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Ask the Expert- SD-WAN

Announcing ISE 2.6

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Cisco Employee

It gives me great pleasure to announce the availability of Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) 2.6. This release is all about solving more for customers – better features and scale to deal with the Enterprise IoT era, better security and better ability to understand how your network access services and policy are deployed. Among other capabilities, being part of the Cisco DNA offer, ISE 2.6 is yet another big stride towards a better Software Defined Access.

 

What’s new in ISE 2.6:

 

  • Two million concurrent authentications - Our customers deal with the proliferation of IoT devices in their Enterprise networks– and with ISE 2.6, ISE allows them to understand what’s on the network and securely connect all of these devices – up to 2 million of these endpoints in a single ISE deployment, or “ISE cube” as we fondly call it

 

  • Faster, more powerful, fault-tolerant appliances - Managing and controlling all your user and device sessions requires some serious processing power. That’s why ISE 2.6 introduces new Cisco Secure Network Server (SNS) 36xx-Series appliances. These all-new, high-performance models are ideal for the largest deployments. While the 3615 is the 3515’s replacement and provides the same horsepower and concurrent endpoint count, the SNS-3655 handles medium-sized deployments (up to 50,000 concurrent sessions in a single PSN) and replaces the 3595. The new SNS-3695 is fully packed with 256GB memory, to be able to both act as a Policy Administration Node (PAN) and/or Monitoring and Troubleshooting Node (MnT) and can at the same time handle large-sized deployments (up to 100,000 concurrent sessions)

 

  • New ISE management support on IPv6 networks - More and more organizations are adopting IPv6 to uniquely address the massive number of new devices on their networks. With ISE 2.6, you can now manage ISE itself on a native IPv6 network, including connecting to the ISE management interface (both web and command-line) and to Active Directory and other management protocols

  

  • Identify managed devices with dynamic MAC address - Open seating environments with shared docking stations and ethernet dongles pose a challenge as the same MAC address is now linked to many different users and devices each day. That’s why ISE 2.6 with AnyConnect 4.7 now uses a Unique Device Identifier in order to uniquely identify the device, no matter what MAC address it uses

 

  • More flexible grace periods and custom user notifications - While customers try to ensure that all connected endpoints are compliant, there are situations where organizations would allow endpoints to connect while they improve their posture to meet corporate compliance requirements. ISE 2.6 and AnyConnect 4.7 now offers extended grace periods to allow users to connect and update their systems while presenting a customizable message to the end explaining their compliance status

 

  • TrustSec deployment reports. ISE 2.6 reports show the propagation of TrustSec deployment after a change was made in the TrustSec matrix, and allows administrators to verify that all their TrustSec enabled network devices are up-to-date with the latest policy

 

  •  Active Directory Authentication for CLI & REST API calls - AD authentication is now available for both our REST APIs and command-line product administration

 

  • MUD Support. Manufacturer Usage Descriptor (MUD) is an architecture for IoT devices. Based on information derived from MUD, ISE 2.6 supports increased identification of IoT devices, and automatic creation of profiling policies and Endpoint Identity Groups

 

  • Quality Improvements – as part of our ongoing quality improvement process, ISE 2.6 includes a host of quality improvements – from customer-found defects, thru rewriting areas of code that were found to be too squeaky to improving the architecture and infrastructure of the product – all of them reinforce our commitment to providing the best in class product while ensuring best quality, resiliency and stability

 

Where is ISE 2.5?

As we are announcing a new generation of appliances (SNS-36XX) together with ISE 2.6, we wanted to ensure that the ISE release that goes with it is a Long Term Release (LTR) as described in “Cisco Identity Services Engine Software Release Lifecycle”. As our LTR releases are typically even-numbered, we decided to just renumber the ISE 2.5 release to be called ISE 2.6. There is no difference in the release’s content – what was supposed to be part of ISE 2.5 is still there, just called ISE 2.6.

EOL Announcement for legacy ISE PIDs

With the release of ISE 2.6, the Mobility Upgrade PIDs, ISE Advanced PIDs, ISE Express PIDs, Legacy Plus and Apex PIDs, Legacy Base and Device Admin PIDs and Legacy Virtual Machine PIDs all reach their actual End of Sales milestone. The End of Sales announcement for these PIDs can be found here. Furthermore, do notice End of Sales that was announced for ISE releases 2.0, 2.0.1, 2.1 and 2.3, available at the same location.

 

Resources:

ISE 2.6 Release Notes
ISE 2.6 Download

 

Are you excited as we are for the new stuff in ISE 2.6? Want to learn more? Check out our ISE page at www.cisco.com/go/ise

6 Comments
VIP Engager

Great news Yuval.  I'm sure someone is already looking at it but please update the ISE Performance & Scale guide or publish a new one for 2.6 now that there are significant changes.  
https://community.cisco.com/t5/security-documents/ise-performance-amp-scale/ta-p/3642148

Cisco Employee

@Damien Miller - yes, this is work in progress. We are currently working on performance profiles to test - such a significant improvement doesn't just mean "let's test more" but also "what else can we test". Stay tuned!

Beginner

Will this version support port channel ? We have encountered situations where its ideal to use port channels instead of gigabit ethernet ports 

Cisco Employee

Could anyone elaborate on the UDID part please because documentation is lacking the details.

My questions are:

- What AnyConnect module does generate the UDID?

- Can ISE learn UDID in case of all scenarios: RAVPN, 802.1X on LAN, CWA?

- Can ISE use UDID in authorisation policies as a condition?

- Is UDID supported across all desktop platforms? MAC, Linux, Windows?

- Could we use UDID to identify a certain corporate asset? Is it a non reproducible ID across endpoints? E.g. could a user reproduce the UDID on a another computer to spoof that it was the originally known one?

Beginner

2.6 feature: Identify managed devices with dynamic MAC address using UDI

 

We are trying to get this working with 2.6 and Anyconnect 4.7 but lack the information to get this rolling.

 

What conditions needs I to check? Is this only MDM:DeviceRegisterStatus Equals Registered and is this then automatically using the UDI instead of the MAC?

Is there any documentation how to set this up?

 

Thanks you.

Cisco Employee

@thaclone @vveen @Istvan Segyik 

 

Kindly start a new thread(s) in the ISE community, our TMEs will be more than happy to help there!