Scaling Privileged Access for Modern Infrastructure: Real-World Insights
Apr 25
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Database Access with Azure PostgreSQL and MySQL

Teleport can provide secure access to Azure PostgreSQL or MySQL via the Teleport Database Service. This allows for fine-grained access control through Teleport's RBAC.

In this guide, you will:

  1. Configure an Azure PostgreSQL or MySQL database with IAM authentication.
  2. Join the Azure PostgreSQL or MySQL database to your Teleport cluster.
  3. Connect to the Azure PostgreSQL or MySQL database via the Teleport Database Service.

Database auto-discovery for Azure PostgreSQL/MySQL flexible servers is available starting from Teleport 12.0.

Prerequisites

  • A running Teleport cluster. If you want to get started with Teleport, sign up for a free trial or set up a demo environment.

  • The tctl admin tool and tsh client tool version >= 15.2.2.

    On Teleport Enterprise, you must use the Enterprise version of tctl, which you can download from your Teleport account workspace. Otherwise, visit Installation for instructions on downloading tctl and tsh for Teleport Community Edition.

  • Deployed Azure Database for PostgreSQL or MySQL server.
  • Azure Active Directory administrative privileges.
  • A host, e.g., an Azure VM instance, where you will run the Teleport Database Service.
  • To check that you can connect to your Teleport cluster, sign in with tsh login, then verify that you can run tctl commands using your current credentials. tctl is supported on macOS and Linux machines. For example:
    tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com --user=[email protected]
    tctl status

    Cluster teleport.example.com

    Version 15.2.2

    CA pin sha256:abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678

    If you can connect to the cluster and run the tctl status command, you can use your current credentials to run subsequent tctl commands from your workstation. If you host your own Teleport cluster, you can also run tctl commands on the computer that hosts the Teleport Auth Service for full permissions.

Step 1/5. Install the Teleport Database Service

The Database Service requires a valid auth token to connect to the cluster. Generate one by running the following command against your Teleport Auth Service and save it in /tmp/token on the node that will run the Database Service:

tctl tokens add --type=db

Install Teleport on the host where you will run the Teleport Database Service:

Install Teleport on your Linux server:

  1. Assign edition to one of the following, depending on your Teleport edition:

    EditionValue
    Teleport Enterprise Cloudcloud
    Teleport Enterprise (Self-Hosted)enterprise
    Teleport Community Editionoss
  2. Get the version of Teleport to install. If you have automatic agent updates enabled in your cluster, query the latest Teleport version that is compatible with the updater:

    TELEPORT_DOMAIN=example.teleport.com
    TELEPORT_VERSION="$(curl https://$TELEPORT_DOMAIN/v1/webapi/automaticupgrades/channel/default/version | sed 's/v//')"

    Otherwise, get the version of your Teleport cluster:

    TELEPORT_DOMAIN=example.teleport.com
    TELEPORT_VERSION="$(curl https://$TELEPORT_DOMAIN/v1/webapi/ping | jq -r '.server_version')"
  3. Install Teleport on your Linux server:

    curl https://goteleport.com/static/install.sh | bash -s ${TELEPORT_VERSION} edition

    The installation script detects the package manager on your Linux server and uses it to install Teleport binaries. To customize your installation, learn about the Teleport package repositories in the installation guide.

Create the Database Service configuration.

  • Specify the region for your database(s) in --azure-postgres-discovery.

  • Replace the --proxy value with your Teleport proxy address or Teleport cloud URI (e.g. mytenant.teleport.sh:443):

    sudo teleport db configure create \ -o file \ --proxy=teleport.example.com:443 \ --token=/tmp/token \ --azure-postgres-discovery=eastus
  • Specify the region for your database(s) in --azure-mysql-discovery.

  • Replace the --proxy value with your Teleport proxy address or Teleport cloud URI (e.g. mytenant.teleport.sh:443):

    sudo teleport db configure create \ -o file \ --proxy=teleport.example.com:443 \ --token=/tmp/token \ --azure-mysql-discovery=eastus

Run the following command on your Database Service host:

sudo teleport db configure create \ -o file \ --proxy=teleport.example.com:443 \ --token=/tmp/token \ --azure-mysql-discovery=eastus \ --azure-postgres-discovery=eastus
Tip

This will create two types entities in teleport.yaml, one for each database type. This is useful if you want different regions, tags, or labels for each database type.

Alternatively, you can edit teleport.yaml to include both database types in a single entry:

db_service:
  azure:
  - types: ["mysql", "postgres"]
  ...

This command will generate a Database Service configuration with Azure MySQL/Postgres database auto-discovery enabled in the eastus region and place it at the /etc/teleport.yaml location.

