Rackspace SSL Manager

27th October 2018

A project that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks has been Rackspace SSL Manager, and I’ve now finally launched it.

As I have quite a few different web app projects on the go all at varying stages of completion, it makes sense to share the hosting resources. I use Rackspace for my hosting and one of the products they provide is load balancers. In case you haven’t come across load balancers before they direct web traffic between multiple web servers to perform the following two functions:

  1. Share traffic amongst webservers, so they don’t get overloaded which enables you to scale.
  2. If a server goes down, it can automatically pass the traffic onto another server and keep your application running.

From the Rackspace control panel you can add an SSL certificate to your load balancer but only 1! So until about six months ago, I was spinning up a new load balancer for each project or white-label instance I was working on which would cost about £8.00 per month per load balancer.

Then one day when reading Rackspace’s API documents I saw that the load balancers could support up to 20 certificates by using SNI ( Server Name Indication ) but only through their API. Great I thought this was going to save me about £80 per month. The new issue was now how ungainly it was working with the API to update the certificates and because I use Lets Encrypt the certificates expire every three months which means quite a bit of administration time keeping everything up to date… and so a project was born!

How it works

Once you’ve created an account at Rackspace SSL Manager, and logged in you need to add your Rackspace username and API key. The most secure thing to do is head over to https://mycloud.rackspace.com and create a new username with only access to managing load balancers. Once the account is created on Rackspace you can show the API Key ( you will need this in a minute ).

Back over on the SSL Manager portal click the “Add Account” button and you will be presented with the below popup. In here enter your Rackspace Username and API Key. You can choose to either store the API key on our servers to save you having to reenter it in the future or once your Rackspace token expires you will need to enter it again.

Upon successful account creation, you will then be able to view your load balancers. You will see you already installed certificated and their creation and expiry dates.

From here you can delete certificates, update them and add new ones. When updating or adding you need to enter the domain name of the certificate ( use a * for wildcard domains i.e *.domain.com ) then paste in your public, private and CA certificates and hit add/update. It’s important to note that at no stage is your SSL certificate information stored on our servers.

And that’s it. You can now manage your certificates in seconds!

We have a free 10-day trial so you can try before you buy.

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