Tag Archives: Prime Infrastructure

Cisco Prime: Catalyst 3850 image archiving

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my website. I had a crazy year, had a lot of work that ruined all my plans to study a lot. Hopefully it’s now sorted with my management and next year is promised to be much better from the work/life/study balance perspective. I know I wasn’t a best webmaster and didn’t respond to many of your comments – I promise I will improve and reply to all comments in the coming weeks. I am going for WISECURE exam in less than two weeks from now, so wish me luck.

In the meanwhile, I’d like to share an undocumented feature of Cisco Prime (well, at least I wasn’t able to find any guidelines on that in Cisco Prime documentation). I have recently configured Prime for images archiving, but few days later realized that it fails to copy images from Catalyst 3850 switches. All transfer modes have been failing – FTP, SFTP, SCP and TFTP. There are no settings in Prime that relate to SCP and SFTP (you can only enable/disable FTP and TFTP servers). I’ve done some research and found that for SCP downloads Prime is acting as a client. Therefore, Catalyst 3850/3650 switches must be SCP servers.

To enable SCP server on Catalyst 3850/3650 execute the following global configuration command:

ip scp server enable

Once applied, Prime will be able to archive IOS-XE images from Catalyst 3850/3650s. However, there is restriction. Cisco Prime cannot archive an image from Catalyst 3850 if it was installed using INSTALL mode. That is, when BIN package is unpacked into few separate files. Only BUNDLE mode is supported for archiving. Not great huh? Cisco does not recommend to use BUNDLE mode for image distribution on Catalyst 3850s, but at the same time Cisco Prime can’t archive image if it was distributed using recommended INSTALL mode.

Cisco is so Cisco…

Cisco Prime: Radiation Patterns and Antennas Orientation

Sorry for being silent for a while. I have moved to Leeds and now work in my company’s HQ as a project and design engineer. A massive change for me and my family. Anyway, this time I want to cover one very important topic – radiation patterns and antennas orientation in Cisco Prime (also applies to old buddy WCS).

If you have ever worked with Cisco Prime (or WCS) with regards to wireless networks management, you know how frustrating can be the process of adjusting access points’ radiation characteristics on the floor plan. Actually, it’s not a big deal if all access points have internal antennas and have been installed as per Cisco’s recommendations. In such case, Cisco Prime applies default azimuth and elevation values to match best practice installation. For example, omni-directional APs, like 1142N, 3602i or 3702i, have internal antennas and provide best coverage if installed on the ceiling, facing down. Of course, they can still provide optimal coverage in some scenarios with wall mount installations, but in such cases a more proper planning is required. There is a high likelihood that access points from different floors will become adjacent in RF spectrum (i.e. will see each other) and it will be more complex for a controller to come up with optimal Tx power levels to meet coverage requirements. However, we all know that suboptimal installations happen in a real life. In such cases every access point has to be configured with custom azimuth and elevation values to help Cisco Prime to build correct heatmaps. This is especially important during the planning phase.

Note! In case of external antennas (i.e 3702e with patch or sectoral antenna), it is always required to adjust elevation and azimuth within Cisco Prime to let it know how antennas radiate on the floor plan – north, south, west, east, north-west, south-east. This process can be even more complicated if antennas are installed at 45 (or custom) degrees to the floor/wall/ceiling. Read more …