Virtually Sober

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Connecting your home lab to Azure & AWS using a reverse SSL VPN

One big challenge that I came across when starting to use Microsoft Azure & AWS is how do I connect my home lab to a VM/instance running in the cloud?

I have multiple VMs in my lab that need to communicate with the cloud VM, yet my home router doesn’t allow me to create a VPN bridge. Neither does it allow me to do any port forwarding. If I was using an application that supports direct connectivity to Azure or AWS this isn’t a problem. However, in my case, I have Zerto Virtual Replication 5.0 which requires pre-existing connectivity to be established. So how did I workaround this issue? Watch the video to find out or keep on reading!

The solution was actually pretty simple; create a reverse VPN connection over SSL using free and easy to use VPN software SoftEther. So rather than my lab connecting to Azure or AWS, connect your cloud VM to your lab using an SSL VPN so you don’t need any port forwarding etc. Once your cloud VM is connected to your lab all the local VMs can ping it and you are good to go.

This solution doesn’t even need to be limited to Zerto, any application installable in a VM could theoretically take advantage of the cloud in this way. All with no requirement on a networking team or big production network changes. Which means this doesn’t have to be limited to a home lab, it could be used to trial out something in a production environment before implementing more permanent connectivity. I hope you found this useful, I did, and so did my friend Vladan! Thanks,

Joshua

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