Runecast Analyzer setup – pt.1

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Runecast is a software analyzer solution that allows the administrators to know the status of the their VMware vSphere environments.

The software comes as a virtual appliance in OVA format allowing an easy and quick deployment.

 

Blog series

Runecast Analyzer setup – pt.1
Runecast Analyzer analysis – pt.2

 

Main benefits

VMware KB Scan: to discover hidden issues in the vSphere environment using information from the VMware Knowledge Base articles to proactively scan your infrastructure.

Compliance Checks: scans your specific configuration and provides Best Practices fit gap analysis report and Security Hardening checks.

Log Analysis: acts as a syslog server and collects the logs from your ESXi hosts and virtual machines parsing the logs in real time and filters out the important entries.

Quick and Secure Deployment: coming as a virtual appliance in OVA format, all data and logic are contained in the appliance.

 

Requirements

Hardware

The minimum resources required to run Runecast Analyzer appliance are the following:

  • 2 vCPU
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 40 GB Storage
  • 100 Mbit network (1 GBit or above recommended)

 

Firewall ports

To run Runecast, the following ports must be open:

  • 443, 5988, 5989 from Runecast appliance to vCenter and ESXi hosts
  • 514 UDP port from ESXi hosts to Runecast Analyzer for log collection
  • 31415 to the Runecast Analyzer web interface
  • 5480 to the Runecast Analyzer admin interface

 

Permissions

It is suggested to use a dedicate Active Directory service account (i.e. vmrunecast) to connect Runecast with the vCenter Server in Read Only mode and grant the user the following privileges on vCenter:

Read Only

  • Host > CIM > CIM interaction
  • Host > Configuration > Change settings

Auto ESXi syslog configuration

  • Host > Configuration > Advanced settings
  • Host > Configuration > Security profile and firewall

Auto VM syslog configuration

  • Virtual Machine > Configuration > Advanced

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Assign the new created service account role on vCenter.

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Licensing

Runecast Analyzer is licensed based on number of CPU sockets. It is available as 30-day trial for testing purposes.

 

Install Runecast

From Runecast website, create your account and sign in to download the software.

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Open the vCenter Server Web Client, right click the datacenter to install Runecast and select Deploy OVF Template option.

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Click Browse to select the downloaded OVA file then click Next.

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Click Next to continue.

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Click Accept button to accept the EULA.

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Click Next to continue.

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Assign the appliance a Name and select the desired Folder. Click Next.

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Select the location to run the appliance and click Next.

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Select the virtual disk format and the datastore then click Next.

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The IP allocation field is set as Static – Manual. Click Next.

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Configure Application and Networking Parameters then click Next.

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Optionally enable Power on after deployment and click Finish to start deployment.

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Configure the appliance

Once the appliance have been deployed, open the VA console to check the IP address to use for configuration.

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Access the management web console by typing in your favorite browser the address https://IP_address_VA:5480 and enter the default User name and Password (rcadmin/admin). Click Login.

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From the System tab you can Reboot/Shutdown the VA and adjust the Time Zone.

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Form the Network tab you can change the network parameters.

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The Update tab is used to check for updates and upgrade the VA.

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Configure Runecast

Now from your favorite browser access the main console typing the address https://IP_Address_VA.  Enter the default User name and Password (rcuser/Runecast!) and click Login.

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Once you have logged in to the appliance, you are prompted to configure the connection to the vCenter Server. Click the Settings link to be redirected to the configuration window.

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In the vCenter Connection tab, click Edit.

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Enter the vCenter Server FQDN and the credentials to access it using the previously created AD service account. Click Update to save the configuration.

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The Status of the vCenter connection is now set as Enabled. Select Automatic Schedules tab to set the scheduler.

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Click Edit to configure the scheduler.

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Set the Schedule analysis to run field and click Update to save the parameters.

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The scheduler is now enabled. Select the User Profile tab to enable Active Directory authentication.

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Under Active Directory, click Edit.

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Specify the Domain and the Domain Group enabled to access Runecast then click Update.

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The configuration has been saved.

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Now select the Licenses tab to apply the purchased license. Click Add License.

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Click on Choose File button to browse for the license file received from Runecast.

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Click Add license.

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Based on the purchased license, select the hosts to license then click Update License.

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Under License column you can check the licensed hosts.

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The Runecast configuration has been completed.

 

Access the Dashboard

From the main screen, select the Dashboard and click Analyze Now or wait for your scheduled scan in order to scan your environment.

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Depending on the size, Runecast takes some minutes to scan your environment.

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When the scan has been completed, the Dashboard display the result of the analysis.

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The Runecast Analyzer’s installation and configuration procedure is now complete. Part 2 will cover functions and analysis available in Runecast.

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