Notes about Upgrading to CSR 11.5

Helped a customer upgrade from 11.0 to CSR 11.5, CUCM 11.5(1)SU1; IM&P 11.5(1)SU1; CUC 11.5(1)SU1.

Unity Connection 11.5

You must apply ciscocm.cuc_11.5SU1_pre_upgrade.cop.sgn before you upgrade to 11.5 because of bugid CSCvb02774.  The install of the patch is straightfoward and does not require a reboot.  I also ran a utils iothrottle disable to make the upgrade run faster (since it was being done after hours.)

If you’re upgrading from 10.x or earlier it is CRITICAL to increase your VM RAM to 6GB.  (This was something I ran into when going to 11.0.  If you leave it at 4GB  it will not function properly at all.)

The upgrade ran normally and took a quite a while for the switch-version to complete.

On a site note, I noticed that the new Unity Connection (CUC) 11.5 .ova files define a 200GB HDD for the bigger VM.  I investigated increasing my HDD from 160 to 200GB, but found out that CUC does NOT support dynamic resize of the HDD.  This will cause the partition to be unaligned and you’ll get to rebuild CUC from scratch.  So leave it at it’s current size.


CUCM 11.5

To save time during the upgrade window, the day before I preloaded the 11.5 ISO on my remote ESXi datastores so that it wouldn’t take forever for the ISO to SFTP over to the remote offices (they have limited bandwidth) , then I attached those ISOs as virtual DVDs to the CUCM servers via vShpere and then launched those upgrades as though they were coming from DVD instead of a remote file server.

The first attempt to launch the upgrade on the Pub failed with the old “common parition doesn’t have enough space” business.  I used RTMT to decrease the Low and High logging watermark to 45 and 40 respectively (and restarted the log partition monitoring service) to create room.

Purge Log Files by Changing the Log Partition Watermarks

  • Another way to create additional disk space is by changing the high and low watermarks on the system. This informs Unified CM of the numbers of log files to purge once the watermark is reached. Use RTMT as follows:
  1. Launch RTMT and log in to the desired cluster.
  2. From the left pane, select Alert Central.
  3. On the right pane, double-click LogPartitionHighWaterMarkExceeded. Change the threshold value to 40.
  4. On the right pane, double-click LogPartitionLowWaterMarkExceeded. Change the threshold value to 45.
  5. This data is polled every five minutes. Allow five to 10 minutes and then check the drive partitions for additional disk space by using one of the methods described above.

http://docwiki.cisco.com/wiki/Unified_CM_L2_Upgrade_Disk_Space_issues#Purge_Log_Files_by_Changing_the_Log_Partition_Watermarks

 

As usual, I ran the Pub first (without switching version), when it completed, I ran the Subs (also without switching versions).

If you’re coming from 11.0, the utils iothrottle disable command is not necessary.  (You can try to run it but CUCM 11.0 tells you it is unneeded.)

I rebooted the Pub and then Subs as normal.


IM&P 11.5

This was also a typical upgrade.  The switch-version took a LONG time for services to come up on the reboot.

 

 

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).

 

File_000

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.

File_000(1)

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.

 

 

8800 Handset Firmware 11.0(1)

One common criticism of the 8800 10.x firmware was it’s behavior in truncating Line Text Labels when there was ample space on the display to show more characters.  Version 11.0(1) fixes this:

 

IMG_5212

 

(Sorry for the mediocre photo.)

The Line Text Label supporting 30 characters (the maximum supported in the LTL field in CUCM) on a single line on the display.  There’s some cool stuff coming in the next release of code which will add even more functionality to the 8800 series.

Firmware 11.0(1) adds the following features:

 

The highlights being the ability to use the BIB for Barge, and official support for MRA.

 

DX 10.2(5) Firmware Released

Are you about ready to throw your DX out the window because dialing with the Phone app is an unresponsive nightmare as it tries to do a lookup on every call it’s ever made?  🙂

Well the fix is out.  The Phone app is revamped and actually doesn’t suck.

I’ve been running the 10.2(5) beta firmware for a few weeks and have been much happier with my DX80 and 650.  The final build is now out.

Would you like the DX to stay on your PC input when a call comes in?  It finally does!

Would you like HDMI audio from your PC to actually come out the DX speakers?  You got it!

Release notes are here.

One thing to note for MRA users.  The DX only trusts public CA certs like the 8800 series now.  So if you’ve deployed your Expressway-E with private certs, you’ll bust MRA on the DX if you dont move to public certs.

Catalyst 3850 IOS 16.1.1

Upgraded my 3850 to Denali 16.1.1 today. The new unified web GUI for the whole switch is pretty slick.  There are a ton of new features. See the Release notes here.  Now this is the first release of 16 so I don’t know I’d jump on it for a production network until there is a bug fix rebuild, or at least without checking the open caveats.

I ran into a problem that the APs would register, the radios just wouldn’t come up. Nothing I tried in the GUI (like bouncing the radios between disabled and enabled) would get them to go Operationally UP.

Turns out the secret was to go into the guy and do a “no ap dot11 5ghz shutdown” and a “no ap dot11 24ghz s.”  The radios came right up and everything is working again.

Registering an SX-10 (and TC-based endpoints) through Collab Edge MRA

Recently I worked on an MRA deployment using SX-10, MX-300 and DX-series (650/70/80) endpoints.

