Configure VPN from VMC to WatchGuardTM Firebox Cloud – Part 2

Phase 2 – Deploy the WatchGuard Firebox instance

In Part 1 of this blog post, we have deployed a new transit VPC with two subnets and a route table configured accordingly.

Now it’s time to deploy a WatchGuard FW cloud EC2 instance in the transit VPC. This is possible from the EC2 dashboard:

  • After logging on the AWS Console with my personal AWS account, I have selected Services > EC2.
  • In the EC2 Dashboard, I can easily launch a new instance by Clicking on Launch instance (easy :=)),
  • I have selected AWS Marketplace and type ‘firebox’ in the search window and have decided to pick the Watchguard Firebox Cloud (Hourly) AMI.
  • You will get the pricing details and Click Continue
  • Select the smallest available instance with free tier t2.micro instance type and click Next: Configure Instance details
  • The configure Instance Details step opens.
  • From the Network drop-down list, select your transit VPC :
  • From the Subnet drop-down list, select the public subnet to use for eth0.
    The subnet you select appears in the Network Interfaces section for eth0.
  • To add a second interface, in the Network interfaces section, click Add Device.
    Eth1 is added to the list of network interfaces.
  • Click Next: Add Storage
  • Use the default storage size (5 GB). 
  • Click Next: Add Tags
  1. Click Next: Configure Security Group. By default, the instance uses a security group that functions as a basic firewall. This security group restricts following ports: HTTPS (TCP 8080), SSH, TCP 4118 (WatchGuard Firewalls may allow remote management using WSM (WatchGuard System Manager) over ports 4117, 4118 TCP).
  1. Click Review and Launch.
    The configured information for your instance appears.
  2. Click Launch.
    The key pair settings dialog box opens.

Phase 3 – Finish configuring the instance of the Firebox

In this phase we will finish configuring the EC2 instance of our Firebox.

Once the firewall is deployed, from the EC2 Dashboard, Click on the instance option, the new instance should appear as here:

Disable Source/Destination Checks

By default, each EC2 instance completes source/destination checks. For the networks on your VPC to successfully use your instance of Firebox Cloud for NAT, you must disable the source/destination check for the network interfaces assigned to the Firebox Cloud instance.

Disabling source/destination checks for the public interface is quite simple:

  • From the EC2 Management Console, select Instances > Instances.
  • Select the instance of Firebox Cloud.
  • Select Actions > Networking > Change Source/Dest. Check. The confirmation message includes the public interface for this instance.
  • Click Yes, Disable.
    The source and destination checks are disabled for the public & private interface.

Assign an Elastic IP Address to the External Interface

You must assign an Elastic IP (EIP) address to the eth0 interface for the instance of Firebox Cloud. You can use any available EIP address. To make sure you assign it to the correct interface, find and copy the eth0 interface ID of your instance of Firebox Cloud.

To find the eth0 interface ID for your instance of Firebox Cloud:

  1. From the EC2 Management Console, select Instances.
  2. Select the instance of Firebox Cloud.
    The instance details appear.
  3. Click the eth0 network interface.
    More information about the network interface appears.
  4. Copy the Interface ID value.

To associate the Elastic IP address with the eth0 interface:

  1. From the EC2 Management Console, select Network & Security > Elastic IPs.
  2. Select an available Elastic IP address.
  1. Select Actions > Associate Elastic IP Address.
    The Associate Elastic IP Address page opens.

If you have created 2 sub-interfaces, You can associate two different publics IPs to the interface:

Run the Firebox Cloud Setup Wizard

After you deploy the Firebox Cloud instance, you can connect to Fireware Web UI through the public IP address to run the Firebox Cloud Setup Wizard. You use the wizard to set the administrative passphrases for Firebox Cloud.

  1. Connect to Fireware Web UI for your Firebox Cloud with the public IP address:
  2. Log in with the default Administrator account user name and passphrase:
    • User name — admin
    • Passphrase — The Firebox Cloud Instance ID

The Firebox Cloud Setup Wizard welcome page opens.

  • Click Next.
    The setup wizard starts.
  • Review and accept the End-User License Agreement. Click Next.
  1. Specify new passphrases for the built-in status and admin user accounts.
  2. Click Next.
    The configuration is saved to Firebox Cloud and the wizard is complete.

This is the end of Part 2, in Part 3 we are going to configure the IPSEC route based VPN between the Firebox instance and both a native VPC and a VMC on AWS SDDC.

Configure VPN from VMC to WatchGuardTM Firebox Cloud – Part 1

When I look back I realise I have been working at VMware for about 9 months and I have spent a tremendous amount of time dealing with a high number of requests, questions and issues with my customers.

One that particularly stands out is around integrating VMC on AWS with a Firewall hosted in a transit VPC for security purpose.

One of my customer recently was asking me if it was possible to create a VPN from VMC to a WatchguardTM Firebox Cloud Firewall. So I decided I would give it a try.

In this guide, I will first show you how to set up a route-based VPN from the WatchguardTM firewall to an AWS VGW in a native VPC.

In the last part, I will show how to configure an IPSEC route-based VPN from VMC on AWS to the same instance of WatchguardTM firewall hosted in a transit VPC.

Network Architecture diagram

Transit VPC with VPNs attachment to VMC and a native VPC
Transit VPC with VPNs attachment to VMC and a native VPC

AWS Deployment phase

Phase 1 -Configure an AWS transit VPC

Let me give first some definition: A virtual private cloud (VPC) is a virtual network dedicated to your AWS account. It is logically isolated from other virtual networks in the AWS Cloud. You can launch your AWS resources, such as Amazon EC2 instances, into your VPC.

First, I need to configure an AWS VPC with at least two subnets. It’s possible to use the VPC Wizard to create a VPC with public and private subnets or create it manually.

If you choose the wizard, you will have to terminate the NAT instance that was automatically created for the VPC by the VPC Wizard because the instance of Firebox Cloud will provide NAT functions for subnets in this VPC.

I will be using the manual method:

Create a new VPC

When I create a VPC, I must specify a range of IPv4 addresses for the VPC in the form of a Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) block. I decided to choose a CIDR block for my VPC of

Now I will have to Create a public subnet with a CIDR block equivalent to a subset of the VPC CIDR range:

Choose a CIDR block for your public subnet like

CREATE A PRIvate Subnet

Next step is to Create a private subnet from the VPC CIDR range in the same zone as the public subnet (CIDR block of private subnet cannot overlap with public subnet):

Choose a CIDR block for your private subnet like

Create an Internet Gateway

We will now deploy an AWS Internet Gateway (IGW) from the VPC Dashboard. From the VPC Dashboard, Click Internet Gateways menu on the left:

Attach the new IGW to the transit VPC by clicking on the attach to VPC button and from the Actions drop-down menu, select the transit VPC and Click Attach.

The IGW is seen as attached to the VPC that was created:

Create a Route Table

Next, we will create a route table for the Transit VPC: from the VPC Dashboard, select Route Tables menu and Create Route table as shown:

The route table must be associated with the transit VPC as highlighted above. Once you provide a name for the route table and select the Transit VPC from drop-down menu, Click Create.

Next step is to create a default route for the new transit VPC route table. Select the Routes tab and Click Edit.

Add a destination that point to the IGW previously created.

Next, from the same window, select the subnet associations tab and select the Edit Button and Select the public subnet created earlier. Once done, click Save.

Next you are going to Create a native “spoke” VPC (this is a VPC attach to the firebox through a VPN where we will run some EC2 instances to test access to the SDDC):

This is the end of this Part 1.

In Part 2 we are going to deploy the Watchguard VM in the transit VPC.