Set Up the Azure Plugin for Monitoring on Panorama

To start collecting IP address-to-tag mapping, set up the Monitoring agent to execute as a cron task.
To find all the workloads that your organization has deployed in the Azure cloud, you need to install the Azure plugin on Panorama and configure
Monitoring Definitions
that enable Panorama to authenticate to your Azure subscription(s) and retrieve information on the Azure workloads. Panorama retrieves the primary private IP address of Azure resources and the associated tags. For a list of the metadata elements that Panorama supports, see Attributes Monitored Using the Panorama Plugin on Azure.
After Panorama fetches the attributes, to push the resource information from Panorama to the firewalls, you must add the firewalls (hardware or VM-Series) as managed devices on Panorama, and group the firewalls into one or more Device Groups. You can then specify which device groups are part of the
Notify Group
, which is a configuration element in a Monitoring Definition, that Panorama uses to register the IP address-to-tag mapping it retrieves from Azure.
Finally, to consistently enforce Security policies across your Azure workloads, you must set up Dynamic Address Groups and reference them in policy rules that allow or deny traffic to the IP addresses of the Azure resources. For streamlining your configuration and managing policies and objects centrally from Panorama, you can define the Dynamic Address Groups and Security policy rules on Panorama and push them to the firewalls instead of managing the Dynamic Address Groups and Security policy rules locally on each firewall.
The Azure plugin is for monitoring Azure resources on the Azure public cloud. Azure Government or Azure China are not supported.

Planning Checklist for Monitoring with the Azure Plugin

  • Set up the Active Directory application and a Service Principal to enable API access—For Panorama to interact with the Azure APIs and collect information on your workloads, you need to create an Azure Active Directory Service Principal. This Service Principal has the permissions required to authenticate to the Azure AD and access the resources within your subscription.
    To complete this set up, you must have permissions to register an application with your Azure AD tenant, and assign the application to a role in your subscription. If you don't have the necessary permissions, ask your Azure AD or subscription administrator to create a Service Principal with an IAM role of reader or the custom permissions specified in VM-Series on Azure Service Principal Permissions.
  • Make sure that the subscription ID is unique across Service Principals. Panorama allows you to use only one service principal to monitor an Azure subscription. You can monitor up to 100 Azure subscriptions, with 100 Service principal resources. Starting with Panorama plugin for Azure version 3.2.0, you can monitor up to 500 Azure subscriptions. Take note of the processing times described in the table below.
    Number of Subscriptions
    100
    200
    300
    400
    500
    System Resources Utilization
    • CPU: 22%
    • Memory: 0.025 MB
    • CPU: 23.8%
    • Memory: 0.025 MB
    • CPU: 31.8%
    • Memory: 0.025 MB
    • CPU: 28.6%
    • Memory: 0.025 MB
    • CPU: 39.2%
    • Memory: 0.025 MB
    Average Time to Process All Monitoring Definitions
    1 Hour, 15 Minutes
    2 Hours, 30 Minutes
    3 Hours, 30 Minutes
    4 Hours
    5 Hours
    Average Tag Update Processing Time
    5 minutes
    10 minutes
    15 minutes
    20 minutes
    25 minutes
    The information in the table above was captured on an instance with 8 vCPUs and 32GB of memory.
  • Panorama can push up to 8000 IP address-to tag mappings to the firewalls or virtual system assigned to a device group. Review the requirements for Panorama and the managed firewalls:
    • Minimum system requirements (see the Panorama Plugin information in the Compatibility Matrix):
    • You must add the firewalls as managed devices on Panorama and create Device Groups so that you can configure Panorama to notify these groups with the information it retrieves. Device groups can include VM-Series firewalls or virtual systems on the hardware firewalls.
    • The number of tags that the Panorama plugin can retrieve and register is as follows:
      On Panorama running 8.1.3 or later managing firewalls running PAN-OS 8.1.3 or lower, the firewalls or virtual systems included within a device group can have 7000 IP addresses with 10 tags each, or 6500 IP addresses with 15 tags each.
      On Panorama 8.1.3 or later managing firewalls running PAN-OS 8.0.x, 2500 IP addresses with 10 tags each.
      • If your Panorama appliances are in a high availability configuration, you must manually install the same version of the Azure plugin on both Panorama peers.
        You configure the Azure plugin on the active Panorama peer only. On commit, the configuration is synced to the passive Panorama peer. Only the active Panorama peer polls the Azure subscriptions you have configured for Monitoring.

