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Installing Cisco ISE in VMware using the .ISO File

This is a quick article to show how Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) can be installed on VMware ESXi using the .ISO file downloaded from

This article assumes that the reader is familiar with:

  • VMware ESXi
  • .ISO images
  • Cisco ISE

Components used for this demonstration:

  • ISE 2.4
  • ESXi 6.0.0

Upload the .ISO to the datastore within ESXi

To make use of the ISE .iso file downloaded from the Cisco website, you should add the image file to the VMware datastore. To do this navigate to Storage > Datastore > Datastore Browser > Upload.

Create/Register a New VM

On the ESXi hosts, select ‘Create/Register VM‘.

Select ‘Create a new virtual machine’ and click ‘Next’.

Configure the hypervisor settings based on the version of ISE you are installing. ISE 2.4 uses RHEL 7.0 as shown below. Click ‘Next’ once you’ve finished.

Configure the device resources as required for your version of ISE. ISE 2.4 VM system requirements can be found here.

Before moving on, for ‘CD/DVD Drive 1’ select the ‘Datastore ISO File’ in the drop-down menu and select the .ISO image that was previously uploaded to the datastore. Once complete, press ‘Next’. You can review your configuration and proceed to build the new VM.

Once the provisioning of the VM is complete, you should be now ready to power it on and install Cisco ISE from the .ISO image.


  • You cannot use the same .ISO file at the same time for the installation of multiple VMs. If you are creating a distributed deployment, complete the .ISO image install on one VM before mounting it to the next VM.
  • .OVA files do also exist if you know what ISE node you would like to install. Visit for more information.
  • Installation of ISE (depending on resource allocation and other factors) takes approximately 40 minutes.


Kelvin is a Cyber Security professional with years and experience working with organisations in different verticals, both large and small. He enjoys contributing to the Network Wizkid knowledge base and he also creates technical content. Kelvin enjoys learning new things and often does this by working on achieving new technical certifications. He holds many professional certifications and academically, he has achieved a Bachelors and Master's degree in both Computer Networks and Cyber Security.

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