Upgrading Firepower1010 to 6.5

Upgrading Firepower1010 to 6.5

The Cisco FirePower 1010 appliance (FP1010, successor to the ASA5506 which can run FTD 6.3 and higher) has finally become available. As I am relocating to a new home, it was time to replace my trusty 5506-X with the FP1010 and get a new fresh start with FTD. Since FTD 6.5 is just out, and it enables the switchports on the FP1010, it was time to upgrade the appliance. In this post I will share my method of upgrading the FP1010 to the latest version, 6.5. 

Time to get started with the upgrade. In this blog post I assume the FP1010 appliance has never been booted and has just been unboxed. You need to have the following items

  • Laptop with FTP/SCP/SFTP server (TFTP is possible, I had issues with USB); I used my MacBookPro for this
  • Laptop connected to the management interface of the FP1010
  • The upgrade image, in my case: cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA

Once you have everything ready, the following steps can be used to upgrade the FP1010 appliance:

Firepower architecture

Firepower appliances are really a different platform to the trusty old ASA platform. One of the architectural differences is that the appliance is running FXOS as the operating system and the security services you want to run (FTD or ASA) are installed as an instance. I think the best to compare it with is VMWare and running virtual services. FXOS looks a lot in its command set to the NFVIS operating system that runs on the ENCS series. It is based on the UCS platform and uses quite a different CLI then you are familiar with in the ASA world. 

The larger appliances (FP4100 and FP9300) FXOS and the security instances are separated, which means that you first configure FXOS and then you can load the security instance on it. The smaller Firepower appliances, such as the FP2100, FP1100 and the FP1000 series have FXOS and the security instance bundled in a single release. This means that you always run a specific FXOS system with a specific ASA or FTD version.

1.  Connect the console of the FP1010 to the laptop and power on the appliance
2.  Connect a network cable from the mgmt interface to your laptop

3.  Wait until the FP1010 is booted. Once it’s booted, the console will show:

firepower#

4.  Type the command “connect ftd” and run through the initial setup wizard. If you do not accept the EULA and run through the setup, somehow the network is not working as expected and you cannot download the software. And yes, that took me some hours to figure out…

You must accept the EULA to continue.Press <ENTER> to display the EULA:
 
End User License Agreement

Effective: May 22, 2017

*** SNIP***
Please enter 'YES' or press  to AGREE to the EULA: YES

System initialization in progress.  Please stand by.
You must change the password for 'admin' to continue.
Enter new password:
Confirm new password:
You must configure the network to continue.
You must configure at least one of IPv4 or IPv6.
Do you want to configure IPv4? (y/n) [y]: y
Do you want to configure IPv6? (y/n) [n]: n
Configure IPv4 via DHCP or manually? (dhcp/manual) [manual]:
Enter an IPv4 address for the management interface [192.168.45.45]:
Enter an IPv4 netmask for the management interface [255.255.255.0]:
Enter the IPv4 default gateway for the management interface [data-interfaces]:
Enter a fully qualified hostname for this system [firepower]:
Enter a comma-separated list of DNS servers or 'none' [208.67.222.222,208.67.220.220]:
Enter a comma-separated list of search domains or 'none' []:
If your networking information has changed, you will need to reconnect.

Setting DNS servers: 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220
No domain name specified to configure.
Setting hostname as firepower
DHCP server is enabled with pool: 192.168.45.46-192.168.45.254. You may disable with configure network ipv4 dhcp-server-disable
Setting static IPv4: 192.168.45.45 netmask: 255.255.255.0 gateway: data on management0
Updating routing tables, please wait...
All configurations applied to the system. Took 3 Seconds.
Saving a copy of running network configuration to local disk.
For HTTP Proxy configuration, run 'configure network http-proxy'

Manage the device locally? (yes/no) [yes]: yes
Configuring firewall mode to routed


Update policy deployment information
    - add device configuration
Successfully performed firstboot initial configuration steps for Firepower Device Manager for Firepower Threat Defense.

5.  After the setup, the console will have a very empty prompt: “>” Now type exit The prompt will now look like firepower# 

6. This means you are now in FXOS , this looks like UCS CIMC software, so it is a bit different.
Enter the command scope firmware , the prompt will show

firepower /firmware
7. Check the IP address of your laptop and initiate the software download via the command structure

download image sftp://userid@iplaptop/path/to-image/cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA

I have used

download image sftp://myuserid@192.168.45.46/Users/myuserid/Downloads/cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA

The console will now prompt for your password and then it will initiate a download task:

firepower /firmware # download image scp://myuserid@192.1687.45.46:/Users/myuserid/Downloads/cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA
Password:
Please use the command 'show download-task' or 'show download-task detail' to check download progress.