Install the Azure Plugin

To get started with Monitoring on Azure, you need to download and install the Azure plugin on Panorama. If you have a Panorama HA configuration, repeat this installation process on each Panorama peer.
If you currently have installed a Panorama plugin, the process of installing (or uninstalling) another plugin requires a Panorama reboot to enable you to commit changes. So, install additional plugins during a planned maintenance window to allow for a reboot.
If you have a standalone Panorama or two Panorama appliances installed in an HA pair with multiple plugins installed, plugins might not receive updated IP-tag information if one or more of the plugins is not configured. This occurs because Panorama will not forward IP-tag information to unconfigured plugins. Additionally, this issue can occur if one or more of the Panorama plugins is not in the Registered or Success state (positive state differs on each plugin). Ensure that your plugins are in the positive state before continuing or executing the commands described below.
If you encounter this issue, there are two workarounds:
  • Uninstall the unconfigured plugin or plugins. It is recommended that you do not install a plugin that you do not plan to configure right away
  • You can use the following commands to work around this issue. Execute the following command for each unconfigured plugin on each Panorama instance to prevent Panorama from waiting to send updates. If you do not, your firewalls may lose some IP-tag information.
    request plugins dau plugin-name <plugin-name> unblock-device-push yes
    You can cancel this command by executing:
    request plugins dau plugin-name <plugin-name> unblock-device-push no
The commands described are not persistent across reboots and must be used again for any subsequent reboots. For Panorama in HA pair, the commands must be executed on each Panorama.
  1. Log in to the Panorama Web Interface, select
    Panorama
    Plugins
    and click
    Check Now
    to get the list of available plugins.
  2. Select
    Download
    and
    Install
    the plugin.
    After you successfully install, Panorama refreshes and the Azure plugin displays on the
    Panorama
    tab.
  3. Restart Panorama.
    Select
    Panorama
    Setup
    Operations
    Reboot Panorama

Configure the Azure Plugin for Monitoring

Retrieve information for your Azure workloads, use the match criteria filters to define Dynamic Address groups and enforce Security policy.
To begin monitoring the resources in your Azure public cloud deployment, after you Install the Azure Plugin you must create a Monitoring Definition. This definition specifies the Service Principal that is authorized to access the resources within the Azure subscription you want to monitor and the Notify Group that includes the firewalls to which Panorama should push all the IP-address-to-tag mappings it retrieves. In order to enforce policy, you must then create Dynamic Address Groups and reference them in Security policy. The Dynamic Address Groups enable you to filter the tags you want to match on, so that the firewall can get the primary private IP address registered for the tags, and then allow or deny access to traffic to and from the workloads based on the policy rules you define.
  1. Log in to the Panorama web interface.
  2. Set up the following objects for enabling Monitoring on Azure.
    • Add a Service Principal.
      The Service Principal is the service account that you created on the Azure portal. This account is attached to the Azure AD and has limited permissions to access and monitor the resources in your Azure subscription.
      1. Select
        Panorama
        Plugins
        Azure
        Setup
        Service Principal
        Add
        .
      2. Enter a
        Name
        and optionally a
        Description
        to identify the service account.
      3. Enter the
        Subscription ID
        for the Azure subscription you want to monitor. You must login to your Azure portal to get this subscription ID.
      4. Enter the
        Client Secret
        and re-enter it to confirm.
      5. Enter the
        Tenant ID
        . The tenant ID is the Directory ID you saved when you set up the Active Directory application.
      6. Click
        Validate
        to verify that the keys and IDs you entered are valid ,and Panorama can communicate with the Azure subscription using the API.
    • Add a notify group.
      1. Select
        Panorama
        Plugins
        Azure
        Setup
        Notify Groups
        Add
        .
      2. Enter a
        Name
        and optionally a
        Description
        to identify the group of firewalls to which Panorama pushes the information it retrieves.
      3. Select the
        Device Groups
        , which are a group of firewalls or virtual systems, to which Panorama will push the information (IP address-to-tag mapping) it retrieves from your Azure subscriptions. The firewalls use the update to determine the most current list of members that constitute dynamic address groups referenced in policy.
        Think through your Device Groups carefully.
        • Because a Monitoring Definition can include only one notify group, make sure to select all the relevant Device Groups within your notify group. If you want to deregister the tags that Panorama has pushed to a firewall included in a notify group, you must delete the Monitoring Definition.
        • To register tags to all virtual systems on a firewall enabled for multiple virtual systems, you must add each virtual system to a separate device group on Panorama and assign the device groups to the notify group. Panorama will register tags to only one virtual system, if you assign all the virtual systems to one device group.
      4. Verify that monitoring is enabled on the plugin. This setting must be enabled for Panorama to communicate with the Azure public cloud for Monitoring.
        The checkbox for
        Enable Monitoring
        is on
        Panorama
        Plugins
        Azure
        Setup
        General
        .
  3. Create a
    Monitoring Definition
    .
    When you add a new Monitoring definition, it is enabled by default.
    • Select
      Panorama
      Plugins
      Azure
      Monitoring Definition
      , to
      Add
      a new definition.
    • Enter a
      Name
      and optionally a
      Description
      to identify the Azure subscription for which you use this definition.
    • Select the
      Service Principal
      and
      Notify Group
      .
      Panorama requires the keys and IDs that you specify in the Service Principal configuration to generate an Azure Bearer Token which is used in the header of the API call to collect information