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Security Associations Overview

To use IPsec security services, you create SAs between hosts. An SA is a simplex connection that allows two hosts to communicate with each other securely by means of IPsec. There are two types of SAs: manual and dynamic.

  • Manual SAs require no negotiation; all values, including the keys, are static and specified in the configuration. Manual SAs statically define the Security Parameter Index (SPI) values, algorithms, and keys to be used, and require matching configurations on both ends of the tunnel. Each peer must have the same configured options for communication to take place.

  • Dynamic SAs require additional configuration. With dynamic SAs, you configure IKE first and then the SA. IKE creates dynamic security associations; it negotiates SAs for IPsec. The IKE configuration defines the algorithms and keys used to establish the secure IKE connection with the peer security gateway. This connection is then used to dynamically agree upon keys and other data used by the dynamic IPsec SA. The IKE SA is negotiated first and then used to protect the negotiations that determine the dynamic IPsec SAs.

  • Set up user-level tunnels or SAs, including tunnel attribute negotiations and key management. These tunnels can also be refreshed and terminated on top of the same secure channel.

The Junos OS implementation of IPsec supports two modes of security (transport mode and tunnel mode).