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NetScaler VPX – management certificate

I would like to upgrade my current NetScaler VPX Express configuration via GUI. For some security reason Internet Explorer and FireFox aren’t able to access the GUI. They return the error message that the NetScaler is using a wrong SSL certificate.

The default SSL self-signed certificate is installed on the appliance. I have uploaded a “real” certificate to content switch and load balancing. I would like to use the same certificate for GUI management. To change the certificate, access the NetScaler via SSH.

Check the current certificate run the following command and you will get the following output.

sh run | grep “bind ssl service”
bind ssl service nshttps-::1l-443 -certkeyName ns-server-certificate
bind ssl service nsrpcs-::1l-3008 -certkeyName ns-server-certificate
bind ssl service nskrpcs- -certkeyName ns-server-certificate
bind ssl service nshttps- -certkeyName ns-server-certificate
bind ssl service nsrpcs- -certkeyName ns-server-certificate

If you would like to see all your available certificate enter the following command.

> sh run | grep “ssl certKey”
add ssl certKey ns-server-certificate -cert ns-server.cert -key ns-server.key
add ssl certKey wildcart-booches-nl -cert sslcert-wildcard-booches-nl.pem -key passwd-private-wildcard-1route-nl.pem -passcrypt “adfadf&*fU=”
add ssl certKey root-booches -cert cacert.pem

I would like to bind the certificate “wildcard-booches-nl”, so I use the following commands to bind the certificate to the different management services.

bind ssl service nskrpcs- -certkeyName wildcard-booches-nl
bind ssl service nshttps- -certkeyName wildcard-booches-nl
bind ssl service nsrpcs- -certkeyName wildcard-booches-nl

ProCurve – Secure Management

Managing networking components is possible via a web interface or via a command-line interface. It doesn’t matter which method you prefer, but it does matter that the connection should be secure. If you use telnet (cli) or http (web interface) the management traffic is send clear-text across the network.

I still notice that a lot of people use insecure communiction methods. It is preferred to use ssh (cli) or https (web interface) to manage your components. The commands below can be used with HP ProCurve components to enable ssh and https and disable telnet and http management protocols.(The key size depends on the type of component and firmware version used)


switch01(config)# crypto key generate ssh rsa bits 2048
switch01(config)# ip ssh
switch01(config)# no telnet-server

Web Interface

switch01(config)# crypto key generate cert rsa <1024|2048>
switch01(config)# crypto host-cert generate self-signed
Validity start date [02/16/2015]:
Validity end date   [02/16/2016]: 09/23/2320
Common name          []: switch01.booches.local
Organizational unit  [Dept Name]: ICT
Organization      [Company Name]: Booches
City or location          [City]: Bocholtz
State name               [State]: Limburg
Country code                [US]: NL
switch01(config)# web-management ssl
switch01(config)# no web-management plaintext

Next to using secure protocols, it is preferred to create unique credentials for every administrator. One way to create unique credentials is by configuring RADIUS / TACACS authentication. A common way is you configure RADIUS between the switch and the Active Directory. The following commands can be used to configure RADIUS on HP ProCurve switches.

switch01(config)# radius-server host key <shared key>
switch01(config)# radius-server host key <shared key>
switch01(config)# aaa authentication web login radius local
switch01(config)# aaa authentication web enable radius local
switch01(config)# aaa authentication ssh login radius local
switch01(config)# aaa authentication ssh enable radius local
switch01(config)# aaa authentication login privilege-mode

Cisco ASA remote management via VPN

By default, remote access VPN users aren’t able to manage a Cisco ASA firewall on the inside interface using any kind of management protocol (SSH, telnet, HTTPS).

You can enable remote management by specifying the management-access interface. You can specify the interface via the CLI or via the Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM). Both methods are specified below.


fw01/ configure terminal
fw01/ management-access inside



When using the Management Access feature with remote VPN connections (IPSec or SSL VPN) don’t forget to add the VPN pool to the corresponding management access protocols on the interface you specified as management access interface

IPplan – IP address management

A lot of customers have different methods for their IP address management. Most of them use some kind of static documentation, like an Excel sheet. In the past I implemented IPplan multiple times. I like this tool, because it dynamically scans multiple IP subnets, using ICMP and/or Nmap. Another advantage of IPplan is its ability to perform hostname lookups.

