A belated Happy New Year!  We have a good excuse for being late with the greetings, as we’ve been heads down on getting version 2.1 out the door.  And here it is.

Version 2.1 of SBOX is a minor release but with significant improvements and new deployment options that brings extends the power and value of SBOX to new infrastructure environments.   Here’s a summary of the most notable new features and improvements.

Software Appliance

The power, simplicity and consistency of the management platform has always been one of the core benefits of our app.  We’ve often been surprised at how much that is valued by customers, even those who might have chosen SBOX for the purpose-built hardware.   We’ve heard from others who loved the features but couldn’t benefit because they were constrained to other hardwar or private clouds.  And we also heard from customers struggling to support cloud migration strategies that resulted in hybrid environments.  So the decision to provide a software appliance product was natural, even as the engineering wasn’t necessarily easy.

The SBOX Software Appliance is a new product that consists of all the same elements –  secure OS, management platform, SBOX Manager UI, Solution Center – in a packaged software product available as an OVA deployed on your hardware, or as an AMI for the AWS cloud.   Upon deployment, the bulk of the features and experience are identical to the hardware appliance, obviously with the exception of features directly related to hardware.

Running on AWS

There are a few additional notes when using AWS.

  • The software appliance benefits from SSH key-pair management providing an added level of security and convenience.
  • AWS instances only support a single NIC, restricted to DHCP based assignment. This also means that IP bonding and failover via virtual IP are not supported.
  • The configuration of Security Groups is critical when instances are exposed in the AWS public cloud, and needs to follow your enterprise security policies.
  • There is no console (tty0) for the user and the CLI command “sbox setup” is not allowed. The setup wizard ensures configuration of settings like hostname and timezone.
  • Also, refer to the Quick Start Guide for AWS for more details.

Getting Started

Please contact your account manager for pricing and details.  After acquiring a license, instructions will be provided to download the ISO or access the AMI.  If using AWS, the AMI will be shared with your AWS account and available for instance creation.   Software licenses are sold as an annual subscription with full support included.

Scheduled Jobs

The job execution capability has been expanded to allow scheduling of jobs, using either UTC or local time specifications.

Amazon S3 Support

Amazon S3 storage can now be mounted as attached storage, using S3 resource identifiers and AWS credentials

One-Click Log Retrieval & Log Rotation

New enhancements make it easier than ever to configure log retrieval into Splunk using syslog-ng from external sources.   Support for automatic log rotation eliminates risks of storage overruns and improves resiliency.

LDAP Authentication

Support for enterprise LDAP servers,  such as Microsoft Active Directory or OpenLDAP, allows SBOX authentication to be controlled at the enterprise level.

New Solution Center Apps

The following new apps have been added to the Solution Center.

  • Data Quality – provides detailed metrics about the quality of incoming data and CIM-Model compliance
  • SBOX Health – allows monitoring of many aspects of appliance health including critical hardware events, and others related to RAM, storage and CPU.
  • Splunk Stream – ported from SplunkBase, it allows easy ingestion of data from real-time streaming sources
  • Palo Alto Networks – provides configurable operational views and dashboards for operational monitoring of the Palo Networks family of firewalls
  • Wizdee – provides access to a pioneering platform for natural search with Splunk, and includes a voice-based mobile app.

In addition to the above notable features, this release also includes a large number of minor improvements to stability, performance and experience.

The new release is available as an ISO for fresh installations, and as an AMI in the AWS console.  Contact your account manager or our support team for access to binaries.   Upgrade packs are also available to automate upgrade from older versions.  Our support team is here to help with upgrade requests or answer other questions.  Check back on the Support Center frequently for updates and information.

We sincerely appreciate all the feedback that helped drive this release, and we hope to get more about these new features.