Thursday, 9 February 2012

Cisco NCS Deployment

Having deployed the Cisco NCS a few times now I thought I would add a post outlining the steps to get it up and running. Its a little more difficult that the WCS and seems to take a little longer to get up and running. Hopefully this may help one or two people. This relates to the virtual appliance.

The minimum server requirements are available via the datasheet but once you have your hardware and software you are ready to rock. There really is nothing that complicated however make sure you do meet the server requirements for your deployment. If you do not have enough memory, like the first deployment I did, it can be problematic and take a looooooong time to install.

Something to point out is that you need to start the server after the installation, simply use the command "ncs start"

Below are typical screens presented during the NCS implementation

From the VMware vSphere Client main menu, choose File > Deploy OVF Template. The Deploy OVF Template Source window appears:

Choose Deploy from file and choose the OVA file that contains the NCS Virtual Appliance distribution.

Click Next. The OVF Template Details window appears. VMware ESX/ESXi reads the OVA attributes. The details include the product you are installing, the size of the OVA file (download size), and the amount of disk space that needs to be available for the virtual machine (size on disk).

Verify the OVF Template details and click Next. The Name and Location window appears

Either keep the default name for the VM to be deployed in the Name text box or provide a new one and click Next. This name value is used to identify the new virtual machine in the VMware infrastructure so you should use any name that distinguishes this particular VM in your environment.The Host / Cluster window appears

Choose the destination host or HA cluster on which you want to deploy the NCS VM and click Next. The Resource Pool window appears.

If you have more than one resource pool in your target host environment, choose the resource pool to use for the deployment and click Next. The Ready to Complete window appears.

Review the settings shown for your deployment and, if needed, click the Back button to modify any of the settings shown.

Click Finish to complete the deployment. A message notifies you when the installation completes and you can see the NCS Appliance in your inventory.

Click Close to dismiss the Deployment Completed Successfully dialog box.

In the vSphere Client, click the NCS Virtual Appliance node in the resource tree. The virtual machine node should appear in the Hosts and Clusters tree below the host, cluster, or resource pool to which you deployed NCS Virtual Appliance.

On the Getting Started tab, click the Power on the virtual machine link under Basic Tasks. The Recent Tasks pane at the bottom of the vSphere Client pane indicates the status of the task associated with powering on the virtual machine. After the virtual machine successfully starts, the status column for the task displays Completed.

Click the Console tab, within the console pane to make the console prompt active for keyboard input.

At the login Prompt, enter setup.

The NCS configuration script starts. The script takes you through the initial configuration steps for NCS Virtual Appliance. In the first sequence of steps, you configure network settings.

As prompted, enter the following settings:

Hostname for the virtual appliance.
IP address for the virtual appliance.
IP default subnet mask for the IP address entered.
IP address of the default gateway for the network environment in which you are creating the virtual machine.
Default DNS domain for the target environment.
IP address or hostname of the primary IP nameserver in the network.

At the Add/Edit another nameserver prompt, you can enter y (yes) to add additional nameservers, if desired. Otherwise, press Enter to continue.

NTP server location (or accept the default by pressing Enter). At the Add/Edit secondary NTP server prompt, you can enter y (yes) to add another NTP server. Otherwise, enter n (no) to continue.

Enter the username for the user account used to access the Cisco NCS system running on the virtual machine. The default username is admin, but you can change this to another username by typing it here.

Enter the password for NCS. The password must be at least eight characters and must include both lowercase and uppercase letters and at least one number. It cannot include the username or default Cisco passwords. After you enter the password, the script verifies the network settings you configured. For instance, it attempts to reach the default gateway that you have configured.

After verifying the network settings, the script starts the NCS installation processes. This process can take several minutes, during which there is no screen feedback. When finished, the following banner appears on the screen:

=== Initial Setup for Application: NCS ===

After this banner, it starts with database scripts and reboots the server as shown in the console:

Running database cloning script...

logger: invalid option -- l
usage: logger [-is] [-f file] [-p pri] [-t tag] [-u socket] [ message ... ]
Running database creation script...
logger: invalid option -- l
usage: logger [-is] [-f file] [-p pri] [-t tag] [-u socket] [ message ... ]
Setting Timezone, temporary workaround for DB...
Generating configuration...


Log in as admin and enter the admin password.

Exit the console using the exit command.

Enter the following command to start the NCS Server.

ncs start

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