4.2     Cisco Plug and Play(Optional)


 

Cisco Plug and Play(PnP), formerly known as netLD Zero-touch, is a feature that deploys configurations into remote devices using Cisco IOS Auto Install and Cisco Networking Services (CNS) feature of the device. The name Cisco PnP is named after their characteristics which allow the network devices to be automatically located in a network, ”just like plugging a Plug-and-Play device into a computer.” As soon as the device is connected to the network, netLD detect it automatically, sends an appropriate configuration and backup the device.

There are three deployment types for Cisco PnP:


• Template based deployment

• Cisco PnP recovery for the identical device

• Cisco PnP recovery for the alternative device

• netLD Cisco PnP distributes the configurations via the following protocols.

• DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocols

• DHCP option 150 (Cisco Network Registrar)

• TFTP Trivial File Transfer Protocols

• Cisco Auto Install

• Cisco Networking Services (CNS)


Figure 4.2.1: Following figure shows the basic flows of Cisco PnP.For simplicity, DHCP, TFTP and netLD servers are displayed separately, but actually netLD runs all servers by itself.

 

blob1477526247875.png


Figure 4.2.2: Example of DHCP Relay

blob1477526256461.png

4.2.1   Requirements for Using Cisco PnP Feature


To use Cisco PnP feature, make sure the following conditions are met:

• The target device is running IOS 12.2 or later releases with CNS Auto In- stall.2

• no startup-config - the device should not have a valid startup-config.3

• DHCP Server4- if you choose to use netLD DHCP Sever feature, the target device must be in an environment where DHCP server can distribute an IP address to the device. See Figure 2 for more details.

 

You can check the available features of your IOS device in http://tools.cisco.com/ITDIT/CFN/jsp/index.jsp


 Select the option” without default configuration in nvram” when you order the device.  If you need to delete configurations manually, use erase startup-config or erase nvram command and make the size of configuration in nvram to 0.


If necessary, there is an additional option that you use an external DHCP Server that sup- ports TFTP boot files option. If the target router is not connected directly to broadcast domain that netLD is locatable, you have to set DHCP relay on the relaying device and send DHCP requests to netLD.


 

4.2.2   Setting up a DHCP Server


To use netLD DHCP server in netLD later than version 14.06, open Settings window and go to Cisco Plug and Play section.

This is Cisco Plug and Play section in Settings window. Click on   to add a new DHCP pool.


blob1477526324723.png

 

Menu Items                      Description

Enable DHCP Server        Enable this checkbox to use the DHCP server feature in netLD.

Lease Time                       Select the lease time from the dropdown list either: 5 or 10 minutes.


Enter the required information.



Menu Items                       Description

Pool Name                        Enter the name of a newly created DHCP pool.

Relay Server CIDR           Enter the range of IP addresses in which DHCP Relay servers are 

                                           running.

Address Range                The IP address range to deploy the configuration. The subnet mask

                                           for the IP address range. Gateway (optional) The gateway address of

                                           the device that netLD should use. netLD executes deployment through

                                           the gateway of DHCP relay agent if this option is not specified.


DNS Server (optional) An IP address of the DNS server used for the name resolution of the server.

The boxes are filled in. Click on the OK button.

 

blob1477526449301.png


After that, there should be a new DHCP pool entry in the table.


 

blob1477526457817.png


Prior to netLD 13.08

Prior to netLD 13.08, DHCP server preferences can be configured in Zero-touch

→ Settings subtab. Move to the subtab and enter the required information.



 Menu Items                      Description

Enable DHCP Server       Enable this checkbox to use the DHCP server feature in netLD.

DHCP Relay CIDR            Enter the range of IP addresses in which DHCP Relay servers are running.

Address Range                The IP address range to deploy the configuration. Subnet Mask The

                                          subnet mask for the IP address range. Gateway (optional). The gateway 

                                          address of the device that netLD should use. 


NetLD executes deployment through the gateway of DHCP relay agent if this option is not specified.

TFTP Server (optional) The IP address of the TFTP server if you use a TFTP server other than that of netLD.

DNS Server (optional) An IP address of the DNS server used for the name resolution of the server.

Lease Time Select the lease time from the dropdown list either 5 or 10 minutes.

To save the change in DHCP Server settings, Click on Save button in the upper right corner.

 

Figure  4.2.3: If you are deploying configurations  for more than one network segments, add DHCP pools by using  button.

 

blob1477526542777.png

 

 

 

Figure  4.2.4: Adding  a template from Cisco  PnP Tab → Templates.


