Using a remote PKCS11 keystore provider

Implement additional providers, such as PKCS11.

cassandra.yaml

The location of the cassandra.yaml file depends on the type of installation:
Package installations /etc/dse/cassandra/cassandra.yaml
Tarball installations installation_location/resources/cassandra/conf/cassandra.yaml

DataStax Enterprise (DSE) database uses the Java Cryptography API (JCA) to implement SSL providers. The JCA is a pluggable architecture that abstracts the actual cryptography implementation from the algorithm requested. To support swapping out different implementations, DSE database uses Cipher.getInstance("AES").

The JCA architecture Provider class allows multiple implementations to register using a different service provider interface (SPI). Java comes with multiple providers and supports installation of additional providers, such as PKCS11.

The DSE database keystore type parameter in cassandra.yaml determines which SPI to use.

Differences between PKCS11 and PKCS12

PKCS11 and PKCS12 are part of the RSA Public Key Cryptography Standards for storing private key and certificate information.

PKCS12 is typically used to store private key and certificate information on files. The default keystore type in Java is JKS, though you can specify PKCS12 with the -storetype option when creating a keystore with keytool.

PKCS11 provides an interface to connect with hardware keystore devices. This type of keystore can store private keys, secret keys, and certificates like PKCS12, but is designed for Hardware Storage Modules (HSM).

Installing additional providers

Install providers using the java.security configuration that comes with the JRE.

Tip: For more detailed instructions, see How to implement a Provider (Oracle).

Add the location to the java.security configuration file, which is located in $JAVA_HOME/lib/security/java.security.:

security.provider.10=sun.security.pkcs11.SunPKCS11 /etc/softhsm/pkcs11.cfg