cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel

How to use Zero-Touch SmartInstall

41271
Views
25
Helpful
84
Comments

Before we begin, I’ve segmented this document into three subnets.  They are: 

1) Introduction section  2) Troubleshooting section.  3) WTF section (I’ll explain later).

 

 

Introduction

What does this do?

Let’s say that you have a pile of switches you need to deploy soon-ish.  Now, your stack will “mostly” have the same configuration except the IP Addresses and Hostname.  Let’s say that your switch configurations are composed of two parts:  Dynamic (unique information such as IP Addresses) or Static (or fixed information).

 

Before the advent of Zero-Touch, one would sit down behind the pile switches and configure them one by one, very monotonous and very repetitive. 

 

With Zero-Touch, all one has to do is connect a new switch’s Ethernet or Management Port to the switch “Director” Ethernet port (explained later) using an Ethernet cable.  Power up  the new switch and once the boot-up process completes the new switch will receive a Static Configuration and an IOS upgrade/downgrade from the Director. 

 

Now, for safety reason, you have to manually configure what kind of switch you want to enable.  And when I say “what kind of switch”, I meant SPECIFIC models.  This feature will be able to determine if your switch is a 24- or 48-port, whether you switch has 2- or 4- SFP ports, etc.  For short, very platform-specific. 

 

Zero-Touch uses VLAN 1 and Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP).  Zero-Touch requires VLAN 1 because a new factory-fresh switch does not have any other VLANs other than VLAN 1.  Ok so far?

 

Zero-Touch also uses CDP to “interrogate” the client switch.  Zero-Touch takes the CDP value and pulls the “platform” information to know what kind of appliance wants “in” to the Zero-Touch and whether or not there are settings.   Because of this, the director will NOT push the IOS and/or the static configuration to, say a 2960 switch to a 3560 (unless you incorrectly configured it to do so).   If it’s not in the list, then the Director will not action. 

 

What appliances are supported?

 

Table 1 Supported Switches

 

Switch Director Client

Catalyst 3750-X                                               

Yes Yes

Catalyst 3750-E

Yes Yes
Cisco 3750 Yes Yes

Cisco 3560-X

Yes Yes

Cisco 3560-E

Yes Yes

Cisco 3560-C

No Yes

Cisco 3560

Yes Yes

Catalyst 2960-S

No Yes

Catalyst 2960-C

No Yes

Catalyst 2960

No Yes

Catalyst 2975

No Yes

SM-ES2-16-P

No Yes

SM-ES3 SKUs

No Yes

NME-16ES-1G-P

No yes

NM-16-ESW

Yes No

 

 

Table 2 Supported Routers

Router Director Client
Cisco 3900 Series Integrated Services Routers G2 Yes No
Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers G2 Yes No
Cisco 1900 Series Integrated Services Routers G2 Yes No
Cisco 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers Yes No
Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Routers Yes No
Cisco 1800 Series Integrated Services Routers Yes No

 

 

Note: If your switch appliance (like 3560CG or ME-3800X) is not in this list, boy, do I have a joke for you!  Read on!

 

So what do I need?

No biggie. You need a TFTP server of course.  A 3560 or 3750 switch running at least IOS version 12.2(55)SE1 IP Base which will act as a Director.  Cisco documentation will state that Zero-Touch SmartPort was introduced starting with IOS 12.2(55)SE but Cisco insiders recommend using the SE1 rebuild because of “improvements” (aka bug fixes).

 

Network Diagram

server-1.png

That’s simple. 

 

Anything else?

Of course you need the IOS TAR files of the switches involved.  You also need to create a few text files.  They are:

 

  • config template – The text file is the configuration template for a specific model of switch.   Syntax or naming convention would be anything of your choice.
  • imagelist  - This file contains only one string:  The complete IOS filename (example:  c2960s-universalk9-tar.122-58.SE1.tar).  The naming convention is a wee bit “strange”.  The naming convention is based on the built-in group (or profile) when configuring the VStack.  For example, for a 2960 LAN Lite the filename is “2960-24-8poe-lanlite-imagelist.txt”.  For a 2960S-24PD the filename is called “2960s-24-2sfp-poe-imagelist.txt” and for a 2960S-48LPS the filename is called “2960s-48-4sfp-poe-imagelist.txt”. 

 

Gotchas?