You can use the “show download-task detail” to show the details, which has output like

Download task:
File Name: cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA
Protocol: Sftp
Server: 192.168.45.46
Port: 0
Userid: myuserId
Path: /Users/myuserId/Downloads
Downloaded Image Size (KB): 59264
Time stamp: 2019-10-07T06:48:09.268
State: Downloading
Status: Downloading the image
Transfer Rate (KB/s): 29632.000000
Current Task: downloading image cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA from 192.168.45
.46(FSM-STAGE:sam:dme:FirmwareDownloaderDownload:Local)

However, if there is a failure, it will only show “failed“. I found out that the command

show event provides much more information, but requires a bit decoding. The following output is from a successful download:
Creation Time            ID       Code     Description
------------------------ -------- -------- -----------
2019-10-07T06:48:09.269     27339 E4195702 [FSM:STAGE:END]: (FSM-STAGE:sam:dme:F
irmwareDownloaderDownload:begin)
2019-10-07T06:48:09.269     27340 E4195703 [FSM:STAGE:END]: checking pending man
agement network config(FSM-STAGE:sam:dme:FirmwareDownloaderDownload:CheckPending
NetworkConfig)
2019-10-07T06:48:09.269     27341 E4195704 [FSM:STAGE:ASYNC]: downloading image
cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA from 192.168.45.46(FSM-STAGE:sam:dme:FirmwareDownlo
aderDownload:Local)
But if there is a failure, it would look a bit more like this

 

2019-10-07T06:47:40.120     27329 E4195706 [FSM:STAGE:REMOTE-ERROR]: Result: end
-point-failed Code: ERR-DNLD-no-file Message: No such file#(sam:dme:FirmwareDown
loaderDownload:DeleteLocal)

It tells you it couldn’t find the file. The show event is quite handy.
Once the download is completed, the show detail command would look like this:

Download task:
    File Name: cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA
    Protocol: Sftp
    Server: 192.168.45.46
    Port: 0
    Userid: nefkensp
    Path: /Users/nefkensp/Downloads
    Downloaded Image Size (KB): 1031174
    Time stamp: 2019-10-07T06:48:09.268
    State: Downloading
    Status: validating and unpacking the image
    Transfer Rate (KB/s): 32224.187500
    Current Task: unpacking image cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA on primary(FSM-ST

8.  Now that the software is downloaded, it is time to validate if the package is available. Use the command show package to check for that:

firepower /firmware # show package
Name Package-Vers
--------------------------------------------- ------------
cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.4.0-102.SPA 6.4.0-102
cisco-ftd-fp1k.6.5.0-115.SPA 6.5.0-115

9.  Now as the package is available, let’s install it. Go to the subscope auto-install:

firepower /firmware # scope auto-install
firepower /firmware/auto-install # 
 

10.  and install the package via the install security-pack version command:

firepower /firmware/auto-install # install security-pack version 6.5.0-115 
The system is currently installed with security software package 6.4.0-102, which has:
   - The platform version: 2.6.1.133
   - The CSP (ftd) version: 6.4.0.102
If you proceed with the upgrade 6.5.0-115, it will do the following:
   - upgrade to the new platform version 2.7.1.107
During the upgrade, the system will be reboot

Do you want to proceed ? (yes/no):yes

This operation upgrades firmware and software on Security Platform Components
Here is the checklist of things that are recommended before starting Auto-Install
(1) Review current critical/major faults
(2) Initiate a configuration backup

Do you want to proceed? (yes/no):yes

Triggered the install of software package version 6.5.0-115
Install started. This will take several minutes.
For monitoring the upgrade progress, please enter 'show' or 'show detail' command. 

11. Now let’s wait for the upgrade or use the “show” command to check the status:

firepower /firmware/auto-install # show

Firmware Auto-Install:
    Package-Vers Oper State                   Upgrade State
    ------------ ---------------------------- -------------
    6.5.0-115    Scheduled                    Ready
firepower /firmware/auto-install #

12.  And after waiting for some 20-30 minutes, FTD has been upgraded. Congratulations!

Upgrading Firepower1010 to 6.5

Assigning a single IPv6 address to devices

I have been running IPv6 and IPv4 concurrently. At Cisco Live San Diego 2019  I shared some of my experiences with Jeffry Handal (I met him initially at CiscoLive Barcelona 2019)  and somewhow we ended up talking about IPv6 and how by default you receive multiple IPv6 addresses. To me, that was one of my frustrations, so my network is setup in such a way that it only assigns a single IPv6 address. It appears that such a setup is not very common. So I would like to share with you how my IPv6 network is configured.

My network consists of an ASA firewall (soon to be replaced with the FirePower 1010), a 3560 compact switch that acts as L3 switch, and a Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller (yep, moved from Mobility Express to the Cat9k wireless IOS-XE). The figure below shows my network topology.

