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Server requirements - Hitachi ID Privileged Access Manager

Multiple, Load-Balanced Servers

Hitachi ID Privileged Access Manager supports multiple, load-balanced servers.

Each server can host multiple Privileged Access Manager instances, each with its own users, managed systems, features and policies.

Server Platform

Hitachi ID Privileged Access Manager: Privileged Access Management Privileged Access Manager must be installed on a Windows 2008R2 or 2012 server.

Installing on a Windows server allows Privileged Access Manager to leverage client software for most types of target systems, which is available only on the "Wintel" platform. In turn, this makes it possible for Privileged Access Manager to manage passwords and accounts on target systems without installing a server-side agent.

The Privileged Access Manager server must also be configured with a web server. Since the Privileged Access Manager application is implemented as CGI executables, any web server will work. The Privileged Access Manager installation program can detect and automatically configure IIS or Apache web servers, but other web servers can be configured manually.

Privileged Access Manager is a security application and should be locked down accordingly. Please refer to the Hitachi ID Systems document about hardening Privileged Access Manager servers to learn how to do this. In short, most of the native Windows services can and should be removed, leaving a very small attack surface, with exactly one inbound TCP/IP port (443):

  1. IIS is not required (Apache is a reasonable substitute).
  2. No ASP, JSP or PHP are used, so these engines should be disabled.
  3. .NET is not required on the web portal and in most cases can be disabled on IIS.
  4. No ODBC or DCOM are required inbound, so these services should at least be filtered.
  5. File sharing should be disabled.
  6. Remote registry services should be disabled.
  7. Inbound TCP/IP connections should be firewalled, allowing only port 443 and possibly terminal services (often required for some configuration tasks).

Each Privileged Access Manager server requires a database instance. SQL 2008R2 or SQL 2012 are the most common options, but Oracle database is also supported.

Server Configuration

(1) Each Privileged Access Manager server is configured as follows:

  • Hardware requirements or equivalent VM capacity:
    • An Intel Xeon or similar CPU. Multi-core CPUs are supported and leveraged.
    • At least 8GB RAM -- 16GB or more is typical for a server.
    • At least 500GB disk, preferably configured as RAID for reliability and preferably larger for retention of more historical and log data. More disk is always better, to increase log retention.
    • At least one Gigabit Ethernet NIC.

  • Operating system:
    • Windows 2008 (or R2) Server, or 64-bit Windows 2012 (or R2) Server, with current service packs.
    • The server should not normally be a domain controller and in most deployments is not a domain member.

  • Installed and tested software on the server:
    • TCP/IP networking, with a static IP address and DNS name.
    • Web server (Apache/Windows or IIS).
    • Client software: web browser, Acrobat reader (to read the manual) native clients for the systems that Privileged Access Manager needs to interface with.
    • SQL Server client or Oracle client to connect to the Privileged Access Manager database. Please note that the SQL or Oracle client must include 32-bit client libraries as of the current release.
    • If the Privileged Access Manager database is local (recommended as it lowers hardware cost), add SQL Server or Oracle Database on each Privileged Access Manager application server. Otherwise, provide access to one of these databases per application server.
    • SSL server certificate, to support HTTPS connections to the web user interface and SOAP API.

In addition to a web/application server, Privileged Access Manager requires a database server. In most environments, the database server software (Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Database Server) is installed on the same hardware or VM as the Privileged Access Manager software, on each Privileged Access Manager server node. This reduces hardware cost, eliminates network latency and reduces the security surface of the combined solution.

Database I/O performance on a virtualized filesystem (e.g., VMDK or equivalent) may not be ideal. If a VM is used to host the database server software, please consider a NAS or SAN solution for disk I/O.

Privileged Access Manager can leverage an existing database server cluster. Hitachi ID Systems recommends a dedicated database server instance, however, for a number of reasons:

  1. The data managed by Privileged Access Manager is extremely sensitive, so it is desirable to minimize the number of DBAs who can access it (despite use of encryption).
  2. MSSQL and Oracle have almost zero ability to isolate workloads between database instances on the same server. This means that a burst of activity from Privileged Access Manager (as happens during nightly auto-discovery) would cause slow responses in other applications. Conversely, other applications experiencing high DB load would slow down Privileged Access Manager.
  3. Privileged Access Manager already includes real-time, fault-tolerant, WAN-friendly, encrypted database replication between application nodes, each with its own back-end database. Use of an expensive DB server cluster is neither required nor beneficial.
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