What is Auth Survivablity and how it works

By esupport Unpublished


What is Auth survivability ? What are the auth methods supported ? How Auth survivability works ? How to configure and verify ?


What is Survivability :

  • Allows Aruba controller to provide authentication and authorization survivability when remote authentication servers are not accessible.
  • Stores user access credential as well as Key reply attributes with external authentication server.
  • Maintains the connectivity for authenticated users.


Auth methods Spported :

Captive Portal Clients: PAP method.

802.1X clients

Termination disabled:

EAP-TLS with external RADIUS server

Termination enabled:

EAP-TLS with CN lookup with external authentication server.

External Captive Portal clients using XML-API: PAP method.

MAC-based Authentication clients: PAP method.


How it Works :

Auth-Survivability can be enabled/disabled at each controller level and By default, it is disabled.

Two types of client auth info are saved in local mysql database when the associated client is authenticated.

  1. Client access credential
  2. Key reply attributes

Besides client Username, following data needs to be stored also:

  • For PAP users, authmgr stores the encrypted SHA-1 hashed value of the password.
  • For EAP-TLS 802.1x with termination disabled , an indicator of “EAP-TLS” is stored.
  • For CN lookup, an indicator of “EXIST” is stored.


Store user auth info to survival cache under the following conditions:

  • Client MAC address can not be all Zero.
  • For EAP-TLS clients, issuer certificate of the Survival server certificate has to be installed as TrustedCA certificate in the client stations.
  • For EAP-TLS clients with termination disabled, issuer certificate for the client certificate must be imported as TrustedCA or intermediateCA certificate at the controller.


A local Survival Server starts authenticating clients in the following situations:


  1. Survival server consists of a free radius server plus mysql database. It is configured to accept RADIUS requests from local host and retrieve access credential and Key reply attributes from the mysql database


  1. when all servers in the server group are out of service if fail-through is disabled.


  1. Or all in-service servers failed the authentication and at least one server is OOS when fail-through is enabled.
  1. All access credential and key reply attributes will be expired within the configured cache lifetime. By default, it is 24 hours.
  2. A cached entry will be deleted from local Survival Server in the following situations:
    1. When a station fails the authentication with an external server with fail-through disabled.
    2. Or when a station fails the authentication with all the external servers with fail-through enabled.
  3. All expired entries will be purged every 10 minutes.


How to configure:

  1. Navigate to Configuration->Branch->SmartConfig->WAN Tab
  2. Select the branch-config-group which needs to be configured.



How to verify :

(A7010-1) #show aaa auth-survivability

Auth-Survivability: Enabled (Running)

Survival-Server Server-Cert: server-cert

Survival-Server Cache lifetime: 24 hours



# show aaa auth-survivability-cache

 Auth-Survivability Cached Data


Station           User Name             Authenticated Using  Authenticated By  Authenticated On

-------           ---------             -------------------  ----------------  ----------------64:27:37:7F:BC:34  test1                 PAP                  RadServer1        2014-04-01 01:54

64:27:39:AF:BC:F0  vpnclientcert2K-xyz   EAP-TLS              RadServer2        2014-04-01 18:21


To Clear Cached Information in the local Survival Server


# clear aaa auth-survivability-cache station 12:34:56:79:01:34 username test-00065844

1 entries are deleted from Survival Cache

# clear aaa auth-survivability-cache all                     

Survival Cache is cleared


What are the logs available

Auth survival logs are all under SECURITY.logs

#logging level debug security process survival
#logging level debug security process authmgr subcat aaa