14.6.3. Another Way to Generate a Firewall Policy for Many Hosts

This is a simplier, but less powerful and flexible, way to manage multiple hosts requiring the same firewall policy.

Suppose you use Firewall Builder to generate a policy for the firewall running on a server. How can Firewall Builder help you generate a policy for it and how can you do it if you have hundreds of servers like that?

For example, you could run a firewall locally on the web server that should be accessible to anyone on protocol HTTP, but oth er protocols used to publish content and manage the machine should be open only to a limited number of IP addresses. To configure such a firewall running on a host in Firewall Builder, create a firewall object and configure it with interfaces as usual. You will need to create a loopback interface and Ethernet (if it's a Linux machine, then it will be "eth0"). This firewall object now represents your se rver with a firewall running on it. You can then build a policy. Most likely you won't need NAT rules there, although there are some ca ses where NAT rules may be useful too. Compile the policy and transfer it to the server using the Firewall Builder installer as usual. That's it.

This procedure gets really tiresome if you need to repeat it many times. This is so if you have a whole farm of servers and n eed to generate and install a firewall policy on each one of them. The following trick helps simplify the process if the servers are ve ry similar (like a web servers farm) and use identical firewall policies.

You need to create a firewall object as described above, except its interface "eth0" should be marked as "dynamic". Do not ad d an address object with IP address to it, just make it look like it gets IP address dynamically. Even if in reality it is configured s tatically, you make Firewall Builder believe it is dynamic. In this case, the generated firewall script will determine the actual addre ss of the interface and then use it in the policy rules, which allows you to run the same script on many servers with different address es. You will need to copy the firewall script from the management workstation to the servers by hand or by using some custom script. Th is should not be difficult though if you use SSH and RSA or DSA keys.


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