EC2 Instance Update – Two More Sizes of M5 & R5 Instances

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When I introduced the Nitro system last year I said:

The Nitro system is a rich collection of building blocks that can be assembled in many different ways, giving us the flexibility to design and rapidly deliver EC2 instance types with an ever-broadening selection of compute, storage, memory, and networking options. We will deliver new instance types more quickly than ever in the months to come, with the goal of helping you to build, migrate, and run even more types of workloads.

Today I am happy to make good on that promise, with the introduction of two additional sizes of the Intel and AMD-powered M5 and R5 instances, including optional NVMe storage. These additional sizes will make it easier for you to find an instance size that is a perfect match for your workload.

M5 Instances
These instances are designed for general-purpose workloads such as web servers, app servers, dev/test environments, gaming, logging, and media processing. Here are the specs:

Instance Name vCPUs RAM Storage EBS-Optimized Bandwidth Network Bandwidth
32  128 GiB EBS Only 5 Gbps 10 Gbps
64  256 GiB EBS Only 10 Gbps 20 Gbps
32  128 GiB EBS Only 3.5 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
64  256 GiB EBS Only 7 Gbps 12 Gbps
32 128 GiB 2 x 600 GB NVMe SSD 5 Gbps 10 Gbps
64 256 GiB 4 x 600 GB NVMe SSD 10 Gbps 20 Gbps

If you are currently using m4.10xlarge or m4.16xlarge instances, you now have several upgrade paths.

To learn more, read M5 – The Next Generation of General-Purpose EC2 Instances, New Lower-Cost, AMD-Powered M5a and R5a EC2 Instances, and EC2 Instance Update – M5 Instances with Local NVMe Storage.

R5 Instances
These instances are designed for data mining, in-memory analytics, caching, simulations, and other memory-intensive workloads. Here are the specs:

Instance Name vCPUs RAM Storage EBS-Optimized Bandwidth Network Bandwidth
32 256 GiB EBS Only 5 Gbps 10 Gbps
64 512 GiB EBS Only 10 Gbps 20 Gbps
32 256 GiB EBS Only 3.5 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
64 512 GiB EBS Only 7 Gbps 12 Gbps
32 256 GiB 2 x 600 GB NVMe SSD 5 Gbps 10 Gbps
64 512 GiB 4 x 600 GB NVMe SSD 10 Gbps 20 Gbps

If you are currently using r4.8xlarge or r4.16xlarge instances, you now have several easy and powerful upgrade paths.

To learn more, read Amazon EC2 Instance Update – Faster Processors and More Memory.

Things to Know
Here a couple of things to keep in mind when you use these new instances:

Processor Choice – You can choose between Intel and AMD EPYC processors (instance names include an “a”). Read my post, New Lower-Cost AMD-Powered M5a and R5a EC2 Instances, to learn more.

AMIs – You can use the same AMIs that you use with your existing M5 and R5 instances.

Regions – The new sizes are available in all AWS Regions where the existing sizes are already available.

Local NVMe Storage – On “d” instances with local NVMe storage, the devices are encrypted using the XTS-AES-256 block cipher and a unique key. Each key is destroyed when the instance is stopped or terminated. The local devices have the same lifetime as the instance they are attached to, and do not stick around after the instance has been stopped or terminated.

Available Now
The new sizes are available in On-Demand, Spot, and Reserved Instance form and you can start using them today!



DSC Resource Kit Release June 2019

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We just released the DSC Resource Kit!

This release includes updates to 8 DSC resource modules. In the past 6 weeks, 95 pull requests have been merged and 55 issues have been closed, all thanks to our amazing community!

The modules updated in this release are:

  • CertificateDsc
  • NetworkingDsc
  • PSDscResources
  • SharePointDsc
  • SqlServerDsc
  • xActiveDirectory
  • xDnsServer
  • xPSDesiredStateConfiguration

For a detailed list of the resource modules and fixes in this release, see the Included in this Release section below.

Our latest community call for the DSC Resource Kit was last Wednesday, June 19. A recording of the call with be posted on the PowerShell YouTube channel soon. You can join us for the next call at 12PM (Pacific time) on July 31 to ask questions and give feedback about your experience with the DSC Resource Kit.

The next DSC Resource Kit release will be on Wednesday, August 7.

We strongly encourage you to update to the newest version of all modules using the PowerShell Gallery, and don’t forget to give us your feedback in the comments below, on GitHub, or on Twitter (@PowerShell_Team)!

Please see our documentation here for information on the support of these resource modules.

Included in this Release

You can see a detailed summary of all changes included in this release in the table below. For past release notes, go to the or file on the GitHub repository page for a specific module (see the How to Find DSC Resource Modules on GitHub section below for details on finding the GitHub page for a specific module).

