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Version: 3.1

IBM key management services


Supported from Portworx Enterprise 1.7 onwards

Portworx integrates with IBM Key Protect and Hyper Protect Crypto Services (HPCS) to store your encryption keys/secrets and credentials. This guide helps you configure Portworx with IBM Key Protect or HPCS. IBM Key Protect and HPCS can be used to store Portworx secrets for Volume Encryption and Cloud Credentials.

Portworx requires the following IBM Key Protect or HPCS credentials to use its APIs:

  • Service Instance ID [IBM_SERVICE_INSTANCE_ID]

    The Instance ID of the IBM Key Protect or HPCS service can be found by running the following command

    ibmcloud resource service-instance <name-of-your-service>

    This should output something like. The ID from the below CRN is 0647c737-906d-blah-8a68-2c187e11b29b


    Follow this IBM document to retrieve the API Key.

  • Customer Root Key [IBM_CUSTOMER_ROOT_KEY]

    Follow this IBM document to create a Customer Root Key


    The base URL specifies the URL where your Key Protect or HPCS instance resides. It is region specific.
    The default value is:

    • If you are using IBM HPCS, take the key management endpoint URL from the overview page of your HPCS service on IBM Cloud.
    • The base URL is mandatory if Portworx is running on an IBM (IKS or ROKS) air-gapped cluster. To get the Key Protect endpoint URL for your region, refer to the IBM Key Protect documentation. For example, the IBM_BASE_URL for the us-south region is

    Default value which will be used is:


    The token URL is mandatory if Portworx is running on an IBM (IKS or ROKS) air-gapped cluster. To get the IAM service private endpoint URL for your region, refer to the IBM Cloud API documentation. For example, the IBM_TOKEN_URL for the us-south region is

Based on your installation type use the following methods to provide these credentials to Portworx.

For Kubernetes Users

Step 1: Provide IBM key management credentials to Portworx.

Portworx reads the IBM credentials required to authenticate with IBM Key Protect through a Kubernetes secret. Create a Kubernetes secret with the name px-ibm in the portworx namespace. Following is an example kubernetes secret spec

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
name: px-ibm
namespace: portworx
type: Opaque

Portworx is going to look for this secret with name px-ibm under the portworx namespace. While installing Portworx it creates a Kubernetes role binding which grants access to reading Kubernetes secrets only from the portworx namespace.

Step 2: Set up IBM key management as the secrets provider for Portworx.

New installation

Using helm chart

While deploying Portworx using helm chart on an IKS cluster, by default Portworx is configured to use IBM Key Protect and HPCS as a secrets provider. Follow these instructions to install the helm chart.

In a non-IKS cluster, set the secretType as ibm-kp in the helm chart's values.yml configuration file.


Use the ibm-kp secretType for both IBM Key Protect and HPCS.

Using the Portworx spec generator

When generating the Portworx Kubernetes spec file on the Portworx spec generator page in Portworx Central, select IBM Key Protect from the "Secrets type" list.

Existing installation

For an existing Portworx cluster follow these steps to configure IBM Key Protect or HPCS as the secrets provider

Step 2a: Add Permissions to access kubernetes secrets

Portworx needs permissions to access the px-ibm secret created in Step 1. The following Kubernetes spec grants portworx access to all the secrets defined under the portworx namespace

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
# Namespace to store credentials
apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
name: portworx
# Role to access secrets under portworx namespace only
kind: Role
name: px-role
namespace: portworx
- apiGroups: [""]
resources: ["secrets"]
verbs: ["get", "list", "create", "update", "patch"]
# Allow portworx service account to access the secrets under the portworx namespace
kind: RoleBinding
name: px-role-binding
namespace: portworx
- kind: ServiceAccount
name: px-account
namespace: kube-system
kind: Role
name: px-role
Step 2b: Edit the Portworx spec

Depending on your Portworx installation, proceed to one of the following sections.

Edit the Portworx DaemonSet spec

Edit the Portworx DaemonSet secret_type field to ibm-kp, so that all the new Portworx nodes will also start using IBM or HPCS.

kubectl edit daemonset portworx -n kube-system

Add the "-secret_type", "ibm-kp" arguments to the portworx container in the daemonset. It should look something like this:

- args:
- -c
- testclusterid
- -s
- /dev/sdb
- -x
- kubernetes
- -secret_type
- ibm-kp
name: portworx

Editing the daemonset will restart all the Portworx pods.

Edit the Portworx Operator spec

  1. Get the name of the StorageCluster running in your IBM cluster:

    kubectl get storagecluster  -A
    kube-system px-ocpkptest 89dfb5a4-47d6-440a-95bf-65502f548d97 Online 2.12.1 5h49m
  2. Run the following command to edit the above StorageClsuter, then set the secretsProvider field of the spec section to ibm-kp:

    kubectl edit storageCluster px-ocpkptest -n kube-system

    Once the StorageClsuter spec is edited, all Portworx pods will restart and use IBM Key Protect or HPCS.

Other users

Step 1: Provide IBM key management services credentials to Portworx.

Provide the following IBM credentials (key value pairs) as environment variables to Portworx

  • [Required] IBM_SERVICE_INSTANCE_ID=[service_instance_id]
  • [Required] IBM_SERVICE_API_KEY=[service_api_key]
  • [Required] IBM_CUSTOMER_ROOT_KEY=[customer_root_key]
  • [Optional] IBM_BASE_URL=[base_url] → only required if the instance is in a different region
  • [Optional] IBM_TOKEN_URL=[token_url] → only required if the different than the default token url

Step 2: Set up IBM key management services as the secrets provider for Portworx.

New installation

While installing Portworx set the input argument -secret_type to ibm-kp.

Existing installation

Based on your installation method provide the -secret_type ibm-kp input argument and restart Portworx on all the nodes.

Using IBM key management services with Portworx

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