User Guide

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Best Practices for AWS CloudHSM

Learn best practices for working with AWS CloudHSM. As new best practices are identified, we'll update this section.

AWS CloudHSM Basic Operational Guidelines

Use the following guidelines when working with AWS CloudHSM. The AWS CloudHSM Service Level Agreement requires that you follow these guidelines.

Administration: We recommend you create at least two cryptographic officers (COs) to administer your cluster. Before setting quorum (MofN) policy, you must create at least M+1 CO accounts. Delete CO accounts with caution. If you fall below the quorum number of COs, you will no longer be able to administer your cluster.

Cluster Configuration: For production clusters, you should have at least two HSM instances spread across two availability zones in a region. For latency-sensitive workloads, we recommend +1 redundancy. For applications requiring durability of newly generated keys, we recommend at least three HSM instances spread across all availability zones in a region.

Cluster Capacity: You should create enough HSMs in your cluster to handle your workload. You should consider both audit log capacity and cryptographic capacity when deciding how many HSMs to create in a cluster.