Installation

Plixer FlowPro has several licensing levels. A valid production or evaluation license key is required with each install. A key can be obtained from Plixer Support or a local reseller.

The steps below describe the installation of FlowPro hardware and virtual appliances.

Hardware Appliance

Once the hardware appliance is installed in a network rack, power it on and follow the steps below:

  1. Connect to the appliance over SSH at the default IP address of 192.168.168.168/24, and login with the username root and password flowpro. The hardware appliance will execute a quick setup routine and immediately reboot.
CentOS Linux 7 (Core)
Kernel 3.10.0-862.14.4.e17.x86_64 on an x86.64

localhost login: root
Password: _
  1. Login to the hardware appliance again using the username root and password flowpro. Answer a few brief questions. The hardware appliance will reboot to apply the settings.
*********************************
FlowPro Hardware Appliance
Initial Configuration
*********************************

What is the appliances static IP Address?
10.1.2.3
What is the appliances Netmask?
255.255.255.0
What is the appliances gateway?
10.1.2.1
What is the hostname for this appliance?
flowpro

What is the IP Address to your DNS?
This will allow the FlowPro to resolve IP addresses.

*Login to the hardware appliance again and answer a few brief questions*
  1. Log in to the hardware appliance again and apply the license key using the edit license command.
  2. Paste the license key after the label license= in the [client] section of the plixer.ini file.
FlowPro 19.0.0.20061 [Oct 06 2020]
Copyright (C) 2012 - 2020 Plixer LLC. All rights reserved.
Need an IPFIX Collector? Download Scrutinizer at https://www.plixer.com

Machine ID       : 6YZ6XEPT669666S64A1VN59N-6895DAE3550561EF
Licensed Type    : unlicensed
Licensed Status  : Subscription
Used Mon Ports   : 1 of 0
Expiration       : 10/06/2020

 FLOWPRO> help license


 +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 [ List of Commands ]

  edit license
  show license

 +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 For more detail type 'help <command>' or '<command> ?'
 Full PDF manual can be found at '/home/flowpro/files/flowpro.pdf'
 +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
  1. Press CTRL+X to save

  2. The interface must be enabled for the Plixer FlowPro process that will run on that interface using the enable command.

    For example, to activate Plixer FlowPro Defender monitoring on mon1:

    enable defender mon1

    The commands to enable the other Plixer FlowPro processes on a specific interface are:

Virtual Appliance - ESX

The Plixer FlowPro Virtual Appliance (FVA) is packaged as an all-in-one virtual machine template or OVF. VMware ESX/ESXi 5.0 or higher is required to deploy a VM from the OVF template. VMware Tools will also be required in order to shut down the virtual appliance through the VMware vSphere Client.

System Requirements

Component Minimum Specificatons
RAM 4GB
Disk 20GB
Processor 1 CPU 2 Core 2GHz+
Operating System ESXi 5.0

Deploying the OVF Template

  1. Connect to the ESX host using VMware vSphere or vCenter.
  2. Select File | Deploy OVF Template.
  3. Select Deploy from File and browse to the OVF Template - click Next.
  4. Review the OVF template details - click Next.
  5. Enter a name for the Plixer FlowPro Virtual Appliance - click Next.
  6. Select a datastore - click Next.
  7. Select the disk format - click Next.
  8. Select the Network Mapping - click Next.
  9. Review the Virtual Settings - click Finish to import the OVF Template.
  10. The virtual appliance is configured with 2 network adapters and eth1 (or mon1) is already in promiscuous mode. By default, it will start listening for traffic on the default virtual network. A mirror port of a Virtual Distributed Switch or a mirror port using a physical NIC on the ESXi host will have to be configured if a different network needs to be monitored.
  11. Power on the Plixer FlowPro virtual machine.
  12. Navigate to the Console tab and log in using the username root and password flowpro. The virtual appliance will perform a quick setup and immediately reboot.
  13. Log in to the virtual appliance again using the username root and password flowpro. Answer a few brief questions. The virtual appliance will reboot to apply the settings.
*********************************
FlowPro Virtual Appliance
Initial Configuration
*********************************

What is the appliances static IP Address?
10.1.2.3
What is the appliances Netmask?
255.255.255.0
What is the appliances gateway?
10.1.2.1
What is the hostname for this appliance?
flowpro

What is the IP Address to your DNS?
This will allow the FlowPro to resolve IP addresses.
  1. Log in to the virtual appliance command line with the flowpro username and password. Apply the license key using the edit license command.
  2. Paste the license key after the label license= in the client section of the plixer.ini file.
FlowPro 19.0.0.20061 [Oct 06 2020]
Copyright (C) 2012 - 2020 Plixer LLC. All rights reserved.
Need an IPFIX Collector? Download Scrutinizer at https://www.plixer.com

Machine ID       : 6YZ6XEPT669666S64A1VN59N-6895DAE3550561EF
Licensed Type    : unlicensed
Licensed Status  : Subscription
Used Mon Ports   : 1 of 0
Expiration       : 10/06/2020


  Standard Mode. Type 'edit license' to add a license key.


 FLOWPRO> help license


 +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 [ List of Commands ]

  edit license
  show license

 +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 For more detail type 'help <command>' or '<command> ?'
 Full PDF manual can be found at '/home/flowpro/files/flowpro.pdf'
 +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
  1. Press CTRL+X to save.

  2. The interface must be enabled for the Plixer FlowPro processes that will run on that interface using the enable command.

    For example, to activate Plixer FlowPro Defender montoring on mon1:

    enable defender mon1

    The commands to enable the other Plixer FlowPro processes on specific interfaces are:

Note

When adding additional monitoring interfaces to the virtual appliance, be sure to use the interface naming convention ‘monX’ so that Plixer FlowPro recognizes them as monitoring interfaces (for example: mon1, mon2).

