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Category: Video Conferencing

How to Enable CDR & CMR on CUCM

How to Enable CDR & CMR on CUCM

The Call Detail Records (CDR) and Call Measurement Records (CMR,  also referred as “Call Diagnostics Records”) offer details for each phone call passing by the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM). In CUCM CDR CMR records are disabled by default, so that you have to enable them manually.

You can enable CDR and CMR in CUCM by following steps below:

How to Enable Call Detail Record (CDR) on CUCM:

  1. Login to administration page on Publisher CUCM. Click System -> Service Parameters menu.

2. Then select your server which has callmanager service enabled and then select Cisco CallManager (Active)

3. On System section find CDR Enabled Flag Parameter and set to True. If you’d like to see calls with zero duration, find CDR Log Calls with Zero Duration Flag (just below the CDR Enabled Flag)and set to True.

4. Do this for each CUCM Server if you have more than one server that has Callmanager service enabled.

How to Enable Call Measurement (CMR) on CUCM:

  1. On the same Service Parameter menu, go up and click Advanced.

2. Find the Clusterwide Parameters section, and change Call Diagnostics Enabled Parameter from Disabled to which option you wish.  

Note: Since CMR parameter is in Clusterwide Parameters, you don’t need to enable this on each server.

How to Get Wireshark Capture in CMS?

How to Get Wireshark Capture in CMS?

In this article, you can find steps to get Wireshark Packet Capture over Cisco Meeting Server (CMS).

While dealing with Cisco Meeting Server (CMS), you may encounter many errors such as audio / video packet loss, signaling problems, and you may need to listen to network traffic from time to time to fix them. In this article, you can find steps to get Wireshark Packet Capture in Cisco Meeting Server (CMS).

CMS Wireshark Packet Capture Steps:

  • First, connect to your CMS server via SSH to access the CMS MMP interface.
  • In some installations, CMS may have more than one network interface. So, after connecting, use the callbridge command to find out which interface to capture from:
Find Interface Using “callbridge” Command

To start the packet capture process, use the pcap command (in our example we will use the pcap a command):

Starting Packet Capture with “pcap a” Command
  • Once you start the Packet Capture process, re-create the traffic you want to listen to, and then use the Ctrl + C key combination to finish the capture process.

Note: The size of the .pcap file can be up to 100MB.

  • You can use an SCP program to download the generated .pcap file (in our example we will use WinSCP). Connect to the CMS using the username and password that you SSH connection with the SCP program, and find the corresponding .pcap file, and then download it to your computer:
Accessing the pcap File with WinSCP

That’s all 🙂

Google Meet and Noise Canceling Solution with Artificial Intelligence

Google Meet and Noise Canceling Solution with Artificial Intelligence

Because of the pandemic period, you know that web video conferencing systems have become very popular with working from home. Although Zoom is dominating the market, Google is also one of those who want to increase it’s market share. It aims to add new features to its platform day by day. Thanks to noise canceling feature recently added to Google Meet, Google seems to have made an innovation in this area.

In April 2020, Google announced that Meet’s noise canceling feature is available for G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education. We should also point out that the father of the idea of this feature is G Suite Product Management Director Serge Lachapelle. Serge Lachapelle has worked on video conferencing technologies for 25 years, (13 of which are on Google) and he is quite experienced.

Beginning of the Project

Basically, this project starts with acquisition of Limes Audio in January 2017. The main idea arises from the difficulties experienced in the meetings held with the participants in different time zones (sounds of children and pets of home workers, breakfast sounds, etc.).

How to Prevent Noise in Google Meet?

Maybe there are those who use it, some headphones and smartphones have noise canceling mechanisms that use multiple microphones. This method basically works by extracting the sound signal received from far end microphone than the sound signal received from main microphone. The feature offered in Google Meet is implemented using a completely cloud-based infrastructure and machine learning, independent of user device.

A machine learning model (denoiser) needs to be trained to find out what is speech and what is not speech, to understand the difference between noise and speech, and then to filter only speech. Serge and his team use their own meetings to train the model, then the algorithm is matured by Youtube videos which includes many people and then manual verification methods. Ultimately, the system can intelligently filter background distractions such as dog barking, pen clicking and much more.

