6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 23, 2009 11:25 AM by chris.lapoint

    What is the fate of Kiwi Secure Tunnel?

      The company I work for is a happy paying customer of Kiwi Syslog, Cattools, Log Viewer, and Secure Tunnel. We're using the Secure Tunnel extensively at our remote sites, national and international, to sefely and securely tunnel our syslog traffic back to our central syslog server. 

      In the announcements, Kiwi's page, and Solarwind's page, this product appears to have vanished. What is the fate of this product? It fills a very unique niche and I would very much hate to lose it.

      Thank you.

      Jason

        • Re: What is the fate of Kiwi Secure Tunnel?
          chris.lapoint

          We're glad to have you on board!   To be completely honest, we haven't made a decision on Secure Tunnel.  We're considering a variety of options right now so we'll have to get back to you on this one.

          If there are other Kiwi Syslog customers using it in combination with Secure Tunnel, we'd really like to hear about your use-cases to help us in our planning.

            • Re: What is the fate of Kiwi Secure Tunnel?

              Chris,

              Thanks for the reply. I wanted to add a few details to our usage and hopefully shed more light on why Secure Tunnel is worth keeping around.

              1. Messages don't get dropped - great for capturing a forensic log:
                1. TCP tunnel - Syslog is UDP "send and pray" based. WAN links, especially Internet links, drop packets and therefore drop syslog messages. Putting in a TCP tunnel makes sure your dropped packets (syslog messages) get properly retransmited.
                2. Buffers locally to disk when needed - Those same WAN links occasionally fail too. When the link comes back, the remote client then sends the accumulated syslog messages to the server.
              2. Rate limiting of the TCP tunnel - the remote client won't swamp your link, especially after a link fails, comes back up, and the remote client tries to empty the buffer.
              3. SSH Encrypted - Log messages can tell people a lot about your network, systems, and servers. Especially when crossing the Internet from site to site, encrypting the log data is critical to your security.
              4. Compression - Syslog messages are text and tend to be highly repetative. Using compression saves a lot of traffic. This is still very important in some parts of the world where a 1.5 Mbps Internet conenction still costs thousands of dollars a month. The compression must be done BEFORE the encryption to be useful. (Properly encrypted traffic is non-compressible.)
              5. Can "tail" a text file and turn it into syslog messages. How many ever-growing log files do you have in your environment? Wouldn't it be convenient to transmit them around as syslogs to your central log server for correlation? It is for us!

              I see the Secure Tunnel function as providing a capability set that nobody else has available. This helps drive more customers to your products, which is always a good thing. My preferences below are from a corporate perspective - we are willing to pay a reasonable amount of money for good support (bug fixes, security updates, new features) of a product.

              In order of preference, here is what I would like to see happen to Secure Tunnel:

              1. Bundle Secure Tunnel in with the Kiwi and Orion Syslog server products as a value add to paying customers. 
              2. Continue to sell Secure Tunnel as a separate product.
              3. Both #1 and #2 - Why not? A paying customer is a good customer.
              4. Open Source the Secure Tunnel code and turn it into a community project. This keeps the code from dying and Solarwinds gets some good PR if they announce it right.

              Whatever you do, please don't let the tool just vanish - its too darn useful.

              Thank you

              Jason

                • Re: What is the fate of Kiwi Secure Tunnel?
                  chris.lapoint

                  Thank you very much for the post Jason.  These use-cases are very helpful!  

                    • Re: What is the fate of Kiwi Secure Tunnel?
                      rolltidega

                      I completely agree on Kiwi Secure Tunnel.  We use it to get remote syslog from customer firewalls.  We are currently having an issue with it and I am not sure how to get support for it!  Secure Tunnel is a great product with a few minor downfalls.  I really wanted to see a management console built that could manage multiple remote Kiwi Tunnel Clients so that upgrades could be pushed to them without having to remote desktop to all of them out there (the source code being published out there would make it easier for the community to build this functionality).  We have almost 100 tunnel clients out there so not knowing the fate of the product actually scares me a bit.  :-)

                        • Re: What is the fate of Kiwi Secure Tunnel?

                          I use the Secure Tunnel similar to above: (cut and paste)

                           

                          1. Buffers locally to disk when needed - Those same WAN links occasionally fail too. When the link comes back, the remote client then sends the accumulated syslog messages to the server.
                          2. Rate limiting of the TCP tunnel - the remote client won't swamp your link, especially after a link fails, comes back up, and the remote client tries to empty the buffer.
                          3. SSH Encrypted - Log messages can tell people a lot about your network, systems, and servers. Especially when crossing the Internet from site to site, encrypting the log data is critical to your security.
                          4. Compression - Syslog messages are text and tend to be highly repetative. Using compression saves a lot of traffic. This is still very important in some parts of the world where a 1.5 Mbps Internet conenction still costs thousands of dollars a month. The compression must be done BEFORE the encryption to be useful. (Properly encrypted traffic is non-compressible.)
                            • Re: What is the fate of Kiwi Secure Tunnel?
                              chris.lapoint

                              UPDATE:  We’ve been providing the networking community with free network management tools since the company was founded a decade ago. That’s why we’ve decided to discontinue sale of Kiwi Secure Tunnel and make it openly available as a free tool to the SolarWinds and Kiwi user community.

                              As part of our release of Kiwi Secure Tunnel as a free tool, we’ve added all features of the licensed version with the following exceptions:

                              • Client: Limited to 50 incoming TCP connections
                              • Server: Limited to 50 incoming client connections
                              • Transmit pacing:  Limited to a maximum of 4 Mbps

                              You can find the free version here:  http://www.solarwinds.com/products/freetools/kiwi_syslog_server/related_tools.aspx

                              Happy tunneling!