labeling). Please refer to the Fortanix DSM Data Center Labeling guide (use the automated script to configure DC labeling).

For more details, refer to Fortanix DSM Read-Only Mode of Operation.

5.4 Configure Other Nodes 

Now that the installation is complete, join all other nodes to the cluster by running the following join command: 

Do not perform the join operation on multiple nodes simultaneously. The join operation of a node should be started once the previous node has successfully joined the cluster. 
  • If your nodes are in the same subnet, run the following command:
    sudo sdkms-cluster join --peer=<server ip address/subnet> --token=<kubeadm-token>
  • If your nodes are in the different subnets, run the following command:
    sudo sdkms-cluster join --peer=<server ip address> --token=<kubeadm-token> --self=<node IP address>

In the above specification,

  1. Server IP Address corresponds to the node’s IP address on which cluster was created. Specify it with the subnet.
  2. The node IP address corresponds to the IP address of the joining node.

Example join commands for a joining node ( to a created cluster on a node( on a /24 subnet.

sudo sdkms-cluster join --peer= --token=525073.715ecf923e4ae1db


sudo sdkms-cluster join --peer= --token=525073.715ecf923e4ae1db --self=

The token can also be retrieved by executing on the first host:

sudo kubeadm token list

5.5 Install Certificates

The process described in this section will generate the keys and certificate requests for TLS connectivity. Save the passphrase for the private key as it cannot be recovered later.

Fortanix DSM requires two SSL certificates for the services, one for the Main API service and another for Static asset service. The Certificate Signing Request (CSR) generation is supported for both these certificates which can be signed by your preferred CA provider. 

  1. Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) to get an SSL certificate. The CSR contains information (for example common name, organization, country) which the Certificate Authority (CA) will use to create your certificate. Generate CSRs by running the following command on the node where the cluster was created: 
    sudo get_csrs

    This script is going to generate Certificate Signing requests for both the Fortanix DSM cluster and UI. It also created the first system administrator(sysadmin) account that can log into Fortanix DSM. Domain names can be provided in two formats.

    1. Simple, where Domain name and SANS can be provided. For example,
    2. Distinguished, where full DN string can be provided. For example, O=Fortanix L=Mountain View ST=California.

    There is also an option to add Subject Alternative Names. More than one can be added, each one on a new line.

    The following will be then asked to enter through the script:

    1. Domain name for the cluster (Main)
    2. Domain name for the UI (Assets)
    3. Cluster name
    4. Sysadmin email address
    5. Sysadmin password 
    For authentication using mutual Transport Layer Security (TLS), the standard API key-based authentication interface will not work. To support mutual TLS authentication in Fortanix DSM, add an additional interface as SAN Name ( on the main certificate. For more details, refer to the Mutual TLS Guide.

    The CSRs are printed on the terminal named “Cluster Certificate Request” and “UI Certificate Request”. These certificates need to be signed by a Certificate Authority.

    Figure 3: CSRs Generated
    If get_csrs fails then refer to the logs at the location /var/log/get_csrs.log.

    A certificate request is created for both the CSRs, one for Main and one for Assets. You will need to sign both the CSRs from one of the CAs or locally sign it yourself.      

    To generate a new CSR you can use the optional argument --rotate as below:
    sudo get_csrs --rotate
    This command also prompts for domain names, and at the end, a couple of new CSRs are generated, each for a cluster and UI.

    After those newly generated CSRs are signed to create certificates, run the following command to install those certificates:
    sudo install_certs --rotate
    This above command installs the new certificates and removes the old certificates.
    If you are using the --rotate optional argument for get_csrs, it is mandatory to use --rotate for install_certs as well; otherwise, the cluster fails to be stable.
  2. Run the following command to install the signed certificates once you have them from CA:
    sudo install_certs

    This script asks the user to paste the signed certificate chain (leaf certificate first) for both Main (Cluster) and Assets (UI) domain.

