Azure Application Gateway (AppGW) is a web traffic load balancing service that enables users to build, deploy, and scale web applications in the cloud. It provides features such as layer 7 load balancing, SSL termination, session draining and cookie-based session affinity, to help organizations improve the performance, reliability, and security of their web applications.
One of the key benefits of using Azure Application Gateway is its ability to distribute incoming traffic across multiple servers or instances of a web application. This can help to improve the performance of the application by reducing the load on any single server or instance, and also increase its availability by allowing it to continue running even if one or more servers or instances become unavailable.
To use Azure Application Gateway, users first need to create a gateway instance and configure it with the desired settings, such as the number of servers or instances to load balance across, the load balancing algorithm to use, and the type of traffic to load balance (e.g., HTTP, HTTPS). They can then create one or more rules that specify the incoming traffic to load balance, as well as the servers or instances to distribute it to.
Azure Application Gateway also includes features for improving the security of web applications. For example, it supports SSL termination, which allows users to terminate SSL connections at the gateway and communicate with the backend servers or instances over unencrypted connections. This can reduce the load on the backend servers or instances, as well as simplify the SSL certificate management process.
In addition, Azure Application Gateway supports cookie-based session affinity, which enables users to direct incoming traffic from a specific client to the same backend server or instance for the duration of the client’s session. This can help to improve the performance of the application by allowing it to take advantage of server-side caching and other optimizations that rely on maintaining a persistent connection with a client.
Another benefit of Azure Application Gateway is its integration with other Azure services. For example, users can use it in conjunction with Azure Traffic Manager to load balance traffic across multiple regions or clouds, or with Azure Load Balancer to load balance traffic at the network layer. This can help users to build highly available and scalable web applications that can withstand failures or outages in any single region or cloud.
Overall, Azure Application Gateway is a powerful and flexible service that enables users to build, deploy, and scale web applications in the cloud. Its load balancing, SSL termination, and session affinity features can help to improve the performance, reliability, and security of these applications, and its integration with other Azure services allows users to build highly available and scalable solutions.
In this post, I demonstrate how to use System Center Configuration Manager to evaluate clients for STIG compliance.
The process at a high level is: Download the corresponding STIG compliance SCAP files. Convert the downloaded files into a CAB file for import.
Import the CAB file into Configmgr
Deploy the Configuration Baseline to the corresponding device collection
Evaluate the compliance reporting from the clients
Export the compliance data to SCAP format
Important informationFor SCAP 1.0 – 1.2, If you don’t specify the benchmark/profile, then scaptodcm.exe will generate a DCM cab for each benchmark in the content file. Fun.If you specify multiple values for a single variable in an external variable file, then the scaptodcm.exe tool will treat the values as an array.The settings you may see in the screenshots are NOT worthy of a production site, my clients, and site servers have very aggressive schedules because I don’t have the concerns of impacting production. DO NOT use my schedule settings.Don’t confuse the two executables: scaptodcm.exe and dcmtoscap.exe, they both have different jobs.When converting the compliance data to a results file, if the clients evaluated multiple datastream \ benchmark \ profiles use the -select parameter to specify the same datastream \ benchmark \ profile which was run on the client.Download the appropriate SCAP files
Extract the ZIP file to a folder for conversion. I just created a subfolder under the directory where scaptodcm.exe lives to keep things simple. You should choose the location that makes sense to you.
In this example we will import the Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 MS STIG Benchmark – Ver 2, Rel.6
2. After extracting the zip file, from a command prompt with administrative permissions run the appropriate command line to convert the SCAP data stream file and XDCCF benchmark profile to a DCM .CAB file, assuming you are also using a SCAP 1.0 or 1.1 file.
