Posts Tagged ‘firewall’

vSphere Dump / Syslog Collector: PowerCLI Script

March 12, 2015


If you install ESXi hosts on say 2GB flash cards in your blades which are smaller than required 6GB, then you won’t have what’s called persistent storage on your hosts. Both your kernel dumps and logs will be kept on RAM drive and deleted after a reboot. Which is less than ideal.

You can use vSphere Dump Collector and Syslog Collector to redirect them to another host. Usually vCenter machine, if it’s not an appliance.

If you have a bunch of ESXi hosts you’ll have to manually go through each one of them to set the settings, which might be a tedious task. Syslog can be done via Host Profiles, but Enterprise Plus licence is not a very common things across the customers. The simplest way is to use PowerCLI.

Amendments to the scripts

These scripts originate from Mike Laverick’s blog. I didn’t write them. Original blog post is here: Back To Basics: Installing Other Optional vCenter 5.5 Services.

The purpose of my post is to make a few corrections to the original Syslog script, as it has a few mistakes:

First – typo in system.syslog.config.set() statement. It requires additional $null argument before the hostname. If you run it as is you will probably get an error which looks like this.

Message: A specified parameter was not correct.
InnerText: argument[0]

Second – you need to open outgoing syslog ports, otherwise traffic won’t flow. It seems that Dump Collector traffic is enabled by default even though there is no rule for it in the firewall (former netDump rule doesn’t exist anymore). Odd, but that’s how it is. Syslog on the other hand requires explicit rule, which is reflected in the script by network.firewall.ruleset.set() command.

Below are the correct versions of both scripts. If you copy and paste them everything should just work.

vSphere Dump Collector

Foreach ($vmhost in (get-vmhost))
$esxcli = Get-EsxCli -vmhost $vmhost

Foreach ($vmhost in (get-vmhost))
$esxcli = Get-EsxCli -vmhost $vmhost
$$null, “vmk0”, “”, “6500”)

vSphere Syslog Collector

Foreach ($vmhost in (get-vmhost))
$esxcli = Get-EsxCli -vmhost $vmhost

Foreach ($vmhost in (get-vmhost))
$esxcli = Get-EsxCli -vmhost $vmhost
$esxcli.system.syslog.config.set($null, $null, $null, $null, $null, “udp://”)
$$null, $true, “syslog”)


Basic UPC compiler installation

October 8, 2012

There were times when I used to work heavily on one UPC-related project. I had several issues with installation of the Berkeley UPC compiler. I don’t want that information to be wasted, so I will share it here with everyone in several posts. I worked with Berkeley UPC versions until 2.14.0. So this post can already be obsolete for you.


Berkeley UPC compiler consists of a runtime and a translator (you can use online translator if you want). They are installed separately. I used several flags in configure stage I’d like to explain.

First flag is --without-mpi-cc. UPC supports several underlying transports to exchange messages between threads. The most basic is udp, I worked primarily on ibv (InfiniBand). UPC also installs mpi transport by default. It’s slow and it requires MPI installation, so I never used it and prefered to disable it.

Flag --disable-aligned-segments is ususally a must in Linux environments. There is a security feature which randomizes the virtual address space. This doesn’t allow UPC threads to use the same base memory address on all nodes. It introduces some additional pointer arithmetic in the deference of a UPC pointer-to-shared. So you either disable Linux virtual address space randomization feature or use this flag.

It is stated that UPC can have issues with GCC 4.0.x through 4.2.x as a backened compiler. GCC can misoptimize a shared-local access such that it deterministically read or write an incorrect value. So you cannot install UPC without using the --enable-allow-gcc4 flag. I didn’t have any issues with GCC ever, so you can safely use it.

Post-installation tasks

After installation is completed you need to point UPC runtime to your locally installed translator. Otherwise it will try to use online translator on the Berkeley web-site. Under each UPC build subdirectory (opt, dbg, etc) replace translator directive in etc/upcc.conf to:

translator = /opt/translator-installation-dir/targ

You need to correctly configure NFS and SHH on your nodes, so that they could access and run your application binary files without password. If you use firewall you need to open all necessary ports. For me they were:

111 tcp, udp for portmapper
2049 tcp for nfs
892 tcp, udp for mountd
32803 tcp, 32769 udp for lockd
662 tcp,udp for statd

Since lockd uses dynamic ports, uncomment static port configuration in /etc/sysconfig/nfs:


SSH is also just a walk in the park:

# su – fred
> ssh-keygen -t rsa
> cp /home/fred/.ssh/ /home/fred/.ssh/authorized_keys
> chmod /home/fred/.ssh/authorized_keys 600
> chown fred:fred /home/fred/.ssh/authorized_keys

Usage example

> upcc --network=udp source_code.c
> UPC_NODES=”node1 node2 node3 node4″ upcrun -n 32 bin_file

You choose conduit by using --network flag, UPC_NODES environment variable sets hosts which will run the code and -n sets the number of threads.

