May 062018
 
Sophos XG and Sophos UTM

Today I’m going to be talking about connecting a Sophos XG firewall to a Sophos UTM firewall for a site-to-site VPN connection specifically using SSL tunneling. Furthermore we are doing this to connect a Microsoft Azure Virtual Network (using a Sophos XG instance) to an On-Premise LAN (running a Sophos UTM).

This type of connection and configuration is standard for corporations, businesses, and organizations who have workloads on Microsoft Azure and need to connect their Azure environment to their corporate LAN. To learn how to deploy Sophos XG in Microsoft Azure, please read this post.

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: Following the steps in this document if done incorrectly or if your environment is different from the one used in this example, can cause network connectivity issues or a loss of connectivity. An assumption is made that you are skillful enough to know what tasks you are performing and what result they may have on your own environment. You may need to revert these steps if connectivity is lost to restore access to your environment.

Let’s ask some key questions and get some answers:

  • Why are we using both (2) products, Sophos XG and Sophos UTM for the connection instead of using the same product on each end?
    • Sophos only supports deployment of the Sophos XG on Microsoft Azure. Sophos UTM cannot be deployed on Azure. Numerous companies and organizations are still using the Sophos UTM product for their on-premise IT infrastructure. There is a need to have these different products co-exist and function together, like in this specific example.
  • Why are we using a Sophos XG Appliance/Instance to handle the VPN on Microsoft Azure, instead of using the Microsoft branded Azure VPN Gateway?
    • Microsoft Azure has a VPN gateway appliance which can handle the Azure side of the VPN connection, however this is a resource that costs money (instance time and instance data transfer) and has limited configuration options. Numerous companies and organizations are using Sophos XG instances on Azure to protect their internet facing workloads already. Instead of paying for 2 resources (Sophos XG and Microsoft VPN Gateway), you can consolidate and use one for both. You also have extra functionality and security options when using the Sophos XG instance to handle VPN traffic (IPS, strict firewall rules, packet inspection, etc). The Sophos firewalls can be centrally managed/monitored via Sophos Management Products (Sophos SUM (Sophos UTM Manager), and/or Sophos CFM (Sophos Central Firewall Manager)).
  • Why are we using an SSL VPN connection instead of IPSec or other type of VPN?
    • Microsoft Azure blocks some IP Protocol traffic within Virtual Networks. As quoted: “IP-in-IP encapsulated packets, and Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) packets are blocked within VNets” (per https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-network/virtual-networks-faq), which means that while you could configure an IPsec tunnel, none of the traffic would pass through the Virtual Networks. We utilize SSL VPNs to overcome this limitation as all traffic goes over the SSL connection.

Let’s address what components we will discuss in this post:

The information inside of this post can be used for any of the 4 components above and don’t necessarily have to be used in the same configuration. An example: This guide could be used by someone wanting to connect an on-premise XG and on-premise UTM unit together via SSL VPN (with no need or use for Azure). Another example: The section on routing tables can provide information for someone using a different network security product on Microsoft Azure. However, the ultimate goal of this article is to address all four of the components together for a complete end to end deployment.

Now let’s get to the configuration of each of the four components.

Deploy a Sophos XG instance/appliance to Microsoft Azure

In a previous post, I covered how to deploy a new Sophos XG firewall appliance/instance to Microsoft Azure, specifially allowing deployment to existing resource groups. The full URL (and instructions) can be found at https://www.stephenwagner.com/2018/05/05/deploy-sophos-xg-firewall-microsoft-azure-existing-resource-group/

Sophos XG to Sophos UTM SSL VPN Connection Configuration and Encryption Settings

We will configure the SSL VPN settings on both the Microsoft Azure Sophos XG appliance/instance, and the on-premise Sophos UTM appliance/instance. Afterwards, we will create a tunnel, configure it, enable it, and establish connectivity between the two Sophos firewall instances. During this process, we’ll be configring the SSL VPN settings on both appliance/instances, configuring the tunnel, configuring encryption settings, and establishing VPN communication.

