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Cisco IP DECT Solutions

Cisco IP DECT Solutions

Cisco has introduced IP DECT Solutions, which have been developed to meet the need for wireless telephony. Until now Cisco didn’t have a DECT phone solution in its product family and this situation being complemented by Wi-Fi or 3rd party DECT products.

Cisco IP DECT products operate in the USA and Canada in the frequency band range of 1920 – 1930 MHz and 1880 – 1900 MHz frequency band in other countries. The IP DECT series currently consists of 210 series base station and the 6825 series handheld terminal.

Let’s take a closer look at these products:

Cisco 6825 IP DECT Handset

Cisco 6825 IP DECT Handset
Cisco 6825 IP DECT Handset
  • 2 Inches 240 × 320 Pixels 65K Color Display
  • Up to 17 Hours of Talk, 200 Hours of Standby Time
  • 2 Lines Supported
  • Narrow Band (G.726) and Wide Band (G.722) Codec Support
  • Bluetooth and 3.5mm Wired Headset Support
  • Waist Clip
  • Dimensions: 117 mm x 46 mm x 20 mm
  • Weight: 86 gr.

Cisco 210 IP DECT Base Station

Cisco 210 IP DECT Base Station
Cisco 210 IP DECT Base Station
  • 30 Handheld Terminal Registration Per Single Base Station
  • 5 Simultaneous Calls With Broadband Codecs and 10 Simultaneous Calls With Narrowband Codecs in Single Base Station
  • Multicell Technology
  • Scalability Up To 254 Base Stations
  • Total 1,000 SIP Device Registrations
  • Total 1,000 Simultaneous Calls with Broadband Codec, 2,000 Simultaneous Calls with Narrow Band Codec
  • G.711 (A-law & mu-law), G.722.2, G.726, G.729 (a & ab) Codec Support
  • PoE Class 2
You Can Use Multiple Cisco 210 Base Stations In Your Network (source cisco.com)
You Can Use Multiple Cisco 210 Base Stations In Your Network (source cisco.com)

In the Multicell concept, there is no central mechanism to control base stations. When deployed, one base station becomes the master station, and the other stations connect to master with the “Chain ID” defined on the base station and start their data synchronization. Yeah, that’s all.

Supported Platforms

Since the IP DECT series is a multiplatform product, it supports almost all PBXs using the standard SIP protocol. Here are Cisco’s officially supported platforms:

  • Asterisk
  • Cisco BroadSoft BroadWorks
  • Cisco BroadCloud
  • Centile
  • Metaswitch

Even looking at this list, you can actually understand Cisco’s strategy in unified communications solutions. 🙂

Last Words

Although Cisco has always put WiFi phones in the foreground, DECT phones -which have a soft belly in the projects- have started to meet the need. As I wrote in my previous article, we will see if Cisco can surpass its competitors in this field with OpEx oriented solutions such as UCaaS and HaaS.

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Review

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Review

Cisco announced Webex Desk Pro at its 2019 Partner Summit event on November 6th, 2019.

During the event, they announced the collaboration solutions as a solution that can be installed together under a single infrastructure of systems that can be installed both in the cloud and in the organization. The name of this single infrastructure that includes call, messaging, meetings, devices and call center will be called as Webex.

Webex infrastructure, which has become quite flexible in terms of integration, will also be able to work integrated with the business tools such as Microsoft, Google, Slack and Salesforce.

Cisco Webex Desk Pro
Cisco Webex Desk Pro Introduction

After the launch of the infrastructure, two products, Webex Desk Pro and Webex Panorama, were launched in the device category. (I want to explore Webex Panorama in more detail, so I am saving it for another post)

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Features

Cisco Webex Desk Pro is a personal collaboration device with a structure similar to current DX80. Of course there are new features that distinguish it from the DX80. Let’s summarize them briefly:

  • 27 ″ 4K Touch Screen
  • 71 Degree View Angle HD Camera
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence and Analytics
  • Microphone Array with Noise Canceling Mechanism
  • Premium Sound System
  • USB-C Connection
  • Support for Web Applications
Webex Desk Pro Has a Touchscreen

Compared to previous models, Webex Desk Pro has new features like face recognition and artificial intelligence. In this way, it knows who is in front of the device and can address the person by it’s name. It can also adjust the camera according to your posture. You can blur the background of the camera image or replace it with another image. I have to add that personal assistant Webex Assistant is also in it.

