CE 8.2 code on the DX70 and DX80

***UPDATED***  The Devpack, CE8.2.1 and conversion cop are now available on CCO.

CE 8.2.0 firmware for the DX70 and DX80 posted to CCO today.  (But of course we’re still waiting for the Devpack with the QED that will be released in the next week or so.)  The release notes are here.  The Official Conversion Guide is here.  Any instructions in this guide would override what I’ve said.

I’ve been running the beta for the last few weeks and can absolutely say CE code on the DX is MUCH more responsive, stable and usable than the Android-based code.  (That said the last few builds of 10.2(5) android code have been pretty decent.)

CE 8.2 code is absolutely the code to move to if your primary use for the DX is for video calls.

 

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Why move to CE on the DX?

  • Responsiveness.  No more lag!  It’s snappy.
  • Stability.  Seldom, I had the random crash and full-reboot during video calls with Android.  While it was pretty rare, it was super frustrating.
  • Video-centric user interface.  It run CE codec code now and feels like a Cisco codec (like SX10, 20, etc.) now.  It’s all about the video call.
  • Registration to VCS/Expressway
  • Far-end Camera Control
  • OBTP (one button to press) meeting launch and TMS management
  • Fully customizable wallpaper


Why stay on Android?

  • You need Android applications.  CE doesn’t run any apps, period.
  • You use the built-in Cisco Webex and Jabber Android apps on the DX.
  • You need a local web browser.  CE doesn’t have a web browser built in.
  • You are currently using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.  The CE code doesn’t yet support Wi-Fi or BT.  (That’s coming in a follow-on release.)
  • You need telephony features on the phone like CFwdAll, Shared Lines, Voicemail button, Auto answer.

What happens to Android?

Android will be supported on the DX70 and Dx80 for the life of the product.  Keep running it if you need features that will always only be specific to Android (local web-browser, Android Apps).  The DX650 will remain Android-only.

Converting to CE Code using CUCM

Note: You have a couple options to convert to CE code.   CUCM of course or, as the conversion guide notes, there is a public TFTP server on the internet provided by Cisco to convert a DX using.  As far as CUCM, you can convert the DX either onnet or connected via MRA registration through Expressway.

  1. Upgrade to the latest build of Android code – 10.2(5)207 by installing the COP file on CUCM, restarting TFTP and rebooting your DXes.  (Either way you want to go to this code because of all of the bugfixes.)
  2. Install the latest (Early July 2016) Devpack:
    CUCM 11.0.1:  cmterm-devicepack-11.0.1.22048-1.cop.sgn
    CUCM 10.5.2: cmterm-devicepack10.5.2.14076-1.cop.sgn
    CUCM 9.1.2: cmterm-devicepack9.1.2.16137-1.cop.sgn
  3. Install the Devpack on CUCM as well as cmterm-synergy-ce8_2_1_no_defaults.cop.sgn (or latest version) so that it gets the Telepresence DX70 and Telepresence DX80 device type QED installed.  Reboot your cluster.  (Unless you’re on CUCM 11.5 which doesn’t need the immediate reboot!!)  Or bug someone you know for the standalone CE 8.2 QED in the meantime.
  4. This devpack should have the CE 8.2 firmware, but if not install the CE 8.2 COP file – mterm-s52040ce8_2_1.k3.cop.sgn (or current); restart TFTP.
  5. In CUCM, change the Phone Load of the existing DX80 to the CE 8.2 phone load name specified in the conversion guide.  For 8.2.0 it is sipdx80.ce821.rel.loads
  6. The DX80 will take a few minutes (10-15) to upgrade to CE 8.2.1.
  7. Take note of the MAC address of the DX80 in the CUCM device, because you are about to DELETE the DX80 device!
  8. Delete the DX80 device from CUCM.
  9. Create a new Telepresence DX80 device in CUCM and paste in the MAC address of the DX80 you just deleted.  Set the appropriate device settings and add an extension/SIP URI to the device.
  10. On the DX80 itself, run through the startup wizard and pick UCM registration or UCM through Expressway (if your endpoint is registering through Expressway).
  11. You’ve now got a DX80 on CE 8.2 code
  12. Enabled Web Access in CUCM device settings so that you can get to the DX80 GUI.
  13. Login to the GUI and set the admin password.  (This step may not be needed, setting the admin username/password was not available in earlier CE betas via the CUCM device setting page.)

 


Other Notes

  • The Touch 10 doesn’t work on the DX80 or Dx70, you must use the built-in touch screen on the DX.

