VMWare ESXI Installation Guide

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This guide describes how the Allegro Network Multimeter Virtual Edition can be set up with VMWare ESXI. The Allegro Virtual Edition is designed for 2 use cases. It can analyze pcap captures or packet ring buffers of unlimited size for forensic investigation or it can analyze live traffic from virtual machines by a virtual Mirror Port or ERSPAN.

General

DISCLAIMER

Be aware that an activated ring buffer can degrade the I/O performance for all VMs. It is recommended to use one or more dedicated HDDs or SSDs for the ring buffer to prevent side effects to other VMs.

System requirements

This guide requires a licensed VMWare ESXi 6.7.0 or newer.

The system requirement of the virtual machine is:

  • x86 64-Bit Intel/AMD CPU with SSE4.2 support (since 2011)
  • 4 CPU-Cores
  • at least 2GB RAM for the In-Memory-DB, the larger the better
  • 20GB free disk space

Virtual Machine image

Please contact Allegro or your reseller to download the current Allegro Virtual Edition installation zip archive.

Installation

Zip file extraction

Please extract the zip archive. It should contain the 3 files “allegro-multimeter.ovf”, “allegro-multimeter.vmdk” and “allegro-multimeter-virtualbox.ovf”. 

OVF deployment to VMWare ESXi

Log in to VMWare ESXi.

Esxi login.png

Once you have logged in, navigate to “Virtual Machines”

Esxi dashboard.png

Create a new VM with “Create / Register VM” and select the option “Deploy a virtual machine from an OVF or OVA file”.

Esxi create new vm.png

Press “Next”, use a preferred name for the Allegro and drag/drop the 2 files into the window and press “Next”.

Esxi create new vm step 2.png

Select your data storage for the Allegro. This storage will be used as the boot partition and to store the configuration of the Allegro Virtual Edition and does not require a high-speed disk. It will not store the packet ring buffer.

Esxi create new vm select storage.png

The deployment options allow you to select the network mapping for the MGT port and the disk provisioning.

Esxi create new vm management.png

Please double-check all options in the next dialogue and press finish if everything is fine.

Esxi create new vm finish.png

The upload and import of the Allegro Virtual Edition will start. Please be patient until it is finished.

Esxi import.png

Install USB License dongle

If the Allegro Virtual Edition is shipped with an USB License dongle, plug the dongle into an unused USB port of the VM host. The dongle must be connected to the virtual machine. When powered off, press “Edit” in the Vmware ESXi host and click on “Add other device”. Choose “USB device”. A new entry on the bottom of the hardware list appears. Please select a “Feitian HID Dongle” or similar.

License dongle.png

Initial startup

Powering on

Power on the virtual machine when the import has been successful. The Allegro Virtual Edition will boot, prepare the installation and reboot once. The VM will seek for an IP address via DHCP on the MGT port. Check the screen output for an assigned IP address.

Esxi allegro screen.png

You can now connect to the IP address with your browser, in our case https://10.54.0.220/ . The browser will show a certificate warning. Accept it to access the login screen.

Esxi allegro login.png

Please use the following login credentials; user “admin” and password “allegro”.

License

If the Allegro Virtual Edition was shipped with a USB License dongle and it has been correctly installed, the License is validated and the Allegro should activate.

The serial number of the Allegro Virtual Edition would be e.g. “dongle: 1234567890” and is displayed in the serial number box under “Settings” -> “License upload”. If it is not displayed even though the dongle has been correctly installed, please contact Allegro support.

If the Allegro Virtual Edition was shipped without an USB License dongle, please follow the following steps. In the web interface a warning is shown that the Allegro Virtual Edition does not yet have a License.

Esxi allegro license.png

Navigate to “Settings” -> “License upload” and send the system serial number to testlicense@allegro-packets.com.

Allegro Packets will issue a test License for you that can be installed by the “Upload new License button”.

Once the test License is applied, it will show you the License details similar to this output:

Esxi allegro license details.png

The Allegro Virtual Edition is now running and analyzes all packets on the capture port.

Mirroring virtual interface

The Allegro Virtual Edition has by default 2 network interfaces. The first port is used for Management, the second is used as capture port. The Allegro Virtual Edition will analyze all traffic received by this network port.

Please enable the promiscuous mode for the vwsitch to allow the Allegro Virtual Edition to monitor all packets from on a VMWare vswitch.

Esxi switch allow promicuous mode.png

Packet ring buffer and pcap storage

You can add one or multiple virtual disks to the Allegro Virtual Edition.

When powered off, press “Edit” in the Vmware ESXi host and add a new HDD.

Esxi add hdd.png

If done, you can enable the packet ring buffer as described in Ring Buffer Configuration Guide. Please note that a real-time capture of packets require high write rates to your storage device. Please use dedicated disks for the ring buffer to avoid performance issues on other virtual machines.

Encapsulated remote mirroring (L3) source

The Allegro Virtual Edition supports the VMware Encapsulated remote mirroring (L3) source with the ERSPAN Mode. You can set up an IP address on the capture port and send encapsulated packets to the Allegro. Please see the Vsphere documentation center for Encapsulated remote mirroring (L3) source.