Module Name Version Release Notes
  • Opted into Common Tests “Common Tests – Validate Localization” – fixes Issue 195.
  • Combined all CertificateDsc.ResourceHelper module functions into CertificateDsc.Common module and renamed to CertificateDsc.CommonHelper module.
  • CertReq:
    • Fix error when ProviderName parameter is not encapsulated in double quotes – fixes Issue 185.
  • Refactor integration tests to update to latest standards.
  • Refactor unit tests to update to latest standards.
  • CertificateImport:
    • Refactor to use common functions and share more code with PfxImport resource.
    • Resource will now only throw an exception if the PFX file does not exist and it needs to be imported.
    • Removed file existence check from Path parameter to enable the resource to remove a certificate from the store without the need to have the access to the certificate file.
    • Removed ShouldProcess because it is not required by DSC Resources.
  • CertificatePfx:
    • Refactor to use common functions and share more code with CertificateImport resource.
    • Resource will now only throw an exception if the certificate file does not exist and it needs to be imported.
  • CertificateImport:
    • Added FriendlyName parameter to allow setting the certificate friendly name of the imported certificate – fixes Issue 194.
  • CertificatePfx:
    • Added FriendlyName parameter to allow setting the certificate friendly name of the imported certificate – fixes Issue 194.
  • DnsClientGlobalSettings:
    • Fixed SuffixSearchList Empty String Handling – fixes Issue 398.
  • NetAdapterAdvancedProperty:
    • Removed validation from RegistryKeyword parameter because the list of valid registry keywords is not fixed and will depend on adapter driver – fixes Issue 388.
  • MSFT_WinsServerAddress Added MSFT_WinsServerAddress to control the WINS servers for a given network adapter.
  • Test-DscParameterState:
    • This function was enhanced with an optional reversecheck, optional internal sorting for arrays.
    • The functions ConvertTo-CimInstance and ConvertTo-Hashtable were added required by Test-DscParameterState.
  • Fix missing context message content in unit tests – fixes Issue 405.
  • Correct style violations in unit tests:
    • Adding Get, Set and Test tags to appropriate describe blocks.
    • Removing uneccesary region blocks.
    • Conversion of double quotes to single quotes where possible.
    • Replace variables with string litterals in describe block description.
  • Firewall:
    • Fix bug when LocalAddress or RemoteAddress is specified using CIDR notation with number of bits specified in subnet mask (e.g. rather than using CIDR subnet mask notation (e.g – fixes Issue 404.
  • Ports style fixes that were recently made in xPSDesiredStateConfiguration on test related files.
  • Ports most of the style upgrades from xPSDesiredStateConfiguration that have been made in files in the DscResources folder.
  • Ports fixes for the following issues: Issue 505 Issue 590 Changes to test helper Enter-DscResourceTestEnvironment so that it only updates DSCResource.Tests when it is longer than 120 minutes since it was last pulled. This is to improve performance of test execution and reduce the likelihood of connectivity issues caused by inability to pull DSCResource.Tests.
  • Fixes issue where MsiPackage Integration tests fail if the test HttpListener fails to start. Moves the test HttpListener objects to dynamically assigned, higher numbered ports to avoid conflicts with other services, and also checks to ensure that the ports are available before using them. Adds checks to ensure that no outstanding HTTP server jobs are running before attempting to setup a new one. Also adds additional instrumentation to make it easier to troubleshoot issues with the test HttpListener objects in the future. Specifically fixes Issue 142
  • Improved speed of Test-IsNanoServer function
  • Remove the Byte Order Mark (BOM) from all affected files
  • Opt-in to “Validate Module Files” and “Validate Script Files” common meta-tests
  • Opt-in to “Common Tests – Relative Path Length” common meta-test
  • Fix README markdownlint validation failures
  • Move change log from to
  • SharePointDsc generic
    • Improved logging in all resource. They are now outputting the current and targeted values in the Test method.
    • Updated various resources to comply with coding style guidelines.
    • Updated the following resources to not return Null from the Get method anymore, but an hashtable which contains null values: SPDesignerSettings, SPDiagnosticLoggingSettings, SPFarmAdministrators, SPHealthAnalyzerRuleState, SPIrmSettings, SPOutgoingEmailSettings, SPPasswordChangeSettings, SPSearchTopology, SPServiceAppProxyGroup, SPTimerJobState, SPUserProfileSection, SPUserProfileSyncConnection, SPWebAppBlockedFileTypes, SPWebApplicationAppDomain, SPWebAppPolicy, SPWebAppSiteUseAndDeletion, SPWebAppThrottlingSettings, SPWordAutomationServiceApp.
  • SPConfigWizard
    • Added check to make sure the Config Wizard is only executed when all servers have the binaries installed.
  • SPDistributedCacheService
    • Added ability to check for incorrect service account.
  • SPExcelServiceApp
    • Fixes issue where Get method throws an error when the value of PrivateBytesMax and UnusedObjectAgeMax are negative values.
  • SPFarm
    • Throw error in Get method if CentralAdministrationUrl is HTTP.
  • SPInstallPrereqs
    • Fixed bug in version check, where lower versions would be detected as higher versions.
  • SPProductUpdate
    • Updated Readme to reflect the new patching possibilities added in v3.3.
  • SPSecureStore
    • Fixed issue where the test issue returned false is the service application didn’t exist, but the database name/server parameter was specified.
  • SPUserProfileSyncConnection
    • Fixed issue where the parameter Server was checked in SP2016 but isn’t used there and therefore always fails.
  • SPWebAppAuthentication
    • Updated the documentation to better explain the use of this resource when using Classic authentication.
  • Changes to SqlServerDsc
    • Added SqlAgentAlert resource.
    • Opt-in to the common test “Common Test – Validation Localization”.
    • Opt-in to the common test “Common Test – Flagged Script Analyzer Rules” (issue 1101).
    • Removed the helper function New-TerminatingError, New-WarningMessage and New-VerboseMessage in favor of the the new localization helper functions.
    • Combine DscResource.LocalizationHelper and DscResource.Common into SqlServerDsc.Common (issue 1357).
    • Update Assert-TestEnvironment.ps1 to not error if strict mode is enabled and there are no missing dependencies (issue 1368).
  • Changes to SqlServerDsc.Common
    • Added StatementTimeout to function “Connect-SQL” with default 600 seconds (10mins).
    • Added StatementTimeout to function “Invoke-Query” with default 600 seconds (10mins) (issue 1358).
    • Changes to helper function Connect-SQL
      • The function now make it more clear that when using the parameter SetupCredential is impersonates that user, and by default it does not impersonates a user but uses the credential that the resource is run as (for example the built-in credential parameter PsDscRunAsCredential). @kungfu71186
      • Added parameter alias -DatabaseCredential for the parameter -SetupCredential. @kungfu71186
  • Changes to SqlAG
    • Added en-US localization.
  • Changes to SqlAGReplica
    • Added en-US localization.
    • Improved verbose message output when creating availability group replica, removing a availability group replica, and joining the availability group replica to the availability group.
  • Changes to SqlAlwaysOnService
    • Now outputs the correct verbose message when restarting the service.
  • Changes to SqlServerMemory
    • Now outputs the correct verbose messages when calculating the dynamic memory, and when limiting maximum memory.
  • Changes to SqlServerRole
    • Now outputs the correct verbose message when the members of a role is not in desired state.
