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VCAP-DCA Study notes 7.2– Configure and Maintain the ESX Firewall

A blessedly quick objective this one! Quite why the ESXi Configuration Guide is listed in the blueprint is anyone’s idea as ESXi doesn’t contain a firewall! The blueprint also lists vicfg-firewall which is a typo – they mean esxcfg-firewall, as vicfg-firewall doesn’t exist!


  • Identify vicfg-firewall commands
  • Explain the three firewall security levels
  • Identify ESX firewall architecture with/without vCenter Server

Skills and Abilities

  • Enable/Disable pre?configured services
  • Configure service behavior automation
  • Open/Close ports in the firewall
  • Create a custom service
  • Set firewall security level

Firewall architecture

The ESX Configuration Guide talks very generally about where to put firewalls to protect traffic. In reality I can’t see much difference in architecture whether you have a vCenter server or not.  These two diagrams are from the ESX Configuration Guide – minimal differences!

The firewall is ESX only (there’s no ESXi firewall as no service console).

Firewall security levels

Three firewall security levels (high is default);

  1. High (outbound blocked, limited inbound allowed (902, 443,22,123 and a few other including ICMP).
  2. Medium (outbound allowed, inbound blocked apart from allowed services)
  3. Off

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