 

  • During the entire process, if you do anything, like hit any keyboard while consoled into the client switch (accidentally) the process will stop (hence the term Zero-Touch).
  • VLAN 1 is mandatory.  This is because when you get a switch out of the box VLAN 1 is the only VLAN available.  
  • This feature does NOT like the “/” or “\” symbols.  For example, when you are specifying where the IOS image and/or config template file is located it will only accept this form of syntax:  tftp://IP Address of TFTP server/IOS file.tar

    The syntax of tftp://IP Address of TFTP server/subdirectory/IOS file.tar  is going to cause issues and best be avoided.

  • The three files (IOS TAR file, config template.txt file and imagelist.txt file) must be located in the default folder of the TFTP server. 
  • If your switch has a Management Port you can use this as well as any switch port. 

 

Configuration time!

It’s simple. 

 

  1. Interface configuration for the clients AND the TFTP server:

    interface GigabitEthernet <BLAH>
    description Build LAN
    switchport mode access
    switchport access VLAN 1    [IMPORTANT]
    load-interval 30        [OPTIONAL]
    spanning-tree portfast

  2. Enable VLAN 1:

    Director# configure terminal
    Director(config)# interface vlan 1
    Director(config)# no shutdown
    Director(config)# ip address 1.1.1.254 255.0.0.0

  3. Enable SmartInstall on the Director:

    Director(config)# vstack director 1.1.1.254
    Director(config)# vstack basic

  4. Configure a DHCP scope for client switches:
    Note:  TFTP server IP address is 1.1.1.1/8 for the sake of the demonstration

    Director(config)#  vstack dhcp-localserver badda-bing
    Director(config)#  address-pool 1.1.1.0 255.0.0.0
    Director(config)#  file-server 1.1.1.1
    Director(config)#  default-router 1.1.1.254

    Connect the link between your Director and the TFTP server into a port configured as VLAN 1.

  5. Configure Built-In Groups (or profiles) and specify the location of the IOS image and the config template file:

    Director(config)# vstack group built-in 2960 24-8poe-lanlite
    Director(config)# image tftp://1.1.1.1/c2960-lanlitek9-tar.122-58.SE1.tar
    Director(config)# config tftp://1.1.1.1/2960lite_config.txt

    Optional:  What if I want to create a few more of these so-called built-in groups because I have a number of different models, for example, 2960S-24-PLD:

    Director(config)# vstack group built-in 2960s 24-2sfp-poe
    Director(config)# image tftp://1.1.1.1/c2960s-universalk9-tar.122-58.SE1.tar
    Director(config)# config tftp://1.1.1.1/2960s_config.txt

  6. Connect a new switch to the Director port configured as VLAN 1.  Make sure the switch does not have any config.  If unsure, console into the switch and erase the configuration (wr erase) and reboot (reload).

 

 

How does it look like?

 

Press RETURN to get started!

 

*Mar  1 00:00:44.048: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface Vlan1,
changed state to downAuth Manager registration failed

 

*Mar  1 00:00:45.231: %SPANTREE-5-EXTENDED_SYSID: Extended SysId enabled
for type vlan

*Mar  1 00:01:06.756: %SYS-5-RESTART: System restarted --

Cisco IOS Software, C2960 Software (C2960-LANLITEK9-M), Version 12.2(58)SE1,
RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)

Technical Support: http://www.cisco.com/techsupport

Copyright (c) 1986-2011 by Cisco Systems, Inc.

Compiled Thu 05-May-11 02:53 by prod_rel_team

*Mar  1 00:01:13.677: %LINK-3-UPDOWN: Interface GigabitEthernet0/2,
changed state to up

*Mar  1 00:01:14.683: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface
GigabitEthernet0/2, changed state to up

*Mar  1 00:01:41.703: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface
Vlan1, changed state to up

 

!!!! Gets a valid IP Address

 

*Mar  1 00:01:59.764: AUTOINSTALL: Vlan1 is assigned 1.0.0.9 got vend id
vend spec. info ret: succeed got vend id vend spec. info ret: succeed

 

!!!! Don’t worry about the word “Aborted” because the “AUTOINSTALL” is part of the feature.

*Mar  1 00:02:20.416: %SMI-6-AUTOINSTALL: Aborted AUTOINSTALL

*Mar  1 00:02:20.416: AUTOINSTALL: Aborted

 

 

!!!! Downloads the config template file into the startup-config.

 

*Mar  1 00:02:20.416: %SMI-6-UPGRD_STARTED: Device (IP address: 1.0.0.9)
startup-config upgrade has started

Loading 2960lite_config.txt from 1.1.1.1 (via Vlan1): !

