Today we’re announcing the release of IP Fabric 2.2.4. A network security oriented release, the new version enables you to troubleshoot the paths through firewall clusters, to have deeper insights into routing convergence and redundancy, or to prepare or verify migration changes to 802.1X among other enhancements.

We’ve started by improving the user interface to End to End path lookup, simplifying to the usual combo of source and destination parameters. Typing hostname or IP or MAC address into the source or destination fields looks up the endpoint as you type, greatly simplifying the experience while keeping the most frequently used endpoint identification parameters. The previous lookup tables were much richer in information, but practically the additional information was more related to host location than end to end paths, and therefore seldom used.

Simplified end to end path lookup interface suggesting matching destinations

Simplifying the user interface was necessary to add L4 parameters of protocol and port, which are now used to calculate the resulting security decision though all of the access-lists or zone-based firewalls on the path. This enables to better troubleshoot complex paths throughout the network. For example, when a user reports that they are not able to access an app on a specific port, you can instantly check if they are allowed to access an app in the first place, and how all do possible paths look like from source to destination, including whether might be an issue with load balancing or missing path symmetry. Of course, to be able to do that, we have to have not only model of routing, but also of traffic filtering mechanisms. These have now been expanded to support zone-based firewalls and clusters.

Path visualization to a user behind a switch routed by a zone-based firewall cluster.

The cloud represents transit outside of administrative domain, such as MPLS carrier or DMVPN, usually a WAN. There is a missing path towards R3, and weird routing going on at R6 that should also be looked at. The WAN routers have egress and ingress filtering on the path that is permitting the communication (green color), however the cluster itself is dropping the packets (red color), so while the routed and switched path is built correctly, the traffic from this particular source/destination combination will never reach it’s destination.

Security rules for path visualization enable drill-down to the zone firewall policy details

Filtering decision drill-down
Zone firewall filtering policy detail

Path lookup was quite useful even in preparation of this demo. The connectivity to the end hosts wasn’t working, and the traceroutes from various points seemed to end in the MPLS cloud. Plotting the end to end path in IP Fabric immediately showed that the route at the source is missing, since the path stopped on the ingress router.

Routing stops at the ingress router due to missing router

From there it was a matter of checking the cumulative routing table using routing lookup for the particular destination, which showed that no BGP routes can route these prefixes.

BGP cannot route to destination host

This pinpointed the problem to redistribution, since IGP had the route and BGP didn’t, and led to a quick fix.

Other improvements in this release include improved 802.1x analytics, addition of STP guard tables, and usability improvements such as DNS resolution for hosts and voice VLANs for IP Phones.

IP Phones and users connected behind them

However not all of the improvements were aimed squarely at analytics, as we’ve also added support for LDAP authentication to the platform, so you won’t have to remember the additional password.

LDAP authentication setup

LDAP authentication supports Open LDAP or Microsoft AD.

We’ve also added restrictions per subnet for authentication credentials, so they can be specified more granularity for extensive administrative domains. The full list of changes is in the release notes at https://docs.ipfabric.io/releasenotes.html. If you have IP Fabric installed, you can perform online or offline upgrade through the administrative interface following the guide.

If you’re interested in learning more about how IP Fabric’s platform can help you with analytics or intended network behavior reporting, contact us through our website, request a demo, follow this blog or sign up for our webinars.