  • Changes to SqlAgentOperator
    • Fix minor issue that when unable to connect to an instance. Instead of showing a message saying that connect failed another unrelated error message could have been shown, because of an error in the code.
    • Fix typo in test it block.
  • Changes to SqlDatabaseRole
  • Changes to SqlSetup
    • Add an Action type of “Upgrade”. This will ask setup to do a version upgrade where possible (issue 1368).
    • Fix an error when testing for DQS installation (issue 1368).
    • Changed the logic of how default value of FailoverClusterGroupName is set since that was preventing the resource to be able to be debugged (issue 448).
    • Added RSInstallMode parameter (issue 1163).
  • Changes to SqlWindowsFirewall
    • Where a version upgrade has changed paths for a database engine, the existing firewall rule for that instance will be updated rather than another one created (issue 1368). Other firewall rules can be fixed to work in the same way later.
  • Changes to SqlAGDatabase
    • Added new parameter “ReplaceExisting” with default false. This allows forced restores when a database already exists on secondary.
    • Added StatementTimeout to Invoke-Query to fix Issue1358
    • Fix issue where calling Get would return an error because the database name list may have been returned as a string instead of as a string array (issue 1368).
  • Changes to xActiveDirectory
    • Added new helper functions in xADCommon, see each functions comment-based help for more information.
      • Convert-PropertyMapToObjectProperties
      • Compare-ResourcePropertyState
      • Test-DscPropertyState
    • Move the examples in the to Examples folder.
    • Fix Script Analyzer rule failures.
    • Opt-in to the following DSC Resource Common Meta Tests:
      • Common Tests – Custom Script Analyzer Rules
      • Common Tests – Required Script Analyzer Rules
      • Common Tests – Flagged Script Analyzer Rules
      • Common Tests – Validate Module Files (issue 282)
      • Common Tests – Validate Script Files (issue 283)
      • Common Tests – Relative Path Length (issue 284)
      • Common Tests – Validate Markdown Links (issue 280)
      • Common Tests – Validate Localization (issue 281)
      • Common Tests – Validate Example Files (issue 279)
      • Common Tests – Validate Example Files To Be Published (issue 311)
    • Move resource descriptions to Wiki using auto-documentation (issue 289)
    • Move helper functions from MSFT_xADCommon to the module xActiveDirectory.Common (issue 288).
      • Removed helper function Test-ADDomain since it was not used. The helper function had design flaws too.
      • Now the helper function Test-Members outputs all the members that are not in desired state when verbose output is enabled.
    • Update all unit tests to latest unit test template.
    • Deleted the obsolete xActiveDirectory_TechNetDocumentation.html file.
    • Added new resource xADObjectEnabledState. This resource should be used to enforce the Enabled property of computer accounts. This resource replaces the deprecated Enabled property in the resource xADComputer.
    • Cleanup of code
      • Removed semicolon throughout where it is not needed.
      • Migrate tests to Pester syntax v4.x (issue 322).
      • Removed -MockWith {} in unit tests.
      • Use fully qualified type names for parameters and variables (issue 374).
    • Removed unused legacy test files from the root of the repository.
    • Updated Example List README with missing resources.
    • Added missing examples for xADReplicationSubnet, xADServicePrincipalName and xWaitForADDomain. (issue 395).
  • Changes to xADComputer
    • Refactored the resource and the unit tests.
    • BREAKING CHANGE: The Enabled property is DEPRECATED and is no longer set or enforces with this resource. If this parameter is used in a configuration a warning message will be outputted saying that the Enabled parameter has been deprecated. The new resource xADObjectEnabledState can be used to enforce the Enabled property.
    • BREAKING CHANGE: The default value of the enabled property of the computer account will be set to the default value of the cmdlet New-ADComputer.
    • A new parameter was added called EnabledOnCreation that will control if the computer account is created enabled or disabled.
    • Moved examples from the to separate example files in the Examples folder.
    • Fix the RestoreFromRecycleBin description.
    • Fix unnecessary cast in Test-TargetResource (issue 295).
    • Fix ServicePrincipalNames property empty string exception (issue 382).
  • Changes to xADGroup
    • Change the description of the property RestoreFromRecycleBin.
    • Code cleanup.
  • Changes to xADObjectPermissionEntry
    • Change the description of the property IdentityReference.
    • Fix failure when applied in the same configuration as xADDomain.
    • Localize and Improve verbose messaging.
    • Code cleanup.
  • Changes to xADOrganizationalUnit
    • Change the description of the property RestoreFromRecycleBin.
    • Code cleanup.
    • Fix incorrect verbose message when this resource has Ensure set to Absent (issue 276).
  • Changes to xADUser
    • Change the description of the property RestoreFromRecycleBin.
    • Added ServicePrincipalNames property (issue 153).
    • Added ChangePasswordAtLogon property (issue 246).
    • Code cleanup.
    • Added LogonWorkstations property
    • Added Organization property
    • Added OtherName property
    • Added AccountNotDelegated property
    • Added AllowReversiblePasswordEncryption property
    • Added CompoundIdentitySupported property
    • Added PasswordNotRequired property
    • Added SmartcardLogonRequired property
    • Added ProxyAddresses property (Issue 254).
    • Fix Password property being updated whenever another property is changed (issue 384).
    • Replace Write-Error with the correct helper function (Issue 331).
  • Changes to xADDomainController
    • Change the Requires statement in the Examples to require the correct module.
    • Suppressing the Script Analyzer rule PSAvoidGlobalVars since the resource is using the $global:DSCMachineStatus variable to trigger a reboot.
    • Code cleanup.
  • Changes to xADDomain
    • Suppressing the Script Analyzer rule PSAvoidGlobalVars since the resource is using the $global:DSCMachineStatus variable to trigger a reboot.
    • Code cleanup.
  • Changes to xADDomainTrust
    • Replaced New-TerminatingError with Standard Function.
    • Code cleanup.
  • Changes to xWaitForADDomain
    • Suppressing the Script Analyzer rule PSAvoidGlobalVars since the resource is using the $global:DSCMachineStatus variable to trigger a reboot.
    • Added missing property schema descriptions (issue 369).
    • Code cleanup.
  • Changes to xADRecycleBin
    • Remove unneeded example and resource designer files.
    • Added missing property schema descriptions (issue 368).
    • Code cleanup.
    • It now sets back the $ErrorActionPreference that was set prior to setting it to "Stop".
    • Replace Write-Error with the correct helper function (issue 327).
  • Changes to xADReplicationSiteLink
    • Fix ADIdentityNotFoundException when creating a new site link.
    • Code cleanup.
  • Changes to xADReplicationSubnet
    • Remove `{ Present
  • Added resource xDnsServerConditionalForwarder
  • Added xDnsServerDiagnostics resource to this module.
  • Ports fix for the following issue: Issue 142 Fixes issue where MsiPackage Integration tests fail if the test HttpListener fails to start. Moves the test HttpListener objects to dynamically assigned, higher numbered ports to avoid conflicts with other services, and also checks to ensure that the ports are available before using them. Adds checks to ensure that no outstanding HTTP server jobs are running before attempting to setup a new one. Also adds additional instrumentation to make it easier to troubleshoot issues with the test HttpListener objects in the future.

