Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Deciphering Cisco Prime License Manager: What is using what licenses, how can I tell which users are being counted as CUWL Std? How do I know which users are Enhanced?

Hi Guys

Remember that funny joke Cisco told us a few years ago? How they where going to make licensing for CUCM way easier? How everything would be so much better with Prime License Manager? Ha Ha they are so funny!

But seriously, short of having a certificate program for their licensing, Cisco Licensing for collaboration platforms remains incredibly difficult and confusing, especially when it comes to maintenance.

To help make a bit more sense of it all, this post will be continously updated as I find out new licensing issues and how to resolve them.

One of the first issues I ever encountered was working out exactly why some users where being classified as enhanced, some as enhanced plus, some as CUWL STd, etc. etc. It has always been very confusing to me to work out WHY

Thankfully, in CUCM 10.5 to Cisco's full credit there is a tool that can help you determine this:

Go to System -> Licensing -> License Usage report and you should see a helpful screen like this one:

As you can see, on the right hand side you can actually click the report to get a list of the users who are consuming particular types of licenses, this really helps narrow it down. You may find that after you make changes to these users to try and avoid the license count issues you will have to click update usage details, as well as sync the product instance in your prime license manager.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Virl 2.0: Bigger, Better and 100 percent More Cisco (Wait, just version, but with good enhancements)

VIRL has been around for a little while now, for those like me who bit the bullet and paid the $150 asking price it's a decent product BUT a lot of the functionality you could obtain in GNS with admittedly older hardware platforms.

The fundamental missing component for GNS has always been a lack of Catalyst Switch Support. GNS includes  something called "IOSl2"

For those with VIRL already bought and up and running, you can find in-place upgrade instructions here: http://community.dev-innovate.com/t/virl-system-update-available-v0-9-17-february-release-upgrade-instructions/2234

For those of you going to purchase VIRL, you can find the setup instructions and a link to purchase here: http://virl-dev-innovate.cisco.com

(Note: Installing VIRL is not hugely complicated but it's fairly time consuming, so set aside some time to get it up and running)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Great Explanation of the SIP Diversion header

Hi Guys!

Found this blog post on the SIP diversion header and had to share it, really good explanation of exactly when it's used, his reading of the RFC is most enlightening:
  • A change to the ultimate destination endpoint of a request. A change in the Request-URI of a request that was not caused by a routing decision. This is also sometimes called a deflection or redirection.
  • A diversion can occur when the “user” portion of the Request-URI is changed for a reason other than expansion or translation.
  • A diversion can occur when only the “host” portion of the Request-URI has changed if the change was due to a non-routing decision.

In other words, some sort of forward set on the users phone.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cisco Mediasense (Cheap and cheerful Call recording)

Hi Guys!

Edit: I have found a great free enhancement for Cisco Mediasense http://www.aurus5.com/phoneup/record/mediasense.php that allows you to easily search and categorize records. I haven't personally checked it out yet but it looks interesting.

I recently had to install Cisco MediaSense to configure another feature, Cisco Mediasense from everything I can tell is essentially a fairly rudimentary call recording solution. Cisco talk a lot about it's open API, network-based etc. etc. but for me it's really just a great way to get cheap recording.

To deploy it, first all you need to do is obtain the ISO and install it as a virtual machine just like any other Voice application.

It is licensed per concurrent recording, from what I could say the price per user hovers between $20 to $40 bucks, so for an organization with a T1 and a small call center it's pretty cost effective, around $400 to $500 bucks (maybe a little more once maintenance is added) to record up to 24 sessions at a time.

There is another part number available for it:  MCP-10X-AUD-10PACK which includes 10 concurrent ports.

The configuration of media sense itself is extremely straightforward, when you first login to the mediasense server it will prompt you to configure a username/password for connectivity to AXL on CUCM.

Note: this SHOULD NOT and infact CANNOT be your usual admin user, resist the temptation to just slack off and use your admin account and instead create a new AXL user for this, they will also require CM administration privileges.

Once this is done MediaSense is essentially configured! Their is very little you can configure except for selecting which users can utilize the 'Search and play' functionality.

You do this by navigating to Administration - Mediasense API user Configuration

The fact that they call this section Mediasense API user, along with the very limited functionality available to the user makes Cisco's insistence that this is simply a device for COLLECTING the media, not for organizing/searching through it even more obvious.

The GUI that is available to search through recordings can be found on at the following URL:


You can login with the user you defined as a mediasense API user previously.

The GUI is pretty limited as you can see and you can see in terms of searching and organizing, but you can export the recordings, save them and even perform a live monitor by clicking on "Active Calls"

For CUCM configuration the first step is to configure a SIP trunk pointing to the IP address of the Mediasense server, this is straightforward so the steps for this are not outlined below.

Once this is done, you need to create a route pattern and point a number to this SIP trunk.

Finally, you need to define a call recording profile under:
Device -> Device Settings -> Call Recording Profile

 The settings for this are shown below, obviously replace 9998 with the number you configured previously and pointed to the SIP trunk

To configure a phone to use the call recording feature, you must first make sure the phone has a Built in Bridge enabled under the phone configuration, next, you must go to the phones line and select the call recording profile:

 For troubleshooting, I find it helpful to turn on the recording beeps so that you can tell the call is being recorded. This can be found back under the phone device configuration:

 So there you have it, cheap and cheerful call recording that might be all you need for certain situations.

I hope this helps someone out there!