Scaling Privileged Access for Modern Infrastructure: Real-World Insights
Apr 25
Virtual
Register Today
Teleport logoTry For Free
Fork me on GitHub

Teleport

Database Access with Elasticsearch

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

In this guide, you will:

  1. Configure an Self-hosted Elasticsearch with mutual TLS authentication.
  2. Join the Elasticsearch database to your Teleport cluster.
  3. Connect to the Elasticsearch database via the Teleport Database Service.

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.

  • A self-hosted Elasticsearch database. Elastic Cloud does not support client certificates, which are required for setting up the Database Service.

  • A host where you will run the Teleport Database Service.

    See Installation for details.

  • 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. Set up 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 and configure Teleport 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.

On the host where you will run the Teleport Database Service, start Teleport with the appropriate configuration.

Note that a single Teleport process can run multiple different services, for example multiple Database Service agents as well as the SSH Service or Application Service. The step below will overwrite an existing configuration file, so if you're running multiple services add --output=stdout to print the config in your terminal, and manually adjust /etc/teleport.yaml.

Generate a configuration file at /etc/teleport.yaml for the Database Service:

sudo teleport db configure create \ -o file \ --token=/tmp/token \ --proxy=teleport.example.com:443 \ --name=myelastic \ --protocol=elastic \ --uri=elasticsearch.example.com:9200 \ --labels=env=dev
sudo teleport db configure create \ -o file \ --token=/tmp/token \ --proxy=mytenant.teleport.sh:443 \ --name=myelastic \ --protocol=elastic \ --uri=elasticsearch.example.com:9200 \ --labels=env=dev

Configure the Teleport Database Service to start automatically when the host boots up by creating a systemd service for it. The instructions depend on how you installed the Teleport Database Service.

On the host where you will run the Teleport Database Service, enable and start Teleport:

sudo systemctl enable teleport
sudo systemctl start teleport

On the host where you will run the Teleport Database Service, create a systemd service configuration for Teleport, enable the Teleport service, and start Teleport:

sudo teleport install systemd -o /etc/systemd/system/teleport.service
sudo systemctl enable teleport
sudo systemctl start teleport

You can check the status of the Teleport Database Service with systemctl status teleport and view its logs with journalctl -fu teleport.

Teleport provides Helm charts for installing the Teleport Database Service in Kubernetes Clusters.

Set up the Teleport Helm repository.

Allow Helm to install charts that are hosted in the Teleport Helm repository:

helm repo add teleport https://charts.releases.teleport.dev

Update the cache of charts from the remote repository so you can upgrade to all available releases:

helm repo update

Install the Teleport Kube Agent into your Kubernetes Cluster with the Teleport Database Service configuration.

JOIN_TOKEN=$(cat /tmp/token)
helm install teleport-kube-agent teleport/teleport-kube-agent \ --create-namespace \ --namespace teleport-agent \ --set roles=db \ --set proxyAddr=teleport.example.com:443 \ --set authToken=${JOIN_TOKEN?} \ --set "databases[0].name=myelastic" \ --set "databases[0].uri=elasticsearch.example.com:9200" \ --set "databases[0].protocol=elastic" \ --set "labels.env=dev" \ --version 15.2.2

Install the Teleport Kube Agent into your Kubernetes Cluster with the Teleport Database Service configuration.

JOIN_TOKEN=$(cat /tmp/token)
helm install teleport-kube-agent teleport/teleport-kube-agent \ --create-namespace \ --namespace teleport-agent \ --set roles=db \ --set proxyAddr=mytenant.teleport.sh:443 \ --set authToken=${JOIN_TOKEN?} \ --set "databases[0].name=myelastic" \ --set "databases[0].uri=elasticsearch.example.com:9200" \ --set "databases[0].protocol=elastic" \ --set "labels.env=dev" \ --version 15.2.2

Make sure that the Teleport agent pod is running. You should see one teleport-kube-agent pod with a single ready container:

kubectl -n teleport-agent get pods
NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGEteleport-kube-agent-0 1/1 Running 0 32s
Tip

A single Teleport process can run multiple services, for example multiple Database Service instances as well as other services such the SSH Service or Application Service.

Step 2/5. Create a Teleport user

Tip

To modify an existing user to provide access to the Database Service, see Database Access Access Controls

Create a local Teleport user with the built-in access role:

tctl users add \ --roles=access \ --db-users=\* \ --db-names=\* \ alice

Create a local Teleport user with the built-in access and requester roles:

tctl users add \ --roles=access,requester \ --db-users=\* \ --db-names=\* \ alice
FlagDescription
--rolesList of roles to assign to the user. The builtin access role allows them to connect to any database server registered with Teleport.
--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.
Warning

Database names are only enforced for PostgreSQL and MongoDB databases.

