Saturday, March 08, 2008

CMPC v1.5 In the Wild!

I'm happy to announce v1.5 is now released and available to download here. This version includes a number of enhancements and new packages. Here's some snippets from the release:

- Added support for CCO tree-style release listing.
- Removed restriction on number of runtime arguments.
- Added the following package options for notifications:
- Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
- Cisco Wireless Control System
- Cisco ACS (Windows Version)
- Cisco VPN 3000 Concentrator
- Cisco VPN Client for Windows
- Cisco CSS 11500
- Cisco WAAS
- Added the ability for CMPC to check your current MARS apppliance version via SSH.

CMPC now has the ability to check your MARS appliance version via SSH. This is made possible by use of libraries from the SharpSSH project ( There is a bit of configuration to make this possible. First, make sure the following dlls from the releases zip file are in the CMPC running directory:


Now you'll need to add the following lines to your config.xml file:

The "mars_check_version" field should be set to "1" to enable the processing of your MARS appliance. Switch to "0" (or anything besides 1) to disable this feature). You'll also need to make sure your pnadmin password is encrypted in the XML file. Run CMPC like so to have it encrypt your password.

Example: "C:\>cmpc.exe --encryptpass "

Now when you run CMPC with the --ciscomars option, it will get the current software version of your MARS appliance and add that to the e-mail notification.

Enjoy this latest release and any comments or issues let me know.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

User Question: MARS on 3rd Party Hardware?

Another great question from the community. Fabio writes in and asks:

Does Cisco Mars come only on box or could I get the software and install it on
my server?
The short answer: No. But why? I'm sure in a way it has to do with costs and how Cisco is able to required Cisco hardware to be used. There's also less cynical reasons. One that I know of is that MARS is using Oracle embedded for it's database. As part of using Oracle on an appliance and having it licensed as embedded, is that the distributor of the appliance must no allow users to alter the database or exploit it for unlicensed purposes. Mandating the use of a purchased appliance keeps greater control over how the software is installed and the experience it provides to it's users. Hope this helped!