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CCIE trick--remote configuring of switches w/out a config

Aaron Greene
Beginner
Beginner

I have heard that this is possible to do...maybe through SNMP put commands, but I have no idea how to do it and I would like to know if it is possible. Lets suppose you have a remote location with 1 router and 1 switch. The switch dies and you have a maintenance worker install a new one and hook it to the router with a cable. You need to configure the switch but do not have an ip address since there is no config on the switch. How can you configure that switch remotely?

Here is the real problem, the scenario is the same as above, except the switch is configured but is not configured for telnet or ssh. Any suggestions here?

8 Replies 8

akemp
Contributor
Contributor

I do it all the time using solarwinds snmp configuration tool. Its trivial but you have to have snmp enabled. Another trick is to use the default network settings of devices and create a subnet between the device you can get to and the device that isnt configured, but you have to know the default settings of devices which vary.

I have Solarwinds Orion and Cirrus, but I don't have any read/write strings...can I still do it?

not using snmp gets and sets :( TFTP is your best bet on the default network.

after reflecting on this a bit I think a process we employ would fit. We have maintenance workers with some skills that can use the console port to dump a rudimentary configuration file on devices we replace. That sould give you the basics to get to them, nothing fancy, just a reachable IP address and a snmp ro and rw community string. Your configuration versioning system should be able to use those to push a configuration on them.

can you explain more about how to create a "rudimentary config file" and how to transfer it by the console port (you mean xmodem?)

In order to use SNMP to do this at a minimum you will need:

1) IP connectivity -- IP address and be able to reach the NMS Server

2) SNMP RO and RW strings configured

After that have a look at this link:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk648/tk362/technologies_configuration_example09186a0080094aa6.shtml

Collin Clark
Advisor
Advisor

I believe the best solution is out-of-band. We have numerous sites with a single router and switch. We use Avocent ACS servers and dial into that box and we then have console access to our devices. The most I have to do is walk someone plugging the cables in.

RW SNMP is a little dangerous if you ask me (it has bailed me out though).

RW SNMP is but you can limit your exposure with ACLs allowing only authorized sources. So dynamic configuration tools require RW access. (like QoS Manager)

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