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Cloud Cost Guide Part 5: Step 4 - Securing Your Data Center with the OPNsense Firewall

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

The Gateway To Your Infrastructure

Welcome back to our blog series on reducing cloud costs through a DevOps-Enabled, Automated IT Infrastructure. Thus far, we've discussed choosing a Dedicated Managed Server provider, installing a Virtualization Hypervisor, and setting up a cluster of Hypervisors in high-availability mode. Today, we're diving into the fourth step – installing the OPNsense Firewall.

In any IT infrastructure, security is a paramount concern. As the gateway to your data center, a firewall is crucial in managing network segmentation for all your users and services. It monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules, protecting your data center from unauthorised access and threats.

Among the various options available, OPNsense stands out as an enterprise-grade firewall and routing platform packed with powerful features. It has a modern user interface and dashboard, monitors the state of network connections to all your services, excels in traffic shaping, and includes an inbuilt intrusion detection and prevention system. Additionally, its reporting and monitoring capabilities, backup and restore feature, and simple-plugin architecture extend its functionality for future enhancements.

One of the key reasons we recommend OPNsense over its main competitor, pfSense, is its API layer that enables automation – a point we'll expand upon later in this series.

The goal here is to establish two instances of OPNsense and operate it in 'high-availability' mode. This ensures redundancy and failure management as well as scheduled updates and upgrades to the firewall, ensuring that access to your entire data center remains uninterrupted. By installing OPNsense, you're adding an essential layer of security to your data center, protecting your valuable resources and data from potential threats.

In our next blog post, we'll move on to Step 5 – the installation of FreeIPA Central Authentication Identity Manager. This tool manages user identities, access control, and authentication for your infrastructure services in a secure, centralized manner.

Stay tuned as we continue our step-by-step journey towards efficient cloud cost management. Remember, each step you take brings you closer to a more streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient IT infrastructure. Let's keep moving forward!

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