Installing Cisco LMS 4.2 Virtual Appliance

What drove us into first into installing LMS

The initial goal of installing LMS was to have at our disposal the Network Topology Map functionalities that are not yet implemented in Cisco Prime Infrastructure.

We came to realize later that some of the newer Cisco Catalyst 3850, Catalyst 4500X, as well as some Cat 6509 linecards like the 40GB module were not being recognized by the Topology Services.

We did some research and found out that LMS 4.2.2 comes already with support for Catalyst 4500x, as shown in this LMS 4.2.2 device support table. We learned also that LMS 4.2.3 integrates support for Catalyst 3850, as shown in the LMS 4.2.3 device support table.

I always find it easier to get the .ova provided by Cisco, when available, rather than having to build from scratch a new VM with the right amount of RAM, CPU and disk space, install the OS (in this case, Linux, Solaris or Windows), get the necessary patches and finally install the target software.

LMS 4.2 VM .ova deployment

Unfortunately, as of now, Cisco does not provide an OVA for the latest version of LMS, which is currently  4.2.5, so I decided to download the latest .ova available: 4.2.

This OVA is ultimately a big file, so Cisco divided it in 2 parts. You need to download both parts and also the “Reassembly and Checksum Utility”. This is no more than a .bat file that puts both .part files together and compares the checksum to verify the file integrity. All files must be in the same directory. This is how it should look like once reassembled:

Cisco Prime Lan Management Solution 4.2 .OVA files

Cisco Prime LMS 4.2 .OVA files

Now, it is just a matter of going to your vCenter, deploy this .ova and wait for it to add the new VM to its inventory. Once the deployment has finished, start the VM and open its console from your vSphere Client. From here, you just need to give it some system configuration parameters, such as its IP address, gateway, NTP and DNS servers.

This is how the new LMS 4.2 VM looks in our vSphere 5 vCenter server. It comes with a 16 GB of RAM and 8 virtual CPU configuration:

Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution 4.2 Virtual Appliance in vCenter 5.5

Cisco LMS 4.2 Virtual Appliance VM in vCenter server

Licensing

Now that the LMS 4.2 Virtual Appliance is operational and accessible via HTTP on port 1741, don’t forget to install the appropriate license! Otherwise this installation will be only good for 90 days…

Device package update

Before upgrading to 4.2.5, we attempted to update the device packages under:

Admin-System-Software Center-Device Update

Cisco Prime LAN Managemet Solution Device Update menu location

Cisco Prime LMS Device Update menu location

First, we updated the “Inventory Config And Image Management” product.

Cisco LAN Management Solution 4.2 Device Update menu

Cisco LMS 4.2 Device Update menu

Help from Cisco TAC

We decided to open a ticket with Cisco TAC to make sure that we were not missing anything. This was a good call because, in their own words, “LMS is not that intuitive and very convoluted sometimes”

There were some issues while updating the devices. Basically some files names, like those of the MDF packages, had been concatenated after the device update, instead of being replaced. This, obviously, made things not work, as LMS now thought that it had look data into a file that did not exist.

The guy from the Cisco TAC in Poland seemed to be quite knowledgable in Linux and, in a matter of hours, figured all this out through a Webex session we opened for him.

It turns out that there’s a bug in LMS 4.2 that causes the file names of the device packages to be concatenated after an update. The workaround is to fix it manually, like our CSE did for us, or upgrade to a newer version of LMS. In any case, we were advised to upgrade to 4.2.5 to avoid this same problem in the future, just in case more new hardware needs to be monitored and Prime Infrastructure is still does not incorporate Topology Services, preventing us to get build a network topology map with it.

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