Cisco ISE

Is anyone successfully deploying ISE 2.X? I’m six months into it on about 10,000 endpoints and it seems like it’s a highly challenged product. I’d love to hear your experiences on or off-list. Thanks in advance.

As would I. We are going to start a project that is replacing ACS 5.7 with ISE 2.X

Proceed with extreme caution. You may want to have that end of life ACS deployment bake for another six months. You will want to have the highest level of Cisco engineering engaged should you choose to go this direction.

Any particular part of the product giving you trouble or just the migration to the product itself ?

Running 5.7 here a multi-vendor endpoint environment using both TACACS+ & RADIUS for device administration and have been curious about the pain I may or may not have ahead of me...

ISE is challenging. I helped deploy and manage a
installation with about 5,000 end points. The hardest part was
designing the access policies There is also some quirkiness depending
on what switches you have in your environment. Different switches and
different IOS levels require in some cases slightly different
switchport configurations. Keeping everything in sync can also be
painful. I ended up writing a web based tool to audit the switch

The device profiler is less than perfect. We ended up having to
statically configure some of the devices (notably printers and thin
clients) to get them authorized correctly.

Sometimes the RADIUS sessions from a switch to the ISE servers would
hang in odd ways which required shutting and reenabling the port.
Looking at the logs on the switches was vital to sorting out various
issues. We also have DHCP snooping enabled in our environment which
further complicated debugging.

Also be aware upgrading the software can be painful and takes a long
time. Our last upgrade required 18 hours of time. Mostly this was
waiting around for the software to do the upgrade. Having an
environment where you have redundancy is really a requirement for
deploying ISE.

Conversion to ISE also needs to be done switch by switch with lots of
hand holding the users. Users do get irritated when their computers no
longer work. A good communications plan is vital to be successful.

There are other products out there that give more successful results much quicker and with much less effort.

While I won’t spam the list with things, I’d be happy to share my experience off-list if desired.


Yes I would be curious as to what issues you are running into? We currently use ACS to do 802.1x authentication for all of our Wired/Wireless clients and will move that functionality over to ISE. We would also like to start doing provisioning/nac and certificate authority on the ISE, as well as PXGrid into InfoBlox, NetScout, F5, APIC-EM, and Cisco Prime 3.1