For more detailed information about database access controls and how to restrict access see RBAC documentation.

Step 3/5. Create a role mapping

Define a role mapping in Elasticsearch to assign your Teleport user(s) or role(s) to an Elasticsearch role. The example below maps the Teleport user alice to the user role in Elasticsearch.

curl -u elastic:your_elasticsearch_password -X POST "https://elasticsearch.example.com:9200/_security/role_mapping/mapping1?pretty" -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d'
{ "roles": [ "user"], "enabled": true, "rules": { "field" : { "username" : "alice" } }, "metadata" : { "version" : 1 }}'

In a scenario where Teleport is using single sign-on you may want to define a mapping for all users to a role:

curl -u elastic:your_elasticsearch_password -X POST "https://elasticsearch.example.com:9200/_security/role_mapping/mapping1?pretty" -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d'
{ "roles": [ "monitoring"], "enabled": true, "rules": { "field" : { "username" : "*@example.com" } }, "metadata" : { "version" : 1 }}'

Step 4/5. Set up mutual TLS

Teleport uses mutual TLS authentication with self-hosted databases. These databases must be configured with Teleport's certificate authority to be able to verify client certificates. They also need a certificate/key pair that Teleport can verify.

If you are using Teleport Cloud, your Teleport user must be allowed to impersonate the system role Db in order to be able to generate the database certificate.

Include the following allow rule in in your Teleport Cloud user's role:

allow:
  impersonate:
    users: ["Db"]
    roles: ["Db"]

We will show you how to use tctl auth sign below.

To securely access your Elasticsearch database, sign the certificate for the hostname Teleport will connect to.

For example, if your Elasticsearch server is accessible at elastic.example.com, run:

tctl auth sign --format=elasticsearch --host=elastic.example.com --out=elastic --ttl=2160h
Database credentials have been written to elastic.key, elastic.crt, elastic.cas.
TTL

We recommend using a shorter TTL, but keep mind that you'll need to update the database server certificate before it expires to not lose the ability to connect. Pick the TTL value that best fits your use-case.

The command will create three files:

  • elastic.cas with Teleport's certificate authority
  • elastic.key with a generated private key
  • elastic.crt with a generated host certificate

Use the generated secrets to enable mutual TLS in your elasticsearch.yml configuration file:

xpack.security.http.ssl:
  certificate_authorities: /path/to/elastic.cas
  certificate: /path/to/elastic.crt
  key: /path/to/elastic.key
  enabled: true
  client_authentication: required
  verification_mode: certificate

xpack.security.authc.realms.pki.pki1:
  order: 1
  enabled: true
  certificate_authorities: /path/to/elastic.cas

Once mutual TLS has been enabled, you will no longer be able to connect to the cluster without providing a valid client certificate. You can set xpack.security.http.ssl.client_authentication to optional to allow connections from clients that do not present a certificate, using other methods like username and password.

Step 5/5. Connect

Log into your Teleport cluster and see available databases:

tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com --user=alice
tsh db ls
Name Description Allowed Users Labels Connect--------------------------- ----------- ------------- ------- ------------------------> myelastic (user: elastic) [*] env=dev tsh db connect myelastic
tsh login --proxy=mytennant.teleport.sh --user=alice
tsh db ls
Name Description Allowed Users Labels Connect--------------------------- ----------- ------------- ------- ------------------------> myelastic (user: elastic) [*] env=dev tsh db connect myelastic

To connect to a particular database instance:

tsh db connect myelastic --db-user=alice

To log out of the database and remove credentials:

Remove credentials for a particular database instance.

tsh db logout myelastic

Remove credentials for all database instances.

tsh db logout

Tunneled connection example

We can create a tunneled connection to Elasticsearch to use with GUI applications like Elasticvue:

tsh proxy db myelastic --db-user=alice --tunnel
Started authenticated tunnel for the Elasticsearch database "myelastic" in cluster "teleport.example.com" on 127.0.0.1:53657.
Use one of the following commands to connect to the database:
* interactive SQL connection:
$ elasticsearch-sql-cli http://localhost:53657/
* run single request with curl:
$ curl http://localhost:53657/

Note the assigned port, and provide it to your GUI client:

Next steps

  • Take a look at the YAML configuration reference.