Possible problems

You can encounter the following error when you run UPC application:

*** FATAL ERROR: Got an xSocket while spawning slave process: connect() failed while creating a connect socket (111:Connection refused)
bash: line 1: 10535 Aborted ‘./a.out’ ‘__AMUDP_SLAVE_PROCESS__’ ‘node1:49655’

This could happen if you use firewall and didn’t uncomment static port configuration for lockd daemon. Each time it uses random port which doesn’t match to what you entered in firewall configuration and fail to communicate.

If you get an error which starts with:

Address node1_ip_address maps to node1, but this does not map back to the address – POSSIBLE BREAK-IN ATTEMPT!
AMUDP sendPacket returning an error code: AM_ERR_RESOURCE (Problem with requested resource)
from function sendPacket
at /root/install/berkeley_upc-2.8.0/gasnet/other/amudp/amudp_reqrep.cpp:99
reason: Invalid argument


AMUDP sendPacket returning an error code: AM_ERR_RESOURCE (Problem with requested resource)
from function sendPacket
at /root/install/berkeley_upc-2.8.0/gasnet/other/amudp/amudp_reqrep.cpp:99
reason: Invalid argument

then you have /etc/hosts misconfiguration. Don’t add compute node hostname to line in /etc/hosts. There should be only real address line. /etc/hosts on each node should look something like this:

# Do not remove the following line, or various programs
# that require network functionality will fail. localhost.localdomain localhost
::1 localhost6.localdomain6 localhost6 node1 node2 node3

Configuring remote access to AIX

May 16, 2012

I work on an old AIX 5.1:

# oslevel -r

By default it has only telnet preinstalled. Which works out of the box without additional configuration. However, there are several recommended steps to do.


Firstly check if you have stable network connection. I had problems connecting to AIX box after connection timeout. It seemed that telnet session somehow hang on the OS side and didn’t allow me to reconnect. To prevent that, you have two options. If you use PuTTY then go to Settings->Connection and set amount of seconds between keepalive packets to say 60 seconds. And PuTTY will maintain connection automatically. Another workaround is to edit TMOUT variable in /etc/profile. By default AIX uses ksh shell which uses this parameter to detect idle sessions. If set this variable to 120, then after two minutes ksh will throw a warning that session will be closed in 60 seconds. This means that if your telnet session breaks, ksh will automatically terminate its shell. (I checked that and it turned out that TMOUT doesn’t help here.)

TCP Wrapper

By default telnet access in AIX is opened for everyone. It’s not what you want for sure. AIX has built-in firewall (called AIX TCP/IP Filters) but it’s rather cumbersome to use it just to restrict telnet access. I’d prefer TCP Wrapper, which is standard for Linux, but optional for AIX. You can get AIX LPP package from Bull AIX freeware site here: Then simply:

chmod +x tcp_wrappers-

Extract package contents by running the executable. Then run smit from directory where you extracted files and go to Software Installation and Maintenance -> Install and Update Software ->  Install Software. Set current directory in “INPUT device / directory for software”. You can view software available, if you press F4 in “SOFTWARE to install” field. Change “ACCEPT new license agreements?” to yes and press Enter.

When package is installed, edit /etc/inetd.conf. Find telnet line and change it:

#telnet stream tcp6 nowait root /usr/sbin/telnetd telnetd -a
telnet stream tcp6 nowait root /usr/local/bin/tcpd telnetd -a

And restart inetd service:

stopsrc -s inetd && startsrc -s inetd

Now to limit telnet access create /etc/hosts.allow:


and /etc/hosts.deny:


Secure Shell

Telnet is completely outdated and insecure protocol. So you’d probably prefer ssh on the server side. I believe SSH is bundled with AIX 5.1, but I simply downloaded it from Bull site. Additionally to OpenSSH package you will have to setup OpenSSL prerequisite. Here are the links:

Install OpenSSL simply by:

rpm -i openssl-0.9.7l-1.aix5.1.ppc.rpm

In case of OpenSSH you will need to gunzip it, untar it and setup using smit. But if you work on AIX with old maintenance level (ML3 in my case) you can run into the following error when running ssh service:

getnameinfo failed: Invalid argument

You can see it if you run sshd with -D and -d flags. Solution here is to download AIX 5.1 ML9 and POSTML9 fixes from IBM Fix Central, extract them and setup in Software Installation and Maintenance -> Install and Update Software ->  Update Installed Software to Latest Level (Update All).

SSH is a standalone service, so you do not need to edit /etc/inetd.conf. Just add new sshd line to /etc/hosts.allow and you are good to go. However, if your ssh was built without wrapper support, then you have a problem. You can check that by calling:

# dump -H /usr/sbin/sshd


                        ***Loader Section***
                      Loader Header Information
VERSION#         #SYMtableENT     #RELOCent        LENidSTR
0x00000001       0x00000115       0x00000601       0x00000096

#IMPfilID        OFFidSTR         LENstrTBL        OFFstrTBL
0x00000006       0x00006224       0x0000075a       0x000062ba

                        ***Import File Strings***
INDEX  PATH                          BASE                MEMBER
0      /usr/lib:/lib:/opt/freeware/lib
1                                    libc.a              shr.o
2                                    libpthreads.a       shr_comm.o
3                                    libpthreads.a       shr_xpg5.o
4                                    libcrypto.a
5                                    libz.a    