Please note, with this configuration there are essentially 3 networks: the Azure network, the SSL transit network (this is the network in between the networks we are connecting that is part of the SSL VPN), and the on-premise network. When you configure your firewall rules (not in the scope of this document), you must factor this in and allow applicable traffic to/from the SSL network so that the packets can pass. This SSL transit network is specified in the “Show VPN Settings” on the XG unit under “SSL VPN”, and “IPv4 Lease Range”. This network must be different and not overlap any subnets you are using on both your Azure network, and on-premise network. In my case I chose something way off in an entirely different IP space (172.16.0.0), and I suggest you do as well.

Follow these steps to configure the SSL VPN settings on both Sophos XG and UTM appliances/instances.

  1. Log on to the Sophos XG appliance, select “VPN” under “Configure” on the left hand side, and then select the gear icon with “Show VPN Settings” on the top right. See example.

    Sophos XG Show VPN Settings

    Sophos XG Show VPN Settings

  2. Configure your “SSL VPN Settings” and “Cryptographic Settings” to be similar to the example below. Please modify to reflect your own environment. Cryptographic settings should match example below. Please note that the “IPv4 Lease Range” is not for your Azure or Internal LAN subnet, but actually the subnet used by the SSL VPN server. This value has to be an entirely new subnet dedicated for SSL VPN functions.

    Sophos XG SSL VPN Settings

    Sophos XG SSL VPN Settings

  3. Log on to the Sophos UTM appliance, select “Site-to-Site VPN”, then select “SSL”, then click on the “Advanced” tab.
  4. Configure your “Advanced” settings to reflect the following below.

    Sophos UTM SSL Site-to-Site VPN Advanced Settings

    Sophos UTM SSL Site-to-Site VPN Advanced Settings

You have now configured the general SSL VPN Advanced settings, we can now move on to configuring the tunnel itself.

To configure the SSL Site to Site VPN tunnel between the Sophos appliances, we’ll need to configure the Sophos XG (on Azure) to act as a server, and the Sophos UTM (on prem) which will act as the client. Side note: In my own testing, I found that the XG had to be the server in order to get them to connect.

To configure the SSL VPN tunnel Server on the Sophos XG:

  1. Log on to your Sophos XG interface, click on “VPN” under “Configure” on the left hand side, and then choose “SSL VPN (Site-to-Site)” from the top. Then click “Add” under the “Server” section. As shown below.

    Sophos XG SSL VPN (Site-to-Site) Settings

    Sophos XG SSL VPN (Site-to-Site) Settings

  2. Now give the VPN connection a name, enter a friendly description, and specify Local Networks (Azure Subnets), and Remote Networks (On-Prem Networks). And then click “Save” as shown below.

    Sophos XG Create new SSL VPN Server

    Sophos XG Create new SSL VPN Server

  3. Now we need to download the configuration so that we can load it on to your Sophos UTM so it know’s how to connect. While still in the “SSL VPN (Site-to-Site)” window, look for the column called “Manage”, and click the download icon (you can confirm it’s download via the mouse-over description). As shown below.

    Sophos XG SSL VPN Server Download Config

    Sophos XG SSL VPN Server Download Config

  4. Save this file to your computer as we’ll need it for configuring the Sophos UTM

To configure the SSL VPN tunnel Client on the Sophos UTM:

  1. Log on to your Sophos UTM web interface, click on “Site-to-Site VPN” on the left hand side, and then select “New SSL Connection”. As shown below in step 2.
  2. Set the Connection type to “Client”, give it a friendly name. Now click on the folder next to “Configuration File” to brows to the VPN config file (this is the file we downloaded above from the Sophos XG unit). In my case, I also selected the “Override peer hostname” as I wanted to over the hostname of the Sophos XG unit (to avoid problems I chose an IP address). This value sets the hostname of the server that the UTM is connecting to. We also uncheck the “Automatic firewall rules” as we don’t want any rules automatically created, we want to specify only what is needed.

