Saturday, April 25, 2009

Configuring a wireless video surveillance solution on a Cisco ISR.

If you read my VMSS post, you will know that Cisco offers a video management solution in a network switch module that plugs right into a typical integrated services router. That being said, wireless access points can also plug into these integrated servcies router. Hmm...are you thinking what I'm thinking? Full featured wireless video surveillance with just a Cisco router!

I recently setup an elaborate demo for one of the largest outsourced physical security firms in the nation. They wanted to increase their service offerings to their clients to provide more value added services as well as generate another stream of revenue for the firm. I told them to look at adding outsourced video surveillance which can be easily deployed as a kit and they loved the idea.

Basically the kit consists of a Cisco 2821 ISR with a VMSS and HWIC-AP cards and Cisco 2500 series cameras. The demo went over like a charm. Let me be the first to share this with the community...

First, let's start out by discussing what it takes to configure a wireless Cisco 2500 series camera.

These cameras come in either hard wired or wireless form factors. We will be focused on the wireless camera for this article.

First, connect the lens to the camera by inserting the lens in the front of the camera, then screw it in by turning the lens in a clockwise direction.

Once the lens is in, connect an ethernet cable to the camera and then connect the power adapter to the camera.

When the camera powers up, the default IP address of the camera is If for some reason the camera does not come up correctly, press and hold in the reset button on the back of the camera for 10 seconds and it will reset the camera back to default factory settings.

Connect and configure your computer to the same subnet and lauch your browser and connect to the camera IP address. The camera's web interface will prompt you to assign an admin password then allow you to configure the other camera attributes.

The basic setup in the camera's web interface allows you to change the IP specs to DHCP or to a different camera IP address, assign a default gateway, etc. Assign the IP specs you want for the camera then click on the wireless tab.

The wireless tab allows you to set the wireless specifications like the SSID and authentication/encryption settings. The wireless Cisco 2500 series cameras can easily support open,wep, or wpa security settings.

Once you finish entering and applying the wireless settings, disconnect the ethernet cable going to the camera and unplug the power to the camera. Congratulations, you just finished configuring the basic settings of your wireless camera.

Before you turn the wireless camera back on, you need to configure your router for wireless communications. The HWIC-AP card is basically an access point in a network module form factor available for the integrated service router.

The configuration below will show you how to configure your HWIC-AP module in your router for open, wep, and wpa wireless configurations. I'm providing a configuration that includes all three options for reference. Comments are provided in the configuration to help explain the configuration:

! Below is how you globally set an ssid and vlan for your dot11 configuration.
! I recommend you use vlan statements to easily configure multiple ip subnets for your wireless network.
!Below I show how to set three different ssid's using three different networks using three different security settings. This should cover any kind of deployment you may be considering.
! Below are the global commands needed for an unsecured/open wireless configuration set for vlan3.
dot11 ssid dswisropen
vlan 3
authentication open
mbssid guest-mode
! Below are the global commands needed for a wep based wireless configuration set for vlan1.
dot11 ssid dswisrwep
vlan 1
authentication open
mbssid guest-mode
! Below I show how to setup wpa with an ascii preshared key for vlan2.
dot11 ssid dswisrwpa
vlan 2
authentication open
authentication key-management wpa
mbssid guest-mode
wpa-psk ascii 0 12345678901234567890123456
! Below are the interface specific commands for the wireless radio, note I'm using subinterfaces to support the multiple vlan configurations above as well as 802.1q to trunk the vlans over the wireless interface.
interface Dot11Radio0/3/0.1
encapsulation dot1Q 1 native
ip address
bridge-group 1
bridge-group 1 subscriber-loop-control
bridge-group 1 spanning-disabled
bridge-group 1 block-unknown-source
no bridge-group 1 source-learning
no bridge-group 1 unicast-flooding
interface Dot11Radio0/3/0.2
encapsulation dot1Q 2
ip address
bridge-group 2
bridge-group 2 subscriber-loop-control
bridge-group 2 spanning-disabled
bridge-group 2 block-unknown-source
no bridge-group 2 source-learning
no bridge-group 2 unicast-flooding
interface Dot11Radio0/3/0.3
encapsulation dot1Q 3
ip address
bridge-group 3
bridge-group 3 subscriber-loop-control
bridge-group 3 spanning-disabled
bridge-group 3 block-unknown-source
no bridge-group 3 source-learning
no bridge-group 3 unicast-flooding

Congratulations, you just finished configuring the wireless card on your router.

At this point, power on your wireless camera and watch your wireless camera associate itself with the access point on your router. Use show dot11 association on the router to check that your camera does in fact associate to your wireless network. If it doesn't, you probably type in something wrong.

At this point, you are ready to add your wireless cameras to your video surveillance management system and administer things as usual...

I hope you enjoyed this post, I went through a lot of trouble shooting to figure all this out. You now have the quick quide to setting up a wireless video surveillance system on an ISR.


-boni bruno


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