In this example the file is SCAP 1.1 so the parameter -xccdf is required.Below is an example command line of each type of content, 1.0/1.1, 1.2, and Oval. See my note above regarding the -select parameter.SCAP 1.0/1.1 Content: scaptodcm.exe –xccdf scap_gov.nist_Test-Win10_xccdf.xml –cpe scap_gov.nist_Test-Win10_cpe.xml –out <folder> –select XCCDFBenchmarkID \ ProfileIDSCAP 1.2 Content: scaptodcm.exe –scap scap_gov.nist_USTCB-ie11.xml –out <folder> –select SCAPDataStreamID \ BenchMarkID \ ProfileID SCAP OVAL Content: scaptodcm.exe –oval OvalFile.xml –variable OvalExternalVariableFile.xml –out <folder>The conversion process may take a minute or more depending on the XML file. Once the conversion is completed the .CAB file should be located in the directory specified in the command line with the -out parameter. Next is to import the file in Configmgr for deployment, evaluation, and compliance reporting. Import the Compliance Settings Compliant .cab files into System Center Configuration Manager The next step in the process is to use the Configuration Manager Console to import the Compliance Settings-compliant .cab files into Configuration Manager. When you import the .cab files you created earlier in this process, one or more configuration items and configuration baselines are created in the Configuration Manager database. Later in the process you can assign each of the configuration baselines to a computer collection in Configuration Manager. To import the Compliance Settings compliant .cab files into Configuration Manager
In the Configuration Manager Console, navigate to Assets and Compliance > Compliance Settings > Configuration Baselines.
In the menu bar, click the blue arrow Import Configuration Data
To begin the import process click the Add button
Browse to the directory that we specified earlier with the scaptodcm.exe tool -out <path\file>, and select the .CAB file that was created.
Click Yes in the Configuration Manager Security Warning dialog box.
You should now see the CAB file listed in the Select Files page similar to this. You could add more than one CAB file here, if you created or had multiple CAB files to import simply repeat the steps 4 and 5.
Click the Next button.
This will start the verification process for the import, this can take several minutes and depends on the number of Configuration Items being imported.
Once the verification is finished you will be at the Summary page which will list all the Configuration Items being imported.
Click the Next button and this will start the import into Configmgr. This may also take a few minutes.
Click the close button to exit the import wizard The new configuration baseline appears in the information pane of the Configuration Manager Console. The name of the configuration baseline is taken from the display name section of the XCCDF/Datastream XML and is constructed using the following convention: ABC[XYZ], where ABC is the XCCDF Benchmark ID, and XYZ is the XCCDF Profile ID (if a profile is selected). Assign configuration baselines to the computer collections Prior to assigning the configuration baseline to a collection of computers ensure that you have the appropriate collections created that targets the type of clients you want to assess. Continuing with the same STIG benchmark as earlier I am going to target my Windows Server 2012 clients and Windows 2012 R2 clients.
After creating the appropriate computer collections for the computers that you want to assess for SCAP compliance, you are ready to assign the configuration baselines that you imported to associate with the computer collections. This section provides you with information to assign a configuration baseline to a computer collection using the Configuration Manager Console.
Here is the WQL syntax for my collection, which includes, Server 2012, Server 2012 R2, but excludes my domain controllers.
select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM on SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_R_System.OperatingSystemNameandVersion like “%Server%” and SMS_R_System.OperatingSystemNameandVersion like “%6.2%” or SMS_R_System.OperatingSystemNameandVersion like “%6.3%” and SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM.DomainRole < 4
The key in this query to exclude domain controllers is the “SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM.DomainRole < 4” DomainRole 4 = LM_Workstation, LM_Server, SQLServer, Backup_Domain_Controller, Timesource, NT, DFS DomainRole 5 = LM_Workstation, LM_Server, SQLServer, Primary_Domain_Controller, Timesource, NT, DFS DomainRole 3 = LM_Workstation, LM_Server, NT, Server_NT DomainRole 1 = LM_Workstation, LM_Server, SQLServer, NT, Potential_Browser, Backup_Browser NT indicates a workstation Server_NT indicates a member server Notice the PDC and BDC do not have either of these designations however. SQL_Server, Timesource, DFS are all options and you may not see them in the roles description. To see the descriptions and their ID number stored in the db you can this query SELECT TOP (1000) [ResourceID] ,[Description0] ,[Domain0] ,[DomainRole0] ,[Manufacturer0] ,[Model0] ,[Name0] ,[NumberOfProcessors0] ,[Roles0] ,[Status0] ,[SystemType0] ,[UserName0] FROM [CM_MSC].[dbo].[v_GS_COMPUTER_SYSTEM] Note: Change the MSC to your site code to run the query. To assign a configuration baseline to a computer collection
In the Configuration Manager Console, in the navigation pane, go to Assets and Compliance — Compliance Settings — Configuration Baselines.