    Sophos UTM Create New SSL VPN Connection

    Sophos UTM Create New SSL VPN Connection

  3. Hit Save, and you should be left with something like below.

You have now fully configured the SSL Site-to-Site VPN tunnel between your Sophos XG and Sophos UTM instances.

To confirm a functioning VPN tunnel on your Sophos XG unit, you should see something similar to below.

Sophos XG SSL VPN (Site-to-Site) Active VPN Status

Sophos XG SSL VPN (Site-to-Site) Active VPN Status

To confirm a functioning VPN tunnel on your Sophos UTM unit, you should see something simialar to below.

Sophos UTM Active VPN Status

Sophos UTM Active VPN Status

Please note that a bug with XG to UTM VPN, is that on the Sophos UTM reports the active subnets as “unknown” as shown above on both sides. This can be safely ignored.

You can start to test some basic communication, however you still need to create firewall rules. Please note that the Azure network will not be routable until you continue the steps below and configure proper routing.

Microsoft Azure VNet (Virtual Network) custom routing table

When you create a Virtual Network (VNet) in Microsoft Azure, Azure will handle the routing for you automatically. It will create routers and other “instances” to handle network connectivity as you provision new subnets, gateways, devices, and network paths. Since we are deploying our own router, we want to override these default routing tables that are automatically created.

When looking at our target configuration, our Sophos XG unit will have an internet facing static IP, and will be handling communication between our internal network (and hosts), the internet (outside world), and our internal on-premise network (LAN). Because of this, we have to make changes to our Azure enviroinment so that the default subnet network route becomes the Internal IP Address of the Sophos XG firewall. We need to configure routes for both our Azure subnets (if wanted), our corporate on-premise LAN, and our catch-all route for internet access (0.0.0.0/0).

Once we create our own routing table, we’ll need to assign it to specific subnets to make those specific subnets enforce the routes.

To create a custom Route Table:

  1. Log in to the Azure Portal, View “All Resources”, click on the “Add” button at the top to create a new resource, or simply click on “Create a resource” on the top left of the Azure Portal.
  2. Select Networking on the left side of the table, then select “Route Table”. See example below.

    Sophos XG Azure Add Resource Route Table

    Sophos XG Azure Add Resource Route Table

  3. Populate the fields, select the subscription, resource group, and the Location of where you’d like to place this. For “Resource Group”, select “Use existing”, and then specify the Resource Group you are attaching this to.

    Sophos XG Azure Create Route Table

    Sophos XG Azure Create Route Table

  4. Select “Create” to complete the creation of the route table.
  5. Now that we have a customer routing table, we want to create a route. With the “Route Table” object still open, open the “Routes” tab to open the page from the column on the left.
  6. Click on Add, and then create a route for the CIDR block that covers both your Azure subnets, and corporate on-premise LAN subnet. PLEASE NOTE: This CIDR block (Address prefix) should be large enough that it includes both your Azure subnets and your on-premise network. This will make this rule apply to all traffic destined for those networks. Under “Next Hop Type”, select “Virtual Appliance”, and then enter the IP address of your Sophos XG LAN Network interface. Then click save.

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table LAN Route

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table LAN Route

  7. Click on Add, and then create a catch all route for the internet/WAN with an address prefix of 0.0.0.0/0. Under “Next Hop Type”, select “Virtual Appliance”, and then enter the IP address of your Sophos XG LAN Network interface. Then click save.

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Internet Route

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Internet Route

  8. The Route’s section should look similar to this.

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Route List

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Route List

  9. Now we need to assign the route table to the chosen subnets. This will apply the routes we created above to specific subnets on our Azure Virtual Network (VNet). With the “Route Table” object still open, open the “Subnets” page from the column on the left.
  10. Click on “Associate” to add this to an existing subnet. And then associate it to your Azure Virtual Network subnet where the XG and your VMs reside.

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Associate Subnet

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Associate Subnet

  11. Now completed, the “Overview” tab should look similar to this.

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Overview

    Sophos XG Azure Route Table Overview

You’ve successful configured a custom routing table for your Microsoft Azure subnet which will route packets destined for other subnets (including internet/WAN) to your Sophos XG for further routing.