The Cisco Webex Desk Pro can also be used as a docking station and a touchscreen monitor with a USB-C connection.

Cisco – Microsoft Collaboration

In addition to these innovations and products, Cisco-Microsoft cooperation was also introduced. Microsoft Teams, which initially seemed to be Webex’s competitor, will now be able to work directly with Webex rooms. (hello to those who are trying to integrate Skype for Business with CUCM in the past🙂)

Hardware as a Service (HaaS)

Cisco has also announced the option of Hardware as a Service (HaaS) as a service for IP telephony, desktop and room collaboration devices. In this service, institutions can have the equipments with long turm subscription contracts instead of buying them.

HaaS combined with Flex Plan, turns into a model that can be owned with fully operational costs, with no investment costs for enterprises, which is good news for many businesses from SMEs to large enterprises. Who wouldn’t want to own a Cisco IP phone for $5 or a Webex video conferencing system for $60 a month?

In the HaaS method, if you proceed with a 3-year membership model, at the end of 3 years you can continue the service on an annual basis or if you extend your membership for 3 more years, the devices are replaced with new ones. If the devices have become EoS at the end of 3 years, you can also replace them with new models.

For now, HaaS is only offered in the US, but many countries are considering providing this service in a short time.

Last Words

Cisco, which has developed many pioneering technologies and concepts in the field of collaboration, has produced an exciting product. Webex Desk Pro, a personal collaboration and productivity product, will be available for purchase on February 2020.

Snoopy on Cisco 7800 IP Phones

Snoopy on Cisco 7800 IP Phones

Don’t be surprised if you see a cute Snoopy image on your Cisco 7800 series IP phones. I faced this issue couple of times in phones which are already deployed and used for a while, and also just after unpacking the brand new phones. In this blog post, I will try to explain what does this mean, and what you can do to recover the phone back to normal operation.

Symptoms

When the phone powers up, Cisco logo appears on boot, then after a while phone screen just displays a cute Snoopy image. Some people may think this is a background image or some kind of screensaver, but actually it is not. At that time the phone freezes and it doesn’t respond to any key press or anything.

Snoopy on Cisco 7821

Root Cause

Snoopy is the internal code name of Cisco 7800 series IP phones. Seeing a Snoopy on 7800 series IP phones means that the phone didn’t get flashed with the proper firmware during manufacturing or there’s a corrupt firmware in phone’s flash memory.

Snoopy & Woodstock on Cisco 7861

Recovery Procedure

If you are facing this Snoopy issue with your phones you can basically do the following:

  • Try to reset the phone with the procedure shown here.

If the above doesn’t work, try this:

  • Configure a DHCP and a TFTP server in your LAN and set Option 66 in DHCP pool configuration to a TFTP server with firmware and a SIP configuration file that points to the firmware. After thet check your DHCP server logs to see if the phone request for an IP address. If you are lucky, phone will have an IP address and try to get it’s firmware.

If these procedures don’t work, that means you can’t do anything to that phone to recover. And if you have a valid Cisco support contract, you can open a TAC case to request for an RMA.

CUCM Common Partition – How to Clean?

CUCM Common Partition – How to Clean?

Sometimes when you go through RTMT logs on a Cisco Unified Communicatios Manager (CUCM), you can see a critical warning of “LogPartitionLowWaterMarkExceeded“. This happens when free space in CUCM common partition becomes low.

In most cases this problem doesn’t affect the whole system to function, but the low space on disk may cause problems if you want to do some installation (eg. device pack) or upgrades.

CUCM common partition is also called as log partition and is mostly filled with CDRs, CUCM traces and phone firmware files from TFTP server. LogPartitionLowWaterMarkExceeded alarm is occured when the log partition disk space percentage reaches the “Low WaterMark” treshold. You can take this alarm as an early notification to clean up the disk space. CUCM doesn’t have such kind of automated cleanup process until the “High WaterMark” value is reached.