In the navigation pane, click <configuration_baseline>, where <configuration_baseline> is the name of the configuration baseline that you want to assign to a computer collection.
In the menu bar, click the green arrow Deploy. (Notice a theme?)
In the Deploy Configuration Baseline Dialog click the Browse button and select the collection you want to target.
DO NOT select Remediation, this particular Baseline of Configuration Items does not contain any remediation, which will cause problems with your baseline. Both the Configuration Baseline and the Configuration Items it contains must be configured for remediation. We did not touch the Configuration Items. You will need to use your discretion on the alerts, and the schedule. I have mine set to 4 hours – but mine is a lab, the default client settings is every 7 days. If you have multiple baselines deployed you can use Send Schedule tool in the Configmgr Toolkit to view a clients scheduled time to run evaluations. You can also use it to trigger the evaluation. If you are going to target multiple collections you will need to repeat this process. If however you wanted to deploy multiple Configuration Baselines to the same collection you could select and add them without having to repeat this process. Verify that the compliance data has been collected Before exporting the compliance data back to SCAP format, we need to verify that the data has been collected. After you assign a Configuration Baseline to a computer collection, the client on each computer in that collection evaluates its settings and automatically gathers the compliance information. The client will then deliver that information to its management point, then the MP will deliver the information to the primary site where the client is assigned. Finally, the compliance information is stored in the Configuration Manager database. From the client side you can see if the baseline has been downloaded by the client by viewing the Configurations tab in the Configmgr client properties. It will also indicate if the baseline has run, and what the results were, if you select the View Report you will get a report that shows pass / fail for each CI. You can see this client has run the baseline and is non-compliant. Verify that the compliance data has been collected There are a couple options in the Configmgr console to check and see if the data has been loaded into the database yet. Under the Monitoring tab > Deployments you can see the compliance percentage. You can also view the count of compliant and non-compliant clients, as well as failures under Assets and Compliance > Compliance Settings > Configuration Baselines. Both of these are still at zero…and it has been a while since the client completed its evaluation. I list the relevant log files below for troubleshooting but we don’t need those. If you are viewing the baseline in the console by selecting the Configuration Baselines node, look to the left of the green Deploy arrow we used earlier in the menu bar. The summarization has not run yet. You can see the schedule (default is 2 hours), and even force it to run now by clicking on the Schedule Summarization button and the Run Summarization button. I forced mine to run and now I have the non-compliant results showing in the console. Export compliance results to SCAP The next task in the process is to export the Compliance Settings compliance data to SCAP format, which is an ARF report file in XML \ human-readable format. Exporting the compliance data to an XCCDF \ DataStream ARF results file
At the command prompt, enter the correct command line and press ENTER.
