Expiring-Soon and Expired Certificate Alarms

Expired certificates may prevent the proper operation of platform and applications running on the platform. In order to avoid expired certificates, StarlingX generates alarms for certificates that are within 30 days (default) of expiry or have already expired.

This functionality is enabled by default for all platform and user-installed certificates that are approaching their respective expiry dates. User-override options are available for customizing the alarm behavior.

The two types of certificate alarms are:

  • Expiring Soon (alarm ID: 500.200, severity: major); by default raised 30 days prior to expiry of the certificate.

  • Expired (alarm ID: 500.210, severity: critical).


Certificates are checked every 24 hours to raise an Expiring-Soon or Expired alarm and alarms may not occur at precise 24 hour multiples of the times they were set.

[sysadmin@controller-0 ~(keystone_admin)]$ fm alarm-list
| Alarm ID | Reason Text                                                                              | Entity ID                            | Severity | Time Stamp       |
| 500.200  | Certificate 'system certificate-show 89b332d9-d590-4447-bf5a-6edc61c2d0e4' (mode=ssl_ca) | system.certificate.mode=ssl_ca.uuid= | major    | 2021-10-08T15:34 |
|          | is expiring soon on 2021-10-15, 00:00:00                                                 | 89b332d9-d590-4447-bf5a-6edc61c2d0e4 |          | :49.451107       |
|          |                                                                                          |                                      |          |                  |
| 400.001  | Service group controller-services degraded; cert-alarm(enabled-active, )                 | service_domain=controller.           | major    | 2021-10-08T15:34 |
|          |                                                                                          | service_group=controller-services.   |          | :27.494473       |
|          |                                                                                          | host=controller-0                    |          |                  |
|          |                                                                                          |                                      |          |                  |
| 100.103  | Memory threshold exceeded ; threshold 80.00%, actual 81.12%                              | host=controller-0.memory=platform    | major    | 2021-10-08T00:21 |
|          |                                                                                          |                                      |          | :25.237489       |
|          |                                                                                          |                                      |          |                  |

The platform monitors the following resources to track and audit certificate expiry dates:

  • All TLS type secrets in all Kubernetes namespaces.

    This includes secrets that you create directly or secrets that are indirectly created by configuring a Cert-Manager certificate.

  • All certificates installed on the platform via the system certificate-install command.

  • Other internal certificates required by the platform such as Kubernetes RootCA, Etcd RootCA etc.


    For certificates managed by cert-manager, the expiring soon alarm is not generated unless the certificate’s renewBefore date is past. In this way, alarms for certificates auto-renewed by cert-manager, will only occur if the renew failed.

Overriding Default Certificate Alarming Behavior

For certificates that exist under the Kubernetes domain, Kube Annotations can be used to override the default certificate alarming behavior. All other certificate types only support default certificate alarming behavior and cannot be overridden.


If you added a certificate by directly creating a Kubernetes TLS Secret, the annotation should be added to that Kubernetes Secret resource. If the Secret was indirectly created by configuring a Cert-Manager certificate resource, the annotation should be added to the certificate resource.

The supported annotations are:

  • starlingx.io/alarm: <enabled | disabled> (default=enabled)

  • starlingx.io/alarm-before: <days> (default=30d)

  • starlingx.io/alarm-severity: <critical/major/minor>

  • starlingx.io/alarm-text: <pre-text in alarm description>


If the system-restapi-gui-certificate has been configured to install the StarlingX RESTAPI / Webserver certificate to be managed by Cert-Manager, the default annotations can be edited:

  1. Open the current configuration:

    $ kubectl edit certificate system-restapi-gui-certificate -n deployment
  2. Make the following configuration changes:

        starlingx.io/alarm: enabled
        starlingx.io/alarm-before: 15d
        starlingx.io/alarm-severity: minor
        starlingx.io/alarm-text: “webserverAPI certificate”

These override settings cause the system-restapi-gui-certificate resource to be monitored via the alarm: enabled annotation. An alarm will be raised 15 days before the certificate expiry if the certificate is soon-to-expire or has expired with a minor severity. The alarm text will be prefixed with the string webserverAPI certificate, resulting in webserverAPI certificate namespace=deployment.certificate=system-restapi-gui-certificate is expiring soon on <date>.

Corrective action

When a certificate alarm occurs, the resource should be updated in order to clear the alarm. If the certificate was installed via the system certificate-install command, a new certificate needs to be obtained and re-installed. For certificates that are managed by Cert-Manager, the certificates will auto-renew provided there are no configuration errors; list issues with cert-manager auto-renewal of a certificate with kubectl -n <namespace> describe certificate <certname>.


It may take up to one hour for an active alarm to clear after corrective action has been taken.