Microsoft Azure enable IP Forwarding on Virtual Network Interface

In order for a VM (Virtual Machine) to have the ability to forward and route packets, we need to enable “IP Forwarding” on both the Internal and External NIC of the Sophos XG appliance running on Azure.

To enable this:

  1. Log in to the Azure Portal, view “All Resources” and select one of the “Network interface” objects for your Sophos XG appliance/instance.
  2. Click on “IP configurations” under the “SETTINGS” group.
  3. Look for “IP forwarding” under “IP forwarding settings”. Set this toggle to “Enabled” as per below.

    Enable IP Forwarding on Microsoft Azure Network Interface

    Enable IP Forwarding on Microsoft Azure Network Interface

  4. Click Save
  5. Repeat for the other Sophos Network interface (both External and Internal need this enabled)

IP Forwarding has now been enabled. The Sophos XG appliance can now successfully route packets in your Microsoft Azure Virtual Network (VNet).

Conclusion

At this point you’ll have everything configured. You’ll have a SSL VPN between your Azure hosted Sophos XG instance and your on-premise Sophos UTM, as well as connectvity between both of the networks. You will now need to configure all your firewall rules to only permit the traffic you want to traverse from internal-azure to internal-onprem as well as external WAN traffic (this is beyond the scope of this document). You need to take care in making sure you only permit traffic that should be going over these network links. Now that both networks are connected, it provides another means to connect and communicate with the other networks which increases your security risks. You’re not only securing against one internet connection on one LAN, but 2 internet connections across 2 networks.

In my scenario by configuring this I was able to decommission the Microsoft Azure VPN Gateway (minimizing costs), and have my own security appliance/instance handle the communication between both networks and also protect both networks with all the fancy features that the Sophos XG and UTM line offer.

Leave a comment with feedback!

May 052018
 
Sophos XG Firewall Azure

When deploying the Sophos XG Firewall on to Microsoft Azure, it seems as if you always need to create a new resource group and are limited to certain regions. This is not the case.

This does hold true when using the “Sophos XG Firewall on Microsoft Azure” quick start guide here, and/or when using the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. If you attempt to deploy to an existing Resource Group, it will prevent you from doing so. It may also restrict you from using some configurations and virtual machine sizes, and also limit which region you can deploy to.

If you’re like me and already have Infrastructure in Microsoft’s Cloud and want more control over configuration and deployment, then your’re probably looking at deploying in to an existing Resource Group, using a more customized configuration, and may have the requirement to deploy to other Azure regions. See below for my own “Quick start to customized Sophos XG deployments on Microsoft Azure” guide.

Also, another interesting note is that the Sophos XG firewalls on Azure do not support the Microsoft Azure backup features. Since you cannot use the Azure backup features on Azure for the Sophos XG firewalls, you’ll need to use the internal Sophos XG configuration backup function. Once configured, you’ll need to be aware of how to deploy a new XG instance (in to an existing Resource Group) in the event of a failure. If a catastrophic failure does occur, you’ll need to re-provision a new Sophos XG instance on Azure, and then restore the Sophos XG configuration to the VM.

Sophos has alternative methods for deploying to Azure, however they are difficult to find. I actually had to spend quite a bit of time to find information, and then spent tons of time learning how to deploy it properly as well. Sophos has GitHub configured as a repo for their Azure XG deployment templates, along with some other goodies that may come in handy. The URL for their GitHub site is https://github.com/sophos-iaas/xg-azure

Before we begin, we make the following assumptions:

  • You are knowledgeable and skilled with Microsoft Azure
  • You are familiar with deploying VMs and objects to Microsoft Azure
  • You have already configured a resource group and/or have existing objects deployed
  • You have already configured subnets for your Sophos XG (Internal and WAN facing)

Now let’s get started. Here’s my Quick start guide to customized Sophos XG deployments on Microsoft Azure (in to existing Resource Groups)

  1. Go to https://github.com/sophos-iaas/xg-azure and read the page. Once you’re ready to start, scroll down to “Deployment via template”, and select the button that says “Deploy to Azure”.
    Sophos XG GitHub Site

