VMWARE VSPHERE BIG DATA EXTENSIONS INSTALLATION – 2

To install VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions 1.1, if you satisfy the requirements mentioned in vmware document, go ahead with installation by deploying Big Data Extensions OVA as documented. But attention that:

  • Better to create a specific Resource Pool for your Big Data Cluster and specify the total amount of resources you want to assign and apply possible limits.
  • Create a port group dedicated to Big Data Extensions  as a communication link between management servers and working VMs.
  • When deploying Big Data Extensions Management server (OVA), ‘setup networks’ asks you to assign a destination port group. Note that: Management Network will use this network to communicate with vCenter server. So, if you use VLAN tags, the port group should be in the same VLAN (use same VLAN id) with vCenter network. If vCenter can not see Big Data Management server and vice versa, integration will not be made properly.

bigD_plugin4

  • In ‘Customize template’ step, there are 2 important settings: SSO service and Management Server IP address. So, from right-pane open ‘VC SSO Lookup Service URL’ and ‘Management Server Networks Settings’. Enter appropriate values. For SSO Lookup Service URL, use vCenter server with the same format (if you didn’t change defaults), I mean port 7444/lookupservice/sdk. Use FQDN of vCenter and not IP address or certificate will not be accepted and you will see errors for connecting Big Data Extensions plugin to Serengeti server in the future.

bigdata_sso1

Deploying IDS in VMware vSphere

As a network or cloud administrator in VMware environment, we would like to have the same capabilities we’ve got in a physical network. One of the most important tasks is network traffic monitoring and inspection control. Let’s say you want to install a network Intrusion Detection System (like SNORT) to monitor the traffic of a specific Virtual Data Center in vCloud environment that is translated to monitoring a specific VLAN or port group in VMware vSphere. Fortunately, VMware 5.x provides these features but apparently implementing these features is beyond VMware vCloud Director operations and it’s part of infrastructure administration tasks introduced in vSphere 5.x.
Since normally there is a port group in Distributed Virtual Switch defined by vCloud Director for each virtual data center, let’s talk about port groups in VDS. You may have noticed that when you want to create a port group in a distributed switch, you can define some security policy and one of the policies is enabling ‘Promiscuous Mode’. This is exactly equivalent to enabling promiscuous mode in a physical switch. So, as shown in the following picture, a port group can be edited to enable this mode (in vSphere Web client).

promisc

The only concern is that promiscuous mode should be defined on a port group or the whole distributed switch and not on a particular port. Doing this will cause all the traffic to be forwarded to all of the VM’s in that port group! and apparently it’s a security risk because we would like to forward the traffic to only one specific VM (port) which is our IDS. A work-around here would be to define a new port group with the same VLAN ID of the port group/VLAN we would like to monitor with the exact same configuration, then enable promiscuous mode for this newly defined port group and place the IDS VM in this port group. Because VLAN ID is the same, only IDS VM would see all the traffic. That’s an easy trick! BUT I don’t know how this trick works in some vCloud port groups that use VCDNI-backed port groups instead of VLAN-backed network pools because as I understood, VCDNI is kind of encapsulation introduced by vCloud Director and I’m not sure if a port group that is created inside vCenter can decapsulate packets. I didn’t find enough information, so I will test this out and report it in this blog.

Another approach is to use Port Mirroring feature of a VDS. Using this method it’s possible to specify source ports which need to be monitored and destination port/ports where IDS is located.

This solution is explained in detail in the following link:

vSphere 5.1 – VDS Feature Enhancements – Port Mirroring