As you can see in the video below, while talking, Serge shows how the feature works by making noise with things like a nut bag, a pen and a glass-spoon. Non-routine noises are heard loud as soon as they start, but over time these noises are damped:

Google Meet Noise Cancellation Demo

As you can appreciate, your voice needs to be listened by Google in order to use a noise canceling system with artificial intelligence. The voice encrypted by the user is decoded and analyzed in Google data centers, and the filtered voice is also encrypted and transmitted to the users. Although the analysis of the sound by listening is a question mark on the part of the user, it is stated that this analysis is made only within denoiser. I think that it is very important to realize these transactions in a short time, especially for real-time communications.

To activate this feature, just click the three dots on the bottom right during the meeting and activate Noise cancellation from Settings:

Google Meet Noise Cancellation Ayarı
Google Meet Noise Cancellation Settings

Last Words

The method of processing data in the center (in the cloud), which is a method that Google loves, and leaving the user side more lean, has also emerged in another area. For now, this service, which is still limited to G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, will be available to all Google Meet users soon. In the future, I think that Google may offer it to other service providers as a cloud service.

How to Install Jitsi Meet on Ubuntu

How to Install Jitsi Meet on Ubuntu

PS: If you need professional assistance about installing & configuring Jitsi Meet, you can contact me via contact link.

Jitsi Meet is a very usable and simple WebRTC based open-source multi-platform video conferencing solution. It can be even cloud based solution or you can install it on your premises. In this blog post, I will explain how to install Jitsi server on your Ubuntu based linux platform.

Installing Jitsi Meet is very easy if you want to install it on Ubuntu linux platform. In this guide you can find how to install Jitsi Meet on Ubuntu by using .deb packages.

I assume that you can install Ubuntu linux and I will continue from that point.

First, let’s install base packages like sudo & ssh, so set that up first. Log in from console as root, then install the necessary packets.

apt-get install -y ssh sudo ufw apt-transport-https

Add your non-root user (mine is ferikci) to /etc/sudoers file.

 ferikci  ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL 

Now you can continue with your user by using sudo commands.

(Optional) Enable UFW firewall and open the needed ports:

ufw allow in ssh
ufw allow in http
ufw allow in https
ufw allow in 10000/udp
ufw enable

I have to warn you that if you are connected to your linux machine via SSH, enter “ufw enable” command after entering “ufw allow in ssh” command, otherwise you may lose your current SSH connection.

If you will use your Jitsi server with a hostname, please be sure that /etc/hosts file includes your hostname:

127.0.0.1 localhost jitsi.test.local

Now re-login with your non-root user via SSH for the rest of the setup.

Add the Jitsi GPG key.

wget -qO - https://download.jitsi.org/jitsi-key.gpg.key | sudo apt-key add -

On Ubuntu systems, Jitsi requires dependencies from Ubuntu’s “universe” package repository. To do this, add the universe repos with the following command:

apt-add-repository universe

Add the Jitsi repository and update apt

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://download.jitsi.org stable/' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jitsi-stable.list"
sudo apt-get -y update

Install Jitsi-Meet

Now you’re ready for Jitsi server installation. Use the command below to install jitsi-meet with dependencies:

sudo apt-get -y install jitsi-meet

You will be asked your hostname but do not only write your hostname, you MUST write as FQDN, otherwise you will encounter with problems. By the way, be sure that the FQDN can be addressable with your DNS server (Or you can insert the FQDN to your host file.).

Jitsi Hostname Configuration

After that you will be asked for certificate. In this installation I will use self-signed SSL certificate, so select the first option.

Jitsi SSL Certificate Configuration Menu

The installation will be completed after a while and it will put you to the command prompt. Reboot your linux machine:

sudo reboot

Now it’s time to connect to your video conference GUI. Use https://FQDN to go to the main page of Jitsi server:

https://jitsi.test.local

You will see a greeting page with a room name input field. Just enter a room name and click Go button.

Jitsi Meet Greeting Page

That’s it! You can add more participants with the same procedure or by using URL https://FQDN/roomname

https://jitsi.test.local/testroom
Finally Jitsi Meet is Alive!