How to Find Released DSC Resource Modules

To see a list of all released DSC Resource Kit modules, go to the PowerShell Gallery and display all modules tagged as DSCResourceKit. You can also enter a module’s name in the search box in the upper right corner of the PowerShell Gallery to find a specific module.

Of course, you can also always use PowerShellGet (available starting in WMF 5.0) to find modules with DSC Resources:

# To list all modules that tagged as DSCResourceKit
Find-Module -Tag DSCResourceKit
# To list all DSC resources from all sources

Please note only those modules released by the PowerShell Team are currently considered part of the ‘DSC Resource Kit’ regardless of the presence of the ‘DSC Resource Kit’ tag in the PowerShell Gallery.

To find a specific module, go directly to its URL on the PowerShell Gallery:< module name >
For example:

How to Install DSC Resource Modules From the PowerShell Gallery

We recommend that you use PowerShellGet to install DSC resource modules:

Install-Module -Name

For example:

Install-Module -Name xWebAdministration

To update all previously installed modules at once, open an elevated PowerShell prompt and use this command:


After installing modules, you can discover all DSC resources available to your local system with this command:


How to Find DSC Resource Modules on GitHub

All resource modules in the DSC Resource Kit are available open-source on GitHub.
You can see the most recent state of a resource module by visiting its GitHub page at:< module name >
For example, for the CertificateDsc module, go to:

All DSC modules are also listed as submodules of the DscResources repository in the DscResources folder and the xDscResources folder.

How to Contribute

You are more than welcome to contribute to the development of the DSC Resource Kit! There are several different ways you can help. You can create new DSC resources or modules, add test automation, improve documentation, fix existing issues, or open new ones.
See our contributing guide for more info on how to become a DSC Resource Kit contributor.

If you would like to help, please take a look at the list of open issues for the DscResources repository.
You can also check issues for specific resource modules by going to:< module name >/issues
For example:

Your help in developing the DSC Resource Kit is invaluable to us!

Questions, comments?

If you’re looking into using PowerShell DSC, have questions or issues with a current resource, or would like a new resource, let us know in the comments below, on Twitter (@PowerShell_Team), or by creating an issue on GitHub.

Katie Kragenbrink
Software Engineer
PowerShell DSC Team
@katiedsc (Twitter)
@kwirkykat (GitHub)

The post DSC Resource Kit Release June 2019 appeared first on PowerShell.

