Starter Kit

Document created by mathaker on May 29, 2014Last modified by mathaker on Sep 18, 2014
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You will use the SDK starter kit to verify successful end-to-end management layer communications from your implementation of the Cisco reference design.  Phase-1 of your development will verify the following functionality from your comm module:

  • MAC and PHY layer connectivity to the CG-mesh (RF or PLC)
  • IPv6 to the next-hop node and to the Field Area Router
  • DHCPv6 client
  • UDP
  • CoAP
  • CSMP

The starter kit will NOT test the following security features built into your comm module. Verification of those security features will be the next phase of your development process and it will require the use of Cisco's hosted headend.

  • 802.1x Authentication
  • 802.11i Security
  • CGNMS server authentication

The starter kit networking topology is illustrated below.


The IPv4 addresses on Application Server eth interface and the management laptop can be corporate assigned and private. The IPv4 address on the FAR eth2/1 interface needs to be globally routable static IPv4 address. This is a necessary requirement to communicate with our cloud infrastructure (Connected Grid - Rapid Endpoint Development Infrastructure-as-a-service or CG-REDI).

Please contact us for IPv6 addressing scheme for the interfaces on the FAR including IPv6 address for the WPAN interfaces and the GRE tunnel interfaces.

The following sections describe each element within the Starter Kit.

Field Area Router

The FAR is a Cisco CGR 1240 or CGR 1120 device.  Its function is to act as the edge router to the CG-mesh network consisting of your endpoint devices.  It provides the following:

  • MAC layer functions
    • IEEE 802.15.4G (RF mesh)
    • IEEE P1902.1 (PLC)
  • IPv6 convergence and routing
    • 6LoWPAN
    • RPL
  • DHCPv6 Relay
  • Network time synchronization
  • 802.1x authentication functions (required during Phase 2 of the development)
  • 802.11i security exchange functions (required during phase 2)

Find out more about the FAR here: CGR1000

Endpoint Devices

These are your RF-mesh or PLC based endpoint devices with your implementation of the Cisco comm module reference design embedded in them.  RF mesh endpoint devices will communicate wirelessly with the FAR.  Please ensure that they are co-located with the FAR to start.  Once successful communications have been established, you may move them farther away for your own acceptance tests.PLC endpoint devices will communicate with the FAR over their own power supply.  Please ensure that the FAR and the endpoint devices are co-located and on the same power strip.

PC or Laptop

This is a conventional PC or laptop device (Windows, Mac or Linux) with Ethernet (RJ45), WiFi, and one or more USB ports.  We also recommend that this PC or laptop should have another network interface (such as WiFi) to your corporate LAN and the Internet.  This serves several purposes:

  1. enables you to maintain your own personal work flows with your corporate tools and resources while operating the starter kit
  2. enables you to access Internet-based resources such as the CDN web portal for Cisco code drops
  3. enables you to engage with Cisco support personnel using "screen-share" applications such as Webex if needed during phase 1 or phase 2 development.
  4. Enables you to establish "clientless" VPN access to CG-REDI infrastructure, for reviewing and managing CG-NMS for your endpoints

One USB port will be connected to the FAR's console port using the serial cable shipped with the FAR.  You will need to supply your own USB to serial converter.  Additionaly, you may need to install a software driver for that adapter.  Additional USB ports on the PC or laptop may be connected to your endpoints for debug purpose as appropriate.  On this PC you will need the following software programs:

Application Server

Application Server shown in the Starter Kit hosts partner's server application which could be a Collection Engine for AMI endpoints, control servers for DA endpoint devices and/or SCADA servers. The Application Server would connect to the CG-REDI infrastructure using sofware-based SSL VPN Client called Cisco AnyConnect. This is support for the following major OS platforms - Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OSX, Linux.

The following diagram shows alternative setups for the Application Server:


The topology on the left serves as an option where Cisco AnyConnect based software SSL VPN would not work for the Application Server connection to CG-REDI infrastructure, possibly because the server OS does not supported Anyconnect, or the Application Server is deployed as an embedded platform. In this case, the partner deploys a CE VPN router at the premises which creates a IPv6 GRE over IPSec tunnel connecting to the CG-REDI infrastructure.

The topology on the right is an alternative to hosting the Application server on the partner facility. Here the partner hosts the Application Server on a third-party cloud, and connects back to CG-REDI over AnyConnect software client.

Other Considerations

You may consider connecting one of the additonal ethernet ports of the FAR to your corporate LAN.  This will enable remote SSH connections to the FAR from your LAN.  This may prove useful for you when in monitoring the status of the starter kit from your own desk.

Once the Starter Kit and the Application Server topology is implemented, the Starter Kit can connect to Connected Grid - Rapid Endpoint Development Infrastructure-as-a-service (CG-REDI) for cloud based network infrastructure services.