Running Jitsi Meet Behind a NAT

If you wish to use your Jitsi server behind a NAT, you must configure your router to forward the following ports to your Jitsi Meet server:

  • 80/TCP
  • 443/TCP
  • 10000/UDP

Next you have to add following lines to /etc/jitsi/videobridge/sip-communicator.properties file:

org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_LOCAL_ADDRESS=[INTERNAL.IP.ADDRESS]
org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_PUBLIC_ADDRESS=[PUBLIC.IP.ADDRESS]

For example, here is my configuration:

org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_LOCAL_ADDRESS=192.168.1.20
org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_PUBLIC_ADDRESS=95.9.74.32
Cisco Webex Room USB Review

Cisco Webex Room USB Review

As you know in video conferencing and collaboration technologies, Cisco is the hardware and software manufacturer with the highest market share. However, as software-based solutions have emerged over the past 1-2 years, there has been an increasing demand for integrated video conferencing devices as well as audio and video transceivers. While Logitech took the lead in this market, there were many innovative products on the market (I also reviewed the most innovative Jabra Panacast in this article). Cisco will also want to take a share in this market that last January it made a serious introduction with its new product, Webex Room USB.

Cisco Webex Room USB is a device that turns any endpoint (Laptop, Desktop, SFF PC etc.) into a video collaboration center. The software you use does not even need to be Cisco, you can use this device with any collaboration platforms (eg. Microsoft Teams, S4B, Zoom, Slack, Jitsi etc.). Let’s examine the features of this device in more detail.

Cisco Webex Room USB Features

Cisco Webex Room USB is an ideal device for meeting rooms with 2-5 participants thanks to its 120 degree view camera. Basically, the device is in the form of a soundbar with embedded camera and placed on top of the screen. Apart from that, it has a remote control and a USB cable. There are also kits for display and wall mounting, a physical privacy cover for the camera, and two cables for HDMI and Ethernet connectivity. The prominent features of the device are as follows:

  • Camera Quality: Cisco Webex Room USB has a 4K UltraHD camera that can shoot video at 60 frames per second. It can automatically adjust the brightness and white balance supported by the 8MP image sensor for maximum clarity. With the artificial intelligence technology it contains, it has the feature to intelligently frame the image and a number of analytical functions for meetings so that everyone can be clearly seen by automatically detecting the meeting participants.
  • Sound Quality: There are integrated microphones and speakers on the device. Thanks to it’s automatic noise reduction feature, it can filter out distracting ambient sounds such as paper rustling and tea sugar mixing sounds. With the speaker design, it offers a more saturated sound experience, especially at low frequencies where human voice is dominant. To listen to the difference in sound with other manufacturers (Logitech), you can check out the video in this link.
  • Digital Signage Display: I think this feature is the most important feature of Cisco Webex Room USB that distinguishes it from other competitors. It can be used to turn connected PC displays into a digital signage when the device is not in use. You can use this feature for sharing corporate news, creating brand awareness, etc.
  • Content Sharing: It supports 4K content sharing as well as wireless content sharing via the web browser. In this way, you can find the opportunity to reflect your content on the screen easily.
You Can Also Use Webex Room USB As A Digital Signage Display

Apart from these, you can access more detailed technical features through the datasheet in this link.

Comparison With Other Vendors

As I said at the beginning, there are a few players in this market, especially Logitech. In the table below you can find comparison with the two most common devices:

Product /FeatureCisco Webex Room USBLogitech MeetUpPoly Studio
USB Camera, Speakers & microphoneYesYesYes
Intelligent Camera & SoundYesNoNo
Device SettingsYes (via Webex Control Hub)NoNo
Wireless content Sharing Yes (via Webex or a web browserNoNo
Digital Signage Display Yes (via Webex Control Hub) NoNo

In the video below you can see how you can connect Webex Room USB to your computer and use it as an audio and video device:

Cisco Webex Room Kit Mini USB

Cisco Webex Room USB Price

If you have a software solution or a service subscription for your video calls, you can get this device, which provides a Webex Room Kit Mini quality call experience, at a list price of $ 2,750 (of course, this is not the actual sale price). Compared to the Webex Room Kit Mini, the price of Room USB is less than half the price of Mini.

Last Words

For small businesses and organizations that want to switch to video communication, it might be a good idea to start with Cisco Webex Room USB and then turn it into a Room Kit Mini with an upgrade kit. In this way, you can both keep the initial investments very low and have a solution that will provide the highest level of video call experience.