VMware NSX-T Micro-Segmentation via vRealize Log Insight

Reading Time: 6 minutes

I work with a lot of customers to design and deploy secure, zero-trust environments utilising VMware NSX-T Data Center and, specifically, by using its Distributed Firewall (DFW). I’ve also spoken at several VMUGs where I’ve discussed the realities of micro-segmentation using both NSX for vSphere (NSX-v) and NSX-T and the tools that can be utilised to aid in the identification of application dependencies, traffic flows, services, etc.

I also understand that not all customers are able to utilise some of the more advanced VMware toolings such as NSX Intelligence and vRealize Network Insight, however, there is another tool that we can use to identify our application dependencies and, best of all, if you’re a licensed NSX-T customer, you’re also licensed for…vRealize Log Insight (vRLI).

In this article, we explore how we can utilise vRLI to identify and visualise application traffic flows so that we can more effectively secure our applications.

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Lab-Ready Workload Virtual Machines via VMware Photon OS – Static IP Assignment

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Like most of us in the virtualisation ecosystem, I run a lab. Actually, I run multiple labs, however, unlike some, my labs are nested environments running on a single ESXi host, specifically, the awesome SuperMicro SuperServer E300-9D-8CN8TP. My labs are just that – testing environments for personal development, study, validation of customer designs, etc. They don’t run any production/home applications, so they’re spun up and down fairly often.

As some of these labs can be resource hungry (multi-site VMware NSX-T Federation environments or VMware Cloud Foundation to name two examples), the workload VMs I deploy for testing within these environments must be small.

Welcome VMware Photon OS.

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Securing Workloads on Bare-Metal Windows Servers via the VMware NSX-T Agent (Kernel Module)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Software-defined data centres, software-defined networks, software-defined storage – they are all great, aren’t they? They enable us to abstract software-defined-X from the physical and allows us to scale at speed via automation. However, physical servers, the elephant in the room, still exist, and they likely will for some time.

So then, can we integrate physical devices into a software-defined world? Yes. But, NSX-T micro-segmentation is only available to virtual machines, right? No. By using the VMware NSX-T Agent/kernel module, we can provide connectivity to bare-metal workloads and enable them to participate and leverage the same security functions as those enjoyed by virtual machines.

In this article, we deploy the NSX-T Agent to a Windows Server 2019 webserver hosting IIS and secure the physical, bare-metal server utilising the NSX-T Distributed Firewall (DFW).

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London VMUG - LonVMUG

London VMUG – 15th July 2021

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Earlier this month, I was honoured to have been able to present at the London VMware User Group. My session focussed on a discussion and demonstration around how we can leverage VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) to visualise applications, their dependencies, and their application traffic flows to effectively micro-segment an application using the VMware NSX-T Distributed Firewall (DFW).

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Replacing the VMware NSX-T Self-Signed SSL Certificate

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Out of the box, NSX-T Data Center utilises self-signed certificates for its cluster and manager nodes; however, it is recommended that you replace the self-signed certificates with CA-signed certificates to improve security.

In this article, we step through creating a certificate signing request and private key, generating a signed certificate in conjunction with your Certificate Authority, and finally applying the new certificate to your NSX-T cluster and manager nodes.

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Veeam Backup & Replication – Part 2 – Recovery From Failover

Reading Time: 9 minutes

In my previous post (Veeam Backup & Replication – Part 1 – Building Replication Capabilities), we discussed offsite replication jobs using Veeam Backup & Replication v10. As per the Customer’s use case, we created a replication job to ensure a business-critical VM is replicated to a secondary site (Site B) in readiness for any unforeseen failures, planned maintenance, or downtime at the primary site (Site A).

This article discusses the failover and failback options available to us utilising Veeam Backup & Replication and, more importantly, when and where they should be used. We will then demo the failover process of our protected business-critical VM from Site A to Site B, and close by failing back live operations from Site B to Site A.

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Veeam Backup & Replication – Part 1 – Building Replication Capabilities

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Just like the time I witnessed my first ever vMotion, seeing Veeam replication in the wild had a similar effect. As its name suggests, Veeam Backup & Replication is about more than just backups and offers customers rather neat replication functionality.

This article discusses Veeam Backup & Replication v10 offsite replication jobs. We also protect a business-critical virtual machine by replicating it to a secondary site. In Part 2 (Veeam Backup & Replication – Part 2 – Recovery From Failover), we will migrate the VM’s live operations to the secondary site before reviewing the available failback options.

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VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 6 – Importing Recommended Firewall Rules into NSX-T via Python Script

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the holiday season is almost upon us (just two days), why not finish with one final article in my vRNI series and an article that will likely finalise my blog posts for the year.

In my previous article (VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 5 – Data Flow Analysis & Micro-Segmentation), we analysed collected data flows in vRNI to manually micro-segment an application utilising the VMware NSX-T Distributed Firewall (DFW). However, what if we want to automate this process? After all, applications that require a small number of firewall rules (such as the application used in the previous article) are rare.

This article looks at Martijn Smit‘s great script, which imports vRNI recommended firewall rules into VMware NSX-T Data Center via a Python script.

Continue reading → VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 6 – Importing Recommended Firewall Rules into NSX-T via Python Script

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VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 5 – Data Flow Analysis & Micro-Segmentation

Reading Time: 6 minutes

In the previous articles of this series, we covered the installation (VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 1 – Installation) and configuration (VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 2 – Configuration) of vRealize Network Insight, before integrating vRNI with Microsoft Active Directory via LDAP (VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 3 – Identity & Access Management via LDAP).

In the most recent article (VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 4 – Application Discovery), we delved into application discovery. We defined four applications via several options – manual creation of an application, as well as automated discovery based on vSphere Tags/Custom Attributes and VM naming conventions.

In this final article of the series, we will explore and analyse the collected data flows of one of the previously defined applications. The goal here is to identify all valid traffic flows required to secure the application utilising the NSX-T Distributed Firewall (DFW). My friends, today we look at micro-segmentation.

Continue reading → VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) – Part 5 – Data Flow Analysis & Micro-Segmentation