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Version: 3.1


Portworx can integrate with AWS KMS to generate and use KMS Datakeys. This document will show you how to spin up a Portworx cluster which is connected to an AWS KMS endpoint. The data keys created in KMS can be used to encrypt Portworx volumes.


This feature is supported from Portworx Enterprise 1.4 onwards.

Configuring AWS KMS with Portworx

There are multiple ways in which you can setup Portworx so that it gets authenticated with AWS.

Following are the authentication details required by Portworx to use the AWS KMS service:

  • AWS Access Key [AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID] [required]

    AWS Access Key ID of the account which has permissions to access KMS APIs

  • AWS Secret Key [AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY] [required]

    AWS Secret Access Key of the account which has permissions to access KMS APIs

  • AWS Secret Token Key [AWS_SECRET_TOKEN_KEY] [optional]

    AWS Secret Token Key (if configured) of the account which has permissions to access KMS APIs

  • AWS KMS key [AWS_CMK] [required]

    AWS KMS key. The CMK can be found out from AWS's resource ARN. Here is an example ARN for CMK:


    It specifies that the ARN is for the kms service for us-east-1 region. The trailing ID at the end of ARN is the actual CMK that needs to be provided to Portworx through the AWS_CMK field.

  • AWS Region of the CMK [AWS_REGION] [required]

    The AWS region to which the CMK is associated to. CMKs are region specific and cannot be used across regions.

Using AWS environment variables

Portworx can authenticate with AWS using AWS SDK’s EnvProvider.

Each of the above fields can be provided as is to Portworx as environment variables.

Kubernetes users

If you are installing Portworx on Kubernetes, when generating the Portworx Kubernetes spec file on the Portworx Spec Generator page in Portworx Central:

  1. Pass in all the above variables as is in the Environment Variables section.

  2. Specify the Secret Store Type in the Advanced Settings section as aws

    More help on generating the Portworx spec for Kubernetes is available here.

Other users

During installation,

  1. Use argument -secret_type aws-kms when starting Portworx to specify the secret type as AWS KMS.
  2. Use -e argument to expose the AWS KMS environment variables

Using AWS EC2 Role Credentials

Portworx can authenticate with AWS using AWS SDK’s EC2RoleCredentials Provider. Follow these instructions to create an EC2 role. Make sure you provide the following access to KMS in your policy associated with EC2 role.

Here is a sample AWS Policy that gives access to KMS:

"Version": "2012-10-17",
"Statement": [
"Sid": "Stmt1490047200000",
"Effect": "Allow",
"Action": [
"Resource": [

Apply EC2 role to all the AWS instances where Portworx will be running.

Along with the EC2 role you will still need to provide AWS_CMK and AWS_REGION either through config.json or as environment variables. To provide them through config.json, add the following section to the config.json on all the nodes

cat /etc/pwx/config.json
"clusterid": "<cluster-id>",
"secret": {
"secret_type": "aws-kms",
"aws": {
"AWS_CMK": "your-aws-kms-key-id",
"AWS_REGION": "you-aws-region-to-which-this-cmk-belongs"

Using AWS KMS with Portworx

To use AWS KMS with Portworx, proceed to one of the below sections.

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