In this network setup, the 3560 acts as L3 switch and DHCP server (both IPv4 and IPv6). It is absolutely possible to use an external DHCP server and use helpers instead. But for my home network that is, well, not necessary. The configuration on the client VLAN is shown below:

interface Vlan300
 description clients
 ip address 192.168.1.1 255.255.255.0
 ipv6 address FE80::300 link-local
 ipv6 address 2001: db8:face:300::1/64
 ipv6 enable
 ipv6 nd prefix 2001:db8:face:300::/64 300 300 no-autoconfig
 ipv6 nd managed-config-flag
 ipv6 nd router-preference High
 ipv6 nd ra interval 30
 ipv6 dhcp server clients-300 rapid-commit
end

By setting the managed-config-flag and disabling auto-config on the prefix I effectively state that my switch is the only router and device allowed to assign and distribute IPv6 addresses. I effectively disable every auto-magic feature within IPv6 except DHCPv6. The configuration I use for that DHCPv6 server is defined below:

ipv6 dhcp database flash:dhcpv6-db
ipv6 dhcp pool clients-300
 address prefix 2001:db8:face:300::/64 lifetime 86400 86400
 link-address 2001:db8:face:300::/64
 dns-server 2620:119:35::35
 dns-server 2620:119:53::53
 domain-name clients.nefkens.net
!

Using this configuration all my devices (and yes, Jeffry told me that Android devices do not support DHCPv6 so go complain at Google for that) receive a single IPv6 address, as can be shown in the screen shot below.

Although it might not be common, it is very much possible to use DHCPv6 and only assign a single IPv6 address to each device. It will make your life for troubleshooting or looking at management systems, such as Firepower Management Center, DNA Center, or Syslog server a lot easier.

Cisco NL Strategic Innovation Tour 2019

Cisco NL Strategic Innovation Tour 2019

Fortunately, Cisco Netherlands organized another innovation tour for Cisco Partners in the week before Cisco Live US in San Diego. This time the innovation tour spanned two days and included visits to four tech companies in Sillicon Valley. In this blog I’d like to share my experiences of the tour.  

Apple Systems

Our first company visit was Apple Systems. And while many business visits happen at the 1 infinite loop building in Cupertino, we were honored to be invited to the new Apple Park campus building in Cupertino.

After a bit of a delayed start (well, Apple Park is huge!), we were welcomed by Apple in an environment quite beautiful .

There were a number of briefings, which were all very interesting. One was on how Apple is working with partners in its ecosystem, that not only includes Cisco on the networking side, but also a huge partnership with IBM on Swift and App developments. Another session was on how Apple sees the future, their role in the enterprise and they demo’ed several aspects of which were related to privacy, the announcements made at WWDC2019 earlier that week.

What really stood out for me was the way they demonstrated their new VoiceControl options for those that have disabilities. The video touched me, as I thought back to my father who died of A.L.S. in 2009, and how he might have used that (for a short period of time, as his speech deteriorated too). Besides this video, the capabilities of endpoint management that Apple can offer (both with and without supervised mode) were demonstrated, including a short briefing on the WWDC2019 announcement of having two distinct data-profiles on your iPhone. Of course, I already knew that a lot is possible for endpoint management on Apple devices, but the demo made clear that quite some nice new features have been introduced.

After the formal briefing sessions, we were invited to Apple’s visitor center, right across Apple Park. We got a tour through the visitor center, how it mirrors the new Apple Park Campus design and besides an awesome Augmented Reality app (see image below, thanks to Fred Spikker), the guide also explained how Apple park can already be so lush and green, while the building is only 2 years old! Steve Jobs and Jony Ive wanted to have employees working at Apple Park a full-grown experience, so they grew trees in other locations and moved them after the construction was finished!

But what really stood out to me was not the amazing design of the building itself, but the sustainability of the building. The building has zero CO2 footprint (even negative footprint, e.g. reducing) by large solar panels for power generation, but also the airflow of the cool San Francisco breeze is used to cool the building. They only need Airconditioning 3 months a year, the rest of the time, the wind is used for cooling. And yes, it was comfortable inside!

Meraki

Our second visit on the first day was to Meraki HQ in San Francisco. And although we arrived late, we were welcomed at the Meraki office.

The session with Meraki and the tour around their office was interesting. Meraki still has a typical valley-startup vibe to it, which is acknowledged by the fact that personal packages can be delivered (or picked up) at the office, food provided by Meraki, dynamic office environments and not to forget, you can bring your dog along.

I don’t know what I can publicly share on the content of the sessions, but Meraki is really integrating more with Cisco Systems on several fields, such as integration with SDA and of course network programmability. Meraki of course already supported API’s, but they now have an API first strategy, so in time, everything you see in the web interface is effectively an API call to the backend. 