    Figure 4: Install Certs in Main Add_Certs_to_Asset.png
    Figure 5: Install Certs in Assets
  • A catch-all cert cannot be used, and a multi-domain cert for BOTH cluster and UI, cannot be used.
  • Multi-domain certs can be used when a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) is provided, however, the SAN cannot match the DNS name used for the cluster.
  • Typically, a Standard TLS certificate, without a Subject Alternative Name, is enough for most installations.
  • To renew the cluster certificates on both Main (Cluster) and Assets (UI) use the gets_csrs and install_certs commands that you used in step 1 and step 2 above for the cluster setup.

6.0  Using Fortanix DSM

You can access the Fortanix DSM web interface using the hostname assigned to the Fortanix DSM cluster (for example https://sdkms.<>). For detailed information on Fortanix DSM usage, refer to the

7.0 Add Node to an Existing Fortanix DSM Cluster

  1. Run the following command to create the kubeadm token from one of the existing nodes in the cluster:
    sudo kubeadm token create
  2. Join the new node(s) with sdkms-cluster join command. Ensure the installer script has been executed on these nodes.
    • If your nodes are in the same subnet, run the following command:
      sudo sdkms-cluster join --peer=<existing node IP>/<subnet-mask> --token=<token>
    • If your nodes are in the different subnet, run the following command:
      sudo sdkms-cluster join --peer=<server ip address> --token=<kubeadm-token> --self=<node IP address>

8.0  Remove Node from an Existing Fortanix DSM Cluster

  1. Run the following command to identify the name of the node to be removed under the header "NAME":
    sudo -E kubectl get nodes
  2. Run the following command to remove the node from the cluster using the <node name>:
    sudo sdkms-cluster remove --node <node name> --force
  3. Run the following command to reset the node:
    sdkms-cluster reset --delete-data --reset-iptables
There can be previous versions of UI pods which show up in the pending state. Ignore them/ delete the older version from UI. 

9.0 Best Practices

  • Only issue accounts to trusted administrators.
  • Utilize strong passwords.
  • Monitor logs.
  • Restrict physical access to the appliance to trusted administrators.
  • Create two System Administrator accounts.

10.0  Troubleshooting and Support

The repair job fails. The cassandra-repair cronjob must be restarted manually after fixing the failure.
Any of the scripts fail at any step. They will print a detailed error message. Report the problem to Fortanix support ( and provide the script output.

Due to a known issue in Palo Alto Networks (PAN) firewalls, VXLAN traffic required by Fortanix DSM for intra-cluster communication could be mysteriously dropped without notification. After implementing the Fortanix DSM Port Requirements, connectivity between DSM nodes can be confirmed. Fortanix DSM creates an overlay virtual network for intra-cluster communication over UDP port 8472 as part of the standard deployment. On this virtual network, pinging or using CURL from one DSM node to another can also confirm connectivity. Unfortunately, when a PAN FW is in the network flow between DSM nodes, only a fraction of the packets sent over the VXLAN make it to the desired node due to this known issue. This lack of network consistency results in DSM nodes joining an existing cluster appearing to fail without much detail as to the cause. Cassandra pods may not be able to gossip with an expected peer, which is one clue that the cluster is not wholly joined. The joining node appears to have successfully joined the Kubernetes cluster. Still, the secure data synchronization expected to occur over this overlay VXLAN is never completed, leaving the cluster in a non-functional state.


Refer to the PAN Known Issues List, specifically issue PAN-160238, that explains this issue and the suggested workaround:

PAN Known Issues List

PAN-160238 - If you migrate traffic from a firewall running a PAN-OS version earlier than 9.0 to a firewall running PAN-OS 9.0 or later, you experience intermittent VXLAN packet drops if the TCI policy is not configured for inspecting VXLAN traffic flows.


On the new firewall, create an app override for VXLAN outer headers as described in What is an Application Override? and the video tutorial How to Configure an Application Override Policy on the Palo Alto Networks Firewall.

Turning on Tunnel Content Inspection (TCI) appears to resolve the issue in addition to the suggested workaround above from PAN to create an Application Override policy for the Fortanix DSM nodes. After making these recommended changes, VXLAN traffic should become more reliable and stop inadvertently dropping packets. The Fortanix DSM cluster should be able to communicate appropriately, and the Fortanix DSM node should be able to successfully join the existing cluster.


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