How to configure Cisco switch in 11 steps?

In this page, we will explore the configuration process for a Cisco switch. By configuring your Cisco switch, you can effectively manage its functionality, ensuring versatility, power, and optimal performance. Discover the essential CLI switch commands and the 11 configuration steps necessary to configure and manage a Cisco switch.

Steps to configure Cisco switch using CLI

Step 1: Use an external emulator such as Telnet or a PuTTY to login to the switch.

  • Connect the switch to the computer by utilizing a console cable that is connected to the console port on the switch and the serial port on the computer.
  • Open puTTY -> under category choose serial -> in "Serial line to connect to" box provide the COM port to which the cable is connected -> configure the serial line transfer settings -> Click "Open"
  • Initial command prompt "Switch>" appears on the screen.
  • Type "enable" next to it and press "Enter"(we don't need any password to enable at this stage).
  • This will take you to the "EXEC" mode, also known as the Global Configuration mode.
  • Go to configure mode using the configure terminal.
  • Input the configuration commands by typing one command per line.

Switch# configure terminal

Step 2: Provide a hostname for the switch to function in a particular network environment

The provided hostname should be unique within the network in order to facilitate easier identification of the switch. It is also advisable to adhere to any naming standards in order to easily categorize the devices with names.

Switch(config)#hostname <switch_name>
Switch(config)#hostname Cisco_switch_x

Step 3: Configure IP address management

To enable remote connectivity to the switch via SSH or Telnet, it is necessary to configure the IP address. Any VLAN can be selected for configuring the IP. Please utilize the following commands:

Switch(config)#interface vlan1
Switch(config-if)#ip address<ipaddress><mask>

Switch(config-if)#ip address

Step 4: Configure an administration password (enable secret password)

Configuring an administrative password for the privileged exec mode is essential to restrict access. Without this password, anyone with console credentials will have the ability to configure the switch.

Switch(config)#enable secret <password>
Switch(config)#enable secret P@$$w0^d

Note: This password will have to be given before entering into config mode once it is configured.

Step 5: Configure and change default switch credentials

Changing the default password of the switch is crucial, as it is widely known. To modify the password for an existing user, follow the commands provided below:

Switch(config)# username admin privilege 15 password <PASSWORD>
Switch(config)# username admin privilege 15 password P@$$w0^d

We can also create a new set of credentials as given above with desired privileges.

Step 6: Configure default gateway

In order to enable remote accessibility of the switch, it is necessary to configure the default gateway. Ensure that the provided default gateway is within the same network as the device (network router IP can be provided as gateway IP).

Switch(config)# ip default-gateway <IP-address>
Switch(config)# ip default-gateway
Switch# show ip route

Step 7: Configure password for console, Telnet, and aux ports

To establish a secure connection, it is essential to restrict access to the switch through all input ports.

For line console, enter below commands,

Switch(config)# line con 0
Switch(config-line)# password p@$$w0^d
Switch(config-line)# login
Switch(config)# exit

For line vty, enter below commands,

Switch(config)# line vty 0 4
Switch(config-line)# password p@$$w0^d
Switch(config-line)# login
Switch(config)# exit

For line aux, enter below commands,

Switch(config)# line aux 0
Switch(config-line)# password p@$$w0^d
Switch(config-line)# login
Switch(config)# exit

Step 8: Configure static route

In the absence of entries in the dynamic routing table or when there is no specific route available, the switches are capable of forwarding packets via the configured static route.

Switch(config)# ip route <dest_IP_address> <mask>
Switch(config)# ip route
Switch# show running-config

Step 9: Configure interface description

We can configure interface description using below commands

Switch(config)#interface fastethernet 0/1
Switch(config-if)#description Development VLAN

Step 10: Set Duplex mode

The duplex mode governs the data transmission between the switches and the endpoint. When set to full duplex, the switch is capable of both sending and receiving data from the endpoint simultaneously.

Switch(config-if)#duplex full

Step 11: Save the configuration

Switch#write memory
Building configuration... [OK]

How to configure a Cisco switch with Network Configuration Manager?

You can use Network Configuration Manager's Configlet feature to configure Cisco switch. You can automate the process by pushing the commands for configuring a switch to multiple devices at one go. In case, you want us to help you with configuring your switch on Network Configuration Manager's console, you can contact NCM support.

  Configure Cisco switch
Execution mode Script execution mode
Description This Configlet is used to configure Cisco switch along with basic configuration commands
Configlet content

configure terminal
hostname cisco_switch_x
interface vlan ip address
enable secret P@$$w0^d
username admin privilege 15 password P@$$w0^d
ip default-gateway
show ip route
ip route
show running-config
interface fastethernet 0/1
description Development VLAN
duplex full
write memory

The above table shows how the configuration commands will appear on Network Configuration Manager's Configlet command tab.