Create a Teleport role

On your workstation logged in to your Teleport cluster with tsh, define a new role to provide access to your Azure database. Create a file called azure-database-role.yaml with the following content:

version: v7
kind: role
metadata:
  name: azure-database-access
spec:
  allow:
    db_labels:
      'engine':
        - "Microsoft.DBforMySQL/servers"
        - "Microsoft.DBforMySQL/flexibleServers"
        - "Microsoft.DBforPostgreSQL/servers"
        - "Microsoft.DBforPostgreSQL/flexibleServers"
    db_names:
    - '*'
    db_users:
    - teleport
FlagDescription
--db-usersList of database usernames the user will be allowed to use when connecting to the databases. A wildcard allows any user.
--db-namesList of logical databases (aka schemas) the user will be allowed to connect to within a database server. A wildcard allows any database.
--db-labelsList of labels assigned to the database the user will be able to access. A wildcard entry allows any database.

Save this file and apply it to your Teleport cluster:

tctl create -f azure-database-role.yaml
role 'azure-database-role.yaml' has been created

Assign the azure-database-access role to your Teleport user by running the appropriate commands for your authentication provider:

  1. Retrieve your local user's roles as a comma-separated list:

    ROLES=$(tsh status -f json | jq -r '.active.roles | join(",")')
  2. Edit your local user to add the new role:

    tctl users update $(tsh status -f json | jq -r '.active.username') \ --set-roles "${ROLES?},azure-database-access"
  3. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

  1. Retrieve your github authentication connector:

    tctl get github/github --with-secrets > github.yaml

    Note that the --with-secrets flag adds the value of spec.signing_key_pair.private_key to the github.yaml file. Because this key contains a sensitive value, you should remove the github.yaml file immediately after updating the resource.

  2. Edit github.yaml, adding azure-database-access to the teams_to_roles section.

    The team you should map to this role depends on how you have designed your organization's role-based access controls (RBAC). However, the team must include your user account and should be the smallest team possible within your organization.

    Here is an example:

      teams_to_roles:
        - organization: octocats
          team: admins
          roles:
            - access
    +       - azure-database-access
    
  3. Apply your changes:

    tctl create -f github.yaml
  4. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

  1. Retrieve your saml configuration resource:

    tctl get --with-secrets saml/mysaml > saml.yaml

    Note that the --with-secrets flag adds the value of spec.signing_key_pair.private_key to the saml.yaml file. Because this key contains a sensitive value, you should remove the saml.yaml file immediately after updating the resource.

  2. Edit saml.yaml, adding azure-database-access to the attributes_to_roles section.

    The attribute you should map to this role depends on how you have designed your organization's role-based access controls (RBAC). However, the group must include your user account and should be the smallest group possible within your organization.

    Here is an example:

      attributes_to_roles:
        - name: "groups"
          value: "my-group"
          roles:
            - access
    +       - azure-database-access
    
  3. Apply your changes:

    tctl create -f saml.yaml
  4. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

  1. Retrieve your oidc configuration resource:

    tctl get oidc/myoidc --with-secrets > oidc.yaml

    Note that the --with-secrets flag adds the value of spec.signing_key_pair.private_key to the oidc.yaml file. Because this key contains a sensitive value, you should remove the oidc.yaml file immediately after updating the resource.

  2. Edit oidc.yaml, adding azure-database-access to the claims_to_roles section.

    The claim you should map to this role depends on how you have designed your organization's role-based access controls (RBAC). However, the group must include your user account and should be the smallest group possible within your organization.

    Here is an example:

      claims_to_roles:
        - name: "groups"
          value: "my-group"
          roles:
            - access
    +       - azure-database-access
    
  3. Apply your changes:

    tctl create -f oidc.yaml
  4. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

Step 3/6. Configure Azure service principal

To authenticate with PostgreSQL or MySQL databases, Teleport Database Service needs to obtain access tokens from Azure AD.

There are a couple of ways for the Teleport Database Service to access Azure resources:

  • The Database Service can run on an Azure VM with attached managed identity. This is the recommended way of deploying the Database Service in production since it eliminates the need to manage Azure credentials.
  • The Database Service can be registered as an Azure AD application (via AD's "App registrations") and configured with its credentials. This is only recommended for development and testing purposes since it requires Azure credentials to be present in the Database Service's environment.

Go to the Managed Identities page in your Azure portal and click Create to create a new user-assigned managed identity:

Managed identities

Pick a name and resource group for the new identity and create it:

Take note of the created identity's Client ID:

Next, navigate to the Azure VM that will run your Database Service instance and add the identity you've just created to it:

VM identity

Attach this identity to all Azure VMs that will be running the Database Service.

