System Administration Guide: IP Services

Key Management in IPsec

Security associations (SAs) require keying material for authentication and for encryption. The managing of this keying material is called key management. The Internet Key Exchange (IKE) protocol handles key management automatically. You can also manage keys manually with the ipseckey command.

SAs on IPv4 and IPv6 packets can use either method of key management. Unless you have an overriding reason to use manual key management, automatic key management is preferred. For example, to interoperate with systems other than Solaris systems might require manual key management.

In the current release, SMF provides the following key management services for IPsec:

In the releases prior to the Solaris 10 4/09 release, the in.iked and ipseckey commands manage keying material.