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How to Mitigate Spectre and Meltdown in VMware Environment with Runecast Analyzer

I recently attended a webinar with Runecast and it was about how to Mitigate Spectre and Meltdown in VMware Environments.  In this post, you can see the steps to Mitigate Spectre and Meltdown in VMware Environment using Runecast Analyzer. Previously, I wrote an article about Spectre and Meltdown and the VMware recommendations to mitigate this Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, you can read it here.

In a VMware Virtual environment protection should be start from all layers starting from Management to core components.

Protect All Layers

Mitigation should be staring from vCenter server to the ESXi hosts, Runecast analyzer will scan the environment against the VMware knowledge base and provide the recommendations.

Remediate the Stack by Layer

Runecast Analyzer Appliance 1.7.3.0 – Update Appliance

If you are planning to mitigate Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities using Runecast Analyzer make sure to have the latest version of the Analyzer. Sometimes you may already seen the update available notification in the top panel.

Update Notification

To update the  Runecast Analyzer login to the appliance VAMI interface type “https://<IP_ADDRESS_OR_FQDN>:5480” on the browser and use the credentials provided in the Runecast Analyzer user guide.

VAMI Interface

Go to update Tab and check whether you can see the “Available Updates” notification and the appliance version, otherwise click on “Check Updates” button. To install the updates click on “Install Updates” button

Update Available

It will prompt to install the updates click on OK to start the update.

Prompt to install updates

Installing Updates

Check the version again in the VAMI interface after the update

Version Updated

After login to the Runecast Analyzer you can see the updated information in the notification panel

Updated Notification

Run an analysis against the VMware environment and you can see the Spectra and Meltdown issues under issue list

Run the Analysis

Perform the Analysis

Issue list displays the KBs

Click on the issue it’ll provide the VMware response for the Spectra and Meltdown, KBs and detailed mitigation steps under details tab

Affected components can be seen in the “Findings” tab

Findings

One important thing is it will show the complete updates and communications regarding the Spectre and Meltdown updates. Follow the instructions and the updates in order to mitigate the vulnerabilities in the environment. Runecast will give you the best instructions and updates for your environment.

Updates and Communication

Use vCenter Web Client

Runecast Analyzer has a vCenter Web Client plugin and you can find my previous article about installing Web Client plugin to the vCenter can be found here.

Plugin can be used to scan the environment and issue can be seen in the “Details” tab

Web Client Details tab

Under “Affected objects” displays the ESXi hosts subjected to the vulnerability

Web Client Objects tab

Change Runecast Analyzer Update Settings to Automatic Updates

To enable the automatic Updates, login to the VAMI interface. Go to “Update” tab and Select “Settings“. It has three main options for the updates. Select according to the requirement.

Runecast Analyzer updates may include KB/Best Practice/Security hardening updates, application component updates or appliance OS updates.

Set Automatic Updates.

If Runecast Analyzer has the internet connectivity it can use the default repository for the updates. If there is a proxy requirement add the proxy configuration under network settings.

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How to Mitigate Spectre and Meltdown in VMware Environment with Runecast Analyzer
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Aruna Lakmal

Senior Virtualization Engineer at Pearson, Sri Lanka. Technology junky, enthusiast, a VMware vExpert and a blogger with more than 6 years of Experience in Information Technology more focusing on VMware Virtualization, Microsoft and Datacenter Technologies.

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