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Manage Node Firewall Using iptables

Use Case

In cases where access restriction and attack surface reduction is key, your project landscape may require assets and management be accessible only to select IPs or networks (such as a company VPN). Such a restriction can be handled on the Hardware Node level, allowing access to be easily managed separately without interference from or with Docker or OpenStack internal communication.


Use iptables and ipset to restrict access to local (eg. SSH) and/or Cloud services (HAProxy) on an OpenStack node without interfering with Docker.


  • Root SSH access to node
  • Knowledge of OS package management
  • OpenVSwitch Firewall Driver
  • Kolla Ansible (if driver reconfigure required)

Identify Active Firewall Driver

You will first need to identify the driver actively in use by Neutron port security. This is defined in openvswitch_agent.ini. This can be confirmed using the grep command.

[root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# grep firewall_driver /etc/kolla/neutron-openvswitch-agent/openvswitch_agent.ini
firewall_driver = neutron.agent.linux.iptables_firewall.OVSHybridIptablesFirewallDriver

If the firewall_driver is defined as openvswitch proceed to Setup.

Reconfigure Firewall Driver with Kolla Ansible

If the default Hybrid driver is in use you will need to update the Kolla Ansible configuration at /etc/kolla/config/neutron/openvswitch_agent.ini.

If the openvswitch_agent.ini file does not exist, create it with the following contents:

# Ensures firewall rules are fully-managed in OVS instead of using
# host iptables
firewall_driver = openvswitch
[root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# cat /etc/kolla/config/neutron/openvswitch_agent.ini

# Ensures firewall rules are fully-managed in OVS instead of using
# host iptables
firewall_driver = openvswitch

Once in place, reconfigure the cloud with kolla-ansible reconfigure you can target just the changed services with --tags neutron,openvswitch:

(.kolla-admin) [root@exhilarated-firefly kolla-ansible]# kolla-ansible -i /etc/fm-deploy/kolla-ansible-inventory reconfigure --tags neutron,openvswitch
Reconfigure OpenStack service : ansible-playbook -i /etc/fm-deploy/kolla-ansible-inventory -e @/etc/kolla/globals.yml -e @/etc/kolla/passwords.yml -e CONFIG_DIR=/etc/kolla --tags neutron,openvswitch -e kolla_action=reconfigure -e kolla_serial=0 /opt/kolla-ansible/.kolla-admin/share/kolla-ansible/ansible/site.yml
[WARNING]: Invalid characters were found in group names but not replaced, use -vvvv to see details
[WARNING]: Could not match supplied host pattern, ignoring: enable_nova_True


PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
exhilarated-firefly : ok=33 changed=5 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=18 rescued=0 ignored=0
gifted-wildcat : ok=43 changed=6 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=19 rescued=0 ignored=0
localhost : ok=4 changed=2 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0
upbeat-peacock : ok=33 changed=5 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=18 rescued=0 ignored=0

Confirm your change is now reflected:

[root@exhilarated-firefly kolla-ansible]# grep firewall_driver /etc/kolla/neutron-openvswitch-agent/openvswitch_agent.ini
firewall_driver = openvswitch

Proceed to installation.

Install and Configure Firewall

  • CAUTION! This process can potentially result in loss of access to your cloud. Perform these steps on one node at a time to limit the possibility of total loss of access.

Install ipset and iptables

  1. Begin by installing the required packages with yum:
yum install iptables-services ipset ipset-service -y
ipset-7.1-1.el8.x86_64 ipset-libs-7.1-1.el8.x86_64 ipset-service-7.1-1.el8.noarch iptables-services-1.8.4-17.el8_4.1.x86_64


Configure Services

  1. Identify the nodes vlan bond devices with ip:
[root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# ip -br a | awk -F'@bond0' '/bond0\./{print$1}'
  1. Create a new iptables configuration at /etc/sysconfig/iptables.