    Sophos XG GitHub Template Deploy to Azure

     

  2. Log in to Microsoft Azure (if you’re not already) and you’ll see the template ready to be deployed. Before filling out the fields, I would recommend looking at what fields are required, and documenting which sections you need to fill out with what details you will populate. I always record and document these settings so that if an issue ever pops up, or if I need to re deploy, I’ll have the previous settings immediately available. If you’re deploying in to an existing Resource Group, configure the fields to reflect it. To proceed with the template deployment, populate the fields, review the ToS, and continue if you accept the terms. See below for the blank template.
    Sophos XG Azure Deployment Template Page 1

    Sophos XG Azure Deployment Template Page 1

     

    Sophos XG Azure Deployment Template Page 2

    Sophos XG Azure Deployment Template Page 2

     

  3. After populating the template and executing the deployment, if all goes well you’re Sophos XG firewall should now be deployed in to your existing Resource Group. Please see below for an example of a successful deployment.
    Sophos XG Azure Successful Deployment Template Page 1

    Sophos XG Azure Successful Deployment Template Page 1

     

    Sophos XG Azure Successful Deployment Template Page 2

    Sophos XG Azure Successful Deployment Template Page 2

     

  4. And that is it! You can now head over to “All Resources” to view all the objects and make sure everything is configured properly. After double or triple checking your config, and checking/configuring your security groups, you can power up the VM and start playing with your new Sophos XG Firewall deployed on Microsoft Azure.

 

Final Thoughts

After doing all this you should be able to deploy these on the fly whenever needed. As mentioned above, this is critical knowledge for Sophos XG admins using Microsoft Azure as this process needs to be known for backup and disaster recovery purposes. Also, chances are you’ll need to attempt deployment multiple times before successfully deploying the instance. I had 4 or 5 unsuccessful deployment attempts due to various issues such as mis-typed fields, blank fields, and incorrectly populated fields, so don’t feel bad if it takes you some time. It’s a learning process!

Leave a comment and let me know how your deployment went and if you have any questions!

May 012018
 
Fedora Logo

When attempting to upgrade from Fedora Core 27 to Fedora Core 28, it may fail on the nss-pem package.

 

I spent some time trying to find the solution for this, and came across numerous posts on the “Red Hat Bugzilla”, particularly this post.

See below example:

[root@SYSTEMZ01 ~]# dnf system-upgrade download --releasever=28
Before you continue ensure that your system is fully upgraded by running "dnf --refresh upgrade". Do you want to continue [y/N]: y
Fedora 28 - x86_64 - Updates                                                                                                                                $
Fedora 28 - x86_64                                                                                                                                          $
google-chrome                                                                                                                                               $
RPM Fusion for Fedora 28 - Free - Updates                                                                                                                   $
RPM Fusion for Fedora 28 - Free                                                                                                                             $
RPM Fusion for Fedora 28 - Nonfree - Updates                                                                                                                $
RPM Fusion for Fedora 28 - Nonfree                                                                                                                          $
skype (stable)                                                                                                                                              $
Last metadata expiration check: 0:00:00 ago on Tue 01 May 2018 04:28:04 PM MDT.
Error:
 Problem: nss-pem-1.0.3-6.fc27.i686 has inferior architecture
  - nss-pem-1.0.3-6.fc27.x86_64 does not belong to a distupgrade repository
  - problem with installed package nss-pem-1.0.3-6.fc27.i686

To resolve this, manually install the nss-pem packages from FC28 prior to the upgrade using the following command.

dnf install nss-pem-1.0.3-9.fc28 --releasever=28

After doing so, re-attempt to upgrade and the upgrade should now proceed.

Apr 292018
 
Directory Services Restore Mode

Running Veeam Backup and Replication, a Microsoft Windows Server Domain Controller may boot in to safe mode and directory services restore mode.

About a week ago, I loaded up Veeam Backup and Replication in to my test environment. It’s a fantastic product, and it’s working great, however today I had a little bit of an issue with a DC running Windows Server 2016 Server Core.

