The information in this document is based on these software versions:
VCS Version x8.6.1 and x8.7.3
VCS Control x7.X and x8.X releases
VCS Expressway x7.X and x8.X releases
PuTTY (terminal emulation software)
---Alternatively, you could use any terminal emulation software that supports SSH such as Secure CRT, TeraTerm and so on.
PSCP (PuTTY Secure Copy Protocol client)
---You can use any client that supports SCP.
Licensing email with a Release Key or Upgrade Key.
A web browser. In this example, Firefox is used, Internet Explorer and Chrome should work equally well.
The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you understand the potential impact of any command.
Web Interface Release Key Installation Example
Here you have two options:
Option one, you can set the release key.
Option two, you can add the release key as part of the upgrade process.
Either option works and we will show the set option first followed by the upgrade option next.
Note: Both options require a VCS restart.
Note: Both options use the same licensing email example.
Option one, shows the set option. This web interface example video supplements this document.
Step 1: Once you have installed your VCS, have your serial number and applied for your release key using your PAK and serial number, you receive a license email from the Cisco licensing team which may or may not contain a release key and option keys. In the example email, you can see the release key used for this document.
Note: Examples of PAK are outside the scope of this document.
Step 2: Access the web interface of the VCS with a web browser. Log in with an admin account and you are taken to the VCS Status screen.
Note: Some digits purposely blurred throughout this document.
Step 3: Navigate to the appropriate screen in order to install your release key. Hover over the maintenance tab.
Step 4: When the menu pops up, click on Option Keys:
Step 5: Observe the Release key section and if this is a new install, there is a blank release key field. The Release key field for an existing VCS installation is pre-populated with the current release key value. You use the Upgrade option to set the release key in that case.
Note: The release key does not change between minor version upgrades. The release key only changes between major version upgrades such as x7.X to x8.X.
Copy and paste your release key into the Release key field:
Step 6: You can see the release key pasted into the Release key field.
Step 7: Now click on Set release key:
Step 8: Click on the restart hyperlink in the prompt that appears at the top of the page to restart the VCS:
Option Two: Upgrade option to install your release key
Step 1: From the Web interface, Click on Maintenance as before and then Upgrade in the menu pop-up.
Step 2: On the Upgrade screen, you see an Upgrade Component section.
Note: This document assumes you have downloaded a VCS software upgrade image to your local computer.
Click on Browse to locate your downloaded VCS upgrade image:
Step 3: Enter the release key value into the Release key field when prompted. Copy and paste from the email or if this is a minor upgrade such as in this case, x8.6.1 to x8.7.3, copy and paste it from the same screen:
Step 4: Click the Upgrade button. Watch the processes that follow and do not navigate away from the process or you have to start over. The image will upload, then it will install. Click on restart when prompted.
Verify the release has installed properly, once the VCS has restarted. Use the two methods noted in the VERIFY section of this document.
CLI Release Key Installation Example
Install a release key via the CLI. This is a two part process that involves the use of a SCP client (PSCP in this example from command (CMD) prompt in Windows and a terminal emulation software application such as PuTTY.
Step 1: Copy your release key into a plain ASCII text file. Ensure there are no spaces before or after the release key value. Copy the release key into your text editor application save the file as release-key.txt:
Step 2: Place the release-key.txt file and PSCP.exe in the same directory on your computer. Navigate to that directory using a command (CMD) prompt in Windows and copy the release key to a temp directory on the VCS. Use the root account for the PSCP transaction. Enter the root account password when prompted. Verify the transfer completed as indicated by 100%. Here is an example:
Step 3: Copy the image you want to upgrade to, such as 8.7.3 used here. Copy this image over using PSCP. Verify the status shows at 100%, the software image has finished copying over to the VCS and you are ready to reboot the VCS:
Step 4: Reboot the VCS via an SSH session to the VCS. Open PuTTY and type in the IP address of the VCS. Click SSH to open:
Step 5: Click Open and log in to the VCS with an admin account when prompted. Enter the admin account password when prompted. Verify you have the right command to reboot the VCS. Enter the command followed by a space and question mark to ensure you have it correct. The VCS confirms that xCommand Boot will restart the VCS. Enter the command xCommand Boot to reboot the VCS.
The VCS flashes that it is rebooting and your PuTTY session closes. This behavior is normal because the connection is terminated when the VCS reboots. The VCS takes about five minutes to reboot. Once complete, verify the release key installed correctly either via the web interface or the CLI as noted in the VERIFY section of this document.
Web interface Verification of Release Key Installation
There are two ways you can verify the Release Key installed in the web interface:
Option 1: Look at the Options Key Page as noted previously and check the Release key field.
Option 2: Check the Upgrade Page as noted previously:
CLI Interface Verification of Release Key Installation
Verify the Release Key installed via the CLI interface by an SSH session to the CLI. Log in with an admin account as noted previously in this document. Once there, you issue the command xStatus SystemUnit Software. You observe the upgrade was successful and the release key is installed:
You should not have any issues when you install a release key onto a Cisco VCS. Enter an option key in the Release key field of the VCS or enter an option key when you upgrade are the most common causes for failure. The email example cited at the beginning of this article shows option keys in addition to the release key. An error occurs when an option key is entered in the Release Key field:
A VCS accepts any value in the Release key field. Reboot the VCS with an incorrect value entered and you receive an error "Invalid release key":
Install a release key as noted in this document to correct this conditon.
Engage Cisco TAC for assistance for any other types of failure.