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Old ISE as VMware server

KevinR99
Level 1
Level 1

Hi

We have decommissioned an old ISE (SNS-3515) which is a UCS C220 M4.  Is it possible to re-provision this as a non-production VMware server?  I've tried some initial steps and get some problems firstly when trying to boot the VMare install iso.  I get an error related to an invalid signature.  That led me to finding something on secure boot.  I then disabled Secure boot and got a further error related to ISE.  I can't recall that exact issue.

So, am I trying to do something here that's just not possible?  Some discussions I find elsewhere suggest the device is locked down to stop converting it from its original purpose.

It's a pretty standard server we no longer have a use for as it's original purpose and it would be a pity if we can't use it for something else.

Thanks, Kev.

1 Accepted Solution

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thomas
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

The Secure Network Servers are dedicated appliances and cannot be repurposed.

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14 Replies 14

balaji.bandi
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

Not that i am aware you can use any other purpose - tried some time back WSA appliace - not got success. ( may be you can use spares to plug in other servers if you can use RAM / HDD and CPU.

 

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Leo Laohoo
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

Yes, it can be done.

Yes, it can be done.

any pointers please so save money to business

 

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Same way on how to build VMware.  Send the images of the OS via the CIMC.  

Leo

I think my original post already stated I had tried that method by booting the VMware ISO.  That was done by mounting it via the CIMC/KVM but it didn't succeed due to the 2 issues I mentioned.

Have you managed to do this successfully and if so did you have any hurdles to overcome?

Thanks, Kev.

Hi @KevinR99 ,

 are you using the latest HUU (Host Upgrade Utility) for the UCS-C220-M4 (at UCS-C220-M4 Rack Server Software)?

Note: It worth the shot to upgrade de HUU since it upgrade the following components: CIMC, System BIOSLOMRAID Controllers and Adapters.

 

Hope this helps !!!

@KevinR99 - are you using the Cisco-specific .iso images to build the ESXi server? There are very few of these specific images from VMWare that you must download to get the ball rolling. E.g. I recently built ESXi 7.0.2 on a UCS C220 M5 using this image.

 

I have never tried re-purposing an SNS server for ESXi but as Leo says, it works. And of course it should work. It's just a case of turning off the UEFI Secure Boot option, since this is only used by OS's like Windows and ... ISE.

Then you should also consider creating appropriate RAID Logical Volumes using the storage that is installed in that server, etc.

 

I hope the custom .iso solves your issue. If not, then please post what your exact issue is.

 

I wonder if clearing the CMOS is a good idea - to put the BIOS into factory default state - but then you need to go through the settings to see if the result is sane.

cmos.PNG

 

 

Arne

Thank you for the reply.  I wasn't aware of those custom ISO's.  However, I downloaded the custom Cisco ISE and got the same issue.  On first trying to boot the ISO it said

VMware boot error 1.PNG

So I then disabled secure boot and got this

VMware boot error 2.PNG

So it seems something in the BIOS identifies the server as an ISE and doesn't allow you to change that.

Kev.

I wasn't aware that the UCS would even mention an "ISE mode". That means Cisco has hard coded something into the BIOS. Lots of searching on internet for "UCS ISE mode" has not revealed the answer and I think you're in pioneering territory now  

 

My next step would be to reset the CMOS (or do it via the CIMC under Admin / Utilities) and just blast all the settings away.

 

 

 

Thanks Cisco.  A server that could be usefully re-purposed being tied down to one function.

There must be a way to blast this server and use it for something else.  If I work it out I’ll update the discussion.

Kev.

Hi @KevinR99 ,

 have you tried to update the HUU as I described before?

 

Regards

I tried both ISE appliance and WSA appliance different ways ..never had any success rate honestly ...so gave up.

 

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thomas
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

The Secure Network Servers are dedicated appliances and cannot be repurposed.

Disappointing but not unexpected.  Not very environmentally friendly by Cisco.  Once a product has seen the end of its days for the primary purpose it’s essentially dead even though it is a very capable device that can be put to other uses.

Thank you for the reply.  It saves me wasting further time on trying to achieve this.

Kev.