Site to Site VPN between Meraki MX and Cisco ASA 5508

Hi all

VPN’s are always a pain in the ass when it comes to different vendors and OS. Even if both Meraki and ASA is part of the Cisco brand there is still quite a few differences in the setup and as always alot of ways to do it incorrectly.

Let’s start with the ASA end of the link. The first thing we need to do is set up the IKE profile. Meraki uses only IKEv1 so there is no need for IKEv2.

crypto ikev1 enable outside
 crypto ikev1 policy 10
 authentication pre-share
 encryption 3des
 hash sha
 group 2
 lifetime 12800

Define the networks you wan’t to have on each end of the Meraki firewall.

 object network OBJ-ASA-Site
 subnet 192.168.10.0 255.255.255.0
 object network OBJ-Meraki-Site
 subnet 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0

Now we will make sure that the traffic that is intended for the VPN is passed trough the tunnel. In the NAT rule the traffic is originating from the interface labeled server.

access-list MERAKI-INTERESTING-TRAFFIC extended permit ip object OBJ-ASA-Site object OBJ-Meraki-Site
nat (server,outside) source static OBJ-ASA-Site OBJ-ASA-Site destination static OBJ-Meraki-Site OBJ-Meraki-Site no-proxy-arp route-lookup

We will have to let the ASA know where to terminate the tunnel. Including the preshared key. It’s important to change the preshared key and use something a bit more secure.

tunnel-group 123.123.123.123 type ipsec-l2l
 tunnel-group  123.123.123.123  ipsec-attributes
 pre-shared-key supersecret
 isakmp keepalive threshold 10 retry 2

Finally we have to put everything together and let the ASA know where to terminate the VPN tunnel.

crypto ipsec ikev1 transform-set MERAKI-TRANSFORM esp-aes-256 esp-sha-hmac
 !
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP 1 match address MERAKI-INTERESTING-TRAFFIC
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP 1 set peer 123.123.123.123
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP 1 set ikev1 transform-set MERAKI-TRANSFORM
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP interface outside

Below is all the commands in one go to make it easier for a copy/paste.

crypto ikev1 enable outside
 crypto ikev1 policy 10
 authentication pre-share
 encryption 3des
 hash sha
 group 2
 lifetime 12800
 !
 object network OBJ-ASA-Site
 subnet 192.168.10.0 255.255.255.0
 object network OBJ-Meraki-Site
 subnet 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0
 !
 access-list MERAKI-INTERESTING-TRAFFIC extended permit ip object OBJ-ASA-Site object OBJ-Meraki-Site
 nat (server,outside) source static OBJ-ASA-Site OBJ-ASA-Site destination static OBJ-Meraki-Site OBJ-Meraki-Site no-proxy-arp route-lookup
 !
 tunnel-group 123.123.123.123 type ipsec-l2l
 tunnel-group  123.123.123.123  ipsec-attributes
 pre-shared-key supersecret
 isakmp keepalive threshold 10 retry 2
 !
 crypto ipsec ikev1 transform-set MERAKI-TRANSFORM esp-aes-256 esp-sha-hmac
 !
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP 1 match address MERAKI-INTERESTING-TRAFFIC
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP 1 set peer 123.123.123.123
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP 1 set ikev1 transform-set MERAKI-TRANSFORM
 crypto map CRYPTO-MAP interface outside

Then let’s move over to the Meraki part. This part is really easy compared to the ASA part. There isn’t much configuration to do on the Meraki to get everything up and working,.

The first thing you need to do is go to Security Appliance -> Configure -> Site-to-.Site VPN. Select Hub in the options list.

Select the networks that should be routed trough the VPN. In the previous config we said that 192.168.1.0/24 should be routed from the Meraki site.

The last part would be to configure the VPN settings on the Meraki. First column you enter a name for the connection. Secondly you need to enter the IP for the ASA firewall. In the third column you decide what networks should be sent over the VPN. The same network that we defined as OBJ-ASA-Site in the ASA config. Leave the IPSec policies as Default, the connection should come up with the Default setting. At last you enter the pre shared key, press save and you should have a VPN connection.

Changing IP of HA WLC controller.

Today I did change IP of one of our HA Wireless Controllers. Since the company I work for got bought last year we have to change IP of our systems to fit into our new and bigger network.

Changing the IP address isn’t a big thing and you can do it without any downtime on the AP’s if you run flexconnect. If you run in local mode you will be looking at a short downtime. If you want to do it with the minimal of downtime you need a third controller that can host your AP’s while the HA cluster is down.

If you have a third controller that can host your AP’s you have to make sure that the mobility groups are configured and working to your HA. You can check this in the following menu: Controller -> Mobility Management -> Mobility Groups. In this menu all your mobility groups are listed. If the mobility group towards the controller is Up you should see it on the right side of the page. You also have to check this on the HA controller.
MobilityGroupCheck

If the mobility group is up and running then the next thing is to change primary controller for the AP’s. This is a very easy task but it’s time consuming if you don’t have Cisco Prime ( I got that luckily). From Cisco Prime you can just send out a template to all the AP’s and make them move to another primary controller. If you want to do it manually you can do it to. Then you have to first open an AP and choose High Availability. Then you configure the third controller as Primary. Within the next few minutes all the AP’s should be moved to a new controller.
HASettingAP

When there is no connected AP’s left we can start the work to re-IP the HA controller. The first thing we have to do is to break the HA cluster. We are not able to change the IP without breaking the cluster. When breaking the cluster there will also be a restart, so if you don’t have another controller for your AP’s, be ready for some downtime!

To disable the cluster you go to  Controller -> Redundancy -> Global Configuration. In the lower part of the page you have the option to Disable or Enable the cluster. Set the drop down to Disabled and press Apply in the top right corner. The controller will then ask you if you are sure about breaking the cluster and that the controller will restart. Accept this and wait for a few minutes.
DisableCluster

The WLC will after a few minutes boot up again on the same IP address as before. Then you should go to the Interface menu to change the management IP address.
InterfaceOverview1.jpg

Change the IP Address, Netmask and Gateway to the new values and press Apply. You will now loose connection and need to connect on the new IP’s It’s very important to enter the correct IP’s so you don’t loose contact (or you could use the integrated service port if you have a 550x).
ManagementInterface

The next interface you need to change is the redundancy management IP address. This IP should be in the same subnet as the management IP. So unless you change the IP to something in the same subnet as your previous IP you need to change this IP also. This IP also needs to match the Redundancy mgmt IP in Controller -> Redundancy -> Global Configuration.
2016-08-17_09-23-42.jpg

The last thing you need to do o this controller is go back to┬áController -> Redundancy -> Global Configuration and change the IP’s for the Redundancy mgmt IPs and enable the cluster again.
2016-09-06_22-53-56

You should now be finished With the first Controller. The IP for the WLC HA is now active and if you want to move the AP’s to the New Controller you can do that now. You shoudl be able to Connect to the remaining Controller on the old management IP address. You should repeat the steps for changing the Redundancy mgmt IP and Redundancy port IP. When this is done you only need to enable the cluster on this Controller also and the HA should be working again as before.

When you have enable HA on the second Controller you can go to Monitor -> Redundancy -> Summary. There you will be able to see if the HA cluster is running successfully again.
2016-09-06_23-28-44

Your cluster should now be working correctly. If you got questions or feedback please leave a comment!