Archives for category: Security

A question I’ve heard a few times recently is “if I have services running in an Azure Virtual Network, how do I securely connect that VNet to Azure public services, such as Blob Storage?“. Microsoft have this week announced a couple of features designed to help with this scenario, but before delving into those, let’s look at the issue we are actually trying to solve.

First, a few basics: a Virtual Network (VNet) is a private, isolated, network within Azure into which you can deploy infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, load balancers and so on:

Secure-VNets1

Although these VMs can (and very often do) have direct Internet access, it is of course possible to restrict connectivity into and out of this VNet according to your requirements. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve just finished working on a new self-guided lab that focuses on the Azure ‘Virtual Data Centre’ (VDC) architecture. The basic idea behind the VDC is that it brings together a number of Azure technologies, such as hub and spoke networking, User-Defined Routes, Network Security Groups and Role Based Access Control, in order to support enterprise workloads and large scale applications in the public cloud.

The lab uses a set of Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates to deploy the basic topology, which the user will then need to further configure in order to build the connectivity, security and more. Once the basic template build has been completed, you’ll be guided through setting up the following:

  • Configuration of site-to-site VPN
  • Configuration of 3rd party Network Virtual Appliance (in this case a Cisco CSR1000V)
  • Configuration of User Defined Routes (UDRs) to steer traffic in the right direction
  • Configuration of Network Security Groups (NSGs) to lock down the environment
  • Azure Security Center for security monitoring
  • Network monitoring using Azure Network Watcher
  • Alerting and diagnostics using Azure Monitor
  • Configuration of users, groups and Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

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What is the ASA 1000V? It is a virtualised edge firewall that runs in conjunction with the Nexus 1000V switch. The ASA 1000V runs as a virtual machine, and provides a secure default gateway for other VMs in the environment. Many of the features from the physical ASAs are supported, such as NAT, failover and site-to-site IPSec VPNs, however there are a few features which are not supported in the current release such as IPv6, multiple contexts, dynamic routing and transparent mode firewalling.

An ASA 1000V has four “physical” interfaces – ‘Inside’, ‘Outside’, ‘Management’ and ‘Failover’:

ASA1K-interfaces

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