Using ACME on Expressway-E

The below is from Cisco Expressway configuration guide. I will be testing this on my lab and will share the screenshots.

From X12.5 the Cisco Expressway Series supports the ACME protocol (Automated Certificate Management Environment) which enables automatic certificate signing and deployment to the Cisco Expressway-E from a certificate authority such as Let’s Encrypt. The main benefit of this feature is to generate low-cost server certificates to identify the Expressway-E, thereby reducing the cost of Expressway-based deployments like MRA (Mobile and Remote Access).
Due to the underlying validation mechanism this feature is most likely to be useful for MRA deployments. For Business to Business (B2B) applications, it’s not always practical to include your primary domain in ACME certificates.
The configuration process is simple. You enter some information on the Cisco Expressway-E to create a certificate signing request (CSR), then the Expressway’s ACME client interacts with the certificate authority to request the certificate. The Expressway downloads the certificate and you click a button to deploy it. After this manual step, you can schedule renewal so that the certificate does not expire—because ACME certificates are deliberately short-lived.
One compromise of the ACME protocol is that it requires an inbound HTTP connection to port 80 on the Cisco Expressway-E. You can manage this risk with the Expressway’s security features or, for highly secure environments, you can disable ACME and use the traditional CSR procedure with your preferred certificate authority.

How it Works
ACME is a client server protocol that enables automated certificate management of web hosts. The Expressway-E has an ACME client that interacts with an ACME provider, which is under the control of a certificate authority.We currently work with the Let’s Encrypt authority to generate server certificates. We also use ACME to generate domain certificates for SNI (multitenancy), for which the process is essentially the same as the server certificate process. Multitenancy is only supported for HCS deployments and more information about using ACME with SNI is available in the
Certificate Management and Service Discovery
area of the Collaboration Knowledge Portal.

The ACME Certificate Service on the Expressway-E is a different method of requesting and applying server certificates to Expressway-E than the method described in the other parts of this document.
The essential signing process is:
Define request > Submit to CA > CA generates and signs the certificate > Apply certificate
The ACME certificate service follows this process, but it removes the cost and some of the manual effort.
One caveat about the process is that the CA has to interrogate the submitting host to verify that it controls the domains in the CSR.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s