If there is no libwrap.a, then the only option you have is to run sshd under tcpd which is run by inetd. To accomplish that add the first line into /etc/services and second into /etc/inetd.conf:

ssh 22/tcp
ssh stream tcp6 nowait root /usr/local/bin/tcpd sshd -i

Switch ‘-i’ tells sshd to generate smaller keys. Otherwise you will wait significant amount of time for login prompts. Also don’t forget to remove sshd startup and shutdown scripts from /etc/rc.d/rc2.d.

vSphere Installation Error 1603

October 18, 2011

When installing vSphere client from ESXi server you can encounter an error:

The Microsoft .NET Framework  3.0 SP1 installer return code ‘1603’.

That’s what VMware site tells about that:

vSphere Client installation might fail with Error 1603 if you do not have an active Internet connection:

You can install the vSphere Client in two ways: from the vCenter Server media or by clicking a link on the ESX, ESXi, or vCenter Server Welcome screen. The installer on the vCenter Server media (.iso file or .zip file) is self-contained, including a full .NET installer in addition to the vSphere Client installer. The installer called through the Welcome screen includes a vSphere Client installer that makes a call to the Web to get .NET installer components.

If you do not have an Internet connection, the second vSphere Client installation method will fail with Error 1603 unless you already have .NET 3.0 SP1 installed on your system.

Workaround: Establish an Internet connection before attempting the download, install the vSphere Client from the vCenter Server media, or install .NET 3.0 SP1 before clicking the link on the Welcome screen.

In my case I had restricting rule on proxy server which didn’t allow me to access Microsoft site for automatic .NET download. But loosening restrictions didn’t solve the issue. I installed Framework .NET manually version 3.5 SP1.

Security on NetApp Filer

October 9, 2011

Storage systems usually store data critical for organization like databases, mailboxes, employee files, etc. Typically you don’t provide access to NAS from Internet. If Filer has real IP address to provide CIFS or NFS access inside organization you can just close all incoming connections from outside world on frontier firewall. But what if networking engineer mess up firewall configuration? If you don’t take even simple security measures then all your organization data is at risk.

Here I’d like to describe basic means to secure NetApp Filer:

  • Disable rsh:

options rsh.enable off

  • Disable telnet:

options telnet.enable off

  • Restrict SSH access to particular IP addresses. Take into consideration that if you enabled AD authentication Administrator user and Administrators group will implicitly have access to ssh.

options ssh.access host=ip_address_1,ip_address_2

  • You can configure Filer to allow files access via HTTP protocol. If you don’t have HTTP license or you don’t use HTTP then disable it:

options http.enable off

  • Even if you don’t have HTTP license you can access NetApp FilerView web interface to manage Filer. You can access it via SSL or plain connection, apparently SSL is more secure:

options http.admin.enable off

options http.admin.ssl.enable on

  • Restrict access to FilerView:

options httpd.admin.access host=ip_address_1,ip_address_2

  • If you don’t use SNMP then disable it:

options snmp.enable off

  • I’m using NDMP to backup Filer’s data. It’s done through virtual network. I restrict NDMP to work only between Filers (we have two of them) and backup server and only through particular virtual interface:

On Filer1:

options ndmpd.access “host=backup_server_ip,filer2_ip_address AND if=interface_name”

options ndmpd.preferred_interface interface_name

On Filer2:

options ndmpd.access “host=backup_server_ip,filer1_ip_address AND if=interface_name”

options ndmpd.preferred_interface interface_name

  • Disable other services you don’t use:

options snapmirror.enable off

options snapvault.enable off

  • Module which is responsible for SSH and FilerView SSL connections is called SecureAdmin. You probably won’t need to configure it since it’s enabled by default. You can verify if ssh2 and ssl connections are enabled by:

secureadmin status

  • Make sure all built-in users have strong passwords. You can list built-in users by:

 useradmin user list

  • By default Filer has home directory CIFS shares for all users. If you don’t use them, disable them by deleting:


  • Filer also has ETC$ and C$ default shares. I’d highly recommend to restrict access to these shares only to local Filer Administrator user. In fact, if you enabled AD authentication then also domain Administrator user and Administrators group will implicitly have access to these shares, even if you don’t  specify them in ACL. Delete all existing permissions and add:

cifs access share etc$ filer_system_name\Administrator Full Control
cifs access share c$ filer_system_name\Administrator Full Control

Basically this is it. Now you can say that you know hot to configure simple NetApp security.

Enable XDMCP under CentOS 5

September 20, 2011

XDMCP is a handy tool for graphical login into Linux from Windows workstation. I use Xming for that. But before you could login you have to do some extra configurations.

First thing to do is enabling XDMCP in /usr/share/gdm/defaults.conf. Add following line under [xdmcp] section:


And second is opening firewall ports. XDMCP works through UDP 177, TCP 6000-6005 and TCP 7100. I did that from graphical interface. If you don’t have access to graphics then edit /etc/sysconfig/iptables.

Don’t forget to restart X server.