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LMS4 Smart Install

Greetings.  I am looking for input from someone that has some experience using Smart install in a production environment.

I have a number of remote sites that I manage.  We generally lease LAN equipment and it seems that I am constantly rolling out equipment for LAN refreshes when the leases come due.  Generally I have the hardware shipped to my location where I upgrade the IOS, add the devices to Ciscoworks, push down a generic configuration template, then get in and make any switch and port specific tweaks that need to be made.  Finally I ship it out, then work with the site network admins to get it installed.  Frankly this is becoming tedious and time consuming.

I have been looking at smart install as a potential way to automate some of this.  When a refresh is necessary I would like to have the hardware shipped directly to the site and have them plug it in and start using it.  Is this possible today with Smart Install?   Because of the way we employ VLANs each switch is going to have a unique port configuration.  In looking at this my impression was that an initial smart install deployment would probably not save me much work, as I would have to create unique configurations for each switch and then muddle my way through Smart install config.  My hope has been that in subsequent deployments I could just ship bare metal and have them plug them in and go.

Is anyone using Smart Install in a production environment?  I am interested in hearing about your experiences.



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Re: LMS4 Smart Install

Hi Jeff,

I roll out approximately 100 switches per year and I have enabled Zero-Touch SmartInstall.

Zero-Touch (ZT) uses VLAN 1 because when you get a new switch VLAN 1, by default, is active.  VLAN 1 is not configured as an allowed VLAN to go through the rest of the network.  This also means that the TFTP server, and all associated files to get ZT working (IOS, config-template and IOS-location files) is connected to VLAN 1 and another interface is connected to the production management network.

I mean this is possible but I don't know how many sites you have but this means you have to take at least one switch (3560 or a 3750) offline to be the director.  Next, each site needs to have a TFTP server.

NOTE:  If, for example, your director happens to be an "E" or an "X" then you can use a large USB stick to store all the associate ZT files.  This is still possible.  Because you have an "E" or an "X" you can use the Management port to connect to the production network and the rest of the ports are configured for VLAN 1.

For security reason, I am no big fan of pulling the associated files from your head office via your WAN or point-to-point link.  I'd like to keep VLAN 1 as localize as possible. 

Does it make any sense? 

Community Member

LMS4 Smart Install

HI, thanks for the reply.

Do you have unique configurations on each switch or are you using a generic default configuration file?  How are you defining your vstack groups? 

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