Set Up the AWS Plugin for VM Monitoring on Panorama

Get started with installing the AWS plugin and configure it for monitoring your EC2 instances on the AWS public cloud.
To find all the virtual machine workloads that your organization has deployed in the AWS public cloud, you need to install the AWS plugin on Panorama and configure Monitoring Definitions that enable Panorama to authenticate to your AWS VPC(s) and retrieve VM information on the workloads. Panorama retrieves the IP address of the VMs that are running— public IP address, and primary and secondary private IP addresses—and the associated tags. For a list of the metadata elements that Panorama supports, see List of Attributes Monitored on the AWS VPC.
After Panorama fetches the attributes, to push the virtual machine 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 AWS.
Finally, to consistently enforce Security policies across the EC2 instances, you must set up Dynamic Address Groups and reference them in policy rules that allow or deny traffic to the IP addresses of the VMs. 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 AWS plugin is for monitoring EC2 instances for upto 100 VPCs on the AWS public cloud. Version 1.0 does not support AWS GovCloud or AWS China.

Planning Checklist for VM Monitoring on AWS

For Panorama to interact with the AWS APIs and collect information on your EC2 instances, you need to create an IAM role and assign the policies that grant the permissions required to authenticate to AWS and access the EC2 instances within your VPC.
  • Gather the VPC ID.
  • Get the credentials that Panorama requires to digitally sign API calls to the AWS services. You need the Access Key ID that uniquely identifies the user who owns or is authorized to access the AWS account, and the Secret Access Key.
    The json format for the minimum permissions associated with the IAM role is as follows -
    { "Path": "/", "UserName": "panorama_vm_programmatic", 
    "UserId": "AIDAIZXXXXCR5JPII4XYZ",           
     "Arn": "arn:aws:iam::412383210500:user/panorama_vm_programmatic",           
     "CreateDate": "2018-07-06T19:14:31Z",           
     "GroupList": [],            
    "AttachedManagedPolicies": [ { "PolicyName": "ReadOnlyAccess", "PolicyArn": "arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/ReadOnlyAccess" } ] },
  • Tag your EC2 instances on AWS. You can tag (define a name-value pair) the EC2 instances either on the EC2 Dashboard on the AWS management console or using the AWS API or AWS CLI. See List of Attributes Monitored on the AWS VPC for the list of supported attributes.
  • Review the requirements for Panorama and the managed firewalls:
    • Minimum system requirements—Panorama virtual appliance or hardware-based Panorama appliance. Panorama must have an active support license and a device management license for managing firewalls.
      Next-generation firewalls with a valid support license.
    • 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 VM information it retrieves. Device groups can include VM-Series firewalls or virtual systems on the hardware firewalls.
    • If your Panorama appliances are in a high availability configuration, you must manually install the same version of the AWS plugin on both Panorama peers.
      You configure the AWS 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 AWS subscriptions you have configured for VM Monitoring.
  • Before you enable the Panorama plugin for monitoring for AWS VPCs, if you are using VM Information Source for AWS on the firewalls, you must disable it to avoid conflicts and unexpected behavior with tags.
  • If you are using the Panorama plugin for Azure and AWS, you cannot target the same firewall or virtual system with tags from both environments. Ensure that there is no overlap of the Device Groups that you add to the Monitoring definitions for AWS and Azure.
  • Check for duplicate IP addresses across the VPCs for which you will enable monitoring. If you have duplicate IP addresses across AWS VPCs, the metadata will be appended together or swapped and this may cause unexpected results in policy enforcement.

Install the AWS Plugin

To get started with monitoring your EC2 instances on AWS, you need to download and install the AWS 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.
  1. Log in to the Panorama Web Interface, select PanoramaPlugins and click Check Now to get the AWS plugin .
  2. Install the plugin.
    After you successfully install, Panorama refreshes and the AWS plugin displays on the PanoramaPlugins tab.
  3. Restart Panorama.
    Select PanoramaSetupOperationsReboot Panorama

Configure the AWS Plugin for VM Monitoring

Retrieve VM information for your AWS workloads, use the match criteria filters to define Dynamic Address groups and enforce Security policy.
To begin monitoring the virtual machines in your AWS public cloud deployment, after you Install the AWS Plugin you must create a Monitoring Definition. This definition specifies the IAM Role that is authorized to access the EC2 instances within the AWS VPC 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 public and private IP addresses registered against each tag, and then allow or deny access to traffic to and from the workloads based on the policy rules you define.
The number of tags that the Panorama plugin can retrieve and register is 7000 IP addresses each with 10 tags or 6500 IP addresses each with 15 tags per the firewalls or virtual systems included within a device group.
  1. Log in to the Panorama web interface.
  2. Set up the following objects for enabling VM Monitoring on AWS.
    • Add an IAM Role.
      An IAM role is an entity that allows you delegate access so that the firewall can make service request on your behalf to the AWS resources (virtual machines that are deployed as EC2 instances).
      1. Select PanoramaPluginsAWSSetupIAM RoleAdd.
      2. Enter a Name and optionally a Description to identify the IAM role.
      3. Enter the Access Key ID for the AWS VPC you want to monitor. You must login to the AWS management console to get this key.
      4. Enter the Secret Access Key and re-enter it to confirm.
      5. Click Validate to verify that the keys and IDs you entered are valid, and Panorama can communicate with the AWS VPC using the API.
    • Add a notify group.
      1. Select PanoramaPluginsAWSSetupNotify GroupsAdd.
      2. Enter a Name and optionally a Description to identify the group of firewalls to which Panorama pushes the VM information it retrieves.
      3. Select the Device Groups, which are a group of firewalls or virtual systems, to which Panorama will push the VM information (IP address-to-tag mapping) it retrieves from your AWS VPCs. 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 AWS public cloud for VM Monitoring.
        The checkbox for Enable Monitoring is on PanoramaPluginsAWSSetupGeneral.
  3. Create a Monitoring Definition.
    When you add a new Monitoring definition, it is enabled by default.
    • Select PanoramaPluginsAWSMonitoring Definition, to Add a new definition.
    • Enter a Name and optionally a Description to identify the AWS VPC for which you use this definition.
    • Enter the Endpoint URL. The syntax is ec2.<your_region>
    • Enter the VPC ID displayed on the VPC Dashboard on the AWS management console.
    • Select the IAM Role and Notify Group.
  4. Commit the changes on Panorama.
    Verify that the status for the Monitoring Definition displays as Success. If it fails, verify that you entered the AWS VPC ID accurately and provided the correct keys and IDs for the authorizing access.
  5. Verify that you can view the VM information on Panorama, and define the match criteria for Dynamic Address Groups.
    On HA failover, the newly active Panorama attempts to reconnect to the AWS cloud and retrieve tags for all monitoring definitions. If Panorama is unable to reconnect with even one of the monitoring definitions that you have configured and enabled, Panorama generates a system log message
    Unable to process subscriptions after HA switch-over; user-intervention required.
    If this happens, you must log into Panorama and verify the monitoring definitions to fix invalid credentials or remove invalid subscriptions. Although Panorama is disconnected from the AWS cloud, all tags that were retrieved for the monitoring definitions before the failover, are retained and the firewalls can continue to enforce policy on that list of IP addresses. Panorama removes all tags associated with the subscriptions only when you delete a monitoring definition. As a best practice, to monitor this issue, you can configure action-oriented log forwarding to an HTTPS destination from Panorama so that you can take action immediately.

Related Documentation