[OK - 1324 bytes]

 

*Mar  1 00:02:38.502: %SYS-5-CONFIG_NV_I: Nonvolatile storage configured
from tftp://1.1.1.1/2960lite_config.txt by console

*Mar  1 00:02:39.517: %SMI-6-UPGRD_SUCCESS: Device (IP address: 1.0.0.9)
startup-config has upgraded successfully

*Mar  1 00:02:39.526: %SMI-6-UPGRD_STARTED: Device (IP address: 1.0.0.9)
image upgrade has started

 

 

!!!! Next the IOS image list is being verified to know what file is to be used.

 

Loading 2960-24-8poe-lanlite-imagelist.txt from 1.1.1.1 (via Vlan1): !

[OK - 34 bytes]

 

 

!!!! Don’t worry about the “could not buffer”.  Happens all the time.


Could not buffer tarfile...using multiple downloads

examining image...

extracting info (107 bytes)

 

!!!! IOS is being downloaded and extracted to the new switch

 

System Type:             0x00000000

  Ios Image File Size:   0x009DFA00

  Total Image File Size: 0x00DC0200

  Minimum Dram required: 0x04000000

  Image Suffix:          lanlitek9-122-58.SE1

  Image Directory:       c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1

  Image Name:            c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1.bin

  Image Feature:         LAYER_2|SSH|3DES|MIN_DRAM_MEG=64

 

Old image for switch 1: same as image to overwrite

  Image to be installed already exists...will be removed before download.

 

Deleting `flash:c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1' to create required space

Extracting images from archive into flash...

c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1/ (directory)

c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1/html/ (directory)

 

 

--- CUT ---

 

extracting c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1/info (427 bytes)

extracting info (107 bytes)

 

Installing (renaming): `flash:update/c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1' ->

                                       `flash:/c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1'

New software image installed in flash:/c2960-lanlitek9-mz.122-58.SE1

 

!!!! Finish

 

All software images installed.

Requested system reload in progress...

*Mar  1 00:12:16.586: %SYS-5-RELOAD: Reload requested by SMI IBC client process.
Reload Reason: Switch upgraded through Smart Install.

 

 

How long does it take?

 

Depending on the model of your switch between 10 to 15 minutes from the time the “client” is seen by the VStack Director.

 

 

Troubleshooting Section

 

The most useful command I’ve used is the “sh vstack status”. 

 

SmartInstall:  ENABLED

 

Status: Device_type Health_status Join-window_status Upgrade_status

Device_type:  S - Smart install N - Non smart install P - Pending

Health_status:  A - Active I - Inactive

Join-window_Status:  a - Allowed  h - On-hold   d - Denied

Image Upgrade:   i - in progress     I - done           X - failed

Config Upgrade:  c - in progress     C - done           x - failed

Director Database:

DevNo  MAC Address     Product-ID         IP_addr          Hostname    Status

=====  ==============  =================  ===============  ==========  =========

0      001e.490e.7600  WS-C3750G-24PS     192.168.1.2      Director    Director

 

Pay close attention to the output under the “Status” section.  This will tell you the progress of the Zero-Touch based on each “DevNo” or Index Number (first column). 

 

There are two commands that the original Cisco documentation will tell you.  They are:

 

  • vstack download-config [tftp://<TFTP IP address> or DevNo] Client_IP_Address PASSWORD startup
    This command will tell the Director to manually push the Static configuration to the switch.

  • vstack download-image [tftp://<TFTP IP address> or DevNo] Client_IP_Address PASSWORD reload
    This command will tell the Director to manually push the IOS to the switch and overwrite previous version.

 

I have a 50% success rate when using these two commands.  Let me explain: 

 

The Zero-Touch works great.  Most of the time when I run into trouble, the most common issue I would see are is the switch would fail to download the config, download the IOS, reboot and attempt (but fail) to download the config.  Sometimes it won’t even download the IOS. 

 

Like I’ve mentioned before the two commands that Cisco recommends on using doesn’t work all the time.  I would resort to power down the offending client, count to five, and powering up the client.  Now THIS process works for me 100% of the time. 

 

WTF Section

This section is called the WTF section.  Why? 

 

Let’s say that you read Table 1 and saw that you have a number of switch models that are NOT in the table, for example a Cisco 3560CG-8PC (in the list but this model is not available in the configuration) or Cisco ME-3800X-24FS.   Well, in the back of your mind, you’d probably thinking that if you are reading this section, then something can be done to enable these unsupported models to work with Zero-Touch.  Well?  Can you?