New – VPC Traffic Mirroring – Capture & Inspect Network Traffic

This post was originally published on this site

Running a complex network is not an easy job. In addition to simply keeping it up and running, you need to keep an ever-watchful eye out for unusual traffic patterns or content that could signify a network intrusion, a compromised instance, or some other anomaly.

VPC Traffic Mirroring
Today we are launching VPC Traffic Mirroring. This is a new feature that you can use with your existing Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) to capture and inspect network traffic at scale. This will allow you to:

Detect Network & Security Anomalies – You can extract traffic of interest from any workload in a VPC and route it to the detection tools of your choice. You can detect and respond to attacks more quickly than is possible with traditional log-based tools.

Gain Operational Insights – You can use VPC Traffic Mirroring to get the network visibility and control that will let you make security decisions that are better informed.

Implement Compliance & Security Controls – You can meet regulatory & compliance requirements that mandate monitoring, logging, and so forth.

Troubleshoot Issues – You can mirror application traffic internally for testing and troubleshooting. You can analyze traffic patterns and proactively locate choke points that will impair the performance of your applications.

You can think of VPC Traffic Mirroring as a “virtual fiber tap” that gives you direct access to the network packets flowing through your VPC. As you will soon see, you can choose to capture all traffic or you can use filters to capture the packets that are of particular interest to you, with an option to limit the number of bytes captured per packet. You can use VPC Traffic Mirroring in a multi-account AWS environment, capturing traffic from VPCs spread across many AWS accounts and then routing it to a central VPC for inspection.

You can mirror traffic from any EC2 instance that is powered by the AWS Nitro system (A1, C5, C5d, M5, M5a, M5d, R5, R5a, R5d, T3, and z1d as I write this).

Getting Started with VPC Traffic Mirroring
Let’s review the key elements of VPC Traffic Mirroring and then set it up:

Mirror Source – An AWS network resource that exists within a particular VPC, and that can be used as the source of traffic. VPC Traffic Mirroring supports the use of Elastic Network Interfaces (ENIs) as mirror sources.

Mirror Target – An ENI or Network Load Balancer that serves as a destination for the mirrored traffic. The target can be in the same AWS account as the Mirror Source, or in a different account for implementation of the central-VPC model that I mentioned above.

Mirror Filter – A specification of the inbound or outbound (with respect to the source) traffic that is to be captured (accepted) or skipped (rejected). The filter can specify a protocol, ranges for the source and destination ports, and CIDR blocks for the source and destination. Rules are numbered, and processed in order within the scope of a particular Mirror Session.

Traffic Mirror Session – A connection between a mirror source and target that makes use of a filter. Sessions are numbered, evaluated in order, and the first match (accept or reject) is used to determine the fate of the packet. A given packet is sent to at most one target.

You can set this up using the VPC Console, EC2 CLI, or the EC2 API, with CloudFormation support in the works. I’ll use the Console.

I already have ENI that I will use as my mirror source and destination (in a real-world use case I would probably use an NLB destination):

The MirrorTestENI_Source and MirrorTestENI_Destination ENIs are already attached to suitable EC2 instances. I open the VPC Console and scroll down to the Traffic Mirroring items, then click Mirror Targets:

I click Create traffic mirror target:

I enter a name and description, choose the Network Interface target type, and select my ENI from the menu. I add a Blog tag to my target, as is my practice, and click Create:

My target is created and ready to use:

Now I click Mirror Filters and Create traffic mirror filter. I create a simple filter that captures inbound traffic on three ports (22, 80, and 443), and click Create:

Again, it is created and ready to use in seconds:

Next, I click Mirror Sessions and Create traffic mirror session. I create a session that uses MirrorTestENI_Source, MainTarget, and MyFilter, allow AWS to choose the VXLAN network identifier, and indicate that I want the entire packet mirrored:

And I am all set. Traffic from my mirror source that matches my filter is encapsulated as specified in RFC 7348 and delivered to my mirror target. I can then use tools like Suricata to capture, analyze, and visualize it.

Things to Know
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Sessions Per ENI – You can have up to three active sessions on each ENI.

Cross-VPC – The source and target ENIs can be in distinct VPCs as long as they are peered to each other or connected through Transit Gateway.

Scaling & HA – In most cases you should plan to mirror traffic to a Network Load Balancer and then run your capture & analysis tools on an Auto Scaled fleet of EC2 instances behind it.

Bandwidth – The replicated traffic generated by each instance will count against the overall bandwidth available to the instance. If traffic congestion occurs, mirrored traffic will be dropped first.

Now Available
VPC Traffic Mirroring is available now and you can start using it today in all commercial AWS Regions except Asia Pacific (Sydney), China (Beijing), and China (Ningxia). Support for those regions will be added soon. You pay an hourly fee (starting at $0.015 per hour) for each mirror source; see the VPC Pricing page for more info.



AWS Security Hub Now Generally Available

This post was originally published on this site

I’m a developer, or at least that’s what I tell myself while coming to terms with being a manager. I’m definitely not an infosec expert. I’ve been paged more than once in my career because something I wrote or configured caused a security concern. When systems enable frequent deploys and remove gatekeepers for experimentation, sometimes a non-compliant resource is going to sneak by. That’s why I love tools like AWS Security Hub, a service that enables automated compliance checks and aggregated insights from a variety of services. With guardrails like these in place to make sure things stay on track, I can experiment more confidently. And with a single place to view compliance findings from multiple systems, infosec feels better about letting me self-serve.

