Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Managing a single firewall policy for multiple servers

We are always looking for creative ways to use Firewall Builder's technology to simplify firewall management. One challenge we hear from users quite often is how to efficiently manage firewall rules for a large number of servers performing the same function. For example, you might have a group of servers acting as web front ends and each of these servers needs to have the exact same policy as all the other web front end servers.

While you could create each server in Firewall Builder and copy-and-paste rules between the servers this is time consuming and it is easy to make a mistake. We have come up with a solution for this problem using Firewall Builder's cluster feature that allows you to define a master firewall policy and apply it to all the members of the cluster. This means that when you need to update a rule that affects multiple servers you only need to make the change in a single firewall policy and then compile and install it on all the cluster members.

During the compile process Firewall builder "localizes" the master rule for each server the policy is being installed on, so things like interface IP addresses are automatically updated to match each individual server the firewall rules will be deployed on. Check out the complete instructions in our latest Cookbook recipe in the Users Guide:

Using clusters to manage firewall policies on multiple servers

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