Set up automatic rotation for Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift, or Amazon DocumentDB secrets - AWS Secrets Manager

Set up automatic rotation for Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift, or Amazon DocumentDB secrets

This tutorial describes how to set up Rotation by Lambda function for database secrets. Rotation is the process of periodically updating a secret. When you rotate a secret, you update the credentials in both the secret and the database. In Secrets Manager, you can set up automatic rotation for your database secrets.

To set up rotation using the console, you need to first choose a rotation strategy. Then you configure the secret for rotation, which creates a Lambda rotation function if you don't already have one. The console also sets permissions for the Lambda function execution role. The last step is to make sure that the Lambda rotation function can access both Secrets Manager and your database through the network.


To turn on automatic rotation, you must have permission to create an IAM execution role for the Lambda rotation function and attach a permission policy to it. You need both iam:CreateRole and iam:AttachRolePolicy permissions. Granting these permissions allows an identity to grant themselves any permissions.

Step 1: Choose a rotation strategy and (optionally) create a superuser secret

For information about the strategies offered by Secrets Manager, see Lambda function rotation strategies.

If you choose the alternating users strategy, you must Create a database secret and store database superuser credentials in it. You need a secret with superuser credentials because rotation clones the first user, and most users do not have that permission. Note that Amazon RDS Proxy does not support the alternating users strategy.

Step 2: Configure rotation and create a rotation function

To turn on rotation for an Amazon RDS, Amazon DocumentDB, or Amazon Redshift secret
  1. Open the Secrets Manager console at

  2. On the Secrets page, choose your secret.

  3. On the Secret details page, in the Rotation configuration section, choose Edit rotation.

  4. In the Edit rotation configuration dialog box, do the following:

    1. Turn on Automatic rotation.

    2. Under Rotation schedule, enter your schedule in UTC time zone in either the Schedule expression builder or as a Schedule expression. Secrets Manager stores your schedule as a rate() or cron() expression. The rotation window automatically starts at midnight unless you specify a Start time. You can rotate a secret as often as every four hours. For more information, see Rotation schedules.

    3. (Optional) For Window duration, choose the length of the window during which you want Secrets Manager to rotate your secret, for example 3h for a three hour window. The window must not extend into the next rotation window. If you don't specify Window duration, for a rotation schedule in hours, the window automatically closes after one hour. For a rotation schedule in days, the window automatically closes at the end of the day.

    4. (Optional) Choose Rotate immediately when the secret is stored to rotate your secret when you save your changes. If you clear the checkbox, then the first rotation will begin on the schedule you set.

      If rotation fails, for example because Steps 3 and 4 are not yet completed, Secrets Manager retries the rotation process multiple times.

    5. Under Rotation function, do one of the following:

      • Choose Create a new Lambda function and enter a name for your new function. Secrets Manager adds SecretsManager to the beginning of the function name. Secrets Manager creates the function based on the appropriate template and sets the necessary permissions for the Lambda execution role.

      • Choose Use an existing Lambda function to reuse a rotation function you used for another secret. The rotation functions listed under Recommended VPC configurations have the same VPC and security group as the database, which helps the function access the database.

    6. For Rotation strategy, choose the Single user or Alternating users strategy. For more information, see Step 1: Choose a rotation strategy and (optionally) create a superuser secret.

  5. Choose Save.

Step 3: (Optional) Set additional permissions conditions on the rotation function

In the resource policy for your rotation function, we recommend that you include the context key aws:SourceAccount to help prevent Lambda from being used as a confused deputy. For some AWS services, to avoid the confused deputy scenario, AWS recommends that you use both the aws:SourceArn and aws:SourceAccount global condition keys. However, if you include the aws:SourceArn condition in your rotation function policy, the rotation function can only be used to rotate the secret specified by that ARN. We recommend that you include only the context key aws:SourceAccount so that you can use the rotation function for multiple secrets.

To update your rotation function resource policy
  1. In the Secrets Manager console, choose your secret, and then on the details page, under Rotation configuration, choose the Lambda rotation function. The Lambda console opens.

  2. Follow the instructions at Using resource-based policies for Lambda to add a aws:sourceAccount condition.

    "Condition": { "StringEquals": { "AWS:SourceAccount": "123456789012" } },

If the secret is encrypted with a KMS key other than the AWS managed key aws/secretsmanager, Secrets Manager grants the Lambda execution role permission to use the key. You can use the SecretARN encryption context to limit the use of the decrypt function, so the rotation function role only has access to decrypt the secret it is responsible for rotating.

To update your rotation function execution role
  1. From the Lambda rotation function, choose Configuration, and then under Execution role, choose the Role name.

  2. Follow the instructions at Modifying a role permissions policy to add a kms:EncryptionContext:SecretARN condition.

    "Condition": { "StringEquals": { "kms:EncryptionContext:SecretARN": "SecretARN" } },

Step 4: Set up network access for the rotation function

For more information, see Network access for Lambda rotation function.

Next steps

See Troubleshoot AWS Secrets Manager rotation.