In this Runecast Analyzer 2.0 a quick review we check their new version 2.0, that was launched a couple of weeks ago.
There are several improvements and some new features in this new version. With a new design and modern layout with a better and nicer dashboard. In this new version was added, Historical data, PCI DSS, New UI, improved security, scalability, and reliability of Runecast Analyzer.
First, Runecast Analyzer 2.0 cannot be upgraded from previous versions. Since Runecast rebuilds their product and moves it from OS Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS to use now Ubuntu 18.04.1 in Runecast Analyzer 2.o and some other changes at Postgresql DB level or Apache Tomcat web server.
Because of all those changes, a simple upgrade from 1.x to 2.0 is not possible, and users need to redeploy a new Appliance.
Before we start this Runecast Analyzer 2.0 a quick review, some of the changes that make not possible to upgrade from 1.8 (or previous) to the new 2.0. So to use the Runecast Analyzer 2.0 you need to download the new OVA file and installed. The installation of this new versions has no difference from the previous version.
Note: If you a list of filters or KB notes defined in your previous Runecast Analyzer and don’t want to lose and want to migrate to the new version, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will help you migrate your setting to the new version.
What are the main changes in Runecast Analyzer 2.0?
First in the main changes of Runecast would like to start with one change that we don’t see many times in software tools or companies thinking about this important subject.
Severity icons colors and shapes.
Runecast changes their colors palette with types of color-blindness on Severity icons. Particularly by adding unique shapes and symbols in icons. By optimizing colors and shapes for colorblindness, people is a huge help for people with vision imperfections. Something we don’t see every day in most of the products that are in the market. Great work from Runecast in this area.
Icons and colors examples:
New features and improvements and functionalities:
Started with a new login page.
- Issues by severity
- New tiles
- Widget for issues per layer
- Widget with the most problematic areas
- Revisited view for your connected vCenters
In the next image, we can see the new dashboard with a new design and new sections and easy to read or to select your options.
1. Issue History
In this new section, Runecast Analyzer will now store in the last three months (at least) issues discovered in vCenter, vSAN, and NSX-V.
The issue information includes issue description, IP Address or findings (why the issue was detected). Now administrators can track the history of the issues for their environments.
This is very useful, for example tracking any changes in the environment, maintenance, etc., that could have triggered some of the issues. If you click on one particular day, you will have all the information about issues just for that day.
2. Configuration Issues by layer.
Configuration issues are stack by layer like in the previous versions, but now you can visualize in the dashboard and click on each layer to show the list of the problems per layer.
In this example, we click on the management layer and all issues list from management (and in this case vCenter) page is displayed.
2.1 – In the issues list page you can see that issues displayed are for Management vs vCenter, but you can select other option in this menu. This option is now available in version 2.0 for all Issues list pages.
2.2 – Is now possible to check the history of the issues. By clicking in “Compare with previous result” you can display all issues history regarding this layer. This option is now available in version 2.0 for all Issues list pages.
A new page will display the history of the issues and also the changelog from your product (that can be vCenter, vSAN, and NSX).
The changelog is one of my favorite features. When you have a team of several members is good to have a track of all changes made in the VMware environments, so that everyone is aware of all changes that were made, but also the ones that need to be addressed.
This is handy information, and we don’t need anymore query vCenter to track and display this changes and if those changes or fixes were already fixed.
As we can see in this next image (from a different production environment) some changes were made (patches applied on ESXi) and some patches for Guest OS related to Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigation for Branch Target injection issue.
click to enlarge
3. Host with Most Issues
In this new section, all issues are stack by severity but also by the host with most issues. Here you can identify what are the hosts that have more issues and fix them. By clicking on one host, you will have displayed all issues for that particular ESXi host.
This also a significant feature. Now you can check witch ESXi host is probably the source of some of your issues in your VMware environment, since you can see in the top of the list with more issues to fix.
As we can notice in the above image, now ignore button in all issues lists is added inside in the issue, not in the general list.
With this use as the option to read the issue and VMware KB and decide to ignore easily with all the information. Previously was only in the issue title. This option is now available in version 2.0 for all Issues list pages.
New Security Compliance.
Runecast continues to invest in customers security in their systems, and now Runecast Analyzer 2.0 added more businesses security compliance to its Security guidelines.
To use the new (or disable) Security guidelines you need to go to Settings and Edit Security guidelines and enable them.
To check your Security Compliance on the main menu select Security Hardening, then choose the security compliance that you need to check.
- DISA STIG Automation for VMware
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is a combat support agency of United States Department of Defense (DoD). Their scope is to provide information technology and communications support to defense and federal agencies, government and coalition partners.
All organizations that work or connect to any United States Department of Defense (DoD) systems in any way must comply with DISA STIGs standards.
Running Runecast Analyzer security compliance in your environment, companies make sure that their systems are compliant with DOD guidelines (like Security Technical Implementation Guides – STIGs).
Check Runecast article regarding this subject: How to be DISA STIG-compliant.
Note: DISA’s STIGs cover VMware’s vSphere and NSX. Runecast Analyzer fully supports both to automate DISA-STIG compliance checks.
- PCI-DSS Automation for VMware.
A business that uses credit card data is obligated to comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) regulation.
Runecast Analyzer 2.0 check your VMware environment if they are compliant with payment card industry standards.PCI-DSS was always a subject kind of difficult to handle when is to compliance their security standards, particularly in VMware environments.
Now with this new option, Runecast made this task more easy to handle.
More details about Runecast Analyzer 2.0 PCI DSS checks:
- Covers 226 checks cross-referenced for PCI DSS.
- Automates checks for 27 requirements/controls.
- Supports PCI DSS 3.2.1 (May 2018).
- Supports NSX-V config analysis for PCI DSS (50 NSX cross-referenced checks).
- Runecast shows detailed information about the checks and compliance.
Some of the features and functionalities that we have discussed above, and others.
Issue list enhancements
- New filtering
- Ignore button has moved
- Ability to store and display all detected and resolved issues over time for every connected vCenter.
- The completely new monitoring dashboard with The Most Affected hosts and trending.
- Automation of PCI-DSS VMware rules and new PCI-DSS profile UI
- Support for vSphere 6.7 HTML5 plugin
- Usability, performance and security improvements for increased ease of use.
- Latest VMware Knowledge Base updates.
The full review of the new Runecast Analyzer 2.0 from Runecast can be found HERE.
Runecast Analyzer 2.0 add lot of new and useful features and functionalities in this new version. Severity icons colors and shapes for colorblindness people is a beneficial change on this tool.
The new dashboard and the changes in witch board options are in my opinion excellent that make it more comfortable to understand and to manage. PCI-DSS VMware compliance is also a significant improvement for a segment of companies that work with a credit card payments.
Runecast Analyzer is getting better and better on each version and like I said before, as a lot of space to grow and a lot of features and areas where Runecast Analyzer can be very useful. Still, I think (again) adding an option to fix automatically some of the issues we encounter in our environment is something that would bring this product to a different and better level. Let us wait that this is within the scope of Runecast for the next versions.
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