Oct 25

Removed Old Device Firmware after CUCM Upgrade

CUCM v11+ allows the removal of old or unused device firmware easily. It’s a good practice to clean up unused device firmware after completing system upgrades or after succesful completion of device pack installs or individual device firmware installs.

Browse to the OS Administration page and navigated to Software Upgrades -> Device Load Management.
CUCM Device Firmware

Search the ‘Status’ column for the keyword ‘Not’. This lists all device firmware not is use.
CUCM Device Firmware

Select the Select All button (top left), then select Delete.
CUCM Device Firmware

You do get a grace warning message.. Click ok to continue.
CUCM Device Firmware

And now you are just left with device firmware that is currently in use.
CUCM Device Firmware

Make sure to repeat the above process for all Subscribers in the Cluster.

Oct 15

SIP VOIP Dial-Peer Resiliency on IOS Gateway

Configuring resiliency into UC Voice gateway connecting to a CUCM Cluster via SIP Trunks. Typically we would configure retry timers and counts to force the IOS Gateway to route via lower preference dial-peers. With the introduction of SIP Options, we can now effectively shut the dial-peer down (busy-out) if the IOS Gateway cannot reach the CUCM Server within the configured thresholds. This is a proactive method to ensure calls are not being delayed toward the CUCM Cluster. Change the SIP Options Keepalive Up/Down timers to suit your requirements.

I’ve listed below the general Voice Class and relevant dial-peer configuration.

Voice Class

voice class sip-options-keepalive 1
 down-interval 40
 up-interval 20

Dial Peer

dial-peer voice 10 voip
 preference 1
 destination-pattern 0212348[12]..
 session protocol sipv2
 session target ipv4:
 incoming called-number .
 voice-class codec 1
 voice-class sip options-keepalive profile 1
 dtmf-relay rtp-nte
 no vad
dial-peer voice 11 voip
 preference 2
 destination-pattern 0212348[12]..
 session protocol sipv2
 session target ipv4:
 incoming called-number .
 voice-class codec 1
 voice-class sip options-keepalive profile 1
 dtmf-relay rtp-nte
 no vad


To verify both dial-peers are operational run the below cmd.

show dial-peer voice summary

Cisco sip-options

Oct 10

Cisco Expressway 8.8 Features

There a couple of new features in version 8.8 for Cisco Expressway that is worth mentioning. One feature is the introduction of being able to register SIP Devices to the Expressway-C device. H323 is on the road map and will be introduced in a later release. Devices that can be registered include Desktop Endpoints such as the DX and EX Series and room based endpoints such as the SX and MX series. As well as third-party video SIP endpoints.

The licensing structure for such registrations will follow the same principles as CUCM. Desktop endpoints will require a UCL Enhanced or above and Telepresence endpoints will require a Room based license. Partners/Customers will be able to select what Call Control server (Expressway-C or CUCM) the license will be installed on at the time of registering the PAK.

This architecture will now complement Video only infrastructure where CUCM is not deployed in the organisation.

Cisco Expressway 8.8

The second is more a modification as opposed to a feature. The RMS License model has been revised and now the Expressway-E device is the only device required to host an RMS (Traversal) License. Pre 8.8 both the Expressway-C and Expressway-E devices were required to host RMS Licenses.

The one exception being is if the Expressway-C device is performing interoperability between Cisco registered endpoints and third-party standalone or registered endpoints. EG MS SFB Business endpoints.

Cisco Expressway 8.8

Cisco Expressway 8.8

These images were referenced from Cisco’s CCP Presentation.

Oct 01

Activating Services on IM&P – AXL Service

Little gotcha with activating services on the Cisco IM & Presence Server version 11.0.1.XXXXX-X. After selecting ‘Set to Default’ for Service Activation, we can see the Cisco AXL Web Server is indeed already activated – great. However when we go ahead and click ‘Save’, essentially activating the selected services, the Cisco AXL Web Server returns to ‘Deactivated’. This is a critical service to allow Jabber to connect to the IMP Cluster, so you’ll need to go back and check the Cisco AXL Web Service to activate the service.

This is easy to miss and can cause some pain when you try and connect Jabber for the first time..

As we can see below the Cisco AXL Web Service is showing as Activated.

