Collaboration Edge – VCS X8.1 released, TC 7.0 firmware released

Collaboration Edge is an umbrella term for an architecture.  It allows Jabber clients (Win/Mac/iOS/Droid) to be proxied though a server (Expressway E) in the DMZ back to Expressway C and then CUCM.  Collaboration Edge also includes the ability to proxy remote CUCM registered video endpoints (SX20, EX90, etc.).

Currently Collaboration Edge components are/will be:

  • VCS X8.1 software (called VCSc, VCSe, Expressway C, or Expressway E depending on deployment model.  It’s one actual piece of software.)
  • Jabber 9.6/9.7 software (depending on platfrom)
  • TC 7.0 video endpoint firmware
  • CUCM 9.1

Expressway C and Expressway E is analogous of the VCS Control/VCS Express model, except that it is only for CUCM registered endpoints.  It is actually VCS software.   VCS Control is called “Expressway C” and VCS Expressway called “Expressway E” when deployed as Collaboration Edge (Jabber proxy, and endpoint proxy to CUCM) only.  Depending on size, scale and deployment model it may run co-resident if you already have VCS deployed, or you may need to stand up two new VMs to run it.

VCS X8.1 is now out – the terminology it uses for the Collaboration Edge functionality is “Mobile and Remote Access”  It is called a feature preview in 8.1, and will be prime-time in 8.1.1. – Release notes have some details here – http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/telepresence/infrastructure/vcs/release_note/Cisco-VCS-Release-Note-X8-1.pdf

Download here – http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=283733603&flowid=46003&softwareid=280886992&release=X8.1&relind=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest

Jabber for Windows 9.6(0) Released

Jabber for Windows 9.6 was released today.

Major features include SIP URI diaing, Service Discovery (used for easy end-user login) and various GUI enhancements.   Release notes with details here – http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/jabber/Windows/9_6/ReleaseNotes/JABW_BK_CC514631_00_cisco-jabber-for-windows-release.html

Download it here – http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=284324806&flowid=46406&softwareid=284006014&release=9.6%280%29&relind=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest

Collab Edge capability will be coming in Jabber for Windows 9.7.  More importantly it will be coming to iOS and Droid with the 9.6 releases of those clients in the next month or two.

CoolTerm – Great Windows / OS X USB-Serial Console App

I typically have used iTerm and the screen command for USB-Serial console access.  But CTRL-Break is a nightmare.  SecureCRT is a great app, but they are up to $99 w/only 1-year of upgrades.

CoolTerm is a fantastic little free Windows and OSX Console program.  With a little tweaking it is perfect for serial console into routers/switches.

Once loaded, make the following changes in Options:

  • Select your USB-Serial adapter on the Port list.  Re-Scan serial ports if you didn’t plug it in before launching.
  • On the Terminal menu option select “CR” for Key Emulation, and Check the “Handle Backspace Character.”

Good to go.  Control-Break is just Command-B on the Mac.  Can’t beat that.

DX650 10.1(1) Firmware available

This is the cool release that adds BT Smartphone pairing (your iPhone/Droid shows up at a second line on the DX650, with contacts and call history lists), updates android OS (albeit to 4.1.1), enables multi-user android functionality, allows a corporate background image, and adds the ability to keep the device unlocked during work hours.

Remember a few settings to make the DX650 much more functional:

In device settings:

  • Make sure “Allow Bluetooth Mobile Handsfree Mode” is enabled (as well as Allow Bluetooth Contacts Import) to enable BT Smartphone pairing.  This already is the default.
  • Uncheck “Enforce Screen Lock During Display-On Time” (remember the potential security implications for the end users privacy)
  • Check “Allow Applications from Google Play” to let users install cool apps like Pandora, TuneIn Radio, IP Cam Viewer, etc.

On the phone itself:

Select Settings, and then Security on the left side.

  • Lengthen the “Automatically Lock” timer to something more reasonable.  (Remember if you disable the above “Lock During Display-on Time” this won’t be that important except for after hours.)
  • Check “Phone app – Device will display phone app when locked” box.  This will allow the phone to be dialed when it is still locked, like any typical phone in an office.  In my opinion having this option disabled by default is completely backwards.  You want the phone to be convienent to use as any other office phone.