NetScaler ingress controller

Enable NetScaler certificate validation in the NetScaler Ingress Controller

The NetScaler Ingress Controller provides an option to ensure secure communication between the NetScaler Ingress Controller and NetScaler by using the HTTPS protocol. You can achieve this by using pre-loaded certificates in the NetScaler. As an extra measure to avoid any possible man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, the NetScaler Ingress Controller also allows you to validate the SSL server certificate provided by the NetScaler.

To enable certificate signature and common name validation of the ADC server certificate by the NetScaler Ingress Controller, security administrators can optionally install signed (or self-signed) certificates in the NetScaler and configure the NetScaler Ingress Controller with the corresponding CA certificate bundle. Once the validation is enabled and CA certificate bundles are configured, the NetScaler Ingress Controller starts validating the certificate (including certificate name validation). If the validation fails, the NetScaler Ingress Controller logs the same and none of the configurations are used on an unsecure channel.

This validation is turned off by default and an administrator can chose to enable the validation in the NetScaler Ingress Controller as follows.


  • For enabling certificate validation, you must configure a NetScaler with proper SSL server certificates (with proper server name or IP address in certificate subject). For more information, see NetScaler documentation.

  • The CA certificate for the installed server certificate-key pair is used to configure the NetScaler Ingress Controller to enable validation of these certificates.

Configure the NetScaler Ingress Controller for certificate validation

To make a CA certificate available for configuration, you need to configure the CA certificate as a Kubernetes secret so that the NetScaler Ingress Controller can access it on a mounted storage volume.

To generate a Kubernetes secret for an existing certificate, use the following kubectl command:

  $ kubectl create secret generic ciccacert --from-file=path/myCA.pem –namespace default

  secret “ciccacert” created

Alternatively, you can also generate the Kubernetes secret using the following YAML definition:

    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Secret
      name: ciccacert
        myCA.pem: <base64 encoded cert>

The following is a sample YAML file with the NetScaler Ingress Controller configuration for enabling certificate validation.

kind: Pod
  name: cic
    app: cic
  serviceAccountName: cpx
  # Make secret available as a volume
  - name: certs
      secretName: ciccacert
  - name: cic
    image: "xxxx"
    imagePullPolicy: Always
    args: []
    # Mounting certs in a volume path
    - name: certs
      mountPath: <Path to mount the certificate>
      readOnly: true
    # Set NetScaler ADM Management IP
    - name: "NS_IP"
      value: "xx.xx.xx.xx"
    # Set port for Nitro
    - name: "NS_PORT"
      value: "xx"
    # Set Protocol for Nitro
    - name: "NS_PROTOCOL"
      # Enable HTTPS protocol for secure communication
      value: "HTTPS"
    # Set username for Nitro
    - name: "NS_USER"
      value: "nsroot"
    # Set user password for Nitro
    - name: "NS_PASSWORD"
      value: "nsroot"
    # Certificate validation configurations
    - name: "NS_VALIDATE_CERT"
      value: "yes"
    - name: "NS_CACERT_PATH"
      value: " <Mounted volume path>/myCA.pem"

As specified in the example YAML file, following are the specific changes required for enabling certificate validation in the NetScaler Ingress Controller.

Configure Kubernetes secret as a volume

  • Configure a volume section declared with secret as the source. Here, secretName should match the Kubernetes secret name created for the CA certificate.

Configure a volume mount location for the CA certificate

  • Configure a volumeMounts section with the same name as that of secretName in the volume section
  • Declare a mountPath directory to mount the CA certificate
  • Set the volume as ReadOnly

Configure secure communication

  • Set the environment variable NS_PROTOCOL as HTTPS
  • Set the environment variable NS_PORT as ADC HTTPS port

Enable and configure CA validation and certificate path

  • Set the environment variable NS_VALIDATE_CERT to yes ( no for disabling)
  • Set the environment variable NS_CACERT_PATH as the mount path (volumeMounts->mountPath)/ PEM file name (used while creating the secret).
Enable NetScaler certificate validation in the NetScaler Ingress Controller