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Managed SSL for Google App Engine (googleblog.com)
162 points by lklig 5 days ago | hide | past | web | 49 comments | favorite

This is welcome news. This means I no longer have to track and manually renew my Let's Encrypt certificates for my websites.

I also see it as a way to incentivize folks to use GAE (not only are you getting free quotas to run your app, you also don't have to spend money to buy certificates and don't have to worry about installing or renewing them).

Finally, I also see it as another way of pushing for the uptake of SSL. With GAE doing this, other hosting services might also start offering something similar or close to it which would then beg the question - why is your site not using SSL.

Agreed this is super-exciting.

Hope they add the same functionality for Google Cloud HTTPS Load Balancers soon as well.

AWS has been offering free SSL certs for a year now, happy to see Google following their lead.

> Finally, I also see it as another way of pushing for the uptake of SSL. With GAE doing this, other hosting services might also start offering something similar or close to it which would then beg the question - why is your site not using SSL.

Good question. Everybody should be on SSL. It isn't just hosting services that should offer something similar, but SaaSes too that provide SSL on custom domains for their customers. They usually don't get around to securing those custom domains due to the pain and inconvenience and maintenance.

There are platforms out there like Clearalias and Cloudfront that help with making that a breeze though, so I don't see why it would be an issue going forward.

Hopefully with Google and browsers punishing non-SSL sites more, there'll be more sites behind an SSL cert.

The whole premise behind letsencrypt is the ACME protocol, so you don't have to manually renew certs [although you can]. The problem is in handling SSL renewals on a cluster, you have to do renewals via DNS & rsync certs around, and there's not many tools to do this. But for a single server, its very easy to automate. Another problem with letsencrypt is the rate limits & such.

Google App Engine only a few weeks ago released an API for managing certificates. Before that, the only way to add or update a certificate was to manually paste the key into a web form.

If using docker you can mount a volume to your let’s encrypt certs on all your frontend servers.

Been using AWS's certificate management.

It is _so_ nice not to (1) manage the certs with your own infrastructure (2) automatically deploy these things to HAProxy, Apache, MySQL, random server X.

Automated load balancing + cert management is heaven.

I'm using kubernetes with kube-lego, and my experience is exactly the same.

Automating all routing, API gateways, TLS termination and certificate management makes life so much easier.

My hope is that this makes kube-lego unnecessary for kubernetes! Being able to get a cluster spun up with TLS by default would be amazing.

I've tried it and get "Failed to activate certificates" errors.

I was in the preview/alpha/whatever group. Never could get cert creation to work through the console UI, but it worked fine when using the gcloud SDK from the command-line.

Me too. If anyone figures this out, I'd love to hear more.

Hello from the App Engine team. Could you double check that your DNS records are accurate? Everything is looking good on our end. Thanks for the feedback!

I can also reproduce the issue, i.e. "Failed to activate certificates." a few seconds after clicking "Enable managed security" with 4 domains checked.

I checked the DNS records and the CNAME, A, AAAA records of all the domains match exactly what is shown on the admin console.

Can you try using gcloud? There may be a UI problem.

Thanks, it worked fine with the gcloud command.

We've found the glitch in the UI and the issue will be resolved shortly. Thanks for all the support and quick testing after announcing this beta release.

Happy to report everything is working as expected, go get those managed certs!

I was able to reproduce the problem through the UI. I was able to get it working by using the gcloud CLI instead.

I also could not get it to work on two separate domains. Everything seems fine, and I was able to renew the certs with LE just now.

I believe all my DNS records look fine, and I have the domain ownership set correctly with GAE. Not sure what else I can change to get it working.

Seems to be working fine now.

I was able to get this to work in the command line (after gcloud components update). This is an exciting feature!

Thanks for the support! And thanks for all the good work on AppEngine!

And thanks to other commenters too!

Thanks for the quick response! I'll double check them later today.

Any chance that you will support wildcard domain names?

This is great news.

I love app engine but one of the biggest issues I've had with it is the fact that memcached and search are not available for anything but app engine standard - python (2.7).

Providing access to both via app engine flexible would be god sent!

We use memcache but it’s really unreliable. I recommend rolling your own anyway.

Also I think there is an alpha for flex?

This is a welcomed addition that many have been patiently waiting for.

If you want to see the progress here's the relevant ticket[0] -- nice to see it finally closed!

Not privy to the final implementation details but my guess it's a based on Let's Encrypt as suggested by the originator of the ticket and others.

Edit: Yeah, probably not Let's Encrypt as others have stated.

[0] https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/35900034

I guess it's based on Google's own Certificate Authority, instead of Let's Encrypt, according to this:


For the record, I guessed wrong. I enabled the feature and checked the certificate: it's based on Let's Encrypt ;-)

It is Let's Encrypt, I just converted my test project so that I could kill the Jenkins job to update the Cert.

  Issued By
    Common Name (CN)	Let's Encrypt Authority X3

I turned this on today via gcloud, and the certificate I was issued is from Let's Encrypt.

Google purchased its own root CA from GlobalSign, so I’d assume it’s coming from there instead.

Any plans to add this to storage buckets?

Is this both for App Engine standard or flexible environment also?

Both environments are supported!

When will Azure do the same?

They do offer it for webapps using Lets Encrypt, but nothing else afaik. But I look forward to it being added, it is definitely needed. Even setting up the Let's Encrypt to auto renew is a very tedious process.

Hello from Backplane. You can get this on Azure today using https://www.backplane.io with end-to-end encryption to your backends plus a huge chest of other routing and security features. It's free to start. I'm blake at backplane dot io

Is this basically just SNI for GAE? Or did they already have that?

It's basically invisible automation for creating and renewing LetEncrypt certs on App Engine.

The traditional process for installing a custom domain SSL cert on App Engine was very clunky. Involved running OpenSSL commands, cut-n-pasting PEM data, etc. If you were using LetsEncrypt, then it was more or less impossible to automate... you had to go through a tedious manual process every 3 months (including updating your app, to respond to the LetsEncrypt verification endpoint!).

I think they do not use letsencrypt . They use thier own SSL, since they are now licencing authority.

Edit: I am wrong. They use letsencrypt.

I am hosting this project on App Engine, and have been using their SSL management for a couple of months now:


A click on the browser padlock icon says that it's a LetEncrypt cert. Unsurprising, since Google is such a major sponsor. Also unsurprising that Google chooses to focus on their own branding rather than call attention to it.

You are right, I do have many domains and didn't bother to check it.

They did already have that.

This is fully automatic SSL management for your own domains that point to Google App Engine, with certs managed by Google.

Previously you had to use your own certs and manually upload them through the UI (or via the beta API, which is also now in general availability).

edit: managed, not provided, the certs are actually Let's Encrypt

Can this be used with load balancers on GCE?

I feel like Google isn't exactly the best place to get your SSL, given their track record with the NSA.

If you are using App Engine, Google is terminating the TLS connection regardless...


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