September 16, 2019 By Faiz Khan
Stephen Laphen
4 min read

NetOrc provides the VPN monitoring you need to maintain VPN uptime and secure communicatons.

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are created in order to establish secure communication between two sites, such as data center to cloud or branch to cloud. There are different types of VPNs but Point-to-Point IPsec VPNs remain the most common method across different vendor devices. IPsec VPNs over public internet are more popular because they offer a cost-effective and secure way of connecting remote sites.

Since VPNs are fundamental to secure communication between a company’s remote sites, their uptime is of paramount importance. As they grow in number, however, staying on top of them can quickly become a nightmare if you haven’t invested in the right solution to monitor them.

This is where NetOrc comes in.

What is NetOrc?

NetOrc by Wanclouds offers state-of-the-art monitoring where you can monitor your VPNs and see the status of your IPsec tunnels at any point in time. It sends you alerts on various channels whenever a change occurs to your VPN.

Adding your gateways on NetOrc

NetOrc gives you a number of options to add your gateways. You can add them using your Cloud account, public IP addresses, or by running a NetOrc-generated script on your device using these instructions.

Via a Cloud account

To add gateways via your Cloud account, navigate to Cloud Accounts on the left-hand sidebar in NetOrc and click on Add Cloud Account to access gateways associated with it. NetOrc will auto-discover all the devices associated with your account. Further instructions can be found on the VPN Monitoring documentation inside NetOrc.

Via a public IP

To add a gateway using its public IP address, follow these instructions:

  1. From the sidebar in NetOrc, navigate to Add Gateway and select Add New Gateway.
  2. Enter the required details for the gateway (username/password/ssh port) and click SAVE. Note: For VPN Monitoring, please make sure you set the Gateway Type to Vyatta 5600 and Access Mode to SSH. Enter your device’s credentials in the Username and Password fields. In case you want to monitor your VPNs without using your device’s credentials, you can use the Dummy (Proxy) Gateway option explained below.
  3. You can also add multiple gateways by uploading a CSV file. To do that, click on Download Sample CSV to see what your CSV file should look like.

Via a Dummy (Proxy) Gateway

Dummy (Proxy) Gateway gives you the ability to monitor your VPNs without using your credentials on NetOrc. Once you create a dummy gateway, it gives you a script that you run on your device to enable monitoring. To learn how to do that, please follow the VPN Monitoring on Dummy (Proxy) Gateways section in the docs.

Monitor your VPN’s status

With NetOrc, you can see the status of your VPNs at any given moment. A clean UI allows you to see a comprehensive overview of your VPN’s IPsec and IKE status, along with other important details like uptime and traffic. It also offers customization options like turning the alerts on or off for specific tunnels.

A detailed view of a VPN’s status with options to control alerts.

Get alerts

You can set up integrations on Email, Slack, PagerDuty, and ServiceNow to get alerts whenever your VPN goes down. This allows you to be at peace knowing that if your VPN goes down, you’ll get notified in seconds so you can take the necessary action. This can significantly reduce your downtime.

Add your desired accounts using NetOrc’s dashboard.

A sample alert generated by NetOrc.

Flexibility and control

NetOrc also gives you the flexibility to get alerts based on various time constraints that you can control. For example, you can avoid false alerts by setting a time duration for downtime on any VPN or IPsec tunnel. This way, NetOrc will only alert you if the VPN has been down longer than the given time duration. This gives you fine-grained control over all your VPNs and helps you monitor your VPNs the way you want.

Security and reliability

Since the whole point of VPNs is to offer secure communication, NetOrc provides various options—as stated above—to ensure that the process of adding gateways and monitoring VPNs is reliable and secure for the users. All this and the flexibility of configuring alerts makes the monitoring highly secure and vigilant on NetOrc.

Register and start using NetOrc with IBM Cloud

The icing on the cake is that this feature is absolutely free for all IBM Cloud customers using Vyatta 5600 appliances until the end of 2019.

So, register now and take it out for a spin today!

To get started, read the docs or watch this video.

Disclaimer: VPN Monitoring is free for all IBM Cloud customers using VRA (Vyatta 5600) appliances. No credit card details are required to avail this complimentary service. This trial period will end on December 31, 2019, and the users will be notified a week prior to the end with a pricing plan allowing them to continue using this service uninterruptedly.

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