With cloud computing, we have a shared responsibility model when it comes to compliance and security. AWS handles the security of the cloud: everything from the security of our data centers up to the virtualization layer and host operating system. Customers handle security in the cloud: the guest operating system, configuration of systems, and secure software development practices.

Today, AWS Security Hub is out of preview and available for general use to help you understand the state of your security in the cloud. It works across AWS accounts and integrates with many AWS services and third-party products. You can also use the Security Hub API to create your own integrations.

Getting Started

When you enable AWS Security Hub, permissions are automatically created via IAM service-linked roles. Automated, continuous compliance checks begin right away. Compliance standards determine these compliance checks and rules. The first compliance standard available is the Center for Internet Security (CIS) AWS Foundations Benchmark. We’ll add more standards this year.

The results of these compliance checks are called findings. Each finding tells you severity of the issue, which system reported it, which resources it affects, and a lot of other useful metadata. For example, you might see a finding that lets you know that multi-factor authentication should be enabled for a root account, or that there are credentials that haven’t been used for 90 days that should be revoked.

Findings can be grouped into insights using aggregation statements and filters.


In addition to the Compliance standards findings, AWS Security Hub also aggregates and normalizes data from a variety of services. It is a central resource for findings from AWS Guard Duty, Amazon Inspector, Amazon Macie, and from 30 AWS partner security solutions.

AWS Security Hub also supports importing findings from custom or proprietary systems. Findings must be formatted as AWS Security Finding Format JSON objects. Here’s an example of an object I created that meets the minimum requirements for the format. To make it work for your account, switch out the AwsAccountId and the ProductArn. To get your ProductArn for custom findings, replace REGION and ACCOUNT_ID in the following string: arn:aws:securityhub:REGION:ACCOUNT_ID:product/ACCOUNT_ID/default.

    "Findings": [{
        "AwsAccountId": "12345678912",
        "CreatedAt": "2019-06-13T22:22:58Z",
        "Description": "This is a custom finding from the API",
        "GeneratorId": "api-test",
        "Id": "us-east-1/12345678912/98aebb2207407c87f51e89943f12b1ef",
        "ProductArn": "arn:aws:securityhub:us-east-1:12345678912:product/12345678912/default",
        "Resources": [{
            "Type": "Other",
            "Id": "i-decafbad"
        "SchemaVersion": "2018-10-08",
        "Severity": {
            "Product": 2.5,
            "Normalized": 11
        "Title": "Security Finding from Custom Software",
        "Types": [
            "Software and Configuration Checks/Vulnerabilities/CVE"
        "UpdatedAt": "2019-06-13T22:22:58Z"

Then I wrote a quick node.js script that I named importFindings.js to read this JSON file and send it off to AWS Security Hub via the AWS JavaScript SDK.

const fs    = require('fs');        // For file system interactions
const util  = require('util');      // To wrap fs API with promises
const AWS   = require('aws-sdk');   // Load the AWS SDK

AWS.config.update({region: 'us-east-1'});

// Create our Security Hub client
const sh = new AWS.SecurityHub();

// Wrap readFile so it returns a promise and can be awaited 
const readFile = util.promisify(fs.readFile);

async function getFindings(path) {
    try {
        // wait for the file to be read...
        let fileData = await readFile(path);

        // ...then parse it as JSON and return it
        return JSON.parse(fileData);
    catch (error) {

async function importFindings() {
    // load the findings from our file
    const findings = await getFindings('./findings.json');

    try {
        // call the AWS Security Hub BatchImportFindings endpoint
        response = await sh.batchImportFindings(findings).promise();
    catch (error) {

// Engage!

A quick run of node importFindings.js results in { FailedCount: 0, SuccessCount: 1, FailedFindings: [] }. And now I can see my custom finding in the Security Hub console:

Custom Actions

AWS Security Hub can integrate with response and remediation workflows through the use of custom actions. With custom actions, a batch of selected findings is used to generate CloudWatch events. With CloudWatch Rules, these events can trigger other actions such as sending notifications via a chat system or paging tool, or sending events to a visualization service.

First, we open Settings from the AWS Security Console, and select Custom Actions. Add a custom action and note the ARN.

Then we create a CloudWatch Rule using the custom action we created as a resource in the event pattern, like this:

  "source": [
  "detail-type": [
    "Security Hub Findings - Custom Action"
  "resources": [

Our CloudWatch Rule can have many different kinds of targets, such as Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) Topics, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) Queues, and AWS Lambda functions. Once our action and rule are in place, we can select findings, and then choose our action from the Actions dropdown list. This will send the selected findings to Amazon CloudWatch Events. Those events will match our rule, and the event targets will be invoked.

Important Notes

  • AWS Config must be enabled for Security Hub compliance checks to run.
  • AWS Security Hub is available in 15 regions: US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), US West (N. California), Canada (Central), South America (São Paulo), Europe (Ireland), Europe (London), Europe (Paris), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Seoul), and Asia Pacific (Mumbai).
  • AWS Security Hub does not transfer data outside of the regions where it was generated. Data is not consolidated across multiple regions.

AWS Security Hub is already the type of service that I’ll enable on the majority of the AWS accounts I operate. As more compliance standards become available this year, I expect it will become a standard tool in many toolboxes. A 30-day free trial is available so you can try it out and get an estimate of what your costs would be. As always, we want to hear your feedback and understand how you’re using AWS Security Hub. Stay in touch, and happy building!

