Cisco ACS – FTP Backup and Restore Config

Backup and restore config is a kind of task that will make our work activity easier. In this moment I want to share some steps on how to do a backup and restore config on Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS). Let’s jump in.

Verify FTP Service to the Server

acs-vpn-lab/cisco# telnet port 21
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
220 Microsoft FTP Service

Create Software Repository

Go to System Administration –> Operation –> Software Repositories. Put the required informations. Mine is below.
Click submit when it’s done. You will see below information


Verify Repository Status

acs-vpn-lab/cisco# show repository BACKUP-FTP                                   

I put a file (bootres.dll) on my FTP server previously to make the repository visible.

Create Conditional Backup

Now we set the ACS to backup the config to the FTP server. You may have an option to do a scheduled backup, but in this case I will do a conditional backup. Go to System Administration –> Operation –> Distributed System Management.


Click radio button on your device name and then hit backup. Supply the information needed like below.

acs backup

Hit submit when it done. It will send the information to the FTP server.

Verify Backup File

acs-vpn-lab/cisco# show repository BACKUP-FTP                               

Restore Config From FTP

For this purpose, you need to execute it from the Cisco ACS command line.

acs-vpn-lab/cisco# acs restore ACS-VPN-backup-28-03-2016-160328-0006.tar.gpg repository BACKUP-FTP
Restore requires a restart of ACS services. Continue?  (yes/no) yes
Initiating restore.  Please wait...
% restore in progress: Starting Restore...10% completed 
% restore in progress: Retrieving backup file from Repository...20% completed 
Please enter backup decryption password [8-32 chars]:
% restore in progress: Decrypting backup data...25% completed 
% restore in progress: Extracting backup data...30% completed 
Calculating disk size for /opt/backup/restore-ACS-VPN-backup-28-03-2016-160328-0006.tar.gpg-1459123813
Total size of restore files are 12 M.
Max Size defined for restore files are 13339 M.
Restoring the data base will affect the distributed setup. For example, replication between primary and secondary will be broken. It is recommended to schedule a downtime to carry out the restore operation. After restore, you will have to configure each secondary to local mode and then re-connect with primary. Do you want to continue with restore operation?.<yes/no>: yes
Continuing restore..
Leaving currently connected AD domains if any...
Please rejoin to AD domains from the administrative GUI
Stopping ACS.
Stopping Management and View...............................................................
Stopping Runtime......
Stopping Database.......
Stopping Ntpd...
% Warning: Skipping restore of application 'acs'. Backup bundle does not contain data for this application.% restore in progress: Completing Restore...100% completed 
Starting ACS ....

To verify that ACS processes are running, use the 
'show application status acs' command.

Verify Applications Status

Config restoration will require application service to be restarted. You may verify the status with below command.

acs-vpn-lab/cisco# show application status acs

Application initializing...
Status is not yet available.
Please check again in a minute.


After few second you will see the status of the applications.

acs-vpn-lab/cisco# show application status acs


Process 'database'                  running
Process 'management'                running
Process 'runtime'                   running
Process 'adclient'                  Restarting
Process 'ntpd'                      running
Process 'view-database'             Restarting
Process 'view-jobmanager'           Restarting
Process 'view-alertmanager'         Restarting
Process 'view-collector'            Restarting
Process 'view-logprocessor'         Restarting


Wait until all applications process are running. When it is done you can access the ACS Web GUI and verify the restored configuration.

acs-vpn-lab/cisco# show application status acs


Process 'database'                  running
Process 'management'                running
Process 'runtime'                   running
Process 'adclient'                  running
Process 'ntpd'                      running
Process 'view-database'             running
Process 'view-jobmanager'           running
Process 'view-alertmanager'         running
Process 'view-collector'            running
Process 'view-logprocessor'         running


Happy labbing!!!.

Ananto Yudi, CCIE Service Provider #38962, RHCSA, VCP6-DCV

2 thoughts on “Cisco ACS – FTP Backup and Restore Config

  1. Hello thanks for the shared knowledge really appreciated and it has been very helpful.
    I am upgrading our ACS

    Version :
    Internal Build ID : B.839
    Patches :

    Version : 5.8
    Patches :

    what are the best steps and recommendation i can apply in this situation i see people online with various issues especially after adding patches at various levels.

    Thanks again

    Adam Hirschfield

    • Hi Adam, thanks for viewing my page. Honestly I never do the upgrade on the ACS as an appliance. I do the installation on vmware. Once I need to upgrade the ACS, I do some backup, Install the new ACS version, restore the config and finally, apply the appropriate patch.

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