Tech Field Day Extra VMworld 2018 – Runecast

DISCLAIMER:  I was invited to join in for a few vendor presentations during Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2018, but I was provided any compensation, only stickers/swag.  No one requires that I write this blog post, nor did they request it. I have written my honest opinion about this vendor, product and the presentation made during Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2018.

Runecast was the third and final presentation which I attended at Tech Field Day Extra during VMworld 2018.  I first heard of it around late 2016, and I have been a user of Runecast since v1.6 of their product through their NFR licensing given to vExperts, so I had familiarity with the product.  However, it was good to have the opportunity to hear Stanimir Markov present about the platform and learn about new features releases in Runecast Analyzer 2.0.

If you are entirely new to Runecast, the platform is built around the concept that you should be able to pro-actively protect your virtual environment by leveraging the available resources:

  • VMware Knowledge Base articles
  • VMware Best Practices
  • Security checks (based on VMware guidelines, PCI-DSS, or DISA STIG)
  • Log analytics

With these resources, the Runecast team built a tool that can now validate your environment (to include vSphere, vSAN, and NSX) against the library of known issues contained within the VMware KB, to even include best practices and support articles.  That is a lot of information contained within those resources that is relevant to all of our virtual environments, and I for one easily admit that I do not pore over most KB articles unless I see an active issue within my environment, or unless it has been linked by someone else for something relevant to them.  It is also difficult to know all of the information that exists within the KB without a good amount of time spent searching, then having to compile that detail to layer all of the required settings or changes to apply them properly.

For a better explanation of the product, check out Stan’s presentation and whiteboard “chalk talk” here.  Stan did an excellent job of layout out the architecture and explaining how Runecast handles the “multi-dimensional” issues that we all face, and how they are able to quickly address many of these complex issues and vulnerabilities.

Runecast has been around for a few years, with v1.0 having been available since 2016, and I have had it installed in my homelab environment since v1.6 was released.   When Aylin took over to give us a demo of the UI, he covered everything in the product along with the new features available in version 2.0, which I was excited to see since I have not upgraded my lab instance due to other projects.  His live demo can be seen here.

I don’t mean to downplay the presentation done by the Runecast team with a short review of their presentation, as my intention is to tell everyone to install the product and see what it will advise you about your environment.  It can be eye-opening to see what underlying problems it can quickly and easily identify for you, and I suggest that everyone try it out.  If you are a vExpert, there is absolutely no reason not to have it running in your lab.

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