Feb 09

Configuring Basic DNS for Cisco UC

One the topics that is generally overlooked is the creation of a solid DNS architecture. These days DNS is relied upon to maintain the upkeep of any domain, in my opinion Cisco UC products are much more aligned to using DNS than the old ways of just plugging in an IP Address for each service. The project I undertake now, I’ll always ensure the DNS architecture is looked at and configured first. It’s amazing how smooth a Cisco UC implementation is with the DNS infrastructure configured according to best practices.

In this article, I will touch on DNS and records that are created to ensure a smooth initial implementation.

The Cisco Install will throw an error during install if you enable DNS Client and have not yet created the DNS A Records! I like to plan and document all the DNS Records I’ll need for the Cisco UC install in its entirety. But obviously this is not a necessity.

For all you Cisco geeks out there, we are going to spend most of time with modifying the Forward Lookup zone. This is the zone by which DNS Names are resolved to IP Addresses and just for completeness the Reverse Zone is for resolving IP Addresses to DNS Names.

Right-Click on the Forward-Lookup zone and select New Host (A or AAAA) Record.

Enter the Name of your CUCM Publisher, as you enter the name, the ‘Fully qualified domain name (fqdn) is auto populated.

Now enter the IP Address of the CUCM Publisher. Be sure to check the box “Create associated pointer (PTR) record”. This is the record that will sit in the Reverse Lookup zone.

Repeat this process for every Cisco UC server. CUCM publisher, subscribers, CUC Publisher and subscribers, IMP/CUPs publisher and subscribers, Cisco VCSc and VCSe servers etc, you get my drift.

At this point you can go ahead and install your servers without errors.

Jul 04

Video Conferencing Setup with 8941 phones

Given that businesses are opting for IP Phones with Video Cameras for point to point communications to get that face time when talking to each other they’ll also be interested in Video Conferencing, however the costs of an MCU for some is not a viable option. Cisco for some time now has included basic video conferencing functionality built-in to the PVDM3 Modules. The requirement is to have a PVDM3-128 or higher module. No you can’t have two PVDM3-64’s installed onto the Motherboard. Needs to be a single PVDM3-128 Module or PVDM3-256 module.

The video conferencing configuration is a two part process just with any Media Resource. First part is to configure CUCM Media Resources, and the second part is to configure the Vide Conferencing on the IOS Device.

In my example today I will be configuring Video Conferencing for Cisco 8941 IP Phones. So I’ll be configuring a Homogeneous video conference. There are two more conferences available which are a Heterogeneous video conference and a Guaranteed-Audio video conference. I won’t be discussing these two today. So Lets get started.

Start by visiting the Cisco.com website and navigate to the DSP Calculator. (http://www.cisco.com/cgi-bin/Support/DSP/dsp-calc.pl). We need to work out the percentage of the DSP Resources we need to reserve for Voice related services. Complete the required details and what type of conference, maximum sessions and conference participants. The calc will a DSP count of what you need for video services.

IOS Configuration

Voice-card 0
Set the dsp reservation for voice related services. Integer is a percentage.
voice-service dsp-reservation 40
Allow the DSP to share its resources
dsp services dspfarm

Configure the DSPFarm Profile

dspfarm profile 5 conference video homogeneous
codec g711ulaw
codec g711alaw
codec g729ar8
codec h264 cif frame-rate 30 bitrate 320kbps
maximum conference-participants 8
maximum sessions 4
associate application SCCP

*Note. Cisco 8941 IP Phones support H264 HD with CIF and 30p/s Frame Rate. I have also limited to the bandwidth to 320kpbs. This plus the G711 codec *64kkpbs is 384kpbs. (Default for inter-region for CUCM) Of course if the negotiated codec was G729r8 the bandwidth would 328kbps. This figure does not include headers information.

The maximum sessions and conference-participants parameters are dependent the how many resources you have allocated for Video. I’m using a PVDM3-128 and have allocated 60% to video resources so this allows me to configure 4 sessions with 8 participants or 2 sessions with 16 participants.

SCCP Configuration

sccp local Loopback0
sccp ccm identifier 1 priority 2 version 7.0
sccp ccm identifier 2 priority 1 version 7.0
sccp ccm group 1
bind interface Loopback0
associate ccm 2 priority 1
associate ccm 1 priority 2
associate profile 5 register VCFB_DC_HW

CUCM Configuration

Make sure all Locations and Regions are configured correctly.

Go to the Media Resource Tab and select Conference Bridge. Add New Select Cisco IOS Homogeneous Video Conference Bridge The Conference Bridge Name has to match the configure name under the SCCP CCM Group configuration. In my case its VCFB_DC_HW Complete the remaining details and you’re done.

Now just add the Video Conference to an MRG and then the MRG to an MRGL. Assign the MRGL to you Device Pool or to the phones directly. Now attempt to setup wither an ad-hoc or Meetme conference.

CUCM only supports Loudest Speaker Mode. So the IP Phones will display the person who is the loudest. CME also support Presenter Mode where you can statically fix the person who is displayed on the conference participant’s phones.