ReSTNSX v2.8

Release and Configuration Notes

First Published: 06/24/2019

This document contains system requirements, supported features and bugs for ReSTNSX v2.8

Cisco ASA vRNI Automation VMware NSX SDN Micro Segmentation dfw

Important Notes


The ReSTNSX appliance no longer ships with a 45 day Evaluation License.  Users must email info@restnsx.com to receive a limited, temporary license. In evaluations mode, the following limitations are enforced:

  • A limit of two data sources (NSX Managers) can be configured
  • Tenants count limited to 2
  • No additional users or external auth may be provisioned
  • vRNI flows are limited to 15
  • ASA import to dFW publish is disabled
  • Maximum of 10 workflow items can be published to NSX Manager
  • For Operations -> dFW, a limit of  20 rule changes / 4 section changes total is enforced when importing NSX rules from CSV or published to NSX Manager.  dFW Mover is limited to 1 Section / 15 rules per instantiation.
  • For Operations -> N&S, Mover is limited to 15 objects per instantiation.

In evaluation mode, the default login information is as follows:

Username: admin

Password:  default


System Requirements

Support matrix and system requirements for ReSTNSX.

RoleVersionCPUMemoryStorage
NSX Manager (-T)2.3, 2.4
ReSTNSX2.8, 3.08 vCPU16GB50GB
vCenter6.5, 6.7---
NSX Manager (-v)6.3, 6.4---

For REST API access, HTTPS (TCP Port 443) must be allowed through any transient firewalls for the ReSTNSX Appliance to access vCenter and NSX Manager

Browser Support

  • Chrome 66+ for the best user experience
  • Firefox  52+ (Limited Interop Testing)

 

New Features

Tools


  Security Planning: Rule Analyzer
  • Real-time analysis of NSX-v and NSX T dFW rules.  Read more...
  Security Planning: Cloud Check
  • Real-time and historical view of Virtual Machine traffic to help plan migrating a workload to the cloud or another location. Cloud Check provides traffic visibility through vRNI (real-time or historical data) and dFW (NSX-v real-time)  Read more...
  Policy Sync
  • Scheduled object sync between one or more NSX Managers.  Policies can be push, pull or bi-directional syncs.  The initial release of Policy Sync supports Security Group effective membership synchronization.  More capabilities will be added in future releases.  Read more...

Workflows


  • None

Operations


NSX-T
  • Context Profile Wizard.  When adding a Context Profile in NSX-T, users can associate domains and assign the profiles to dFW rules in a single, easy-to-use wizard.
NSX-v
  • Security Groups: Mover now supports creating the remote Security Group even though objects (Entities) may not exist at the destination.  These unsupported objects will be skipped while other supported objects will be created in the destination Security Group.
  • User Activity (IDFW) Reports to show user login/logoff activity with corresponding Security Group memberships.
Compute Dashboard
  • Virtual Machine inventory view for the active NSX Manager/vCenter pair.  Information includes VM settings, UUID, Security Tags and Security Groups.  Additionally, users can power on / off VMs.

Reporting


  • Data collection for system reports now include Services, Service Groups, IP Sets, Transport Zones, ESG/Tier 0/Tier 1 Firewall and NAT rules

Administration


  • System backup file now includes Central CLI per-user favorites, API Scout per-user favorites, Policies from Policy Sync, Workflow files (uploaded CSVs)
  • Global Statistics dashboard is a new feature providing a centralized view of all NSX Managers - both NSX-v and T.  With this capability, users can easily see Manager status, inventory and the ReSTNSX system log.  Read more...

ReSTNSX - Features Overview


Administration


Enterprise license support.  Beginning with ReSTNSX 2.2, customers will have the option of a Standard or Enterprise license.  Standard licenses enable all the core features of the platform whereas Enterprise provides advanced functionality such as NSX Mover and Multi-Tenant Administration without requiring separate feature licenses for each capability.  To learn more about the different ReSTNSX licensing options, please visit the licensing page.

Note: NSX Mover is available in the current release as a tech preview for non-Enterprise licensed customers.  Future releases will require Enterprise licensing to enable this feature

 


System Features


Query

ReSTNSX provides an easy way to query both NSX and vCenter objects quickly and easily.  On every page within the application, users can slide out the Query tab to perform inventory searches.  Within that same window, users are able to export the data to CSV, Excel, PDF and the system clipboard for use in ReSTNSX workflows.