— Brandon

AWS Control Tower – Set up & Govern a Multi-Account AWS Environment

This post was originally published on this site

Earlier this month I met with an enterprise-scale AWS customer. They told me that they are planning to go all-in on AWS, and want to benefit from all that we have learned about setting up and running AWS at scale. In addition to setting up a Cloud Center of Excellence, they want to set up a secure environment for teams to provision development and production accounts in alignment with our recommendations and best practices.

AWS Control Tower
Today we are announcing general availability of AWS Control Tower. This service automates the process of setting up a new baseline multi-account AWS environment that is secure, well-architected, and ready to use. Control Tower incorporates the knowledge that AWS Professional Service has gained over the course of thousands of successful customer engagements, and also draws from the recommendations found in our whitepapers, documentation, the Well-Architected Framework, and training. The guidance offered by Control Tower is opinionated and prescriptive, and is designed to accelerate your cloud journey!

AWS Control Tower builds on multiple AWS services including AWS Organizations, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) (including Service Control Policies), AWS Config, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS Service Catalog. You get a unified experience built around a collection of workflows, dashboards, and setup steps. AWS Control Tower automates a landing zone to set up a baseline environment that includes:

  • A multi-account environment using AWS Organizations.
  • Identity management using AWS Single Sign-On (SSO).
  • Federated access to accounts using AWS SSO.
  • Centralize logging from AWS CloudTrail, and AWS Config stored in Amazon S3.
  • Cross-account security audits using AWS IAM and AWS SSO.

Before diving in, let’s review a couple of key Control Tower terms:

Landing Zone – The overall multi-account environment that Control Tower sets up for you, starting from a fresh AWS account.

Guardrails – Automated implementations of policy controls, with a focus on security, compliance, and cost management. Guardrails can be preventive (blocking actions that are deemed as risky), or detective (raising an alert on non-conformant actions).

Blueprints – Well-architected design patterns that are used to set up the Landing Zone.

Environment – An AWS account and the resources within it, configured to run an application. Users make requests (via Service Catalog) for new environments and Control Tower uses automated workflows to provision them.

Using Control Tower
Starting from a brand new AWS account that is both Master Payer and Organization Master, I open the Control Tower Console and click Set up landing zone to get started:

AWS Control Tower will create AWS accounts for log arching and for auditing, and requires email addresses that are not already associated with an AWS account. I enter two addresses, review the information within Service permissions, give Control Tower permission to administer AWS resources and services, and click Set up landing zone:

The setup process runs for about an hour, and provides status updates along the way:

Early in the process, Control Tower sends a handful of email requests to verify ownership of the account, invite the account to participate in AWS SSO, and to subscribe to some SNS topics. The requests contain links that I must click in order for the setup process to proceed. The second email also requests that I create an AWS SSO password for the account. After the setup is complete, AWS Control Tower displays a status report:

The console offers some recommended actions:

At this point, the mandatory guardrails have been applied and the optional guardrails can be enabled:

I can see the Organizational Units (OUs) and accounts, and the compliance status of each one (with respect to the guardrails):


Using the Account Factory
The navigation on the left lets me access all of the AWS resources created and managed by Control Tower. Now that my baseline environment is set up, I can click Account factory to provision AWS accounts for my teams, applications, and so forth.

The Account factory displays my network configuration (I’ll show you how to edit it later), and gives me the option to Edit the account factory network configuration or to Provision new account:

I can control the VPC configuration that is used for new accounts, including the regions where VPCs are created when an account is provisioned:

The account factory is published to AWS Service Catalog automatically. I can provision managed accounts as needed, as can the developers in my organization. I click AWS Control Tower Account Factory to proceed:

I review the details and click LAUNCH PRODUCT to provision a new account:

Working with Guardrails
As I mentioned earlier, Control Tower’s guardrails provide guidance that is either Mandatory or Strongly Recommended:

Guardrails are implemented via an IAM Service Control Policy (SCP) or an AWS Config rule, and can be enabled on an OU-by-OU basis:

Now Available
AWS Control Tower is available now and you can start using it today in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) Regions, with more to follow. There is no charge for the Control Tower service; you pay only for the AWS resources that it creates on your behalf.

In addition to adding support for more AWS regions, we are working to allow you to set up a parallel landing zone next to an existing AWS account, and to give you the ability to build and use custom guardrails.



New – UDP Load Balancing for Network Load Balancer

This post was originally published on this site

The Network Load Balancer is designed to handle tens of millions of requests per second while maintaining high throughput at ultra low latency, with no effort on your part (read my post, New Network Load Balancer – Effortless Scaling to Millions of Requests per Second to learn more).

In response to customer requests, we have added several new features since the late-2017 launch, including cross-zone load balancing, support for resource-based and tag-based permissions, support for use across an AWS managed VPN tunnel, the ability to create a Network Load Balancer using the AWS Elastic Beanstalk Console, support for Inter-Region VPC Peering, and TLS Termination.

UDP Load Balancing
Today we are adding support for another frequent customer request, the ability to load balance UDP traffic. You can now use Network Load Balancers to deploy connectionless services for online gaming, IoT, streaming, media transfer, and native UDP applications. If you are hosting DNS, SIP, SNMP, Syslog, RADIUS, and other UDP services in your own data center, you can now move the services to AWS. You can also deploy services to handle Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting, often known as AAA.