 

And the short answer is?  YES (if you use the magic word). 

 

WTF, How-Did-You-Get-This-To-Work Section

     a)    Same rules apply for the Switch Director: 

    • 3560/G/E/X or 3750/G/E/X;
    • Minimum IOS 12.2(55)SE1 or later; and
    • VLAN 1 only to the clients and to the TFTP server
    • CDP must be enabled.

 

b)    You need the IOS TAR file of the switches

c)    You need to create a Static Configuration file per switch; and

d)    You need to create an image file

 

In my case, I had to deploy 3560CG-8PC and ME-3800X-24FS.  So my image filename has to be exact.   For the 3560CG-8PC has to be exact “3560CG-8PC-imagelist.txt” and the ME-3800 is called “ME3800X-imagelist.txt”.

 

 

3560CG-8PC Configuration

 

Director(config)#  vstack group custom <Enter any value> product-id

Director(config)#  image tftp://<TFTP IP Address>/<IOS_filename>.TAR

Director(config)#  config tftp://<TFTP IP Address>/<Config_filename>.txt

 

!!!! The magic word is “match”.

 

Director(config)#  match WS-C3560CG-8PC-S

 

 

ME-3800X-24FS Configuration

 

Director(config)#  vstack group custom <Enter any value> product-id

Director(config)#  image tftp://<TFTP IP Address>/<IOS_filename>.TAR

Director(config)#  config tftp://<TFTP IP Address>/<Config_filename>.txt

 

!!!! The magic word is “match”.

 

Director(config)#  match ME-3800X-24FS-M

 

 

The value after the “match” statement is very specific.  The value comes out of the client’s Product ID (PID) and must be entered in ALL-CAPS.   The Zero-Touch function will not work if this value is expressed in any other mean. 

 

 

So all un-supported appliance now supported?

Unfortunately, the answer is NO. 

 

I’ve tried using a 2950 and it won’t work.  I don’t have the resources to test but if a switch (like the 3550 or the 2970) can run IOS version 12.2 then it could work using the “match” statement. 

Comments
Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend
There's very little available on vstack for the 2960X's and all I can find is autoinstall which isn't the same.

2960-series family of switches does NOT and WILL NOT support vstack director.  

 

Currently, IOS version 15.0(2)SE4 doesn't support 2960X switches either.  Don't be tempted to use 15.2(1)E-train IOS.  This particular train is about to "die".  The bugs on this train alone is longer than a Chinese take-away menu.  

 

Any fixes in the 15.2(1)E train will be incorporated with 15.2(2)E scheduled for release by the end of June 2014.

jonhill
Beginner

Thanks for this, so the only option with the 2960X family is to use autoinstall instead.

I'll give that a whirl and see what happens.

 

jonhill
Beginner

I've sort of managed to get Vstack working with the 2960X, the directors a 3750G on 12.2(55)SE9 and I got it to work for one 2960X but on trying a second it complained that the config tftp string wasn't in the correct format, but the IOS upgrade worked fine. Connect the other switch and it works fine with the same config on the director so its very hit and miss and unfortunately we only have two 2960X's to test it with.

What annoys me more is TAC just throws the configs at you saying the 2960X as a client works fine but they don;t have a clue themselves what's going on either that or no one is telling them that Vstack is as flaky as the 15.x IOS.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

Last 27 June 2014, Cisco released a new set of IOS versions, 15.2(2)E or 3.6.0E.  One of the major features included is the ZeroTouch SmartInstall Post-Install Script.  

 

Additional Link:  Smart Install Configuration Guide - for IOS version 15.2(2)E/3.6.0E

jonhill
Beginner

That's assuming it works and given Cisco's history I'm not holding my breath and also assumes that the switch your trying to use for Smartinstall supports the firmware which our current director doesn't as its a 3750G. 

What is quite funny is that I managed to get the 2960X working with Vstack using 12.2(55)SE9 on the director but none of the 15.x on the director worked with the 2960X, good old Cisco.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

Thanks for the feedback, Jon. 

 

My director is currently working on 15.0(2)SE4.  And I won't upgrade the IOS to anything in the 15.0 range.  I'll be testing 15.2(2)E before upgrading the director to this image.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend
What annoys me more is TAC just throws the configs at you saying the 2960X as a client works fine but they don;t have a clue themselves what's going on either that or no one is telling them that Vstack is as flaky as the 15.x IOS.

I feel your pain.  

 

Not everyone in TAC knows how to configure SmartInstall.   