Note

Registering the Database Service as Azure AD application is suitable for test and development scenarios, or if your Database Service does not run on an Azure VM. For production scenarios prefer to use the managed identity approach.

Go the the App registrations page of your Azure Active Directory and click on New registration:

App registrations

Pick a name (e.g. DatabaseService) and register a new application. Once the app has been created, take note of its Application (client) ID and click on Add a certificate or secret:

Create a new client secret that the Database Service agent will use to authenticate with the Azure API:

Registered app secrets

The Teleport Database Service uses Azure SDK's default credential provider chain to look for credentials. Refer to Azure SDK Authorization to pick a method suitable for your use-case. For example, to use environment-based authentication with a client secret, the Database Service should have the following environment variables set:

export AZURE_TENANT_ID=export AZURE_CLIENT_ID=export AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET=

Step 4/6. Configure IAM permissions for Teleport

Create a custom role

Teleport needs Azure IAM permissions to discover and register MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. Create a role with assignable scope(s) that include all databases that Teleport should discover. For example:

{
    "properties": {
        "roleName": "TeleportDiscovery",
        "description": "Allows Teleport to discover MySQL and PostgreSQL databases",
        "assignableScopes": [
            "/subscriptions/11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555"
        ],
        "permissions": [
            {
                "actions": [
                    "Microsoft.DBforMySQL/servers/read",
                    "Microsoft.DBforPostgreSQL/servers/read",
                    "Microsoft.DBforMySQL/flexibleServers/read",
                    "Microsoft.DBforPostgreSQL/flexibleServers/read"
                ],
                "notActions": [],
                "dataActions": [],
                "notDataActions": []
            }
        ]
    }
}

This role definition allows Teleport to discover MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, but Teleport only needs permissions for the database types you have. The assignable scopes include a subscription, so the role can be assigned at any resource scope within that subscription, or assigned using the subscription scope itself.

Custom role assignable scope

Custom roles, unlike Azure built-in roles, can not have a root assignable scope. The highest assignable scope that can be used in a custom role is subscription scope. Using a management group scope is currently an Azure preview feature, and only allows for a single management group in the "assignableScopes" of a role definition. See Azure RBAC custom roles for more information.

Go to the Subscriptions page and select a subscription.

Click on Access control (IAM) in the subscription and select Add > Add custom role:

IAM custom role

In the custom role creation page, click the JSON tab and click Edit, then paste the JSON example and replace the subscription in "assignableScopes" with your own subscription id:

Create a role assignment for the Teleport Database Service principal

To grant Teleport permissions, the custom role you created must be assigned to the Teleport service principal - either the managed identity or the app registration you created earlier.

Navigate to the resource scope where you want to make the role assignment. Click Access control (IAM) and select Add > Add role assignment. Choose the custom role you created as the role and the Teleport service principal as a member.

Assign role
Azure Role Assignments

The role assignment should be at a high enough scope to allow the Teleport Database Service to discover all matching databases. See Identify the needed scope for more information about Azure scopes and creating role assignments.

Step 5/6. Create Azure database users

To let Teleport connect to your Azure database authenticating as a service principal, you need to create Azure AD users authenticated by that principal in the database.

Assign Azure AD administrator

Only the Azure AD administrator for the database can connect to it and create Azure AD users.

Go to your database's Authentication page and set the AD admin using the edit button:

Go to your database's Authentication page and set the AD admin by selecting + Add Azure AD Admins:

Go to your database's Active Directory admin page and set the AD admin using the Set admin button:

Set AD admin
Azure AD Admin

Only one Azure user (or group) can be set as an Azure AD admin for the database. If the Azure AD admin is removed from the server, all Azure AD logins will be disabled for the server. Adding a new Azure AD admin from the same tenant will re-enable Azure AD logins. Refer to Use Azure Active Directory for authenticating with PostgreSQL for more information.

Connect to the database as an AD admin

Next, you need to connect to your database as the AD admin user.

Use the Azure az CLI utility to log in as the user that you set as the AD admin, fetch the access token and use it as a password when connecting to the database:

az login -u [email protected]
TOKEN=`az account get-access-token --resource-type oss-rdbms --output tsv --query accessToken`
PGPASSWORD=$TOKEN psql "host=example.postgres.database.azure.com [email protected] sslmode=require dbname=postgres"
az login -u [email protected]
TOKEN=`az account get-access-token --resource-type oss-rdbms --output tsv --query accessToken`
PGPASSWORD=$TOKEN psql "host=example.postgres.database.azure.com [email protected]@instance-name sslmode=require dbname=postgres"
az login -u [email protected]
TOKEN=`az account get-access-token --resource-type oss-rdbms --output tsv --query accessToken`
mysql -h example.mysql.database.azure.com -P 3306 -u [email protected] --enable-cleartext-plugin --password=$TOKEN
az login -u [email protected]
TOKEN=`az account get-access-token --resource-type oss-rdbms --output tsv --query accessToken`
mysql -h example.mysql.database.azure.com -P 3306 -u [email protected]@instance-name --enable-cleartext-plugin --password=$TOKEN

Note that the database username must include @instance-name suffix with the name of the Azure database instance you're connecting to.