 

blob1477526550705.png

4.2.3   Template-Based Deployment


In a large network, sometimes there are many devices with similar configurations i.e. the difference is limited to the IP address, hostname, DNS or syslog servers. With aid of Master Configuration template, you can reduce the effort of customizing the configuration files for those devices. We assume you are already familiar with using a template feature in netLD. If you are not, then we strongly suggest you to read the Smart Change section p.108 to understand the concept of template first.


To build a master template, follow the instructions below.

1. Move to Cisco PnP → Template Tab and click on the button to create a template

(Fig. 4.2.4).

2. Selec CNS Dynamic Configuration for the Template Type and enter the arbitrary  template name in the Template Name field. Add Description if you want. Click on the OK button to move to the next dialog.

3. Enter a base configuration into the text field on the right.  In most cases, the easiest way to achieve a base configuration is to copy the configuration from the other device.

4. Finally,follow the instructions in Smart Change section p.108 and make the configuration into a template.


Figure 4.2.5: When all the required replacements are added, save the template by clicking on the Save button in upper-right corner of the Configuration Editor.

 

blob1477526575641.png

If you do NOT want to save the configuration in the target device when it is deployed, add 

no-persist at the end of the cns config initial... sentence Fig.4.2.6.

 

Registering devices

You have completed the preparation for the template required by Cisco PnP now. Next, you need to set the target devices and configurations to deploy, and set the replacement values if necessary.


First, move to Configurations sub tab in the main pane, then click on the plus button.

  

blob1477526610656.png


Then fill in the information in the dialog and click on the OK button. Select the Template in Deployment Type. The table below describes the meaning of each field.



blob1477526621562.png


Menu Items Description


Device ID Specify a device ID according to the ID type selected in the above field.

Deployment Select Template to deploy the configuration template you have created.

Type Select Template to deploy the configuration template you have created.

Template Specify the template to be deployed.

Target configuration Automatically

add to    Inventory and Backup after

ZeroTouch Primary Man agement Interface

Specify which configuration netLD should deploy the data to.

Add the device to the inventory and get its backup con- figuration after Cisco PnP (Zero-Touch) is run.

Select the management interface to use while adding the device. netLD parses the template and automatically infer which interface is available on that device. If no interface 

description is found in the configuration, then no item would appear in the list.

In the fields to the right, select each template variable and enter the parameter values for it.

 

 

blob1477526706797.png


If all the template value is filled in, then the leftmost status icon turns into  

.

blob1477526717815.png

After connecting the target device to network, turn on the power of the device. As shown in Fig. 4.2.1, the device shifts to the Auto Install mode and tries to get an IP address by broadcasting DHCP/BOOTP request. After that, the device tries to receive a configuration file using TFTP. You can check the deployment

job status in Live Status area.

 

blob1477526728376.png

Live Status shows the current status of the deployment process.

 

blob1477526735480.png

After the Deployment is completed, the device reloads automatically and the deployed configuration is applied. You can see the history of Cisco PnP job in the History Tab.


The maximum size of the configuration file per device is about 20KB.


4.2.4   Importing the Replacement Values in  Cisco PnP

This is a new feature introduced in version 11.04. Follow the instruction below.

1. After you have set up the template, click on the Close button.

2. Click on blob1477526751632.png button and select either Save empty Excel import file or Export configurations for template to Excel menu.

 

Showing Save empty Excel import file menu.

 

 

blob1477526744652.png

Menu Items                                                            Description

Import configurations for template. . .                     Import an excel data which contains the replacement values for the currently selected template.

Save empty Excel import file                                  Export a template with no value listed.

Export configuration for template to Excel               Export a template with replacement values currently set.


Open the exported file and edit or fill each replacement values. Save the change after editing the file.

 

blob1477526789949.png


Back to netLD, click onbutton and select Import configurations for template. . . menu.


blob1477526795358.png

4.2.5   Cisco PnP Self-Recovery


You can recover the configuration that has previously been stored in netLD. This is effective when, for example, the device configuration was erased by mistake. The process is almost the same as using Template.


First, move to Configurations subtab in the main pane, then click on blob1477526835903.png .

 

blob1477526825971.png


Specify the necessary information in Cisco PnP Device Configuration dialog and click on the OK button. This time, select Self-Recovery option for Deployment Type.

 

blob1477526898738.png 

After that, the configuration data already stored in netLD is restored back to the device. All remaining processes are the same as in Template-based deployment.


4.2.6   Cisco PnP Specific Device Recovery

This feature configures a new device replaced with a certain old device automatically. If the device is malfunctioning in the network, you just replace the device and run Cisco PnP(zero-touch), then deploy the same configuration as the old one had.


