SAML and Faspex

IBM Aspera Faspex supports Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0, an XML-based standard that allows secure web domains to exchange user authentication and authorization data. With the SAML model, you can configure Faspex as a SAML online service provider (SP) that contacts a separate online identity provider (IdP) to authenticate users. Authenticated users can then use Faspex to access secure content.

With SAML enabled, Faspex redirects a user to the IdP sign-on URL. The user signs in with the IdP and the IdP sends a SAML assertion back to Faspex, which grants the user access to Faspex. When a SAML user logs in to Faspex for the first time, Faspex automatically creates a new user account based on the information provided by the SAML response. Any changes subsequently made to the account on the DS server are not automatically picked up by Faspex. For more information about user provisioning for SAML users, see User Accounts Provisioned by Just-In-Time (JIT) Provisioning.

IdP Requirements

To use SAML with Faspex, you must already have an identity provider (IdP) that meets the following requirements:

  • Supports SAML 2.0
  • Able to use an HTTP POST Binding.
  • Able to connect to the same directory service that Faspex uses.
  • Not configured to use pseudonyms.
  • Can return assertions to Faspex that include the entire contents of the signing certificate.
  • If prompted, set to sign the SAML response. (Signing the SAML assertion is optional.)

Configure the SAML IdP

Before configuring SAML in Faspex, make sure you configure your IdP to send a correct SAML response to Faspex. For more information, see Configuring Your Identity Provider (IdP).
For instructions on configuring SAML, see Creating a SAML Configuration in Faspex.

SAML and Directory Services

Faspex supports the use of both SAML and directory services. If you configure both services to Faspex, ensure the services use different Active Directory domains. Aspera advises against configuring LDAP directly to Faspex if the SAML IdP acts as a frontend for the same Active Directory domain.

Multiple SAML Configurations in Faspex

Faspex supports multiple SAML configurations on the same server. Faspex redirects users to the default SAML IdP, but if no default is specified, Faspex directs users to the local login page where users can choose to log into publicly visible SAML configurations or log in locally.
In the following example, East Department and West Department are the names of two SAML configurations.

To configure multiple SAML configurations in Faspex, first create a new SAML configuration (see Creating a SAML Configuration in Faspex) and then configure a domain URL for the configuration (see Configuring a Domain URL for SAML).

Bypassing the Default SAML IdP

Faspex provides a mechanism for users to bypass the SAML redirect and log in using a local username and password. This feature allows admins to correct server settings, including a mis-configured SAML setup, without logging in through SAML.

To bypass the SAML login, add login?local=true to the end of the login URL. For example:

If users need to access a SAML IdP that is not the default IdP, users can use domain URLs to directly access a SAML configuration. For more information, see Bypassing the SAML Redirect.