Let’s walk through the basics with Cisco Configuration Professional as it is a helpful tool to use at the associate levels of the Cisco certification track and needed if you are looking at getting the CCNA Security certification. In this introduction we will introduce CCP and setup a community and then finally discover our devices within CCP. This is not the first GUI tool Cisco has produced to manage individual routers, an older tool called Cisco SDM also helped Network Administrators which supports the ISR Generation 1 routers. In this blog a while back I talked about Cisco SDM and walked through some tutorials on using it. Although it’s reaching age with Cisco support it is still officially supported until February 28th 2014. The good news with CCP is it supports these older ISR Generation 1 routers as well as the new ISR Generation 2 routers, were Cisco SDM only support ISR G1 routers.
In this tutorial I am using CCP version 2.6 and to get your hands on CCP all you need is a login into Cisco (which is free), your account does not need to have any current support contracts tied to it, just be sure to download the 160MB file and install it on a PC that has access to the supported Cisco routers. The system requirements to run CCP is to have Java installed and Adobe Flash player along with at least 1GB of RAM (it won’t let you install it if you have less).
NOTE: I have had the hardest time getting this working on Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 9 so I bailed and went to running Windows XP SP3 with Internet Explorer 8. Let me know if you can get it working with Windows 7, according to Cisco it’s supported, here the Release Notes for Cisco Configuration Professional 2.6 to prove it.
UPDATE: Thanks to Kevin and his suggestion I was able to get CCP working with Windows 7 and Windows Vista using Internet Explorer 9. In either Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Right-Click on the CCP icon and select Run as Administrator (An easy fix) 🙂
After CCP is installed you’ll need a router, or if you just want to see what it looks like you can demo this program. When you demo this program not all features will be enabled, but it does get you familiar with the CCP interface.
When you first open CCP you will be presented a screen to manage your community. A community is a group of routers that may or may not share something in common. This could be that all routers in community called group A are physically at building A, or you could use the hierarchical model and have a community for all core routers but then a separate community for all branch routers. Or you could have all of your routers in one community in the end the design of how to organize it is up to you. A CCP Community can have up to ten routers in one community, so if you have more ten routers you will have to use at least two different communities.
In this example you can see I have three routers all in one community called Acme Corporation. If you noticed on the Manage Community page there is an option to connect securely, this is recommend if this is in a production environment as it protects the username and password with SSH and HTTPS. In this example I selected the check box Discover all devices which is towards the bottom of the Manage Community page, CCP would attempt to login into each router with the username and password I provided and read its current running-configuration.
You could also discover each device manually if you did not want to discover all routers in the community by just selecting the router’s IP address and choosing the option Discover.
I would say that’s a good introduction into CCP. I would go ahead and download the program and get comfortable with it. Because it is an area the CCNA Security exam is likely to test on. CCP has a lot of features to it and we only started at the basics for getting the program running and discovering our devices. Check back often as I would like to go through some of the wizards within CCP as well as some of the advanced functionally that is available with CCP, you don’t always have to go command-line commando and I would consider CCP a good program to use for your technical toolbox. Like always I hope this information is helpful. 🙂
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