Today, VMClarity has two halves, the VMClarity control plane, and the VMClarity CLI.

The VMClarity control plane includes several microservices:

  • API Server: The VMClarity API for managing all objects in the VMClarity system. This is the only component in the system which talks to the DB.

  • Orchestrator: Orchestrates and manages the life cycle of VMClarity scan configs, scans and asset scans. Within the Orchestrator there is a pluggable “provider” which connects the orchestrator to the environment to be scanned and abstracts asset discovery, VM snapshotting as well as creation of the scanner VMs. (Note The only supported provider today is AWS, other hyperscalers are on the roadmap)

  • UI Backend: A separate backend API which offloads some processing from the browser to the infrastructure to process and filter data closer to the source.

  • UI Webserver: A server serving the UI static files.

  • DB: Stores the VMClarity objects from the API. Supported options are SQLite and Postgres.

  • Scanner Helper services: These services provide support to the VMClarity CLI to offload work that would need to be done in every scanner, for example downloading the latest vulnerability or malware signatures from the various DB sources. The components included today are:

    • grype-server: A rest API wrapper around the grype vulnerability scanner
    • trivy-server: Trivy vulnerability scanner server
    • exploitDB server: A test API which wraps the Exploit DB CVE to exploit mapping logic
    • freshclam-mirror: A mirror of the ClamAV malware signatures

The VMClarity CLI contains all the logic for performing a scan, from mounting attached volumes and all the pluggable infrastructure for all the families, to exporting the results to VMClarity API.

These components are containerized and can be deployed in a number of different ways. For example our cloudformation installer deploys VMClarity on a VM using docker in an dedicated AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

Once the VMClarity server instance has been deployed, and the scan configurations have been created, VMClarity will discover VM resources within the scan range defined by the scan configuration (e.g., by region, instance tag, and security group). Once the asset list has been created, snapshots of the assets are taken, and a new scanner VM are launched using the snapshots as attached volumes. The VMClarity CLI running within the scanner VM will perform the configured analysis on the mounted snapshot, and report the results to the VMClarity API. These results are then processed by the VMClarity backend into findings.

VMClarity Architecture Overview

Last modified October 30, 2023: Vmclarity restructuring (#11) (8eb7084)