Enable HTTPS protocol on Brocade switches

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This article will focus on implementing CA-signed certificates and enabling the HTTPS protocol on Brocade switches. I assume you already have a Certificate Authority implemented and you can sign certificates requests.

Required/used freeware

Putty: Used to connect to the switch.
Alex’s FTP Server: Used to upload and download files from or onto the switch.
OpenSSL: Used to convert and test certificate files.
Dos2Unix: Used to convert Windows-created filed to Unix/Linux files.

Deprecated commands:
secCertUtil
secCertUtil CLI will be deprecated. Use secCertMgmt for Certificate related operations.

The command seccertUtil is replaced by secCertMgmt.

It is highly recommended to back up your switch configuration before performing any changes. For tracing purposes, I have configured my Putty terminal to log every session. It will also flush the log file frequently.

Generating Certificate Signing Request (.csr) file

To list available certificates on the switch use the command:

secCertmgmt show -all

To create the .csr file in interactive mode type

seccertmgmt generate -csr https
Generate the Certificate Signing Request
Generate certificate signing request file on Brocade switch

Generate the file and export it locally. Accordingly, request your CA to have it signed.

The following command exports the .csr file in an interactive mode:

seccertmgmt export -csr https -protocol ftp
Export Certificate Signing Request
Export Certificate Signing Request (.csr) file using FTP

Preparing certificates for import

I signed the client’s certificate and got it in a .cer file. I also have the Root and Intermediate certificates in my possession.

Brocade switches require to have root and intermediate certificates merged into one file. The merge order is also important, first the Root certificate then the Intermediate. Work your way up the chain to the root certificate.

Before merging the certificates we will convert them to .pem files. To convert them from .cer to .pem file format use the following command

openssl x509 -in <certificate path & file name> -out <certificate path & file name>
Convert certificate .cer to .pem file
Converting certificate .cer files to .pem file format
Convert certificate files from .cer to .pem format
Converting certificate .cer files to .pem file format

Combining Root and Intermediate certificate

To merge the certificates use the Windows copy command. The /B parameter prevents Windows to append ASCII characters (CTRZ – Z) to the file.

copy /B <file name path 1> <file name path 2> <destination file name path>
Merge certificate files
Merging root and intermediate certificate files

Converting Windows files to Unix

Files created in Windows are sometimes incorrectly read in Unix/Linux. It’s because of Windows handling i.g. newlines and carriage returns in a different way.

In order to “clean” the certificates, we will use the tool dos2unix to convert them into Unix files.

dos2unix.exe <file name>

The file is rewritten and the output is saved under the same location.

Convert windows to unix files
Use dos2unix to convert Windows files to Unix-readable files

Testing certificates

Additionally, we can test the certificate chain and our client certificate using the following command.

openssl verify -verbose -purpose sslserver -CAfile <root certificate.pem> <switch certificate.pem>
Test certificate
Testing client certificate compatibility with the certificate authority chain

Importing certificates

First, we will import the root certificate using the command below.

seccertmgmt import -ca -server https
Importing CA root certificate
Importing CA chain certificate onto the switch

Finally, we can import the switch certificate file.

seccertmgmt import -cert https
Importing client certificate
Importing the client’s certificate onto the switch

We have enabled the switch to communicate over HTTPS protocol and HTTP requests are redirected to HTTPS.

I’ve noticed my Brocade Network Advisor claims that the switch is unreachable after installing the certificate. Finally, I got this resolved by performing a hareboot. The hareboot restarts the web linker daemon which is responsible for web communication.

Any suggestion or question? Leave a reply below, or feel free to contact us. Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest.

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3 Comments
  1. Installing SANnav Management Portal 2.0 - STORCOM Belgium

    […] Enable HTTPS protocol on Brocade switches […]

  2. Ajay

    Above procedure step by step for FOS v.8 version and configured successfully.

    • dardan

      Good to hear that. Thanks for letting me know. Cheers, Dardan.

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