You no longer need to maintain a fleet of proxy servers to ingest UDP traffic, and you can now use the same load balancer for both TCP and UDP traffic. You can simplify your architecture, reduce your costs, and increase your scalability.

Creating a UDP Network Load Balancer
I can create a Network Load Balancer with UDP support using the Console, CLI (create-load-balancer), API (CreateLoadBalancer), or a CloudFormation template (AWS::ElasticLoadBalancing::LoadBalancer), as usual. The console lets me choose the desired load balancer; I click the Create button underneath Network Load Balancer:

I name my load balancer, choose UDP from the protocol menu, and select a port (514 is for Syslog):

I already have suitable EC2 instances in us-east-1b and us-east-1c so I’ll use those AZs:

Then I set up a target group for the UDP protocol on port 514:

I choose my instances and click Add to registered:

I review my settings on the next page, and my new UDP Load Balancer is ready to accept traffic within a minute or so (the state starts out as provisioning and transitions to active when it is ready):

I’ll test this out by configuring my EC2 instances as centralized Syslogd servers. I simply edit the configuration file (/etc/rsyslog.conf) on the instances to make them listen on port 514, and restart the service:

Then I launch another EC2 instance and configure it to use my NLB endpoint:

And I can see log entries in my servers (ip-172-31-29-40 is my test instance):

I did have to do make one small configuration change in order to get this to work! Using UDP to check on the health of a service does not really make sense, so I clicked override and specified a health check on port 80 instead:

In a real-world scenario you would want to build a TCP-style health check into your service, of course. And, needless to say, I would run a custom implementation of Syslog that stores the log messages centrally and in a highly durable form.

Things to Know
Here are a couple of things to know about this important new NLB feature:

Supported Targets – UDP on Network Load Balancers is supported for Instance target types (IP target types and PrivateLink are not currently supported).

Health Checks – As I mentioned above, health checks must be done using TCP, HTTP, or HTTPS.

Multiple Protocols – A single Network Load Balancer can handle both TCP and UDP traffic. You can add another listener to an existing load balancer to gain UDP support, as long as you use distinct ports. In situations such as DNS where you need support for both TCP and UDP on the same port, you can set up a multi-protocol target group and a multi-protocol listener (use TCP_UDP for the listener type and the TargetGroup).

New CloudWatch Metrics – The existing CloudWatch metrics (ProcessedBytes, ActiveFlowCount, and NewFlowCount) now represent the aggregate traffic processed by the TCP, UDP, and TLS listeners on a given Network Load Balancer.

Available Now
This feature is available now and you can start using it today in all commercial AWS Regions. For pricing, see the Elastic Load Balancing Pricing page.



CISA Statement on Iranian Cybersecurity Threats

This post was originally published on this site

Original release date: June 24, 2019

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher C. Krebs has released a statement in response to the recent rise in malicious cyber activity—including spear phishing and brute force attacks—by Iranian regime actors and proxies.

CISA encourages users and administrators to review the CISA Statement on Iranian Cybersecurity Threats and tips and best practices for staying safe online, including the following:

•    Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
•    Password Spraying — Brute Force Attacks
•    Choosing and Protecting Passwords
•    Supplementing Passwords

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.

Dell Releases Security Advisory for Dell SupportAssist

This post was originally published on this site

Original release date: June 21, 2019

Dell has released a security advisory to address a vulnerability in Dell SupportAssist software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to access sensitive information.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review Dell Security Advisory DSA-2019-084 and apply the necessary update.

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.

Datastore empty: VMware ESXi 6.5 and NFS Share on StoreOnce 4500

This post was originally published on this site

Hello guys,


I have a problem that my Datastore which is mounted via NFS into my vCenter infrastructure is empty. We are using a HP StoreOnce 4500 and it’s connected with two 10GB SFP modules configured as simple failover.

We had to update our system software from 3.15.x to 3.18.x because we ran into a bug that the NFS connection is lost. I have talked to HP how to perform the update and everything went fine. After the update I had to upgrade all needed components to the appropriate firmware version. The system now runs like a charm, but since the last reboot I don’t see any data within the browser of my vCenter. I have also tried to use SSH, but it always shows “Total 0” with “ls -la”.


The problem is, that there are virtual disks on the datastore and the VM can connect to it so it’s starting like nothing happened. But when I want to move something TO the datastore it’s not possible and the error I get doesn’t say anything. But FROM the datastore to another datastore from another hardware it’s working. We also have datastores connected which are placed on HP 3PAR Storage system. Every datastore I have here is working. I also can browser through the files. It doesn’t matter if it’s with SSH or the datastore browser in vCenter.


I searched the community and found some articles about a master host through which the vCenter is connecting to browse the datastores. I have done all the steps in these articles, but nothing is getting better.

All data on the NFS share seems to be available because on my management GUI of the StoreOnce system it shows me the used space. I have created a NFS share for testing, but it’s the same problem. I connect the datastore, everything is going fine, but I cannot browse it. There are no files.

I tried every host in my cluster, but none of my host shows me any files or folders. It doesn’t matter if SSH or datastore browser.


I hope someone can help me to figure out the problem and find a solution.


Thank you very much.


Best regards,


Apache Releases Security Advisory for Apache Tomcat

This post was originally published on this site

Original release date: June 20, 2019

Apache has released a security advisory to address a vulnerability in Apache Tomcat. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause a denial-of-service condition.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review the Apache security advisory for CVE-2019-10072 and upgrade to the appropriate version.

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.