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Category: Wireless

Cisco Mobility Express firmware upgrade issue.

I have just come across an issue while doing a firmware upgrade with the Cisco mobility express platform on the 1852i access point.

Mobility express allows smaller companies to start to leverage some of the rich features that Cisco has to offer at the fraction of the price by installing a centralised model.   When I mean Centralised I mean having a dedicated appliance in the network to manage all of the access points inside your network.

Where mobility express does not need a dedicated appliance to control the access points inside the network because Cisco have installed a virtual Wireless LAN Controller direct on the access point.

Updating the controller is quite simple.  you can do this from the CLI or direct on the web GUI itself.  I found recently while doing the upgrade from version 8.2 to 8.6 you just need to update the firmware of the code from the Cisco Website and reboot (the steps have a bit more to it but I simplified).  Moving from the code I used a tftp server and used the GUI and CLI to do this, everything copied fine and the AP rebooted BUT still loaded the old code.  There was no errors in the logs to identify the fault.

Thinking about several faults in the past I reduce the codes that I was jumping from at the time so I completed 8.2 to 8.5 with the same issue.  then tried 8.2 to 8.3, this WORKED.   so upgrading from 8.2 to 8.6 i had to do to 8.3 first then I was able to go to 8.6.

If you do have any issues updating the firmware for this platform I hope this information can be useful to helping fix the issue!!


Cisco CMX 10.2.2 NTP and Timezones

Over the last few months I have been able to get it to the nuts of bolts of Cisco CMX.  One of the biggest challenges coming from a windows environment is the on premise virtual appliance is based on a Linux platform.  I have little knowledge on Linux so when it came to setting up NTP and timezone this was a new world for me.( and possibly for all you there engineers from only a windows background)

when I setup the Cisco CMX appliance and completed the wizard I skipped over the NTP settings leaving them blank.  Looking through all the Cisco documentation the only way to change and setup the NTP is via the CLI.

First thing I wanted to check was to see if the NTP service is actually running.  To do this login to the CLI with your cmxadmin account then connect at root.  At the CLI enter “su“.  This allows you to change users but typing just “su” and no user account after this will prompt you for a password then will log you in to the root account.  Enter the password of the root account you setup during the installation and this will change you to the root account.  To view the NTP status enter the command “service ntpd status“.  as you can see from the example the ntp service is stopped.

To start the service enter “service ntpd start” then recheck the service is running.

Before we make any changes to the NTP configuration stop CMX services using cmxctl stop command.  Now we can go and edit the ntp.conf file to add the NTP server in to the file.  because we skipped over the the setup during the wizard we should find this file is blank. to edit the file enter vi /etc/ntp.conf. This will take you in to the file so we can edit.  press “i” to be able to insert text and you should see at the bottom — INSERT — this will prompt you to be able to edit the file.

Enter on one of the lines server {ntp server ip}  in my example below I used as my ntp server IP.  Once complete press Esc to exit from the editing mode and enter :wq to save and edit the file.and this will return you back to the CLI.

Now we have setup the NTP server we want to set the Timezone enter /opt/cmx/bin/tzselect.  You can now go through the wizard to set your time zone location.

logout and log back in again then under the root user you can use the clock command to check the time.

once verified restart the CMX services using cmxctl start agent command first then cmxctl start.  

At this point the NTP should be running and the time services correct.  I have found the NTP server did take a little while to synchronise so it might be worth leaving so a short period of time to see if this eventually correct.

A lot of this information has come from a lab environment so if anyone has had experiences and additional steps or information it would be good to hear from you.

otherwise I hope this guide has be of some help especially if you dont come from a Linux background.



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