Cisco WCS upgrade path

Today I started labbing up a future upgrade to our Cisco Wireless Control System software.  We are currently running version on Windows Server 2003.  The latest version is, but there is no direct upgrade path for the database.  So we have to move up to first, and then upgrade again to the latest build.

At the same time, we are looking to move this off the Windows server and go over to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.  So I built a virtual machine with RHEL and installed the same version of WCS on Linux that we are running on Windows.  After installing our WCS license, I backed up our current WCS and restored it to the VM box.  A couple of observations about WCS on Linux:

  • The root password must be eight characters and meet the password complexity.  I selected a password that met this criteria, but it would not accept it.  I ultimately had to pick a longer more complex password to get past that hurdle (which gets overwritten when I restore the DB).
  • If you change the system host name after installing WCS, the WCS service will not start the next time you either manually restart the service or reboot the box.  So set your hostname before you install WCS.

Outside of that, the restore worked just fine.  So I moved on to the first upgrade.  WCS version installed without issue, and the WCS web interface came up normally after logging in.  So I moved on to the second upgrade.  After installing WCS, I started seeing a strange error message after logging into the WCS web interface.  The error said “System Error: Wrong Alarm Type rogueUclassifiedMinor” and a quick Google / Cisco search yielded no help.  So I have opened a TAC case.  More details to come on the final solution.

Once we get the bugs worked out, I am very seriously considering leaving this as a VM.  We will rebuild the original server as a standalone vSphere 4 ESXi machine and just run one VM on it for WCS.  Can’t wait to find the answer and post back to the blog with the update.  Until then …

Update – Friday, August 14, 2009 …

The error message I was seeing went away.  The TAC engineer was able to help me determine that the error was related to Cisco bug ID CSCsr02317.  After upgrading the WCS this happens.  Clear the browser cache and cookies.  Restart browser and the error message should go away.

Update – Tuesday, August 18, 2009 …

Finished migrating the WCS virtual machine back to the original server (which is now an ESXi box). It runs great, and that is one less server license to pay Microsoft for.


  1. percy said,

    September 3, 2009 @ 7:19 am

    Now what upgrade path did you follow on devices, i’m trying to figure out a way of not loosing management of devices. As you were upgrading WCS, which version of IOS were your devices in?

  2. jdbarney said,

    September 6, 2009 @ 12:05 am

    Hi Percy –

    Let me get back to you on that next week. It is a bit of a juggling act keeping all the software versions and IOS levels in check. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do anything to my controller firmware levels (or the associated access points) before the WCS upgrade. Now that WCS is out of the way, I plan to tackle the controllers next and then the location appliance. I have it all worked out, but it is back at the office. I will post back next week.

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