    NOTE!: To ensure all VLAN traffic is accepted, special attention must be paid to the ACCEPT rules (eg. bond0.304 etc). Be sure to update the Local VLAN rules with the nodes identified interface names

    :INPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
    :OUTPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
    -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "localhost"
    -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "localhost"
    -A INPUT -j ACCEPT -m pkttype --pkt-type multicast -m comment --comment "multicast"
    -A OUTPUT -j ACCEPT -m pkttype --pkt-type multicast -m comment --comment "multicast"
    -A INPUT -j ACCEPT -m pkttype --pkt-type broadcast -m comment --comment "broadcast"
    -A OUTPUT -j ACCEPT -m pkttype --pkt-type broadcast -m comment --comment "broadcast"
    -A INPUT -j DROP -m set --match-set blacklist src -m comment --comment "blacklist"
    -A OUTPUT -j DROP -m set --match-set blacklist dst -m comment --comment "blacklist"
    -A INPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "allow icmp"
    -A INPUT -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "connection tracking"
    -A INPUT -i bond0.304 -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "Local VLAN - compute"
    -A INPUT -i bond0.306 -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "Local VLAN - control"
    -A INPUT -i bond0.332 -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "Local VLAN - storage"
    -A INPUT -i bond0.333 -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "Local VLAN - tunnel"
    -A INPUT -i o-hm0 -j ACCEPT -m comment --comment "Octavia management"
    -A INPUT -p vrrp -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -p tcp -s -m comment --comment "OMI Pod VLAN 8 management" -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -p udp -s -m comment --comment "OMI Pod VLAN 8 management" -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -p tcp -s -m comment --comment "OMI Pod Management and Support" -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -j ACCEPT -m set --match-set whitelist src -m comment --comment "whitelist"
    -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 22 -m state --state NEW -m comment --comment "ssh" -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -m state --state NEW -m comment --comment "http/haproxy" -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 443 -m state --state NEW -m comment --comment "https/haproxy" -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -j DROP
  1. Create a new ipset configuration at /etc/sysconfig/ipset

    # ipset IP lists
    # To reload: systemctl restart ipset

    create whitelist hash:net family inet hashsize 1024 maxelem 65536
    create blacklist hash:net family inet hashsize 1024 maxelem 65536
    create multicast hash:net family inet hashsize 1024 maxelem 65536

    ## Multicast/Broadcast IPs required for VRRP, DHCP, other protocols
    add multicast
    add multicast

    ## Whitelisted IPs

    # OMI VPN IP (support)
    add whitelist

    # Add your additional IPs here...
    #add whitelist W.X.Y.Z
  2. The services now need to be restarted for the changes to take effect. Do NOT enable auto-start yet, in case something goes wrong.

    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# systemctl restart ipset
    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# systemctl restart iptables
    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]#
  3. Confirm that the firewall is working as expected. This can be done by attempting to access services (SSH etc) from both a whitelisted IP and an undefined network.

  4. Once confirmed, enable auto-start for both services.

    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# systemctl enable ipset
    Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/ → /usr/lib/systemd/system/ipset.service.
    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# systemctl enable iptables
    Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/ → /usr/lib/systemd/system/iptables.service.
    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]#
  5. Copy the newly created files to the root users home folder accross the rest of the nodes.

    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]# for node in $(awk '!/localhost/&&/local/{print$NF}' /etc/hosts| grep -v $(hostname -s)); do echo "scp -i .ssh/fm-deploy /etc/sysconfig/ipset $node:~/new-ipset && scp -i .ssh/fm-deploy /etc/sysconfig/iptables $node:~/new-iptables"; done
    scp -i .ssh/fm-deploy /etc/sysconfig/ipset gifted-wildcat:~/new-ipset && scp -i .ssh/fm-deploy /etc/sysconfig/iptables gifted-wildcat:~/new-iptables
    scp -i .ssh/fm-deploy /etc/sysconfig/ipset upbeat-peacock:~/new-ipset && scp -i .ssh/fm-deploy /etc/sysconfig/iptables upbeat-peacock:~/new-iptables
    [root@exhilarated-firefly ~]#
  6. Deploy to the remaining nodes.