Cisco UCS C260 M2 Rack Server – Basic RAID Policy

It sure is easier than Ctrl-H…  I configured another UCS RAID using your guide!

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Excellent post from UnplugThePBX!

UnplugThePBX

So I said I wasn’t going to do this part, but I have received some feedback that people would like one location to go to in order to get an end-to-end configuration. In Part 2 I showed the necessary configuration on the Microsoft Lync side to set the Cisco Subscribers as the PSTN gateway for Lync.

There are a number of steps that need to be done successfully for you to be able to make calls between Lync and Cisco phones, those steps are identified below:

  • Identify or create a region
  • Identify or create a device pool
  • Identify or create a partition
  • Identify or create a calling search space
  • Create the SIP trunk
  • Create the Routing Pattern
  • Create the Translation Pattern

Identifying or Creating a Region

A Region is used to specify codec and bandwidth for audio calls within that Region and between Regions. As I have already noted, the…

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Quality Management 8.5.(2) – Agent configuration ok, but no recordings.

March 8, 2012 3 comments

Soon I will detail how I installed, configured and integrated AQM with CUCM and UCCX. For now I am just providing quick tips on issues I faced after implementing AQM 8.5(2).

The main issue was that a large number of agents were not recording even though all configurations were correct. To keep it simple, and after looking through the RecordServer.dbg logs we ran into a caveat where AQM was not able to record or close the call properly due to a connectionID of 0.

Description of problem: due to an initial connecitionId of 0, we fail to make callkeys, this causes either calls not to be recorded or files not to be closed properly hence we do not finish after call process of the files.

Issue Tracking: Splkzilla 29883, CDETS #CSCtw56486

File: recordserver.exe

Component: recording service

You will need to contact Cisco/Calabrio support to get an “ES” that’s available to address this issue. They also have SR1 available but you might not want to install it if using Network Recording architecture as they have identified an incompatibility issue with CUCM 8.6.

Quality Management 8.5.(2) SR1 – Incompatibility with CUCM 8.6.2

March 8, 2012 1 comment

Your company might be using Cisco Quality Management 8.5.(2) for network recording architecture. This product seems to be the best one out there as it uses the recording capabilities already built-in CUCM and the IP phone built-in-bridge. It is awesome to see how it all works and integrates together.

Please be ware of the following Cisco notice in regards to AQM 8.5 and CUCM 8.6 incompatibility issues.

Notice: There is a known compatibility issue between Cisco Unified Communications Manager, CUCM, 8.6.x and Cisco Quality Management, QM, 8.5.(2) SR1 affecting Network recording.  The issue is currently under investigation but until resolved customers with this product combination should not deploy Workforce Optimization Quality Management 8.5(2) SR1

Hope this helps some one out there!

Upgrading UCCX 7.x to v8.x – Reference Links

March 5, 2012 5 comments

As you read from my initial post, it sure was a bumpy ride to get to a working Call Center using Cisco Unified Contact Center Express v8.5 SU2. For the same reason I’ll be sharing my project documentation, software BUGS and steps taken to upgrade UCCX v7.x (physical) to v8.5 (VM). For now, here are some useful UCCX links that I used to prepare my documentation and as a guide to make this upgrade project a success!

Reference materials:

1. Virtualization for Unified CCX

2. Migrating to Unified CCX Release 8.5(1) from Physical to Virtual Server

3. UC Virtualizaion Downloads:

4. Upgrading to Unified CCX 8.5(1)

5. Upgrading Software:

6. PUT Installer:

7. Answer File Generator

8. UCCX OVA Templates:

Cisco Unified Communications v 8.x Upgrade a Success, but…

January 4, 2012 1 comment

The weekend of Dec 10th, I successfully upgraded Cisco’s Unified Communications solution from v7.x, running on physical servers, to v8.x running on VMware. It was a monumental upgrade that I have been working on since July 20th 2011. This project was such a high risk upgrade that it had visibility from all senior management levels.

D-Day: Saturday 10, 2011.

I arrived at the data center at 7:00am and with my Café con leche and a cigarette in hand I was just thinking to myself: “it is what it is, nothing else I could do to make it a success!” I was scared as there is always room for something to go wrong, but at that moment I realized that I had to face the unknown. Well, the unknown is what scares me…

This upgrade project is not only about Call Manager and Contact Center X. Have you heard of Workforce Management? What about Quality Management, Attendant Console and Unity Connection?! Not to mention those 3rd party IVRs like Edify and VoiceXML applications integrated with the phone system I’m about to upgrade! “These” are the unknown to me… OMG!