Cisco Systems

A visit to Cisco itself can of course not be forgotten. Day 2 started with a visit to Cisco’s Customer Experience Center in San Jose. And besides bumping into Chuck Robbins when walking through the center, we had some very interesting briefings.

The first briefing detailed the change that Cisco is foreseeing in the partnership. With Cisco profiling more as a software company, the partnership is changing. Don’t worry, Cisco still strongly believes and is committed to the partner model, but a different type of partners emerge besides just supplying the hardware boxes. It is part of the digital transformation and the journey a lot of organizations are on.

Image courtesy of Fred Spikker

The second briefing was very interesting. It was presented by Hugo Latapie, one of the experts on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. What I truly loved about it is that he didn’t only demonstrate what can be done with deep fusion reasoning, but also the drawbacks on AI/ML. There are plenty of samples on the Internet where an image, used for learning, can be changed in such a way that a completely different object is recognized.

 

The last briefing was with Edwin Paalvast. As he is also Dutch, his briefing was in Dutch and he shared his vision on the challenges many enterprises face, and how Cisco can support them. And typical Dutch, we had a discussion on that vision and challenged one and another. I must say, I did recognise the problems he described and see them in my own environment too. And although the dot on the horizon is clear, the road to it is still a journey with a lot of hurdles to take in.

 

And well, we were at the customer experience center, so we also received a very nice demo on how Cisco’s security portfolio supports the enterprise and the world in a more secure environment.

NVIDIA

The last company visit of this innovation tour was with Nvidia, in their brand new headquarters. What a beautiful building and what a difference with Meraki and the other companies too. 

NVidia welcomed us with a reference to an article that states that businesses in The Netherlands are, according to research, leading the way in applying Artificial Intelligence. And that not only the large corporations use them. 

 

After this quick intro, the four technology pillars of NVidia (Gaming, Professional Visualization, Artificial Intelligence, and Self-Driving Cars) were explained.

 

All these four pillars are driven by the same common technology, also known as GPU and how the innovation and evolution of the GPU have brought enormous computational power to different sectors.

The briefing also detailed on how AI has changed the world around us already, with AI driving suggestions within Search Engines, Image Recognition and other industrial fields. After a short explanation on the Cisco-NVIDIA partnership (where you can get these amazing GPU’s in an UCS appliance for VDI deployments or GPU-based machine learning), the power of GPU’s for AI were demonstrated along a number of verticals.

What I really liked about the story of Nvidia is their single platform strategy on GPU’s. Nvidia has a Deep Learning Institute that teaches organizations (and individuals) on how you use deep learning to solve complex problems. Everybody can take sessions within this institute and get started on GPU-based AI/Machine learning. And the single platform strategy means that you can start coding solutions yourself on a developer board, such as the Jetson Nano ($99) or Jetson TX2 (twice the power) and you can then scale that up to GPU-based cloud services or an on-prem solution without changing your code.
And yes, within the networking industry, we are only just getting started programming the network, imagine what you can do with your programming skills on these GPU’s. There is a whole new world out there. I bought one of these developer kits to see how I can use GPU computational power to solve networking problems…

After the briefing itself, we were showed around NVidia’s Customer Experience Center. In that center, they have demonstrations on all the things you can do with GPU’s, from image-learning at a much larger pace, to a visualized photo of a woman, which is not a real person (freaky), to the possibilities of creating a 3D cut of x-ray visions in the medical industry, or a short trailer of a completely computer-rendered movie, very realistic.

Summary

It is quite difficult to provide a summary of this year’s innovation tour. It was jam-packed and although each visited company is technology-focused, they have their own culture, vision, and strategy.

And throughout these differences, there is a thin red lining that touches all these companies, whether they are one of the thought leaders or applying them. And that is that technology is changing our lives in ways that we could not fathom five years ago. AI and ML are technologies that are here to stay, there are some drawbacks (like telling what is real and what is not, or that the quality of learning is poor, and some philosophical and social discussions that really need to take place). The general goal of this technology is for the good and to improve the quality of life. 

If I had to summarize the tour and things I saw and learned, I would use the following word.

WOW!!

(I really hope that 2020 will also have an Innovation Tour!)

Hitting 100% CPU after restore on Firepower Management Center

I recently purchased a new microserver to reduce my power footprint at home. And I had to move the FMC (Firepower Management Center) from the OpenStack deployment that I previously ran at home. However, I ran into several bugs in OpenStack that were fixed in later versions, but I couldn’t upgrade because of another bug. Essentially I hit a catch-22 and had to deploy a new FMC on that new microserver and use a restore to move the data and policies. In that process I did hit a bug for which I’d like to share some info on. (more…)