I woke up to a notification that the backup failed due to a VSS snapshot issue. Now I know that VSS can be a little picky at times, so I decided to restart the guest VM. Upon restarting, she came back up, was pingable, and appeared to be running fine, however the backup kept failing with new errors, the event log was looking very strange on the server, and numerous services that were set to automatic were not starting up.

This specific server was installed using Server Core mode, so it has no GUI and is administered via command prompt over RDP, or via remote management utilities. Once RDP’ing in to the server, I noticed the “Safe Mode” branding on each corner of the display, this was very odd. I restarted the server again, this time manually trying to start Active Directory Services manually via services.msc.

This presented:

Event ID: 16652
Source: Directory-Services-SAM
General Description: The domain controller is booting to directory services restore mode.

Screenshot:

Directory Services Restore Mode

The domain controller is booting to directory services restore mode.

 

This surprised me (and scared me for that matter). I immediately started searching the internet to find out what would have caused this…

To my relief, I read numerous sites that advise that when an active backup is running on a guest VM which is a domain controller, Veeam activates directory services restore mode temporarily, so in the event of a restore, it will boot to this mode automatically. In my case, the switch was not changed back during the backup failure.

Running the following command in a command prompt, verifies that the safeboot switch is set to dsrepair enabled:

bcdedit /v

To disable directory services restore mode, type the following in a command prompt:

bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot

Restart the server and the issue should be resolved!

Apr 242018
 
DNS

At 5:00AM MST (April 24th, 2018) this morning, I noticed DNS (Domain Name Service) name resolution is failing on numerous internet domains. After further troubleshooting, I realized it’s the root servers that provide DNS that are failing to resolve these hosts.

Some users on providers that cache records may not immediately notice the issues as their ISP has cached records. Doing a search on Twitter confirms numerous people are reporting issues with DNS across numerous providers and ISPs, Google DNS Servers, and Amazon DNS Servers.

 

Update 6:22AM MST:

On my DNS server, I’m noticing the problematic domains that aren’t providing DNS records, are loading NS records that use awsdns-XX dns servers. This could show a problem with Amazon AWS DNS servers. I will continue to try to identify where the issues are.

Update 6:32AM MST:

I’ve noticed that Amazon AWS has since added a “Recent Event” on their service status page for “Amazon Route 53”: “5:19 AM PDT We are investigating reports of problems resolving some DNS records hosted on Route53 using the third party DNS resolvers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 . DNS resolution using other third-party DNS resolvers or DNS resolution from within EC2 instances using the default EC2 resolvers are not affected at this time.”

Update 6:45AM MST:

It appears that there are issues with Amazon’s Route 53 DNS service which provides cloud based DNS services. Trying to view https://aws.amazon.com/route53/ results in page load errors.

Update 7:06AM MST:

Another update from Amazon on their service status page for “Amazon Route 53”: 5:49 AM PDT We have identified the cause for an elevation in DNS resolution errors using third party DNS resolvers 8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4 and are working towards resolution. DNS resolution using other third-party DNS resolvers or DNS resolution from within EC2 instances using the default EC2 resolvers continues to work normally.

Update 3:50PM MST:

It appears this was actually a malicious attack including DOS, a man in the middle attack, and an attempt to compromise users accounts. Information can be found at https://doublepulsar.com/hijack-of-amazons-internet-domain-service-used-to-reroute-web-traffic-for-two-hours-unnoticed-3a6f0dda6a6f (thanks Juk for this post), and https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/hacker-hijacks-dns-server-of-myetherwallet-to-steal-160-000/ .

Apr 232018
 

Ready to jump the gun and upgrade to vSphere 6.7? Hold on a moment…

You’ll remember some time ago VMware announced they are dropping support for vSphere vDP (vSphere Data Protection). If you’re running this in your environment, it will break when upgrading to vSphere 6.7.

A better idea would be to migrate over to a product like Veeam, however please note that as of this date, Veeam does not officially support vSphere 6.7. Support should be coming in the next major update.

