ISE basic installation and configuration. Part 1

Ok since I have to do some activity on ISE I think would be nice to write a little journal that can be also used as a quick guideline.

ISE is the acronym for Identity Service Engine, an identity policy manager released by cisco, now in version 1.1 available also on cisco cco website.

It comes in different format, as appliances or as virtual machine on VMware, as well as as upgrade to other cisco engine.

I will not look at the other release I will play a bit with the appliance.

The Software Upgrade

First of all I have had to upgrade it to the latest release (1.1)

to do so you need an mastered ISO image of the software to put inside the ISE DVD reader. as simple as at, turn on the appliance and let the fun begin.

to connect to the appliance you have to use a serial connection (usual 8N1), of course since the serial port is not more available on most of our laptop (nor in mine) you will need an use-serial adapter.

Second advise, if you have a standard cisco serial cable you also need an adapter since the serial interface on ISE is the standard 9 pin interface.

so take a look at the front of the appliance:

image

here you can find:

1 Front USB port 1

2 Front USB port 2

3 Hard disk drive (HDD) bay 0

4 HDD bay 1

    5 CD-ROM/DVD drive

It should not be hard for you to find the dvd bay where put the mastered dvd isn’t it?

Talking about led references is not the issue here but yes there are also some led blinking Occhiolino

On the rear panel we find:

image

1 AC Power supply cable socket

2 NIC 3 (eth2) add-on card

3 NIC 4 (eth3) add-on card

4 Serial port

5 Video port

6 NIC 2 (eth1) Gigabit Ethernet interface

7 NIC 1 (eth0) Gigabit Ethernet interface

8 Rear USB port 4

9 Rear USB port 3

so I used my serial connection and putty instead of monitor and keyboard, just because it would be easier Sorriso.

After you installed the correct release the system will shut down and turn on again, please remember to remove the dvd otherwise you will start again the cycle of installation.

NOTE: I made a scratch installation of the appliance, and not the upgrade one. if you have an ISE with rules and other stuffs on would be better to run the upgrade iso dvd also available on cisco CCO website.

The First installation:

Now we can run the CLI wizard in order to make the first installation:

the data required will be

Hostname Must be not exceed 19 characters. Valid characters include
alphanumeric (A-Z, a-z, 0-9), hyphen (-), with a requirement that the
first character must be an alphabetic character.

(eth0) Ethernet interface address Must be a valid IPv4 address for the Gigabit Ethernet 0 (eth0) interface.

Netmask Must be a valid IPv4 netmask.

Default gateway Must be a valid IPv4 address for the default gateway.

DNS domain name Cannot be an IP address. Valid characters include ASCII characters,
any numbers, hyphen (-), and period (.).

Primary name server Must be a valid IPv4 address for the primary name server.

Add/Edit another name server Must be a valid IPv4 address for an additional name server. (Optional) Allows you to configure multiple Name servers. To do so, enter y to continue.

Primary NTP server Must be a valid IPv4 address or hostname of an NTP server. (example:clock.nist.gov)

Add/Edit another NTP server Must be a valid NTP domain. (Optional) Allows you to configure multiple NTP servers. To do so, enter y to continue.

System Time Zone Must be a valid time zone. For details, see Cisco Identity Services
Engine CLI Reference Guide, Release 1.0.4, which provides a list of time zones that Cisco ISE supports. You can run the show timezones command from the Cisco ISE CLI for a complete list of supported time zones.

Note: Changing the time zone on a Cisco ISE appliance after installation causes the Cisco ISE application on that node to be unusable. For details about the impact of changing time zones, see “clock time zone” in Appendix A in the Cisco Identity Services Engine CLI Reference Guide, Release 1.0.4.

Username Identifies the administrative username used for CLI access to the Cisco ISE system. If you choose not to use the default (admin), you must create a new username. The username must be from 3 to 8 characters in length, and be composed of valid alphanumeric
characters (A-Z, a-z, or 0-9).

Password Identifies the administrative password that is used for CLI access to the Cisco ISE system. You must create this password (there is no default). The password must be a minimum of six characters in length and include at least one lowercase letter (a-z), at least one uppercase letter (A-Z), and at least one number (0-9).

Database Administrator Password Identifies the Cisco ISE database system-level password. You must create this password (there is no default). The password must be a minimum of 11 characters in length and must include at least one lowercase letter (a-z), at least one uppercase letter (A-Z), and at least one number (0-9). The allowed list of characters also include underscore (_) and pound (#) keys.

Note: All nodes in a distributed environment require the same password, so you must be sure to configure all of them by using the same entry. After you configure this password, Cisco ISE uses it “internally”; that is, you do not have to enter it when logging into the system.

Database User Password Identifies the Cisco ISE database access-level password. You must create this password (there is no default). The password must be a minimum of 11 characters in length and must include at least one lowercase letter (a-z), at least one uppercase letter (A-Z), and at least one number (0-9). The allowed list of characters also includes underscore (_) and pound (#) keys.

Note: All nodes in a distributed environment require the same password, so you must be sure to configure all of them using the same entry. After you configure this password, Cisco ISE
uses it “internally”; that is, you do not have to enter it when logging into the system.

 

The wizard will perform the required operations creating the database and the needed object. Some reboot are needed so be patient.

At the end you should be able to see something like a prompt requiring your username and password.

I use always user admin (lazy one Angelo) . just to check if everything goes smoothly check ISE status with:

ise-server/admin# show application status ise

you should see something like:

ISE Database listener is running, PID: 4845
ISE Database is running, number of processes: 27
ISE Application Server is running, PID: 6344
ISE M&T Session Database is running, PID: 4502
ISE M&T Log Collector is running, PID: 6652
ISE M&T Log Processor is running, PID: 6738
ISE M&T Alert Process is running, PID: 6542
ise-server/admin#

next post will cover the User interface and go through the rest of the installation process…

NOTE: do not forget that for the installation you need a (better if) gigabit switch port (no trunk or whatsoever) and an IP able to access the internet and reach dns and ntp otherwise you will fail the installation

Antonio Ieranò
CSO, Cyber Security Architect, technical evangelist, consultant, writer, journalist and trainer
I am a Security Manager and architect, CSO, BDM, marketing specialist, and tech evangelist with over 20 years of experience serving as a community liaison, subject matter expert, and high-profile trainer for key technologies and solutions. My experience includes acting as the public face of Huawei technology and before Cisco security technologies; leading pan-European technical teams in development of new Cisco security products; and serving as a key public speaker and trainer on behalf of new high-tech products. My expertise spans IT development and implementation, marketing strategy, legal issues, and budget / financial management.

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