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Authorize an Astro Deployment to cloud resources using workload identity

When you create an Airflow connection from a Deployment to access cloud resources, Airflow uses your connection details to access those services. You can add credentials to your Airflow connections to authenticate, but it can be risky to add secrets like passwords to your Airflow environment.

To avoid adding secrets to your Airflow connection, you can directly authorize your Astro Deployment to access AWS or GCP cloud services using workload identity. Astronomer recommends using a workload identity in most cases to improve security and avoid managing credentials across your Deployments. If you have less strict security requirements, you can still use any of the methods described in Airflow connection guides to manage your connection authorization.

This guide explains how to authorize your Deployment to a cloud using workload identity. For each Deployment, you will:

  • Authorize your Deployment to your cloud services.
  • Create an Airflow connection to access your cloud services.

Watch the Astro Academy Customer Workload Managed Identity Learning Byte video to learn more about managed identities and how to set up passwordless authentication for GCP.


The Astro cluster running your Deployment must be connected to your cloud's network. See Networking overview.

What is workload identity?

A workload identity is a Kubernetes service account that provides an identity to your Deployment. The Deployment can use this identity to authenticate to a cloud's API server, and the cloud can use this identity to authorize the Deployment to access different resources.


Step 1: Authorize the Deployment in your cloud

To grant a Deployment access to a service that is running in an AWS account not managed by Astronomer, use AWS IAM roles to authorize your Deployment's workload identity. IAM roles on AWS are often used to manage the level of access a specific user, object, or group of users has to a resource, such as Amazon S3 buckets, Redshift instances, and secrets backends.

To authorize your Deployment, create an IAM role that is assumed by the Deployment's workload identity:

  1. In the Astro UI, select your Deployment and then click Details. Copy the Deployment's Workload Identity.

  2. In the AWS account that contains your AWS service, create an IAM role. See Creating a role to delegate permissions to an AWS service.

  3. In the AWS Management Console, go to the Identity and Access Management (IAM) dashboard.

  4. Click Roles and in the Role name column, select the role you created in Step 2.

  5. Click Trust relationships.

  6. Click Edit trust policy and paste the workload identity you copied from Step 1 in the trust policy. Your policy should look like the following:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
    "Effect": "Allow",
    "Principal": {
    "AWS": [
    "Action": "sts:AssumeRole"
  7. Click Update policy.

Repeat these steps for each Astro Deployment that needs to access your AWS resources.

Step 2: Create an Airflow connection

Now that your Deployment is authorized, you can connect it to your cloud using an Airflow connection. Either create an Amazon Web Services connection in the Astro UI or the Airflow UI for your Deployment and specify the following fields:

  • Connection Id: Enter a name for the connection.

  • Extra:

    "role_arn": "<your-role-arn>",
    "region_name": "<your-region>"

If you don't see Amazon Web Services as a connection type in the Airflow UI, ensure you have installed its provider package in your Astro project's requirements.txt file. See Use Provider in the Astronomer Registry for the latest package.

See also

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