Deploying to AWS with Software Components on vRealize Automation 7


Recently I’ve been working on some ideas in my lab to leverage the AWS endpoint on vRealize Automation. One of the things I needed to get working was getting Software Components working on my AWS deployed instances.

The diagram to the right shows my end-stage network – the instance deployed by vRA into AWS should be in a private subnet in my VPC, and should use my local lab DNS server and be able to access my vRA instance. This allows me to make use of the vRA guest agent for software components on the deployed VMs. I also wanted to have the deployed VMs use their local NAT gateway for internet traffic, rather than paying for the data over my VPN connection. (more…)

Creating an AWS Hardware VPN Connection with Ubiquiti EdgeRouterX

| 07/11/2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

AWS VPN DiagramWhen you’re working with Amazon and vRealize Automation Software Components, one of the requirements is for the Guest Agent (gugent) to talk back to the vRealize Automation APIs – the gugent polls the API for tasks it should perform, downloads them from the API and executes them, then updates the tasks with a status.

This means that Virtual Machines deployed as EC2 instances in an AWS VPC require the ability to talk back to internal corporate networks – not something you’d want to publish on the internet! That’s where AWS’s VPN connections come in – you can create several types of VPN that allow such communication over a secure (encrypted) virtual private network.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to look at setting up the “AWS Hardware VPN”, which is described by Amazon:

You can create an IPsec, hardware VPN connection between your VPC and your remote network. On the AWS side of the VPN connection, a virtual private gateway provides two VPN endpoints for automatic failover. You configure your customer gateway, which is the physical device or software application on the remote side of the VPN connection.

As with all things AWS, you have to create two of anything in different Availability Zones to call it Highly Available, or for any kind of SLA to apply. The VPN is no different, and as you can see from the diagram above you create two tunnels to provide a Highly Available connection to AWS.

To get a bit of a background on my AWS setup for vRealize Automation, take a look at this post – Adding an AWS endpoint to vRealize Automation 7. The VPCs and configuration described in this article are my starting point.

For my hardware VPN I am running a Ubiquiti EdgeRouterX, which is a fantastic little router, highly recommended. It has a tiny form factor, runs on Vyatta OS and even provides a PoE port for my Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC Lite. (more…)

Configuring a remote access SSL VPN with VMware NSX

| 11/09/2014 | Tags: , , , , , ,

The NSX Edge Gateway comes pre-armed with the ability to provide an SSL VPN for remote access into your network. This isn’t a new feature (SSL VPN was available in vCloud Networking and Security), but it’s worth a run through. I’m configuring remote access to my Lab, since it’s often useful to access it when on a client site, but traditional VPN connections are often blocked on corporate networks where HTTPS isn’t. (more…)

Configuring SSTP VPN connections to Threat Management Gateway 2010

TMG2010SSTP or SSL VPN connections are great for people working on client sites or behind very restrictive firewalls – they only require HTTPS (port 443) to be open to be able to connect. Unfortunately, you need to be running Windows 7 or Server 2008 (or newer) in order to make use of them. Threat Management Gateway 2010 is one option for an SSL VPN endpoint.

SSTP VPN Requirements

  • Clients must be Windows 7/Server 2008 or newer
  • Certificate – either commercial or an internal Certificate Authority
  • Published CRL – SSTP clients check for the Certificate Revocation List of the CA
  • If you already have an SSL listener (e.g. for Exchange publishing rules) then you need a dedicated IP address for the SSTP connection