ONTAP 9.14

to Japanese version

Overview of the ONTAP OAuth 2.0 implementation

Beginning with ONTAP 9.14, you have the option to control access to your ONTAP clusters using the Open Authorization (OAuth 2.0) framework. You can configure this feature using any of the ONTAP administrative interfaces, including the ONTAP CLI, ONTAP System Manager, and REST API. However, the OAuth 2.0 authorization and access control decisions can only be applied when a client accesses ONTAP using the REST API.

OAuth 2.0 support was first introduced with ONTAP 9.14.0 and so its availability depends on the ONTAP release you are using.

Features and benefits

The major features and benefits of using OAuth 2.0 with ONTAP are described below.

Support for the OAuth 2.0 standard

OAuth 2.0 is the industry standard authorization framework. It is used to restrict and control access to protected resources using signed access tokens. There are several benefits to using OAuth 2.0:

  • Many options for the authorization configuration

  • Never reveal the client credentials including passwords

  • Tokens can be set to expire based on your configuration

  • Ideally suited for use with REST APIs

Tested with several popular authorization servers

The ONTAP implementation is designed to be compatible with any OAuth 2.0 compliant authorization server. It has been tested with the following popular servers or services, including:

  • Auth0

  • Active Directory Federation Service (ADFS)

  • Keycloak

Support for multiple concurrent authorization servers

You can define up to eight authorization servers for a single ONTAP cluster. This gives you the flexibility to meet the needs of your diverse security environment.

Integration with the REST roles

The ONTAP authorization decisions are ultimately based on the REST roles assigned to users or groups. These roles are either carried in the access token as self-contained scopes or based on local ONTAP definitions along with Active Directory or LDAP groups.

Option to use sender-constrained access tokens

You can configure ONTAP and the authorization servers to use Mutual Transport Layer Security (mTLS) which strengthens client authentication. It guarantees the OAuth 2.0 access tokens are only used by the clients to which they were originally issued. This feature supports and aligns with several popular security recommendations, including those established by FAPI and MITRE.

Implementation and configuration

At a high level, there are several aspects of an OAuth 2.0 implementation and configuration you should consider when getting started.

OAuth 2.0 entities within ONTAP

The OAuth 2.0 authorization framework defines several entities that can be mapped to real or virtual elements within your data center or network. The OAuth 2.0 entities and their adaptation to ONTAP are presented in the table below.

OAuth 2.0 Entity Description


The REST API endpoints that provide access to the ONTAP resources through internal ONTAP commands.

Resource owner

The ONTAP cluster user that created the protected resource or owns it by default.

Resource server

The host for the protected resources which is the ONTAP cluster.


An application requesting access to a REST API endpoint on behalf of or with permission from the resource owner.

Authorization server

Typically a dedicated server responsible for issuing access tokens and enforcing administrative policy.

Core ONTAP configuration

You need to configure the ONTAP cluster to enable and use OAuth 2.0. This includes establishing a connection to the authorization server and defining the required ONTAP authorization configuration. You can perform this configuration using any of the administrative interfaces, including:

  • ONTAP command line interface

  • ONTAP System Manager


Environment and supporting services

In addition to the ONTAP definitions, you also need to configure the authorization servers. If you’re using group-to-role mapping, you need also to configure the Active Directory groups or LDAP equivalent.

Supported ONTAP clients

Beginning with ONTAP 9.14, a REST API client can access ONTAP using OAuth 2.0. Before issuing a REST API call, you need to obtain an access token from the authorization server. The client then passes this token to the ONTAP cluster as a bearer token using the HTTP authorization request header. Depending on the level of security needed, you can also create and install a certificate at the client to use sender-constrained tokens based on mTLS.

Selected terminology

As you begin exploring an OAuth 2.0 deployment with ONTAP, it is helpful to become familiar with some of the terminology. See Additional resources for links to more information about OAuth 2.0.

Access token

A token issued by an authorization server and used by an OAuth 2.0 client application to make requests to access the protected resources.

JSON Web Token

The standard used to format the access tokens. JSON is used to represent the OAuth 2.0 claims in a compact format with the claims arranged in three main sections.

Sender-constrained access token

An optional feature based on the Mutual Transport Layer Security (mTLS) protocol. By using an additional confirmation claim in the token, this ensures the access token is only used by the client to which it was originally issued.

JSON Web Key Set

A JWKS is a collection of public keys used by ONTAP to verify the JWT tokens presented by the clients. The key sets are typically available at the authorization server through a dedicated URI.


Scopes provide a way to limit or control an application’s access to protected resources such as the ONTAP REST API. They are represented as strings in the access token.

HTTP authorization header

A header included in the HTTP request to identify the client and associated permissions as part of making a REST API call. There are several flavors or implementations available depending on how authentication and authorization is performed. When presenting an OAuth 2.0 access token to ONTAP, the token is identified as a bearer token.

HTTP basic authentication

An early HTTP authentication technique still supported by ONTAP. The plaintext credentials (username and password) are concatenated with a colon and encoded in base64. The string is placed in the authorization request header and sent to the server.


A working group at the OpenID Foundation providing protocols, data schemas, and security recommendations for the financial industry. The API was originally known as the Financial Grade API.


A private not-for-profit company providing technical and security guidance to the United States Air Force and US government.

Top of Page