This is quite effective when a device is malfunctioning in a in a remote environment. Assume you cannot actually touch the device (because the site is in a good distance from where you are) and also no one in the data center can deal with the device configuration. With Cisco PnP, you just have to tell someone there to insert the cable into a replacement device by phone, which obviously does not require much knowledge, and you just upload the configuration to the new device remotely.


Again, the processes are almost the same as using Cisco PnP Template feature. First, move to Configurations subtab in the main pane, then click on blob1477526929049.png 

  

blob1477526922792.png



 Specify the necessary information in Cisco PnP Device Configuration dialog and click on the OK button. Select Specific Device Recovery option as a Deployment Type.

 


blob1477526942313.png


Menu Items                    Description

Recovery Device ID       Similar to Device ID but it should be the ID of the old device.

.

After that, the configuration data already stored in netLD is restored back to the device. All remaining processes are the same as in Template-based deployment.



To deploy a configuration from netLD Cisco PnP in a device that will be powered on for the first time, the device must be dispatched by the vendor without startup-config in its NVRAM (e.g., CCP-CD-NOCF or CCP-EXPRESS-NOCF option to order devices.)


4.2.7    Distributing Configurations via  3G  network and VPN- capable Mobile Router

netLD is able to distribute configurations via 3G network.


Sometimes, the device to be deployed should be sent to the remote base where various base-level services are not available. For instance, the network is not connected to the World Wide Web. The most reasonable reason is for the security, so the network may be physically disconnected from the Internet, or virtually, via firewall program. And if you are serious about security, you would understand the risk of changing the firewall settings each time the device configurations should be uploaded. Also, you might not gain access to the DNS, DHCP service in that network. Everything might be running on fixed IP tables and there might be no room for additional terminal devices to be inserted into.


These problems occur mostly when the target network is not your own but rather a network of your customer, and when you provide a specialized maintenance service to the customer. In these cases, 3G connection is important because if you upload the configuration through it, there is no need to use the network in the remote base.


Other big pros of using 3G network is the following:

• There is no need to set up PPPoE on the remote base thanks to the 3G

network.

• Each 3G mobile router is reusable, so the cost of the router per remote base is quite limited.

In the following section, we describe how to set up a 3G-based configuration deployment.


Figure  4.2.7: Concept  of 3G-based deployment

blob1477526995455.png


1. In Cisco PnP Tab, set up everything needed for the new Cisco device, i.e. setup the configuration templates and register its serial number in the netLD GUI.

2. Power on the mobile router and make a VPN connection from netLD to the data center.

3. Connect a new Cisco device to the mobile router.

4. netLD receives the requests from the Cisco device and distributes the con- figuration via 3G.

5. Once the deployment is finished, connect the Cisco device to the target network.


4.2.8    Deploying Configurations Prior to Sending the De- vices to Each Base


Another way to deploy devices are using the configure-and-deliver strategy. Just upload the proper configurations with Cisco PnP in your office and send the devices to the remote bases. The pros of this strategy is its simplicity. However, the devices should first be at your office, so you cannot deliver the devices directory from the manufacturer.


Figure  4.2.8: Concept  of configure-and-deliver  strategy

 

blob1477527010297.png

1. Register the configurations and the serial numbers of the routers to the netLD

server.

2. Power on the Cisco devices and distribute the configurations by netLD, in your office.

3. Deliver the devices to each base.


Contact LogicVein Technical Support (support@logicvein.com) and we give the more detailed instruction.


If you need further assistance or technical support for Net LineDancer, please fell free to contact below. We will be pleased to help you when you find any errors or ambiguities in this manual, or any questions regarding them as well. Please note that we are closed on weekends, national holidays, New Year and summer holidays in Japanese time. We accept e-mails for 24 hours but we will only reply on those business hours. Thank you for your cooperation.


LogicVein, Inc. Technical Support

Mail: support@logicvein.com


4.2.9   Deploying a Bootstrap

netld can deploy the configurations to the devices even when the device is in a network where DHCP is not available. by deploying a bootstrap in advance. The following is an example bootstrap for netLD Cisco PnP. Substitute <IP> with the actual IP address of netLD server. For more information, please contact your distributors.


cns id hardware-serial

!

cns  connect cns-profile  ping-interval  10  retries 3  sleep  5 discover interface  FastEthernet

template cns-profile

!

cns template connect cns-profile

cli  description Basic CNS  Initial Template cli  ip address dhcp

cli ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 ${interface}

cli no shutdown exit

!

cns  config initial <IP>  status http://<IP>/cns/config.asp

!

end