Cisco ISE is Hardening Up; The Secure Access Wizard

The term “wizard” isn’t my favorite one.  It feels like I’m installing Windows for Workgroups 3.11 again or my Linksys WRT54G.  My own preference aside though, Cisco ISE 2.2 is an important release for Cisco and introduces some much needed simplification and adds some great new functionality.  This series of 7 videos took me just under 90 minutes to finish and now I’ve got a number of new things to talk about with enterprises that are looking ahead to software-defined networking.  Identity services will be an important component of that.

Many thanks to Jason Kunst (LinkedIn, Twitter), a Technical Marketing Engineer on the ISE team at Cisco!! The video’s provide a walk-through of how to deploy a few important features in about 5 minutes each:

  • Secure access and DOT1X network access
  • Guest access (hot-spot, self-registered, and employee-sponsored)
  • Bring Your Own Device using Dual and Single SSID deployment styles

Here’s the video playlist:


Here’s the breakdown of videos:

  1. ISE Secure Access Wizard Intro: If you saw early versions of this you may have seen it as Easy Wireless.  This tool greatly simplifies deployment of ISE services for wired and wireless access for employees, employee BYOD, and guest access.
  2. ISE Secure Access Wizard: Hotspot Guest Access in 5 minutes.
  3. ISE Secure Access Wizard: BOYD (Single SSID Style) in 5 minutes.
  4. ISE Secure Access Wizard: DOT1X deployed in 5 minutes.
  5. ISE Secure Access Wizard: Guest Self Registration deployment in 5 minutes.
  6. ISE Secure Access Wizard: BYOD (Dual SSID Style) deployment in 5 minutes.
  7. ISE Secure Access Wizard: Sponsored Guest Portal deployment in 5 minutes.

I’ve been running Cisco ACS since v1.2. What now?

I may be showing my age a bit here but I love Cisco ACS and started using it back when it was still in diapers at version 1.2.  The interface wasn’t the prettiest but it did one job and it did it REALLY well.  My beloved ACS is about to go in to retirement and move to… wherever auth servers go when they retire, leaving room for something new.

I don’t know what you’ve heard about Cisco ISE but if you look at the marketing materials you might think it does just about everything, including washing the dishes.  (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t do dishes.)  One thing Cisco ISE does REALLY well is take over where ACS is leaving off, and it’s not every expensive to do it, either.

For those of you wanting to know what this would mean for your environment, I’d like to direct you to 5 YouTube videos that will educate and train you on the entire process, with only a 2.5 hour time investment.  Thank you to Krishnan Thiuvengadam for posting these great videos!

Part 1: Overview and Planning for the ACS to ISE Migration (1 hour)

Part 2: Preparing for the Migration (24 minutes)

Part 3:  Migration Process and Demonstration – Video 1 of 3 (17 minutes)

Part 3:  Migration Process and Demonstration – Video 2 of 3 (29 minutes)

Part 3:  Migration Process and Demonstration – Video 3 of 3 (14 minutes)


Please let me know what you thought of these videos!

New Career Opportunities and Giving Back

It’s been a long time since I’ve been between positions and I’m finding it a VERY busy time. Although much of my time is consumed with phone calls, interviews, and just plain HUSTLIN’, I have still found time to give back a little. Here’s a pic of the new Gaga Ball pits installed at Seattle Hill Elementary.

For those of you no longer in elementary school, Gaga Ball is a cross between dodgeball and handball played in an octagon. Each of these pits start with 25 kids, but could easily hold 40.

As you may already know, the technology I supported as a specialist at Cisco has been absorbed in to mainstream and I am now seeking my next opportunity. If we haven’t spoken in a while, I’d love to hear from you!  Hit me up at or on LinkedIn.