Event-Based Automation with vRealize Network Insight & VEBA

With the release of vRealize Network Insight 6.4 – something awesome was added: the databus. In its essence, the databus is a feature that exports data out of vRNI using REST API webhooks. These webhooks deliver the data over HTTP[S] to an endpoint that can then parse and process the data. There are several message groups, which you can subscribe an endpoint to. The message group decides what type of data is exported and with the initial databus feature, you can subscribe to: Application updates (newly discovered, updated, or deleted apps), and Problems (alerts). The latter open up event-based … Read more

vRealize Automation Action – SSH to Servers Post-Deployment

In the VMware CMBU lab, I built something cool that I wanted to share. Creating a demo for vRealize Network Insights featured called Flow-based Application Discovery, I needed to get applications running in the lab to dynamically resize from time to time. In a demo three tiered application; add one or two web or app servers, or remove them. Flow-based application discovery would then detect the change and suggest updating the application in Network Insight. 

One of the requirements is that there has to be traffic going between all servers before application discovery picks it up. That’s what led me … Read more

Natural Language Searches with PowervRNI

vRealize Network Insight 6.3 brought a new API endpoint: /search/ql. The QL stands for Query Language, which is the same language that’s used in the search bar. I added support for that endpoint in PowervRNI 2.0 with the cmdlet Invoke-vRNISearch. With this post, I’d like to explain why that’s the best since sliced bread. 😉

Previously, there was the /search API endpoint, but that used an internal query language. You would run a search in the vRNI interface, open up the browser Developer Tools and look for the internal query that went against the vRNI backend. You could … Read more

Securing Platform Communication in a vRealize Network Insight Cluster

Hi there! It’s been a while. How are you doing? In the last release of vRealize Network Insight, version 6.3, there’s a new feature called Secure Cluster Communication. By default, the communication between Platform and Collectors is encrypted via TLS. A Platform cluster, has a few data replication services (FoundationDB, Kafka,  running between them – which are not all encrypted by default. The Secure Cluster Communication feature allows you to set up VPN tunnels between the Platform nodes and encrypt all traffic going between them. 

It’s not recommended to split Platform nodes between different locations. But, if you do … Read more

Adding a second network interface to a vRealize Network Insight Collector

Sometimes networks are so firewalled off that you need management appliances with 2 network interfaces to manage the devices inside the quarantined network. This is sometimes true for network device management, where there’s no way to connect to the switch, router, firewall, or load balancer over the regular network and a jump host is always needed. If you want to monitor them, the monitoring appliances would have 1 interface in the quarantined network and 1 interface in a network where it can be accessed by admins. While it’s a different discussion about whether that’s safe or not (compromise the monitoring … Read more

Bulk Creating AWS VPC Flow Logs

vRealize Network Insight provides traffic visibility in AWS by ingesting the VPC Flow Logs. It correlates the flows to EC2 instances and adds more context, like the security groups, tags, and more. 

VPC Flow Logs are not enabled by default and need to be configured before vRNI can start ingesting the logs. That’s where this post comes in. The AWS lab that I use at VMware for demos is for the entire CMBU and has a bunch of smart people doing cool things. In other words, a ton of VPCs get created and deleted, EC2 instances deployed dynamically. I wanted … Read more

Managing GNS3 with PowerShell

If you’re a network engineer or like to play around with networks, you’ve used GNS3 (or something similar, like VIRL) to simulate networks to prepare for live configuration changes, preparing for certifications, and maybe keep a demo lab. Part of the demo lab I maintain for vRealize Network Insight, is collecting from a GNS3 network.

Sometimes, you need to restart all, or just some of the nodes. In my case, periodic node restarts are to simulate router crashes, and sometimes the storage underneath GNS3 would error and some of the nodes have kernel panics. All reasons to restart the … Read more

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