Installing VMware Tools

VMware Tools are not required for the virtual appliance to function correctly. However, there are certain advantages to deploying the package on each virtual appliance. See the relevant VMware documentation for more details.

VMware Tools are not installed by default because each version of ESX installs a different VMware Tools package. A script is included on the virtual appliance to simplify the install process.

  1. In the VMware vSphere Client, right click on the Plixer FlowPro virtual machine and select Guest | Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.
  2. Log in to the console of the Virtual Appliance as the root user and run the command:
# /home/flowpro/conf/vmwareToolsInstall.sh

Upgrading the Virtual Machine Hardware Version

The Plixer FlowPro Virtual Appliance is built on Virtual Machine Hardware Version 8 to maintain backwards compatibility with ESXi 5.0 hypervisors. While the virtual machine is powered off, in vSphere (or vCenter) right click on the virtual machine and select Upgrade Virtual Hardware.

Virtual Machine - Hyper-V

System Requirements

Component Minimum Specifications
RAM 4GB
Disk 20GB
Processor 1 CPU 2 Core 2GHz+
Operating System MS Windows Server 2012

Importing a Virtual Machine

  1. Download the latest Plixer FlowPro Appliance
  2. Unzip the file on the Hyper-V server
  3. Open Hyper-V Manager and select Import Virtual Machine
  4. Specify the Plixer FlowPro Appliance System Folder
  5. Select the Virtual Machine
  6. Choose the import type
  7. Go to Settings
  8. Select the Network Adapter and assign it to the appropriate Virtual Switch. The Plixer FlowPro appliance comes with two interfaces: ‘mgmt’: for virtual appliance management and ‘mon1’: the default monitoring interface. It requires a mirrored port to be associated with ‘mon1’.

Note

To set up a mirrored port, reference the latest Hyper-V documentation.

  1. Expand the Network Adapter section and select Advanced Features
  2. Set the MAC Address to Static and enter in a unique MAC Address - click OK.
  3. Start the Virtual Machine.
  4. Right click on the Virtual Machine and click Connect to login to the Plixer FlowPro Appliance using root/flowpro. The server will perform a quick setup and immediately reboot.
*********************************
FlowPro Virtual Appliance
Initial Configuration
*********************************

What is the appliances static IP Address?
10.1.2.3
What is the appliances Netmask?
255.255.255.0
What is the appliances gateway?
10.1.2.1
What is the hostname for this appliance?
flowpro

What is the IP Address to your DNS?
This will allow the FlowPro to resolve IP addresses.

Note

When adding additional monitoring interfaces to the virtual appliance, be sure to use the interface naming convention ‘monX’ so that Plixer FlowPro recognizes them as monitoring interfaces (for example: mon1, mon2).

Adding Additional Interfaces

The names of the monitoring interfaces on the Plixer FlowPro appliance are important. When adding additional interfaces to a virtual appliance, the interfaces must be renamed to something the FlowPro can recognize.

The Plixer FlowPro appliance comes with two interfaces by default:

  • ‘mgmt’: for virtual appliance management
  • ‘mon1’: the default monitoring interface

Follow the instructions below to add additional interfaces to the Plixer FlowPro appliance and rename them from the default ‘ethX’ to ‘monX’.

Important

Take a snapshot of the virtual machine before making any changes.

CentOS 7

This section outlines the process of adding and renaming a new interface for a Plixer FlowPro appliance running on CentOS 7.

Add a New Interface in VMware

  1. In vCenter, right click on the VM that the new interface will be added to and select ‘Edit Settings…’.
  2. From the ‘Edit Settings…’ window, select ‘Add New Device’.
  3. From the drop down menu, click on ‘Network Adapter’.

Restart the VM

Restarting the VM will allow the OS to see the new interface.

$ shutdown -r now

Rename the New Interface

Run these commands to insert the MAC address of the new interface into the correct ifcfg file.

Important

Before running the last command, verify the interface name is eth0 using the ‘ip addr’ command.

$ cp /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-mon1 /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-mon2
$ sed -i 's|mon1|mon2|g' /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-mon2
$ MAC=$(cat /sys/class/net/eth0/address); sed -i "s|HWADDR=.*|HWADDR=$MAC|g" /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-mon2

Restart the VM

Restart the VM so the new name takes effect.

$ shutdown -r now

After the reboot, verify the interface has the correct name.

$ ip addr

Virtual Machine - KVM

  1. Create a new directory for your install:

    mkdir kvm/FlowPro_VM_Guide/
    
  2. Download the latest Plixer FlowPro KVM Virtual Appliance and place in the new directory:

    Note

    Contact Plixer Support to obtain the latest Plixer FlowPro KVM image.

  3. Unzip the file in the new directory on your KVM server:

sudo tar xvzf FlowPro_KVM_Image.tar.gz
  1. Run the deployment script to install Plixer FlowPro:
sudo ./deploy-flowpro.sh

The script will create a virtual machine from the image file.

  1. Log in to the appliance and run the following command to get to the Plixer FlowPro console:
virsh console Plixer FlowPro

Log in with the default credentials root/flowpro and the virtual machine will immediately reboot. Log in again to kick off the shell script that configures the networking settings for the VM.

*********************************
FlowPro Virtual Appliance
Initial Configuration
*********************************

What is the appliances static IP Address?
10.1.2.3
What is the appliances Netmask?
255.255.255.0
What is the appliances gateway?
10.1.2.1
What is the hostname for this appliance?
flowpro

What is the IP Address to your DNS?
This will allow the FlowPro to resolve IP addresses.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the deployment process.