Cisco AXL Web Service

After selecting SAVE, the Cisco AXL Web Service returns to Deactivated.
Cisco AXL Web Service

Sep 29

Cisco CSR 11.5.1 Feature Highlights

Corporate Directory Search for MRA Clients

Cisco Mobile Remote Access (MRA) clients are now able to search the Corporate Directory Servers for contacts. Pre v11.5, MRA clients were only able to search the UDS Contact database. The UDS service within CUCM now acts as a proxy between the MRA client and the Corporate Directory server. So no configuration necessary on the Expressway Devices.

To allow this feature, the below needs to be configured on the CUCM.

- Enable ‘user search to Enterprise Directory’ under System -> LDAP -> LDAP Search.
- Complete the required details and attribute mappings under System -> LDAP ->LDAP Search
- Configured a ‘Directory’ UC Service.
- Assigned the above configured Directory UC Service under the System -> LDAP -> LDAP Search

CLI Privilege Levels

The OS Administrator can now configure additional Administrators via the CLI and give the newly created Administrators either Read-Only access or Read & Write access privileges.

Read Only access is assigned to level 0 privilege
Read and Write access is assigned to level 1 privilege

Cisco Spark Remote Device

With the growth of Cisco Spark collaboration client, CUCM v11.5 has introduced a new Device Type for the Cisco Spark Client. The device type is called ‘Cisco Spark Remote Device’.

Configuring the Spark Device does consume an enhanced License unless the Owner already has ownership over other devices, in that case a device count witll be added to a CUWL or Enhanced Plus license for the user.

This device type is for the Cloud client to register to the CUCM via the Collaboration Edge architecture (v8.8+) and allow the ability to route calls out the local corporate voice gateways. Hence creating a Spark Hybrid environment.

The Spark hybrid environment does have some costs involved. Please refer to the Product information sheet for Spark Hybrid.

Deprecated Endpoints

Cisco has announced the below devices will no longer be supported moving forward in version 11.5 and beyond.

• Cisco IP Phone 12 SP+ and related models
• Cisco IP Phone 30 VIP and related models
• Cisco Unified IP Phone 7902
• Cisco Unified IP Phone 7905
• Cisco Unified IP Phone 7910
• Cisco Unified IP Phone 7910SW
• Cisco Unified IP Phone 7912
• Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phone 7920
• Cisco Unified IP Conference Station 7935

Phone Documents in Cisco Unified Communications Manager Self Care Portal

Cisco does a great job with documentation via the Help Menu in CUCM and relating products, this simply extends to the Self Care Portal now. Allows users to gain easy access to guides and references regarding devices and user relating features and processes.

Addition of AXL Read Access Role to a User

In addition to the CLI Read Only Administrators, Cisco has also create a Read Only access role for the AXL API. This Read Only access role can be safely given to developers knowing their applications can not adversely impact on the CUCM configuration.

The new role is called ‘Standard AXL Ready Only API Access

*Additional 11.5 features can be referenced from the below document.


Sep 25

Deploying Jabber MSI via Group Policy Without Arabic Language

Cisco Jabber is great collaboration tool for any organisation.. The install process for individual PCs is simple and quick.. However deploying Cisco Jabber via Microsoft’s Group Policy is a more painful process for the Windows Administrator. This is because for some unknown reason.. The Cisco Jabber MSI package selects the lowest language identifier to install, this turns out to be Arabic! Great, so how do we deploy Cisco Jabber in English. Well there are a couple of hoops to jump through to have English as the selected language and I’ve briefly documented how below. I’ve also included a link to good Cisco reference and the required EXE’s for Microsoft to play nice.

Download and extract WinSDKTools.zip and install WinSDKTools_amd64.msi on Server (you will need x86 installer if 32 bit). After installing this, go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Bin and double click on Orca.Msi. This will install the Orca application.

Open Orca and navigate to File > Open. Browse to and select the CiscoJabberSetup.msi.

Once the MSI is opened, navigate to View > Summary Information.

Cisco Jabber

Remove all language codes under languages except for 1033 (English).

Cisco Jabber Arabic Language

Click OK and go File > Save As and save over the top of the original CiscoJabberSetup.msi. Language of msi file has now been changed, set up GPO to deploy software.