I had Expressway-C and E working successfully for 8800 series MRA, but needed to get the TC-based and DX-based endpoints to register.  This turned out to to involve some issues that I wasn’t expecting.

TC-based endpoint registration

There isn’t a lot of documentation  for TC endpoint registration through MRA (since traditionally it’s been registered to VCS through VCS-E).  The best documentation that I could find was here:  http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/unified-communications/expressway/118696-config-cucm-00.html

I began the deployment by registering the MX-300 I use directly to CUCM to make sure I had it successfully working before attempting registration through MRA.  I’d previously had it registered to a VCS-C.

MRA requires TC 7.3 code, so I decided to deploy 7.3.4 since it is the latest bugfix version.  I downloaded and deployed the COP file to CUCM since CUCM will be in control of what version of software the TC endpoint will use once it’s registered to CUCM (like typical phones get firmware).

Note that TC 7.3.3 or greater firmware have different functionality for remote screen monitoring of systems!  TC 7.3.3 introduces the requirement to have an option key for remote system/screen monitoring of the TC endpoint.  You’ll need to work with TAC/Cisco to get option keys cut if you are doing remote screen monitoring before going to 7.3.3+.

Registration to CUCM was straightforward.  I defined the device on CUCM as you would normally define a phone, picking the appropriate SIP profiles.  I didn’t do secure registration as this is optional.   (The documentation above does mention that secure registration is optional, but the example works through a secure registration.)

I made sure to set the device association my end user in CUCM.  This is important for MRA later.

Once the MX-300 was registered and making calls successfully through CUCM, I moved it out to a general internet connection to work on MRA.

On the touchpanel I launched the Provisioning wizard and selected Cisco UCM via Expressway.  After putting in my credentials I was greeted with this error:

IMG_4257 copy

After doing quite a bit of research and looking at the detailed error logs from the MX-300, it turns out that your Expressway-E certificate must also include a SAN for the domain name itself (e.g.  yourdomain.com).  The error actually indicates that it wants a collab-edge.yourdomain.com SAN:

Edge TLS verification failed: Edge domain ‘yourdomain.com’ and corresponding SRVName ‘collab-edge._tls.yourdomain.com’ not found in certificate SAN list.

The challenge I had is that the certificate I’d bought from GoDaddy for Expressway-E (that was working with 8800 MRA) wasn’t a UCC or multi-SAN certificate and you need to have at least the Expressway-E as the CN and the domain as a SAN.

At this point I decided that it was time to move from GoDaddy to DigiCert since they have unlimited resigning of certificates without having to revoke any of them.  This essentially allows you to create as many certificates as you want without having to keep buying more like GoDaddy.  I bought the Wildcard Plus certificate and used it to create a multi-SAN certificate for my Expressway-E.  The CN is always *.yourdomain.com, but you can add a bunch of SANs (like 20 or so.)

I generated the certificate with the following SANs – edge.yourdomain.com, yourdomain.com, collab-edge._tls.yourdomain.com and _collab-edge._tls.yourdomain.com.   One of the partner engineers that I talked to said that he got it working without having to add either collab-edge SAN.  (I’ve not looked into why/when we’ll need the collab-edge SAN and if it is actually be collab-edge as the error indicates, or if it needs the preceding underscore on collab-edge like the SRV records have.)

After applying the certificate to Expressway-E and rebooting it I tried the provisioning wizard on the touchpanel again and was greeted with the SAME ERROR.

It turns out that I hadn’t included the DigiCert root and the DigiCert Intermediate cert in the list of Trusted CAs on the endpoint itself.  The documentation indicates how to install it here – http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/unified-communications/expressway/118696-config-cucm-00.html#anc10  Make sure you have both root and intermediate (if the CA you used signs with an intermediate) on the TC endpoint.

After this the MX-300 registered like a champ and is able to do calls.  I followed this same process to get an SX-10 registered as well.

The partner engineer I talked to said he had to work through a couple issues on his test:  1) Endpoint rejecting the user credentials when running through the provisioning wizard.  Make sure the endpoint is associated with the End User and that the end user has CTI Enabled and CCM End user.   2) Getting an http download error after getting through the initial expressway authentication and that it was caused by the endpoint needing to do a _cisco-uds.yourdomain.com lookup internally to find out where CUCM is to download it’s configuration.   He was in a split domain situation and didn’t have a _cisco-uds record for the external domain on the inside.

I’ll detail the adventure for the DX-series on another post.

 

 

 

 

CCX and Logjam

The latest versions of Firefox and Chrome seem to have fixed the Logjam vulnerability which is causing issues logging into the CCX admin page.

Here’s the workaround:
>> Now for logjam exploit related to the Diffie-Hellman algorithm the workaround in place is as below :
1)    In FireFox, enter “about:config” in the URL field and press enter.
2)     Accept the “This might void your warranty!” warning
3)     In the search field at the top, enter “security.ssl3.dhe_rsa_aes”
4)    Double click each result (128 and 256) to toggle the Value to “false”

After accessing the page and doing what you need, you’ll want to set them back to true or you’ll be vulnerable.

Another option is to keep a copy of the worlds greatest browser ever, Firefox 24, installed for accessing CCX.  😉