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Cisco AAA Identity Management Security: Getting Familiar with ACS 5.1

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press.
  • Date: Feb 2, 2011.

Chapter Description

ACS 5.1 has a completely different user interface from ACS 4.2. Throughout the course of this chapter you will become familiar with the GUI and know where different functions are located.

Users and Identity Stores

To authenticate and authorize a user or host, ACS uses the user definitions stored in identity stores. There are two types of identity stores:

  • Internal Identity Stores: Identity stores that ACS maintains locally are called internal identity stores. ACS maintains two different internal identity stores for user and host records. These stores are accessible from the Internal Identity Stores menu item in the Users and Identity Stores drawer.
  • External Identity Stores: Identity stores that reside outside of ACS are called external identity stores (or external user databases in earlier versions of ACS). Each external identity store requires certain configuration before ACS can obtain information from it. The External Identity Stores menu item under the Users and Identity Stores drawer can be used to configure these stores.

In this chapter, you add a user and a host to the internal identity stores. External identity stores are discussed in Chapter 5, "Configuring External Databases with ACS."

Before adding a user or host, you should know about identity groups and how to add them.

Identity Groups

Identity groups, as the name suggests, are groups of users or hosts. As in ACS 4.2, users and hosts can be put in a group to apply a uniform policy on them.

Identity groups are defined in a hierarchical structure like the NDGs. All Groups is the root of this hierarchy.

To create an identity group, follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Select Users and Identity Stores > Identity Groups.

    The Identity Groups page appears.

  • Step 2. Click Create.

    The Create Identity Group page appears as shown in Figure 4-10.

    Figure 4-10

    Figure 4-10 Creating an Identity Group

  • Step 3. Enter a unique name for the group. For our example, use Admin.
  • Step 4. (Optional) Enter a description.
  • Step 5. Click Select to select a parent group for this group. For this example, use the Root group.
  • Step 6. Click Submit.

    The Identity Group page appears with the Admin group listed under the root.

Adding a User in the Internal Identity Store

Adding a user to the internal identity store is very simple in ACS 5.1. To add a user, follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Select Users and Identity Stores > Internal Identity Stores > Users.

    The Internal Users page appears.

  • Step 2. Click Create.

    The User Properties page appears as shown in Figure 4-11.

    Figure 4-11

    Figure 4-11 Adding a User to the Internal Identity Store

  • Step 3. Enter a name for the user. This name will be used by the user to authenticate. For our example, use User1.
  • Step 4. (Optional) Enter a description.
  • Step 5. Click Select and select an identity group for the user. For this example, select the Admin group created in the previous section.
  • Step 6. Enter the password and confirm the password. The password must match the restriction shown in the Password Information section on the page. By default, the password must be 4 to 32 characters long. For this example, use Cisco as the password.
  • Step 7. (Optional) An enable password can be entered for users to log in to the privilege mode of devices. This option is enabled by default and can be disabled from the User Authentication settings section. For this example, leave this field blank.
  • Step 8. Click Submit.

    The user configuration will be saved and the Internal Users page will appear with the new user listed.

Adding a Host in the Internal Identity Store

Adding a host in the ACS internal data or identity store is not a new concept. In versions of ACS prior to ACS 5.1, the MAC address of a host could be added as a user for MAC address-based authentication. ACS 5.1 provides separate user and host identity stores! Steps for adding a host in the internal identity stores are similar to that of adding a user. To add a host, follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Select Users and Identity Stores > Internal Identity Stores > Hosts.

    The Internal Hosts page appears.

  • Step 2. Click Create.

    The host properties page appears as shown in Figure 4-12.

    Figure 4-12

    Figure 4-12 Adding a Host to the Internal Identity Store

  • Step 3. Enter the MAC address of the host. You can enter the MAC address in any of the following formats:


    Although you can enter the MAC address in any of the formats in the preceding list, ACS will convert and store the MAC address in the first format. For this example, use 00-19-01-02-AA-EE.

  • Step 4. (Optional) Enter a description.
  • Step 5. Click Select and select an identity group. For our example, use the Admin group created in the previous sections.
  • Step 6. Click Submit.

    The host configuration will be saved and the Internal Hosts page will appear with the new host listed.

4. Policy Elements | Next Section Previous Section

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