Cisco Reference:


Sep 15

CUCM and CUC LDAP Sync Error, null

Recently tried to connect to a customer’s Active Directory Server to sync users and groups as per normal.. However this occasion I received a Error While connecting to LDAP… , null. I tried entering a different password to see if I was actually getting into the LDAP server, I was received a username/password error. I also tried modifying the port to 3268 as this Domain Controller I was trying to access was also a Global Catalog Server.. However I received the same null error.


I started digging around and what I found two things.. The Domain Controller had been moved to another general OU and was not sitting in the default Domain Controllers OU, where the Domain Controllers GPO could be applied, surely this can’t be right. The GPO being applied to the Domain Controller had a few Security Options manually configured, the one I was interested in was the Domain Controller: LDAP server signing requirements had been configured to “Require Signing”. Why this had been manually configured , I have no idea.

I had the Domain Controller object returned back into the Domain Controllers OU.. The Default Domain Controller’s GPO had the above setting defined as NONE. This was the default setting.


After forcing the update GPUPDATE /FORCE then logging off and back on.. Wholla! .. I could now sync my CUCM and CUC servers to the Active Directory OU Structure.

Also check the local security policy (gpedit.msc) on the Domain Controller to confirm the above setting was being applied and as it was greyed out, this meant the governing GPO had been pushed down.


Jul 20

Cisco’s Conference Now

Conference Now is new to Cisco Collaboration starting from release 11. The old Meet Me conference in CUCM (still exists by the way in version 11) didn’t meet the audio conferencing needs for many organisations, especially around security and having that conference menu and feel. Hacks had to be put in place, which typically involved UCCX scripting.

The Conference Now feature strongly competes with many of the audio conferencing bridges in the marketplace and best all of all, this feature is standard with CUCM, so no additional licensing is required. The Conference Now feature includes a standard single Meeting Phone Number while allowing multiple Meetings to be hosted simultaneously without the risk of barging into a uninvited meeting room. The Host can choose their own Attendee Access Code aswell, giving control to the user and not relying on IT Administrators to make these simple changes. The Conference Now feature allows includes a lobby room, where attendees can listen to selected music while they wait for the Host to join the meeting. This is a great enhancement for Cisco UC platform.

Configuring Conference Now

Conference Now uses the IVR media resources in CUCM. As we know Media Resources are enabled by activating the Cisco IP Voice Media Streaming App. Usually, you will enable this service as one of the first tasks you undertake when configuring a new CUCM build.

Cisco Conference NowAdditional Info. Can disable/enable the IVR media resource by navigating to the Service Parameters -> Cisco IP Voice Media Streaming App configuration window. Simply change the “Run Flag” setting.

Cisco Conference Now

Cisco Conference NowSo now, we should be seeing the IVR media resources successfully registered.

Cisco Conference NowNext is to configure the Conference Now Meeting Number. This is found under Call Routing -> Conference Now. Assign a DN and Partition. Also allows for two parameters to be modified being Music on Hold and Maximum Wait Time (default 15mins).

Cisco Conference NowAllowing access to host conferences is configured via the End User page. The Meeting Number is populated by the Self-Service User ID. Then check the “Enable End User to Host Conference Now” checkbox and allocate a Attendees Access Code. (The user can change this later).

I’ve also captured the PIN field for the end user, the PIN field is used by the Host to unlock the Meeting Room. I strongly recommend the PIN and Access Code by at least 8 digits in length.

Cisco Conference NowThe end user can now call into the Meeting Room phone number and follow the prompts to start a Conference. Attendees will be able to dial in anytime and join a meeting room, providing they know the Meeting Room ID and Access Code. If the Host has not joined the meeting within 15 minutes (default) the attendees will be disconnected from the lobby area.

Self Administering the Conference Settings.

Users can change the Meeting Room Access Code at anytime, using the Self Care Portal. URL is https://cucm_ip_address_or_hostname/ucmuser

Navigate to General Settings, then scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find the Conference Now Settings.

Cisco Conference NowCisco Conference NowModifying Announcements

For those Administrators who feel the need to tinker with the default Conference Now announcements, all the announcements are located under the Media Resources -> Announcements Menu. Click on the required announcement and either upload a new wav file or select as existing audio file to use.

Cisco Conference Now