8800 Series 11.5(1) Firmware – Enhanced Line Mode

11.5 firmware for the 8800 series phones is on CCO now.

It comes with a bunch of cool new features.

Enhanced Line Mode

The coolest and most useful that I’ve seen requests for is the new Enhanced Line Mode.  (I’ll abbreviate it ELM even if there’s overlap with the PLM/ELM acronym.)  ELM allows all 10 buttons on the phones to be used a programmable line keys (PLKs).

The mode we’re used to includes 5 PLKs on the left, and 5 context-sensitive function keys on the right.  I like this mode, having gotten used to it back in the day with the 9900 series phones, but hear customers who need more than 5 PLKs (in particular for admin/receptionists who want more than 5 BLFs or Shared lines).

 

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As you can see in the picture, I can now use all 10 buttons.

While the firmware is out now, there is a Devpack required to enable the ELM feature on the device configuration page.

The release notes indicate that you should get the latest Devpack from CCO, install it and reboot the cluster to enable the ELM setting.  The challenge you’ll hit is that the latest Devpack on CCO as of today (mid-June) doesn’t actually include the QED file that enables the ELM setting.  The Devpack that inclues the QED will release in the next couple weeks.

Look for a Devpack with a late-June/early-July date stamp if you want to turn this feature on.

Enhanced Do Not Disturb

The DND function has been updated to be much more obvious which is nice.

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Other features to mention:

  • Wi-Fi Security Enhancements
  • Customized Dial Tone for SIP Phones

See the release notes for more information about the last two.

 

 

CUCM 11.5 Released – Warning!

CSR (CUCM/IM&P/CUC) 11.5 has been released!  It includes a lot of cool new features but there’s a warning that needs to be shared for customers who have legacy phones.

New Features of note:

CUCM 11.5

  • “Hitless” Device Pack Installation.  Add new device types without an immediate reboot.  TFTP restart required, and Publisher reboot at next maintenance window.
  • Read-only AXL user role.  (Finally!)
  • PIN Sync to Unity Connection
  • User-customizable  Display Name field searchable in the directory for users who want a nickname or short name.  (e.g. Mike White vs Michael White — both searchable)
  • Directory search for MRA clients/devices
  • UCM Scale Increase with same OVA spec
  • Single SAML SSO Agreement per Cluster
  • Next Gen Encryption (DOD Suite B)
  • VMWare ESXi 6.0 support, Single SAML IdP per Cluster

 

IM&P (Jabber Server) 11.5

  • Multi-device Messaging.  Finally copies of chats messages are sent to all clients, not the most recently active.  Read notifications sync’d across all devices.
  • Persistent Chat HA and support for MS SQL (in addition to currently-supported Postgres and Oracle) for Persistent Chat functions.

Unity Connection

  • Full video messaging.  In addition to video greetings, video messages can be left in inboxes.  Video playback is supported from the handset, and not Jabber at this time.  (This functionality requires Mediasence as the video engine.)
  • PIN Synchronization between CUC and CUCM
  • New Media Player replaces the old MediaMaster applet
  • Support for Exchange 2016/Outlook 2016, Windows 10, MS Edge Browser
  • Next Gen Encryption (DOD Suite B)
  • VMWare ESXi 6.0 support, Single SAML IdP per Cluster

 

The warning is located in the release notes.  Certain legacy (i.e. REALLY OLD 12+ year EoS models) phones WILL NOT WORK with CUCM 11.5.

Update: A Field Notice has been posted.

This is a drastic change from previous versions were the phones are no longer supported and may not work properly anymore rather than disabling these models.  For example, I have an old 12SP+ at the office and it would register to CUCM 10, but not really work right.  In the case of 11.5, IT WILL NOT WORK.

Realistically the only models that I still see customers with are the 7935 Conference Station, 7920 Wireless, and 7910.

If you have these endpoints, understand that most have been EoS for over 12 years, and that there is a very aggressive phone trade-in program to get 20-30% extra discount (on top of your normal discount) to go to the new 8800 series phones.

Deprecated Endpoints

As of Cisco Unified Communications Manager Firmware Release 11.5, the following phones are not supported:•    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

If you use any of these phone models on an older release of Cisco Unified Communications Manager and you upgrade to Release 11.5, the phone will not work after the upgrade completes.

Here’s an example from my CUCM where I have a 7905 defined.  The phones stays there, but this giant warning appears at the top.

CUCM11.5