Fortinet Document Library

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Table of Contents

Handbook

SSL offloading

You can use FortiADC in a Layer-7 load-balancing topology to offload SSL decryption from the real server farm, as illustrated in SSL offloading. In such a deployment, the FortiADC unit uses a copy of the real server certificate and its private key to negotiate the SSL connection. It acts as an SSL proxy for the servers, using the certificates and their private keys to:

  • authenticate itself to clients
  • decrypt requests
  • encrypt responses

When session data has been decrypted, you can use the FortiADC content rewriting, content routing, and web application firewall features.

SSL offloading

FortiADC forwards data unencrypted to the servers, and the servers can maximize performance because they are processing HTTP and not HTTPS transactions.

To realize the benefits of SSL offloading and maintain security, you must deploy the FortiADC appliance in a trusted network with a direct path to the real servers so that the connection between the FortiADC and the real server does not have to be re-encrypted. For example, you connect FortiADC and the real servers through the same switch, and all are physically located on the same locked rack.

In cases where traffic is forwarded along untrusted paths toward the real servers, you can use a real server SSL profile to re-encrypt the data before forwarding it to the real servers.

Basic steps:
  1. Import the X.509 v3 server certificates and their private keys that ordinarily belong to the backend servers, as well as any certificate authority (CA) or intermediate CA certificates that are used to complete the chain of trust between your clients and servers.
  2. Configure a local certificate group that includes the server's local certificate and the Intermediate CA group that contains the Intermediate CAs.
  3. Configure an application profile and a client SSL profile (if needed) that reference the local certificate group and specify the allowed SSL/TLS versions and list of SSL ciphers that can be used for the SSL connection between the client and the FortiADC unit. Select this profile when you configure the virtual server.
  4. Configure a real server SSL profile that enables or disables SSL for the connection between the FortiADC unit and the real server. If enabled, specify the SSL/TLS versions and the list of SSL ciphers that can be used. Select this profile when you configure the real server pool.

SSL offloading

You can use FortiADC in a Layer-7 load-balancing topology to offload SSL decryption from the real server farm, as illustrated in SSL offloading. In such a deployment, the FortiADC unit uses a copy of the real server certificate and its private key to negotiate the SSL connection. It acts as an SSL proxy for the servers, using the certificates and their private keys to:

  • authenticate itself to clients
  • decrypt requests
  • encrypt responses

When session data has been decrypted, you can use the FortiADC content rewriting, content routing, and web application firewall features.

SSL offloading

FortiADC forwards data unencrypted to the servers, and the servers can maximize performance because they are processing HTTP and not HTTPS transactions.

To realize the benefits of SSL offloading and maintain security, you must deploy the FortiADC appliance in a trusted network with a direct path to the real servers so that the connection between the FortiADC and the real server does not have to be re-encrypted. For example, you connect FortiADC and the real servers through the same switch, and all are physically located on the same locked rack.

In cases where traffic is forwarded along untrusted paths toward the real servers, you can use a real server SSL profile to re-encrypt the data before forwarding it to the real servers.

Basic steps:
  1. Import the X.509 v3 server certificates and their private keys that ordinarily belong to the backend servers, as well as any certificate authority (CA) or intermediate CA certificates that are used to complete the chain of trust between your clients and servers.
  2. Configure a local certificate group that includes the server's local certificate and the Intermediate CA group that contains the Intermediate CAs.
  3. Configure an application profile and a client SSL profile (if needed) that reference the local certificate group and specify the allowed SSL/TLS versions and list of SSL ciphers that can be used for the SSL connection between the client and the FortiADC unit. Select this profile when you configure the virtual server.
  4. Configure a real server SSL profile that enables or disables SSL for the connection between the FortiADC unit and the real server. If enabled, specify the SSL/TLS versions and the list of SSL ciphers that can be used. Select this profile when you configure the real server pool.