Usage Notes:

  • VM queries against NSX 6.4 Managers will show the corresponding IP address(es) for any given VM
  • With a single click, all searches in query will run and the resulting CSV data will be zipped and downloaded to the user's desktop
  • All CSV exports are now ReSTNSX workflow compatible. Users can export data from Query and use them in workflows with little editing of the data

Query Support for NSX-T Objects

  • IP Pools
  • IP Sets
  • Layer 3 Sections
  • Logical Switches
  • Services
  • Service Groups
  • Tier 0 Routers
  • Tier 1 Routers

Query Support for NSX-v Objects

  • Controllers
  • Edges
  • IP Pools
  • IP Sets
  • Layer 3 Sections
  • Load Balancers
  • Logical Switches
  • Logical Routers
  • Security Groups
  • Security Tags
  • Services
  • Service Groups
  • Transport Zones

Query Support for vCenter Objects

  • Virtual Machines.  Note: VM list is the inventory as reported by NSX Manager
  • Clusters

Central CLI (NSX-v)

ReSTNSX's Central CLI provides web-based (HTTPS) API-driven access to the NSX Manager CLI without the need for SSH or leaving the web UI for troubleshooting NSX.

Highlights include:

  • Easy buttons allowing users to click an icon to run pre-defined CLI commands such as "show logical-switch list all" without typing one character.
  • Enhanced command output with Intelligent Hyperlinks that allows easy buttons to run additional nested commands that are context aware.
  • For any CLI command, users can save the commands for future use with a single click.
  • Color picker for saving text, hyperlink and background color. These settings are saved per user.

API Scout (NSX-v, NSX-T)

API Scout provides in-application access to the NSX Manager and vCenter APIs without having to use an external client.  Based upon the active data source, users can perform GET, PUT, POST functions without the complexity of auth/session cookies or having to leave the UI for API access.  Additionally, common API calls for each data source type are provided for easy access.

Personal favorites can also be stored.  The URI is stored in the user profile along with personalized, searchable URI history

Security Planner (NSX-v, NSX-T)

ReSTNSX's Security Planner integrates into VMware's vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) platform for easy firewall rule creation in NSX Manager.  With this integration, Security Planner will connect to vRNI via API methods to collect IP flow information based upon vCenter cluster and time range (up to 30 days prior to the current date).  Upon collecting the data, flows are automatically de-duplicated with additional options for the user to optimize the flows.  In the initial release of Security Planner, flows with like IP destinations are automatically combined.

 

Users can publish the same analyzed flows against NSX-v and NSX-T. Additionally, users are able to apply flow filters to exclude specific IP sources, destinations or TCP/UDP ports to narrow the flow collection.

Once the flows are collected, the processed flows are displayed for further editing:

  • Drag/drop rules to combine together
  • Multi-select of rules to combine together
  • Single or multi-select of rules to transform IP Source and/or destination to IPSets
  • When connected to NSX Managers of version 6.4 or greater, users may choose to resolve the raw IPs to VM-IDs to be used in the rule set

These rules are now ready to publish to NSX Manager.  Select individual or all rules to be published.  Upon doing so, a new Section in dFW will be created at the top of the rule set.  In this section, all vRNI flows that were selected are present.

Note: Upon publish, all rules in this new section are disabled by default.  To enable the rules, click the global select box and "Enable Selected" from the global drop-down menu.

 


Operations 


ReSTNSX Operations provides real-time, instant creation, modification and deletion of NSX objects.  In comparison to work-flows with bulk object creation and roll-back, Operations is designed for performing the typical Day 2 tasks and common management functions.  Operations is divided up into NSX System for managing the NSX Manager settings and Networking/Security Objects; Networking for logical switching, DLR and ESG management;  Security for dFW and eFW; and Load Balancing.

 

NSX System

Real-time operations for NSX Manager settings 

  • Network settings, including IP, DNS, NTP and Syslog
  • Security modes (FIPS) and Cipher selection
  • Service status and status toggle for vPostgres, RabbitMQ, Universal Synch, Management, SSH and Lookup URL
  • Backup settings, including FTP server, scheduling and items to be excluded

dFW Management

Real-time operations for dFW

Create, Edit, Delete, Import and Export (via CSV and point-click) dFW rules.