Jeffrey Behrns
Beginner

Is there a way to bypass the time consuming process of downloading new IOS image?

Jeffrey Behrns
Beginner

I also would like to be able to create a vstack custom group that can match on S/N.  Matching on MAC address falls short because the MAC is not printed on the Cisco label on the shipping box.  I want to be able to take a shipping list like this:

S/N: FCQ17893 - was shipped to Site X

S/N: FCQ17894 - was shipped to site Y
 

and create my vstack custom groups in advance of the new client switch being cabled to the network.  If I can't match on S/N then I have to wait for the new switch to be cabled to the network, see what MAC address I am learning from the new switch, then create my vstack group to match on the MAC.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend
Is there a way to bypass the time consuming process of downloading new IOS image?

If you don't want the VStack director to push the IOS then you can remove the "image tftp://" line.

I also would like to be able to create a vstack custom group that can match on S/N.  Matching on MAC address falls short because the MAC is not printed on the Cisco label on the shipping box. 

What MAC address?  ZeroTouch SmartInstall works on the cornerstone of CDP.  Via CDP the Director can extrapolate what model/sub-model of an appliance you are.  


Serial number won't work because a serial number is not indicative of the model of your appliance.  

Jeffrey Behrns
Beginner

The base MAC of the client switch Mr. Leo.  For example:

vstack group custom TestGroup mac
 image tftp://10.10.1.249/Test/c2960-lanbasek9-tar.122-55.SE7.tar
 config tftp://10.10.1.249/Test/2960-template
 match mac 64e9.50b2.0480

I believe I tried removing the "image tftp://" line and the Smart Install process failed.  I will try again though.

Torrance Zeiler
Beginner

Could you please post a sample interface configuration for the trunk back to the network (green line in your diagram)?

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

Let's say your production VLAN's are 110 and 120 and your ZeroTouch is VLAN 1.  So the configuration is: 

 

interface BLAH

switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q

switchport mode trunk

switchport trunk vlan allow 110, 120

 

You will notice that VLAN 1 is specifically NOT allowed to traverse into your network.

Torrance Zeiler
Beginner

I'm trying to do the same thing as Henrik and was able to get as far as he described. I'm not sure I follow the process completely though.

If the vstack director's switchport configuration (access vlan 1) is not changed, and the configuration template sent to the vstack client changes the uplink access port to vlan 2, how do the two switches communicate without getting native vlan mismatch errors? Either way I think about it, some type of extra switchport configuration needs to be done on the director.

I know I'm missing a middle step here. Your guide was well written and covers just about everything, thanks for putting in the time to write it up.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend
If the vstack director's switchport configuration (access vlan 1) is not changed, and the configuration template sent to the vstack client changes the uplink access port to vlan 2, how do the two switches communicate without getting native vlan mismatch errors? Either way I think about it, some type of extra switchport configuration needs to be done on the director.

Ok ... Here's how this entire process works.  

 

1.  New client attaches to the director. 

2.  Director "interrogates" the new client switch.  Is the EXACT model in my list or not.  If not, go away.  If you are, then proceed. 

3.  Director sends the specified configuration template to the client.  This configuration template is save into the STARTUP-CONFIG of the client (and not in the running-config).  This means, the client can continue with the process without any worrying anything about "what VLAN am I in". 

 

Does this answer your question?  

 

If it does answer your question, then I'd like to throw some "curve ball" in your direction.  

 

I believe in subsequent IOS release, I believe 15.2(1)E, a new command was added to this feature.  The command is "vstack vlan <NUMBER>".  The concept (or logic) is that not everyone disables VLAN 1 (i.  e.  a lot of networks out there still use VLAN 1 in production).  The command instructs the Director to use a different VLAN as part of the process.  If you use "vstack vlan <NUMBER>" then all your switchport (that is part of this process) needs to be a member of this VLAN (instead of VLAN 1).  In my above example, I've put/assigned the Director management IP address in VLAN 1.  With the "vstack vlan <NUMBER>" the management VLAN of the Director is reflected in the new VLAN interface.  Example, instead of VLAN 1, I want to use VLAN 999.  So my configuration goes like this: 

vlan 999
 name VStack
 exit
!
vstack vlan 999
!
interface vlan 999
 ip address 1.1.1.254 255.0.0.0
 no shutdown
!
interface range Gi 1/0/1 - 12
 switchport access vlan 999
 exit
!
vstack director 1.1.1.1
vstack basic

Of course, after the "vstack basic", you put your built-in groups, custom groups, etc.

 

Hope this helps.