CategoryNetwork Insight

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

Using Terraform to deploy vRealize Network Insight Cloud Collector to VMware Cloud on AWS

That’s a long post title, right?! Well, a lot of moving parts for this one. 😉

Terraform is a powerful tool to achieve infrastructure-as-code. You can do many things, from configuring Cisco ACI to creating and maintaining a VMware Cloud on AWS and everything in between. There’s also a vSphere provider that allows you to deploy VMs from OVA templates. That’s where this story begins.

vRealize Network Insight Cloud has a platform where the data is stored and a collector, which does the collecting. This collector needs to be placed as close to the data source as possible. For VMware Read more

Archiving Network Flows from vRealize Network Insight to Log Insight

vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) captures all traffic going through the network. It stores the traffic in flow records, and these are made up out of a source, destination, protocol, and port number. The metrics are attached so you can get a nice graph of the traffic behavior.

vRNI Flows and context

After creating the flow, vRNI goes on and attaches a lot of context to that flow: Is it coming from a VM? Is there a firewall rule attached? Which vCenter is this flow going through? What kind of SD-WAN Policies are attached? If any of this context changes (i.e., a VM got renamed), … Read more

Configuration Backups of vRealize Network Insight

Similar to my last post, I found another small gem in the vRealize Network Insight 5.3 release: the ability to backup all configuration within the Platform.

Unsupported

Before you continue reading, please note that this is an unsupported feature right in 5.3. It’ll be officially supported later this year. Having said that…These new API endpoints in the API Explorer caught my eye:

Snapshots

Currently, the supported method of creating backups of Network Insight is to power down the VM, take a snapshot, backup that snapshot, and power the VM back up. Needless to say, that needs some work. I … Read more

Syncing Flows between vRealize Network Insight Collectors

There are a few reasons you’d want to have multiple Network Insight instances collecting data from the same data sources. Maybe one is a staging instance, and the other is a production instance. Perhaps you’re rebuilding Network Insight on another instance (and can’t move the existing one), but do want to have them running parallel for some time. I could go on.

One of the challenges is being able to collect network flows in both instances, as vSphere can only send flows to a single collector IP. You could solve this with a NetFlow duplicator, but now there’s another … Read more

vRealize Network Insight Cookbook Now Available!

I’m very excited to announce that the vRealize Network Insight Cookbook is now available! After one year of research and writing, 51.142 words, 280 pages, and 107 draft versions later, this has been the most rewarding challenge of my career, and I hope you like the result.

NOTE: Due to 2020 being 2020, all royalty proceeds will go to the Red Cross, NAACP, and ACLU. Learn about Network Insight, while also doing something good.

Expect a lot of technical information. The why, how, and what of Network Insight gets a turn, but it’s mostly a technical … Read more

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