What Should I Do To Clean CUCM Common Partition?

To clean up and free some space in the common partition, you can do the following:

  • Change the threshold values of LogPartitionLowWaterMarkExceeded to 50% and LogPartitionHighWaterMarkExceeded to 60%, and then restart “Cisco Log Partition Monitoring Tool” service and after couple of hours you should see that the used space is decreased.
  • Delete unused log by using RTMT Trace/Log Central to collect logs/traces with “Delete Collected Log Files from Server” option.(this is for both active and inactive partitions). Select relateive range as 8-9 years to delete all unused logs.
  • Delete the old unused phone firmware files from the TFTP server.
  • Use CUCM script called ciscocm.free_common_space_v1.1.cop.sgn (you can find & download it in cisco.com) that deletes all files from the inactive common partition. But please be informed that after using this script, you won’t be able to switch to previous CUCM version.

If you want to reduce the CUCM common partition usage, you can do the following:

  • Deactivate Detail/Debug trace level.
  • Reduce the number of trace files to be stored.
  • For CDR: reduce the High Water Mark, reduce the occupied disk space, and reduce the number of days to store CDRs.

Taking a Screenshot of a Cisco IP Phone

Taking a Screenshot of a Cisco IP Phone

The screen capture function which is available on Cisco IP Phone models can be very useful, especially in some situations that require remote support. In the following article, you can find the procedure for taking screenshots for Cisco 7800 and 8800 series IP phones.

First, let’s verify some settings on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM).

CUCM Settings

In order to take a screenshot of a Cisco IP phone, the phone first must be paired with a CUCM user (End User) and web access must be enabled in the phone settings page. You can make these settings from the CUCM Administration page using the Device -> Phone menu and selecting the corresponding phone.

First you need to open the web interface of the phone. To do so, enable Web Access in the Product Specific Configuration Layout section.

Cisco IP Phone Web Access Settings

Then we need to pair the IP phone with an end user. Select the end user in Owner User ID section on the same settings page.

Pairing End User With Cisco IP Phone

After selecting the end user, select the relevant user from the User Management -> End User menu and ensure that the corresponding phone is added in the Controlled Devices field of Device Information section.

User – IP Phone Matching under End User Settings

After applying these settings, go to System -> Enterprise Parameters menu and check the user authentication URLs that the phone will use when accessing the web interface. Related settings can be found in the Phone URL Parameters and Secure Phone URL Parameters.

Service Authentication URL Settings in Enterprise Parameters

Authentication on IP phones uses the URL format below:

http(s)://cucmcip/authenticate.jsp?UserID=<id>&Password=<password>&devicename=<nameofthedevice>

If the information entered is appropriate, browser displays a simple AUTHORIZED message, and if there is inconsistency in the information, UN-AUTHORIZED message is displayed. Below is a sample URL and its output:

You Can Check Your CUCM End User & Password This Way

Tip: If you want to by-pass authentication on IP phones, you can redirect the Authentication URLs under Enterprise Parameters to a webpage that will always respond as “AUTHORIZED” 🙂

Taking a Screenshot of a Cisco IP Phone From a Web Browser

If you have done all of the above steps properly, you can now take a screenshot of your IP phone. To do so, you can use the following URL:

 http://cucmip/CGI/Screenshot 

After entering the username and password, you will see an image like the following:

Cisco 7821 IP Phone Screenshot Tkane From a Web Browser

Troubleshooting

If you get an error message like this in your web browser:

 <CiscoIPPhoneError Number=”4” /> 

This problem is probably related to authentication. Verify that the IP phone is in control of an end user and that the user’s credentials are correct. To see this easily, you can test and adapt the above authentication URL format to your phone. If the URL works but the phone’s web page still shows the same error, reset the phone and try again.

 <CiscoIPPhoneError Number=”0” /> 

This error indicates that the phone cannot connect to the URL provided in CUCM for authentication. There can be many things that can cause this issue, and almost all of them are about the accessibility. Please check the settings like routing from IP telephones to CUCM (or authentication server), DNS etc.