…or how easy it is to know the status of your vSphere environment
Six are the main benefits which Runecast could provide to your company:
- Save Time – IT guys will not have to read knowledge base articles and check if your environment is affected or not. No time will be wasted in tedious security health checks. Runecast is doing all this for you and gives you more time to innovate.
- Minimize Outages – Runecast is using the current VMware Knowledge Base articles, Security Hardening Guide and industry Best Practices to scan your configuration and logs and discover any potential issues before they cause an outage.
- Improve Visibility – by placing Runecast in your vSphere environment you guarantee that even the smallest deviations from the Best Practices are revealed. Runecast Analyzer acts like a syslog server, collects your virtual infrastructure logs and discovers potential issues that link back to Knowledge Base articles. It will also give you additional visibility in important log activity through verbose log charts.
- Increase Security – scan your vSphere infrastructure for security compliance based on the official vSphere Security Hardening Guide. You can create Filters specific to your security technical specifications and ensure you are continuously compliant.
- Minimize Risk – Runecast provides weekly updates on the Knowledge Base, Best Practice and Security Hardening checks. Minimize the risk for missing an important vulnerability or known issue or a best practice that applies to your environment.
- Reduce Cost – prevent outages by eliminating the problematic configurations, save time from troubleshooting and security hardening, avoid Security Audit penalties, make your infrastructure rock solid by leveraging the expertise of the team behind Runecast.
At the current Part 1 of the article I will go through installation and configuration of the virtual appliance. Part 2 will be based on review of the modules and the functions of the solution.
Let’s start with the installation
Before we begin, we need to download the appliance. Runecast appliance is coming in a friendly OVA format.
- Open Runecast solution web page and click on Download Analyzer Appliance
- Fill up the required fields and click Register
- You will get activation e-mail. Following the link, you will be redirected to your profile where you can download the Runecast appliance in a friendly OVA format.
The current size is 1.1GB, which surprises me knowing the size of many other virtual appliances.
- 2 vCPU
- 6GB RAM
- 40GB Storage
- 100Mbit network (1GBit or above recommended)
- 443, 5988, 5989 from Runecast appliance to vCenter/ESXi hosts
- 1514 TCP port from ESXi hosts to Runecast appliance
- 31415 to the Runecast appliance web interface
- 5480 to the Runecast appliance admin interface
A user with the following access on vCenter level must exist for the Runecast appliance:
- Read Only
- Host > CIM > CIM interaction
- Host > Configuration > Change settings
Deploying the Runecast Analyzer appliance
Deploying is pretty straight forward, but in case you have never done it before, I will go through all steps in details.
- Login to vSphere Web client, right click on the cluster where you want to deploy the analyzer appliance and choose Deploy OVF Template
- Choose the file which you have downloaded
- On the next screen you will get more information about the appliance
- Read and Accept the EULA in order to continue
- Choose the name of the virtual appliance and folder where it will be placed
- Select the datastore and the disk format. If you have a small environment, you can use Thin provisioning, but for large enterprise class environment I highly recommend to use Thick eager zero type.
- Select network Port group and the IP protocol type. The selected network should be able to reach the vCenter and ESXi hosts in order to analyze them. If you use the log analyzing modules, the logs from the ESXi hosts must be redirected to the analyzer appliance, which is another reason why both networks must be able to reach each other.
- Now is time to enter TCP/IP settings, so you will not have to do it after the deployment.
- That’s it! Choose to power on the appliance after deployment and click Finish
Based on the performance of your sub-system the time required for deploying could vary from 1-2mins to 10-15mins.
There are two interfaces for configuration. How you can find them is displayed on the welcome screen of the appliance
First URL will redirect you to the VM management, where you can change your TCP/IP settings, NTP, Update and etc.
Default user name is rcadmin and the password is admin You can change it after you login in.
The update is pretty well done. I realized that I have a minor update to deploy and it was done for less than 5mins without disturbing the appliance work.
After that you can login to the main analyzer interface, where you can configure the application itself.
Default user name is rcuser and its password is Runecast! You can change them after logging in.
The first screen you will see will prompt you to configure your vCenter server. Just click on Settings and you will be redirected directly to right place to do that.
Enter vCenter hostname, username and password
Once you connect to your vCenter you should click Analyze or create a schedule how often the analyze operation will be executed.
Looks like I have to fix few things in my lab environment.
In the next article I will go through all menus and functions of the appliance trying to discover its power.
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