Set Up the Azure Plugin for VM Monitoring on Panorama

To start collecting IP address-to-tag mapping, set up the VM Monitoring agent to execute as a cron task.
To find all the virtual machine 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 VM information on the Azure workloads. Panorama retrieves the primary private IP address of the VMs—stopped and running— 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 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 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 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 Azure plugin is for monitoring VMs on the Azure public cloud. Version 1.0 does not support Azure Government or Azure China.

Planning Checklist for VM 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 Principle 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 subscriptions for which you will enable monitoring. If you have duplicate IP addresses across subscriptions, the metadata will be appended together or swapped and this may cause unexpected results in policy enforcement.
  • 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—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.
    • 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.
    • 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 peeer. Only the active Panorama peer polls the Azure subscriptions you have configured for VM Monitoring.

Install the Azure Plugin

To get started with VM 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.
  1. Log in to the Panorama Web Interface, select PanoramaPlugins 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.
    azure_vm_monitoring_plugin.png
  3. Restart Panorama.
    Select PanoramaSetupOperationsReboot Panorama

Configure the Azure Plugin for VM Monitoring

Retrieve VM information for your Azure workloads, use the match criteria filters to define Dynamic Address groups and enforce Security policy.
To begin monitoring the virtual machines in your Azure public cloud deployment, after you Install the Azure Plugin you must create a Monitoring Definition. This definition specifies the Service Principle 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 VM Monitoring on Azure.
    • Add a Service Principle.
      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 PanoramaPluginsAzureSetupService PrincipalAdd.
        plugin_azure_service_principal.png
      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 PanoramaPluginsAzureSetupNotify GroupsAdd.
        plugin_azure_notify_groups.png
      2. Enter a Name and optionally a Description to identify the group of firewalls to which Panorama pushes the VM iniformation 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 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 VM Monitoring.
        The checkbox for Enable Monitoring is on PanoramaPluginsAzureSetupGeneral.
  3. Create a Monitoring Definition.
    plugin_azure_monitoring_definitions.png
    When you add a new Monitoring definition, it is enabled by default.
    • Select PanoramaPluginsAzureMonitoring 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 on your workloads.
  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 Azure Subscription ID accurately and provided the correct keys and IDs for the Service Principal.
  5. Verify that you can view the VM information on Panorama, and define the match criteria for Dynamic Address Groups.
    plugin_azure_dags.png
    On HA failover, the newly active Panorama attempts to reconnect to the Azure cloud and retrieve tags for all monitoring definitions. If there is an error with reconnecting even one monitoring definition, Panorama generates a system log message
    Unable to process subscriptions after HA switch-over; user-intervention required.
    When you see this error, you must log in to Panorama and fix the issue, for example remove an invalid subscription or provide valid credentials, and commit your changes to enable Panorama to reconnect and retrieve the tags for all monitoring definitions. Even when Panorama is disconnected from the Azure cloud, the firewalls have the list of all tags that had been retrieved before failover, and can continue to enforce policy on that list of IP addresses. Panorama removes all tags associated with the subscription only when you delete a monitoring definition. As a best practice, to monitor this issue, configure action-oriented log forwarding to an HTTPS destination from Panorama so that you can take immediate action.

Related Documentation