Thursday, April 16, 2009

Video Management & Storage System Network Module

Cisco is such a innovative company...just when you think their routers have reached the peak of functionality, Cisco goes ahead and throws in a Video Management & Storage System (VMSS)network module to the router providing you to rapidly deploy highly distributed, IP-enabled video surveillance at your offices, guard shacks, parking lots, basically wherever you need surveillance allowing you to easily migrate traditional analog surveillance equipment to IP. The Cisco VMSS module is designed to be deployed in highly distributed environments as an edge device.

This module plugs right into an available slot on your typical integrated services router (ISR) and will provide you with a full functioning version of Cisco's Video Surveillance Operation Manager (VSOM) and Video Surveillance Media Server (VSMS). Beautiful!

Just think of all the applications you can use this in... Since these ISR routers can also be equipped with integrated access points and 3G-GSM WAN cards, you can now provide very robust wireless surveillance solutions and architect a number of solutions that just where not available before.

So how do you configure one of these bad boys in an ISR anyway? First, it is important to know what the VMSS module interface name is. The module name will be Integrated-Service-Engine and the slot/unit number like 1/0 . For example, if you where connected to a router equipped with a VMSS network module, you would enter the following while in config mode and type:

Router (config) # interface Integrated-Service-Engine 1/0 [enter]

and you would be connected to the VMSS module in the router. From here you can enter all your ip related info. I recommend you specify an unnumbered interface for the router interface and assign an IP address to the VMSS module as follows:

# Router (config-if) # ip unnumbered gigabitethernet 0/0 [enter]
# Router (config-if) # service-module ip address [enter]
# Router (config-if) # service-module ip default-gateway
# Router (config-if) # exit

Following the example above, you would have connected to your VMSS and assigned it an IP address of with a default gateway going to the IP address of which is bound to gigabitethernet 0/0 on the same router. To finish with the layer three stuff, you need to add a host route for the VMSS as follows:

Router (config)# ip route Integrated-Service-Engine1/0 [enter]

Save your configuration by issuing the wr mem command. At this point you are half way done with the configuration. Are you getting excited? I am...

The next task is to open a session to the integrated service engine on your router and go through the one-time process of initializing your VMSS network module. To do this type the following:

Router# service-module integrated-Service-Engine 1/0 session

Once you run the above command, you will need to answer questions about host name, dns, ntp, etc. Go through and answer accordingly, if you do not have any of these services on your network, just answer no to a question and move on...

A key thing to set is the time zone and time. The format for the time would be:

( hh:mm[:ss] [YYYY-MM-DD] ), so you could enter: 19:01:00 2009-04-15 [enter]

to set the time and date for 7:01PM on April 15, 2009 in this example.

Once you enter the time and date, the system will configure itself, goto into run level 4, start some shell scripts in the background, then boot the VMSS moldule for you.

When the system finishes booting the VMSS, you will be dropped into a vmss> prompt.

The first time around not all the vmss processes may start, you can verify the status of VMSS by typing the following:

vmss> video-surveillance task status

If you notice that httpd is not running, your will have a problem connecting to VSOM. To resolve this issue, run the following command:

vmss> video-surveillance task restart

That's it my friends. At this point bring up your browser and connect to the VMSS as you would if it where a standalone VSOM appliance.

Using the configuration example above, you would access the management console by going to where you can enter your license info. The default username and password to access the console, or VSOM for that matter, is root and secur4u. To get a license, send email to, you will need to provide the MAC address of your VMSS module which you can get from the management console.

Remember to get licenses for VSOM and the Media Server. Once you get your VMSS fully licensed, just goto to configure your surveillance system just like you would do a normal Cisco VSM appliance...


-Boni Bruno


  1. The ISR with VMSS has been deployed in several locations with an expanded storage capability to support more cameras with larger retention requirements. The storage selection of choice has been the Intransa StarterBlock, recommended by the ISR group. Some locations for reference include Cox Communications (through Bensen Systems), the Alabama Youth Authority (through ITS-Networks) and Golub (holding company for PriceChopper) (through IP Logic). For more information on Intransa StarterBlock contact, John Dean at

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