Apr 172018
 

With the news of VMware vSphere 6.7 being released today, a lot of you are looking for the download links for the 6.7 download (including vSphere 6.7, ESXi 6.7, etc…). I couldn’t find it myself, but after doing some scouring through alternative URLs, I came across the link.

VMware vSphere 6.7 Download

VMware vSphere 6.7 Download Link

Here’s the link: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/6_7

HPe Specific (HPe Customization for ESXi) Version 6.7 is available at: https://www.hpe.com/us/en/servers/hpe-esxi.html

Unfortunately the page is blank at the moment, however you can bet the download and product listing will be added shortly!

UPDATE 10:15AM MST: The Download link is now live!

More information on the release of vSphere 6.7 can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.

An article on the upgrade can be found at: https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2018/05/upgrading-vcenter-server-appliance-6-5-6-7.html

Happy Virtualizing!

Feb 222018
 
HPe MSA 2040 SAN

There’s a new and easier way to find the latest firmware for your HPe MSA SAN!

A new website setup by HPe allows you to find the latest firmware for your HPe MSA 2050/2052, MSA 1050, MSA 2040/2042/1040, and/or MSA P2000 G3. This site will include the last 3 generations of SANs in the MSA product line.

You can find the firmware download site at: https://hpe.com/storage/MSAFirmware

Hewlett Packard Enterprise was also nice enough for provide a brief video on how to navigate and use the page as well. Please see below:

Leave your feedback!

Jan 292018
 
Microsoft Azure AD Connect Agent Updater

I’m writing today to share about an experience I had hours ago, where the Microsoft Azure AD Connect software (specifically the Azure AD Connect Agent Updater) actually updated itself, and restarted the server it’s installed on, all during production hours.

Pretty serious stuff hey?

It all happened around 12:50PM (Mountain Time)… I received a notification that a service had been marked as failed on the particular server (notification from my monitoring/management system), and I went to investigate. I noticed that the server was actually gracefully restarted. After logging in, I came across these event logs.

Event ID 34004

Event ID 1074

Both Event ID 34004 and Event ID 1074 were logged, reporting both that it had downloaded an update, installed, and the installer initiated a restart.

I thought: no way should auto-updating be enabled, and I still can’t actually confirm it either. I found this article which explains of an automatic update feature:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/connect/active-directory-aadconnect-feature-automatic-upgrade

However, not only did I not meet the criteria of auto-update being enabled, but upon further investigation it was actually disabled by running the powershell command:

Get-ADSyncAutoUpgrade

As you can see below the command returned as “suspended”.

Get-ADSyncAutoUpgrade

After spending tons more time searching and not finding anything, I decided I’d just disable the service called “Microsoft Azure AD Connect Agent Updater”. In my environment it was running and set to “Automatic (Delayed)”, but I stopped the service and changed it to “Disabled”.

It’s not reflected in the picture below, but this is the service that was responsable for updating and restarting the server. Since I’ve stopped it, it appears everything is functioning correctly, except auto-updating.

Microsoft Azure AD Connect Agent Updater

Jan 262018
 
10ZiG 5948q Zero Client

In an effort to truly showcase the capabilities of VMware Horizon View and the 10ZiG 5948q Zero Client, I wanted to put together a demo showing the ability to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 7.4) in a VDI environment.

First and foremost, this was super easy to setup. It was almost too easy…

Please see below for video:

You’ll notice during login that after the credential prompt multiple desktops were available (we chose to log on to the RHEL instance) to choose from. You’ll see further on in the video versioning and specifications as well as video playback. Again, please note that my environment does not have any GPU or 3D rendering.

Please Note: The momentary black border on the bottom right side during login, was due to a resolution change on the VDI session. This was the first time logging in with this client, and the border doesn’t normally occur unless changing resolutions.

Equipment/Software used in this demo:

Please note, my company Digitally Accurate Inc, is a VMware Solution Provider Partner, 10ZiG Partner, and Red Hat Ready Business partner. Please don’t hesitate in reaching out for anything VDI! We design, sell, implement, and support VMware and VDI environments!