The goal here is to have a lab controller that you can bring with you wherever you go and can be booted anytime and intended to be used for testing purposes.
This is the first article of a series of Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL article.
Note: If you want to know how to set it up on a VMware ESXI platform, please check out Rowell Dionicio's article: https://rowelldionicio.com/deploying-cisco-catalyst-9800-controller-on-vmware-esxi/
Step 1: Download the Controller Image
For this setup, we will download the .iso file. Note that you can now download the controller code for free. The licences are not tied to the AP.
Step 2: Create a New VM in VMWare Fusion VM
Open VMWare Fusion, and select the menu “File / New…” to create the new VM. In the new window opening, select the “Create a custom virtual machine” as shown below:
Step 3: Change the VM Settings using the GUI
Then click on “CD/DVD (IDE)” in order to load the iso file previously downloaded on Cisco website:
Step 4: Change the VM Settings Using the Configuration File (.vmx)
On macOS, the VM configuration file was located at the following location (/replace "C9800-Lab" by the name your chose for your VM and "francoisverges" by your macos username/):
- Network Adapter 1: Configure the first network interface as a “custom” interface on a local network. This will be used as the management interface of the controller.
- Network Adapter 2: Configure the second network interface behind the Wi-Fi card. This will be used to connect the Wi-Fi clients to the internet.
In order to configure your VM network interfaces, you will have to know the name of the interfaces used on your Mac. Open your favourite terminal application and use the `ifconfig` command in order to find it out. In my case, en0 is the name of the Wi-Fi interface and en7 is the name of my ethernet interface:
Step 5: Start the VM for the First Time
Step 6: Catalyst 9800 Initial Setup via CLI
When asked to start the initial configuration dialog, write "no". Then press RETURN when asked to terminate the autoinstall. Press RETURN one more time and you should then see the WLC prompt:
- Configure the enable password
- Create an admin account
- Configure the network interface G1
- Configure a default route
- Configure the country code
- Configure which interface will be used for management purposes (G1 in our case)
- Generate the certificate that will be used to establish DTLS connections with the APs
Use the following commands in order to configure all these items:
- The IP address used here is specific to my setup. Please use one relevant to your network topology.
- The passwords have not been disclosed here, please replace "secret_password" and "user_password" by the passwords you want to use
- Configure these items in the proper order if you want to avoid issues
- The last command doesn't configure anything, it is just used to validate that the trustpoint has been generated properly
- Since we are disabling the 802.11a and 802.11b radios to configure the country code, you will have to renable them later if you want your APs to be operational
To be continued...
- Cisco Catalyst C9800-CL Wireless Controller Virtual Deployment Guide: www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/controller/technotes/8-8/b_c9800_wireless_controller_virtual_dg.html
- Catalyst 9800 CL Install Guide: www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/controller/9800/9800-cloud/installation/b-c9800-cl-install-guide.pdf
- Release Notes for Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller, Cisco IOS XE Gibraltar 16.11.x: www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/controller/9800/16-11/release-notes/rn-16-11-9800.html
- C9800-CL for my Homelab by Tim Saas: http://wifi-blog.com/2019/01/31/c9800-cl-for-my-homlab/
written by François Vergès