Deploying Cisco ISE 2.7 on Proxmox

As I will be taking the Cisco ISE 300-715 exam at the end of April I wanted to setup a lab environment at home where I can test different ISE features. The first part will be to take you through the installation of ISE on Proxmox.

ISE 3.1 is now the recommended release but 2.7 is what I use more regularly day to day. Install steps will most likely be the same for 3.0/3.1 release but it’s always a good idea to read the release documentation.

If you haven’t heard of Proxmox it is a Hypervisor based of Debian Linux, I’ve used it for a couple of years now and have had a really good experience with it especially for a home environment.

To begin we need the following resources to run ISE in evaluation mode

  • ise-2.7.0.356.SPA.x86_64.iso
  • 16gb Ram, 4 CPU Cores.
  • 300gb Hard Disk

Add ISE ISO to Proxmox

To get the ISO onto Proxmox there are two ways to do this you can either SCP it across to the relevant directory or upload it via the Proxmox GUI.

If you want to SCP it across to the Proxmox it needs to be put into /var/lib/vz/template/iso/

To add it from the Proxmox GUI, click on the local disk like below.

Then click on ISO Images where you will have the option to upload.

Create a New VM

In Proxmox on the top right corner click Create VM, this will open up the below Window. Choose a name for your ISE node then click on Next.

Now select the ISE 2.7 ISO from your storage device and then click Next.

Now we need to add the Hard Disk, this should be 300gb for evaluation mode and make sure to set the Bus/Device to VirtIO Block.

We now need to select the number of Cores for the VM, as it’s only going to be an evaluation node we can use 4, we need to also set the Type to host.

Set the memory to 16384 which will give you a total 16gb of RAM.

Set your network to your own requirements this will be different in each environment.

Now that the VM has been created we need to set the SMBIOS settings to product KVM. Once this is done you can go ahead an boot up the VM.

Installing ISE and Setup

Once the VM has booted we will be presented with the below KVM window, we should select option 1. Now that option 1 has been selected the install process will begin this can take anywhere between 25-40 minutes depending on your storage.

Once the installation has completed you will be presented with the below, just type setup and hit enter to get started.

Go through the setup as shown below, for DNS I am pointing to a Windows Server running DNS. During another tutorial I will be adding ISE to the domain.

The next stage of the install process will take around 15 minutes but this is dependant on your storage.

Login to ISE Gui

Once the install has completed all the ISE services will be starting up, you can check this by logging in on the CLI and using the command show application status ise this will present the below. Before you are able to login to the ISE GUI you need to make sure that the Application Server is in a state of running.

Once the Application Server is running you will be able to access the ISE GUI. In the next blog we will add a Cisco 3560 switch into ISE and configure TACACs authentication.

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