Create AD users

Once connected to the database as AD admin, create database users for the service principal that Teleport Database Service will be using. Use Client ID when using managed identities and Application (client) ID when using app registrations:

postgres=> SET aad_validate_oids_in_tenant = off;
SET
postgres=> CREATE ROLE teleport WITH LOGIN PASSWORD '11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555' IN ROLE azure_ad_user;
CREATE ROLE
postgres=> SELECT * FROM pgaadauth_create_principal_with_oid('teleport', '11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555', 'service', false, false);
-------------------------------------
 Created role for teleport
(1 row)
mysql> SET aad_auth_validate_oids_in_tenant = OFF;
mysql> CREATE AADUSER 'teleport' IDENTIFIED BY '11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.92 sec)

The created user may not have access to anything by default so let's grant it some permissions:

GRANT ALL ON `%`.* TO 'teleport'@'%';

You can create multiple database users identified by the same service principal.

Step 6/6. Connect

Log in to your Teleport cluster. Your Azure database should appear in the list of available databases:

tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com --user=alice
tsh db ls

Name Description Labels

-------- ------------------- -------

azure-db env=dev

tsh login --proxy=mytenant.teleport.sh --user=alice
tsh db ls

Name Description Labels

-------- ------------------- -------

azure-db env=dev

To retrieve credentials for a database and connect to it:

tsh db connect --db-user=teleport azure-db
tsh db connect --db-user=teleport --db-name=postgres azure-db
Note

The appropriate database command-line client (psql, mysql) should be available in the PATH of the machine you're running tsh db connect from.

To log out of the database and remove credentials:

tsh db logout azure-db

Troubleshooting

No credential providers error

If you see the error DefaultAzureCredential: failed to acquire a token. in Database Service logs then Teleport is not detecting the required credentials to connect to the Azure SDK. Check whether the credentials have been applied in the machine running the Teleport Database Service and restart the Teleport Database Service. Refer to Azure SDK Authorization for more information.

Timeout errors

The Teleport Database Service needs connectivity to your database endpoints. That may require enabling inbound traffic on the database from the Database Service on the same VPC or routing rules from another VPC. Using the nc program you can verify connections to databases:

nc -zv server-name.postgres.database.azure.com 5432

Connection to server-name.postgres.database.azure.com 5432 port [tcp/postgresql] succeeded!

Unable to cancel a query

If you use a PostgreSQL cli client like psql, and you try to cancel a query with ctrl+c, but it doesn't cancel the query, then you need to connect using a tsh local proxy instead. When psql cancels a query, it establishes a new connection without TLS certificates, however Teleport requires TLS certificates not only for authentication, but also to route database connections.

If you enable TLS Routing in Teleport then tsh db connect will automatically start a local proxy for every connection. Alternatively, you can connect via Teleport Connect which also uses a local proxy. Otherwise, you need to start a tsh local proxy manually using tsh proxy db and connect via the local proxy.

If you have already started a long-running query in a psql session that you cannot cancel with ctrl+c, you can start a new client session to cancel that query manually:

First, find the query's process identifier (PID):

SELECT pid,usename,backend_start,query FROM pg_stat_activity WHERE state = 'active';

Next, gracefully cancel the query using its PID. This will send a SIGINT signal to the postgres backend process for that query:

SELECT pg_cancel_backend(<PID>);

You should always try to gracefully terminate a query first, but if graceful cancellation is taking too long, then you can forcefully terminate the query instead. This will send a SIGTERM signal to the postgres backend process for that query:

SELECT pg_terminate_backend(<PID>);

See the PostgreSQL documentation on admin functions for more information about the pg_cancel_backend and pg_terminate_backend functions.

SSL SYSCALL error

You may encounter the following error when your local psql is not compatible with newer versions of OpenSSL:

tsh db connect --db-user postgres --db-name postgres postgres
psql: error: connection to server at "localhost" (::1), port 12345 failed: Connection refused Is the server running on that host and accepting TCP/IP connections?connection to server at "localhost" (127.0.0.1), port 12345 failed: SSL SYSCALL error: Undefined error: 0

Please upgrade your local psql to the latest version.

Next steps

  • Take a look at the YAML configuration reference.