Often I install IPplan on an active management system, like CactiEZ. The following howto shows the steps to implement IPplan under CactiEZ.

The first step is downloading the appropriate tar.gz file and extract his file in /var/www/html, like shown below.

tar zxvf ipplan-4.92a.tar.gz

Next I change the ownership and permissions of the ipplan directory.

chown –R apache:apache ipplan
chmod –R 750 ipplan

After changing the permissions I create the necessary database for ipplan.

mysql –u root –p
mysql> create database ipplan;

This creates a database called ipplan. Now we need to create a user with the appropriate permissions for the ipplan database.

    -> TO ipplan@localhost IDENTIFIED by ‘password’;

You can change the value ‘password’ to a password you wish. Change the credentials, configured in the previous step, in the file called config.php.

Open a web browser and point it to the installation script in the admin directory (http://ip-address/ipplan/admin/install.php). You will be prompted to create the database schema. The user created above does not have enough permissions to create tables so you will need to either copy the statements into the database, or temporarily change the database password in the config.php file to a database user that has enough rights to do this. You could be asked to enter user credentials for the website. This user credentials can be found in config.php.

I always load the statements by copying the display output from the install.php script into a file (ipplan.sql) and then executing the file using mysql statements.

mysql –u root –p ipplan < ipplan.sql

The basic installation is now complete. We will now go ahead and create a private menu. Open the file config.php and find the section START OF MENU EXTENSION. Change this section into the following to create a private menu.

// private menu extensions to the ipplan menu system
define(“MENU_PRIV”, TRUE);
..|Show used area’s|http://<ip address>/ipplan/user/modifyarearange.php?cust=1
..|Show used subnets|http://<ip address>/ipplan/user/treeview.php
..|Create new subnets|http://<ip address>/ipplan/user/createsubnetform.php
..|Edit subnets|http://<ip address>/ipplan/user/modifybaseform.php


The IPplan poller needs to be added to the crontab configuration. The IPplan poller uses a custom file to know which IP addresses the scan. I normally create a .txt file. The following output show the syntax for the .txt file.

I configure the poller to run every day at 9, 12 and 15. You can edit the crontab with the command:

crontab –e

# Crontab for IPplan poller
0 9,12,15 * * * php /var/www/html/ipplan/contrib/ipplan-poller.php -hostnames -c 1 -f /var/www/html/ipplan/4IP-Networks.txt

There is one last step to take. When you manually execute the command above, you will receive the following error message:

Cannot find NMAP!

The last step is to install NMAP and configure its location in config.php. CactiEZ uses yum to install packages. So I use the following command to install nmap.

yum install nmap

Nmap can be found in the directory /usr/bin/. Look for the nmap section in config.php and change the nmap configuration to the following.

//define(“NMAP”, ”);
define(“NMAP”, ‘/usr/bin/nmap’);

The rest of the configuration needs to be done through the web interface. My advise is to configure some user groups and users, before adding subnets to IPplan. You can also change more settings in config.php to match it to your own environment, like the e-mailserver and helpdesk e-mail address.

Sometimes you receive Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required ‘../adodb/’ message. I resolved this issue by changing line 42 & 43 in ipplan-poller.php from:




This should solve the problem.

Cacti Plugin Management and RealTime Plugin

I played a little with Cacti today and installed the Plugin Architecture 2.1. While reading some forums a lot of people are talking about the Plugin Management functionality. I looked and searched in my complete Cacti installation, checked all the configurations which can be made, but I couldn’t find anything about Plugin Management.

After some more searching on forums I found how to enable the Plugin Management. When you download the Plugin Architecture ZIP file, the ZIP contains a file called pa.sql. This file needs to be imported into the Cacti database with the following command:

mysql -u root -p cacti < pa.sql

After executing the command you can enable Plugin Management per user under User Management.

I haven’t played a lot with Cacti lately, but my colleague told me about a new plugin. This new plugin in called Realtime and I find it very useful. As you all know, Cacti only polls after a certain amount of minutes. Sometimes it is useful to get real-time bandwidth utilization statistics. In most cases I always use tools like STG or Interface Traffic Indicator (both can be found on the Tools page) to get real-time statistics. The Realtime plugin allows you to get real-time bandwidth utilization statistics through Cacti. You can download the Realtime plugin here, more information can be found at