Support for firewall generation and object generation numbers to see if the firewall rule has been successfully published to the hosts and clusters. If they are out of synch, the host or cluster will be marked orange with the user's ability to force a re-synch of the rules and objects.

Support for dFW mover to copy sections, rules and dependent objects between NSX Managers.

dFW Mover copies L3 Rules and Sections from a source NSX manager to one or more NSX Managers. Below are application notes related to behavior between the source and destination sections

Sections and Rules: Matched by Name

If matched, the section on the target manager will be replaced with the same rule names

Else, the new section will be created to the top of the dFW section list

Objects referenced in the rule: Matched by Name

If the source object matches the destination object name, Mover will use the existing destination object.

Supported objects include:
IP Sets
Virtual Machines
Security Groups
Logical Switches
Services
Service Groups
Edge Service Gateways

Else, the user has the option to create the dependant object on the target.

Supported objects include:
IP Sets
Services
Service Groups
Security Groups

Import and Export (via CSV) is another option for copying rules between NSX managers.  When exporting rule sets from dFW Operations into a ReSTNSX compatible template, you can use the file for importing into other NSX Managers via two methods

  1. dFW Operations.  Once a user exports the current rule set from the main menu (Global Actions -> Export Rules (CSV)), the file can be stored for use against other NSX Managers by selecting a new data source and importing by clicking Global Actions -> Import Rules (CSV).  The user is then presented an option to Merge or Replace the rules on import.
  2. dFW Workflow.  Using the same export for Global Actions -> Export Rules (CSV), users can navigate to Predefined Calls -> Security -> dFW and import the ruleset into a workflow for publishing against NSX.

Note: For CSV export, rule names with commas is not supported as it will create conflicts in the comma-based CSV import/export.

dFW Exclusion Management

VM exclusion lists just got easier with a table-based view to easily add / remove VMs from the dFW exclusion list.  With this new feature, users can easily filter based upon VM name and select / multi-select adding or removing from the exclusion list.

 

VM Troubleshooter / Analyzer

Real-time visibility into VM Security Status

Within dFW, users can now select an individual VM to analyze its security posture - including which Security Groups and dFW Sections / Rules it belongs to; the current status of dFW rules and objects on the host where it resides and the ability to download a copy of the installed dvFilter information.  Additionally, a visualization of the same security posture data in a relationship diagram is provided.

 

Networking and Security Objects - N&S - (NSX-v, NSX-T)

Real-time operations for N&S objects

Create, Edit and Delete N&S objects instantly through ReSTNSX.  The following objects are supported in this release:

  • IP Pools
  • IP Sets
  • Security Groups
  • Security Tags
  • Security Tag associations
  • Services
  • Service Groups

Logical Switching

  • Create, Edit, Delete - Logical Switches
  • Attach / Detach virtual machines
  • Create, Edit, Delete - Transport Zones
  • Edit Segment IDs

Routing

  • Create, Edit, Delete - DLRs
  • Create, Edit, Delete - ESG Templates
  • Edit Logical Switch associations

Load Balancing

Real-time operations for NSX Load Balancers

Within ReSTNSX, users can now create, edit and operate their NSX load balancers easier than ever before.  In a single dashboard, users can monitor critical alerts and manage all edge load balancers of a given NSX domain.

Provisioning

For creating new load balancers, ReSTNSX provides a 5 step create wizard that will build and deploy load balancers quickly and easily. Every step required for a valid configuration is provided.

Operations

ReSTNSX also provides full life-cycle management of NSX load balancers.  Within the dashboard, users can: Create, Edit and Delete:

  • Virtual Servers
  • Application Profiles
  • Server Pools
  • Application Rules
  • Service Monitors

Diagnostics and Troubleshooting

In addition to the dashboard metrics, ReSTNSX provides a load balancer troubleshooting tool that will run a series of diagnostic commands to help isolate problems.  The tool performs a series of CLI-based troubleshooting commands and presents the output while highlighting potential configuration issues.  The tool can be run on a virtual server by virtual server basis and provide insight into problem areas within seconds.