Note: The exe is dcmtoscap.exe not scaptodcm.exe like we used when creating the CAB file. If it help to make sense of the file name, in Configmgr 2007 Configuration Baselines and Configuration Items were part of the Desired Configuration Management feature, or DCM. Trust me, I wrote the chapter on it in the 2007 R2 book. dcmtoscap.exe -xccdf .\2012\U_Windows_2012_and_2012_R2_MS_V2R6_STIG_SCAP_1-1_Benchmark-xccdf.xml -cpe .\2012\U_Windows_2012_and_2012_R2_MS_V2R6_STIG_SCAP_1-1_Benchmark-cpe-dictionary.xml -server cm-cb.corp.configmgr.com -database CM_MSC -collection MSC00014 -out .\output For SCAP 1.0/1.1 content Dcmtoscap.exe –xccdf <xccdf.xml> -cpe <cpe.xml> -server <CMSiteServerMachineName> -database <CMSiteDatebaseName> -collection <deviceCollectionID> [-machine <host name>] -select <xccdfBenchmark \ profile> -out <outputResultFolder> For SCAP1.2 content (such as the latest USGCB content): dcmtoscap –scap <scapdatastreamfile.xml> -server <CMSiteServerMachineName> -database <CMSiteDatebaseName> -collection <deviceCollectionID> OR -machine <host name> -select <datastream \ xccdfBenchmark \ profile> -out <outputResultFolder> For single OVAL file with external variables: dcmtoscap –oval <singleOvalFile.xml> [-variable <externalVariableFile.xml>] -server <CMSiteServerMachineName> -database <CMSiteDatebaseName> -collection <deviceCollectionID> -out <outputResultFolder> And if all goes well you should end up with something like this for your output Parameter Usage Required -server [SQLServer\SQLInstance] Specify the name of Configuration Manager site database server and the SQL instance. Yes -database [SQLDatabase] Specify the name of the Configuration Manager site database. Yes -collection [collection id] Specify the collection id to generate the SCAP report. Yes (when -machine is not specified) -machine [machine name] Specify the computer name to generate the SCAP report. Yes (when -collection is not specified) -organization [organization name] Specify the organization name, which would be displayed in report. It can be separated by ‘;’ to specify a multi-line organization name. No -type [thin / full / fullnosc] Specify the OVAL result type: thin result or full result or full result without system characteristic. No (if no specified, then the default value is full) -cpe Specify the cpe-dictionary file Yes (for SCAP 1.0 \ 1.1) -scap [scap data stream file] Specify the SCAP data stream file. Yes (for SCAP 1.2 data stream, mutually exclusive with -xccdf and -oval \ -variable) -xccdf [xccdf file] Specify the XCCDF file. Yes (for SCAP 1.0 \ 1.1 XCCDF, mutually exclusive with -scap and -oval \ -variable) -oval [oval file] Specify the OVAL file. Yes (for standalone OVAL file, mutually exclusive with -xccdf and -scap -variable [oval external variable file] Specify the OVAL external variable file. No (optional for standalone OVAL file when there is an external OVAL variable file, mutually exclusive with -xccdf and -scap) -select [xccdf benchmark \ profile] Select XCCDF benchmark, profile from either the SCAP data stream or XCCDF file. Yes (for SCAP 1.0 \ 1.1 and 1.2. A selection must be made to generate a report to match the corresponding DCM baseline in Configuration Manager database) -out [output directory] Specify where to output the Compliance Settings cab file. No (if not specified, then the output only lists the content without conversion) -log [log file] Specify the log file. No (if not specified, then the log is written to SCAPToDCM.log \ DCMtoSCAP.log file) -help / -? Print out tool usage. No Log name Description CIAgent.log Records details about the process of remediation and compliance for compliance settings, software updates, and application management. CIDownloader.log Records details about configuration item definition downloads CITaskManager.log Records information about configuration item task scheduling. DCMAgent.log Records high-level information about the evaluation, conflict reporting, and remediation of configuration items and applications. DCMReporting.log Records information about reporting policy platform results into state messages for configuration items. DcmWmiProvider.log Records information about reading configuration item sync lets from Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). PolicyAgent.log Records requests for policies made by using the Data Transfer service Scheduler.log Records activities of scheduled tasks for all client operations StatusAgent.log Records status messages that are created by the client components DataTransferService.log Records all BITS communication for policy or package access PolicyEvaluator.log Records details about the evaluation of policies on client computers, including policies from software updates