I sure can feel comfortable with CM, but I have not worked with these other technologies nor were they covered on the CCNP-Voice exams!

The good news about these technologies is that they are Cisco branded and there is plenty of documentation available that not having worked with these should not be a show stopper. The only non Cisco products were Edify and VXML voice apps that have their own dedicated engineers for support. That was easy; we just made the engineers aware of the upcoming upgrade and for them to double check compatibility. Once they gave us the green light that there should not be a compatibility issue, I dropped them out of my worries…

Ok, now it is time to unplug all the physical voice servers from the live network. This was heart stopping! What a thrill! Even though all were unplugged we still had a working call center as we kept the primary Call Manager and the primary Call Center servers up and running. We gracefully shutdown all backup servers and removed them from the server rack to make space for the new VM hosts. After all the new servers were rack mount, the new UC VM environment came to live.

It is now 9:00am and we have turned on all UC VM servers and made sure all services were active. We also plugged in all network interfaces into the core switch ports which are in “shut” state. And right before entering the “no shut” command, we finally unplugged the two primary Call Manager and Call Center servers from the network.

This is where my heart skipped a beat! We looked at each other and saw all the phones trying to register… There was no dial-tone; inbound and outbound dialing not working. The entire call center was down!

At this point it is matter of waiting to see if anything comes alive. Are we going to get dial tone? Are the voice gateways registering with CM? What if they don’t?

It has been a month since we went live and so far we have a working call center! In fact, the entire call center downtime was only 15 minutes! For me, that’s a success! As soon as the IP phones and voice gateways registered with Call Manager I was able to get dial tone and make in/outbound calls. 🙂 That feeling of relief was amazing! The worst, not having a call center at all, has passed.

So far UCCX and CUCM seem to be working fine on the VM cluster. We only experienced a few minor JTAPI issues where agents could not login to the Call Center. The Attendant Console was a breeze to install and easy to configure; just took a little reading and some trial and error.

I can for sure say that hard work and dedication sure pays off, but…

There are two major and critical servers left that are as equally important as the overall success of the upgrade. These are Workforce Management and Advanced Quality Management servers. WFM is used for forecasting, agent schedules, call center historical data, etc. And AQM is used for quality and call recordings.

Yes, they are not working 100%. I shoot so high during my project planning that I wanted for everything to work smoothly and not have to worry once comes Monday… In what fantasy world am I living in?!

This is the most frustrating part of it all, me having such high expectations of me and not being able to fully deliver on these two servers… Well, I have to learn that WFM and AQM are not my specialties, and the fact that I took the challenge to upgrade and integrate these technologies should be enough for me to smile! 🙂

I am smiling as they are working, but again, not 100%. I have to learn to expect issues to arise and that technologies might not always work as designed. That is part of the learning phase of these technologies and the understanding part of their behaviors once they are in production.

Turns out that WFM is actually working and collecting historical data from the Call Center server, but it is taking too long as many of us requested the same data slowing the automatic capture process. It’s just a matter of patience as it will take a few days for the data to catch-up with real time information.

AQM seems to be working fine as well. The only reason few recordings were showing is that not all phones/agents were fully configured within QM admin and CUCM.

Next, AQM screen capture not working… more to come!

Hello world!

Hello world! Come on, you’ve got to love the way this phrase sounds and how it’s used everywhere! :#) Ok, enough of that! I had to throw it out there since it was already there….

This is me, Moises Rivera, “A” no one who came from an enchanted Caribbean island to the US with no idea of what’s laying ahead… Hello World!

A no one you might say, yes! I still feel this way, but the reality is that I’m now “A” someone who has a career in a field few have dared to tackle.  VoIP, Cisco VoIP! I still don’t know what VoIP stands for or how to spell my wife’s name, but I can sure upgrade a company’s VoIP infrastructure to the latest Cisco Unified Communications System!

Wow! This is awesome! This is incredible! This is something only those who are technically gifted can do! you might say. Hmmm… have I said that I can’t even spell Zsuzsanna?! Thank God for spell check! 🙂

Ok you may need some talent, but I’m telling you, it’s not always about spelling bee! What I am about to share is what’s been the hardest part of it all… knowing how, not! The hardest part, for me, has been to acknowledge that I have the skills to understand what I’ve been tasked with and the ability to research how to successfully complete my task! And the best part, it’s all out there! The only skill I needed was to “learn how to fall in love with VoIP”! And that’s when you need to trust in yourself, have logical thinking and a technical education; the experience will come along as you progress with your career.

This is all about sharing my Cisco VoIP experience with you and I hope to, somehow, help someone out in the “world” with their career as Cisco VoIP.

-Moises

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