  • Note: In v2.6, Pool side certificates are not supported for Pool-side SSL

 

NSX Mover

Real-time replication of Networking and Security N&S Objects

With NSX Mover, Administrators can easily copy N&S objects and dFW rules between NSX Managers of the same or different type instantly.  Objects are copied in real-time to the destination NSX-v or NSX-T Manager without having to login to the remote system.  Copying can be done from source to one or many remote NSX Manager(s).  If the data sources (NSX Managers) are configured into Groups, users are able to select the Group and ReSTNSX will copy the objects and/or firewall rules to multiple destinations at once.

Migrate vCenter VM Tags to NSX Security tags.  Any VM Tag that exists in vCenter can be migrated to NSX Security Tags and applied to a VM in one easy step.  Navigate to Operations -> N&S Objects -> Tags and select "Import VM Tag" from the main menu to select a VM Tag.  Note: only VM Tags currently applied to VMs will be imported. Upon importing and conversion of the tag to a security tag, it will automatically be applied to the same VM the vCenter tag was applied to.

Users can select a single or multiple dFW rules and/or sections to copy across Managers.

To access the Mover tool, navigate to the N&S object types of interest in your origin datasource, select a single or multiple object, and navigate to the drop-down menu and select "Copy Selected To..."

 

Supported objects types are listed below. To learn more about NSX Mover, please see the ReSTNSX Overview page.

ObjectNSX -v 6.3NSX -v 6.4NSX -T 2.2+
IP SetYYY
IP PoolYYY
ServicesYYY
Service Groups *YYY
Security Groups* , **YYN
Security TagsYYN

 

* NSX Mover's analytics engine determines if dependent objects exist and will prompt the user if they wish to create the dependent objects on the destination system. Examples of objects that could have dependencies include Service Groups and Security Groups where they may be referencing other objects that do not yet exist.

 

** NSX Mover supports Security Groups for migrating dependent objects such as IPSets and Security Tags.  Logical Switches and Virtual Machines will be supported in future release.

 


Reporting


Administrators, Auditors and IT Managers now have access to a unified reporting fabric to gain visibility into all of the ReSTNSX managed domains - regardless of NSX version or location.  ReSTNSX now provides three report types:

System Reports -   Environment summary, service status and configuration details of each NSX Manager under ReSTNSX management are provided by a daily report or on-demand.  Difference reports that will highlight the NSX configuration differences between the latest collected inventory and service status  with the previous collections.  Users may also select custom retention intervals. The default storage policy is to retain the previous 14 days of configurations for comparison.  The maximum allowed setting is 180 days.

Activity Reports - Filtered real-time, system log events that can be sorted by username for insight into a user’s action over time.

Tenant Reports - A combination of the System and Activity reports. Data is filtered to provide insight into any given ReSTNSX configured tenant.  Similar to the System reports, the Tenant report provides Administrators and Auditors a configuration summary on a tenant-by-tenant basis.  Tenant reports reflect real-time information for configuration and user activity.

Read more about ReSTNSX reports ...

 


Workflows


ReSTNSX now provides a central repository for CSV Configuration Files.  In addition to uploading the CSVs directly into a given workflow, users can now also reference the files stored on the ReSTNSX appliance.  Users are also able to upload multiple types and versions of files that can be re-used in workflows by multiple users.

Configuration File Repository - Supporting multiple CSV types
Configuration File Repository - Supporting multiple CSV types
Reference the available files in a workflow
Reference the available files in a workflow
Generate the NSX Configuration for Deployment
Generate the NSX Configuration for Deployment

Multi-Tenant Feature - New Features

NONE

Upgrading ReSTNSX

Upgrades to ReST NSX leverage configuration export for easy migrations.  When exported, the following information is retained:

  • Local Users
  • Saved Workflows
  • Custom Wizards
  • Tenant Information
  • Data Sources
  • System Settings
  • CSV Workflow Files
  • Central CLI Favorites

By exporting this information, upgrades are performed in parallel to the production platform.  Once the new version of ReSTNSX is online, simply import the previously exported configuration file and the system is online.  Administrators can manage the same NSX environment(s) with both ReSTNSX versions at the same time and

Note: When both systems are online, configuration settings are not synchronized between the different versions and must be maintained separately until the old version is decommissioned.

For a step-by-step upgrade, please refer to the ReSTNSX Upgrade Guide