Robert's Virtual Networking

BIND DNS UbuntuConfigure Cisco SDM in Simulation Mode on your PC.

A little chatter

Getting acquainted with Cisco Security Device Manager (SDM) when studying for the CCNA or honing your skills with the product can be quite difficult especially when you don't have an actual router to work with or you don't want to interrupt a smooth running production environment. In this how-to I show you how to set up SDM in simulation mode. No router required; it all runs on your Windows PC.

This how-to is done on Windows 7 (32-bit), but will work equally as well on XP and Vista. I've tested it myself on those flavors of Windows. The solutions and files are slightly out of date, but are none the less very current for our needs. To start with you'll need some files to get get started:

  1. The first is the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), version 5.0 Update 22. Download it here. This is NOT the latest version, but it is the most recent version that will work with the simulation. More recent versions of the JRE will fail and we don't want that. Also, your other Java apps will still run fine if you replace your current version of the JRE.

  2. Next, we'll need the demo files. This is what the SDM client will interact with to simulate SDM configuration activities. Download it here. You'll need a Cisco CCO account to download. No cost to create one.

  3. Finally, we need the Cisco SDM client itself. You will use this to conduct simulation activities. You'll also use this very same tool in real world configurations. NOTE: As of this writing SDM version 2.5 is the latest release. We will, however, be using version 2.32 in order to avoid compatibility issues with the demo files, namely the firewall dialog. Download SDM version 2.32 here. Scroll down the page till you find the file named Again, you'll need a Cisco CCO account.   

Setting things up

Bear in mind, we're working with W7 here; if you're working with another version your setup may be different. Now that the disclaimer has been disclaimed let's get to it. Firstly we want to make sure Internet Information Services (IIS) is installed. To do so we go to Start >> Control Panel >> Programs, providing the default is enabled.

Once there select Turn Windows features on or off:
IIS installation

After selecting that we'll install IIS. Here, we only need to install the necessary files to run the SDM simulation. Installing other IIS components won't have an impact one way or the other.
Installing IIS in Windows 7

Next, well install JRE, version 5.0 update 22. Pretty simple; no explanation necessary.

Now that we've completed that task, let's get the simulation files in place. Inside this compressed file is another compressed file. The file is named "". We'll place that at the root of C:\. Do not expand this file, leave compressed in its zipped format.
Cisco SDM

Time to install the Cisco Security Device Manager. Remember, we'll be installing version 2.32 to make sure things run smoothly. Extract the contents of this file and execute the "setup.exe" file to install. We only want to install on the local computer.

Cisco Security Device Manager installation

Running SDM

At this point we need to restart our computer before we get going with SDM ...Go ahead, I'll wait. Ignore any cries from the task bar for a java update.

Welcome back. You should have an SDM shortcut on your desktop. If not, you can access the SDM from the start menu. Go ahead and execute the SDM, issuing the loopback address of for the device IP.
Launching SDM

SDM launches gracefully ...or maybe not. If you're like me you run Firefox as your default browser and therein lies an issue. So, with Firefox as your default browser, executing SDM gives you the following:Using Security Device Manager (SDM) with Firefox  

Good? Not so much. No problem though, we'll just run it in Internet Explorer; IE8 in this how-to. First, copy the URL and paste it into Internet Explorer ...most likely something like:


Next, delete the the end portion of the URL beginning with the ampersand. The part in bold is what you want to get rid of:


So, you're left with ...


You'll most likely get a warning from IE about scripts and Active X controls. Click on the message and allow blocked content. A pop-up appears with the same warning. Do the same for this window as well. Do not close this window, doing so will close SDM. SDM now appears:
Cisco SDM main screen

You're ready to start working with SDM, but before we do so, let's activate one of the SDM's features. from the SDM interface select Edit >> Preferences and check the Preview commands before delivering to router checkbox. I like this feature, because it allows you to see what CLI commands your GUI actions execute. We'll see this in action in a minute ...

Or how about now?  There are many, many things you can do with SDM. In this how-to we'll configure our "router" to serve as a DHCP server. Doings so is pretty easy. Select Configure >> Additional Tasks. Then expand DHCP and select DHCP Pools. Click on the "Add" button to get started.
Configuring DHCP server using Cisco SDM

Enter you information
Entering DHCP information with Cisco SDM

Hit OK and review your commands. and then click deliver to execute.
Reviewing SDM Commands

And we're done. A couple of parting shots. First, Any configuration and changes you make via the simulation will be lost on exit. Second, the Cisco SDM has since been replaced with the Cisco Configuration Professional (CCP). More information on that tool can be found here - Good luck and happy routing!