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LAN & WAN Reviews

Configuration

Getting set up with OnPlus is very easy and summarized in the graphic below taken from the OnPlus Service data sheet page. Out of the box, the ON100 is preconfigured to talk to the Cisco OnPlus portal. Before you plug it in, the instructions direct you to create an account on the OnPlus website.

OnPlus setup summary

OnPlus setup summary

Creating an account on the portal is a matter of completing a few pages of information. A requirement to creating an on-plus account is having a cisco.com account. This is also free; it is just a matter of registering on Cisco's website.

With your account created, connect the OnPlus device to your LAN. Once connected, the device will get an IP address on your LAN via DHCP then contact and connect to the portal. Since the ON100 lives on your LAN, it can initiate outbound connections to connect to its mothership. No port forwarding or UPnP support is required in your router for the ON100 to connect.

Of course, if you run a tight network with a firewall configured to pass traffic only for devices and services that you allow, you'll have to authorize the ON100 to phone home. The diagram below taken from this Cisco whitepaper describing OnPlus' security architecture, illustrates OnPlus' communication flow.

OnPlus communications flow

OnPlus communications flow

Configuring the ON100 and OnPlus service was relatively straightforward, once I got my head around it. The ON100 isn't a router, switch, or server. It's a cloud-connected network appliance that is controlled by configurations you apply in the cloud. Thus, a lot (most?) of the intelligence in this system is in the cloud.

There are two places for applying configurations; the ON100 itself and the portal. The ON100 is configurable via browsing to its local IP address. It has a simple menu for status, maintenance, and configuration. These menus provide options to view status, reboot or reset, and modify basic network settings. In my tests, I didn’t apply a single config to the ON100 device; I entered all configurations in the OnPlus portal. Below is a screen shot of the ON100 status screen.

ON100 local status

ON100 local status

Feature Overview

As you can see in the screenshot below, I have my ON100 device up and communicating to the OnPlus portal. I created my OnPlus account under the name SmallNetBuilder, then created a customer called ReidNet associated to my OnPlus device.

ON100 cloud portal

ON100 cloud portal

The menus across the top are Overview, Notifications, Reports, Agents and Cisco. The Overview menu presents the screen shown above. The Notifications menu allows you to define the message types to deliver to a specific email address. The Reports menu allows for creating and viewing various reports. The Agent menu provides tools for creating additional users of the portal.  Finally, the Cisco menu provides useful details about Cisco network devices being monitored by OnPlus such as warranty, end of life, and the availability of firmware updates.

For example, one of the devices I have on my test network is a Cisco SG200 switch. The OnPlus Warranty Information menu automatically determined the device model and serial number and displayed its warranty start and end dates, shown below.

Sample device warranty information

Sample device warranty information

Three additional options in the portal are for Account, Support, and Documentation. The Account menu allows you to adjust your OnPlus Account details, the Support menu opens a web-based forum for posting questions and reviewing comments from other OnPlus users, and the Documentation menu brings up a web page with the OnPlus manual covering portal configuration options. I found the OnPlus manual quite useful. You can download a PDF of the User guide here.

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