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Installing the Cisco Call Manager : A love affair

Posted by tggokul on December 5, 2006

We are setting up a Cisco lab here at work and  have been working for the last two days to get the Cisco Call Manager (CCM) up and running and  so far it has been quite a trip and we have not seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet. This whole experience has been like being in love. Expectation, anticipation, joy, desperation and heartaches. Right now we are in the heartache phase.

I have developed stuff on Cisco Routers ( IOS platform) and as part of that I had to do some minimal configurations in the CCM ( setting up gateways/ip phones etc).  So it is not like its a complete stranger. But I never had to install/configure this from scratch. To make it worse, I have worked on the older versions of CCM (3.3, 4.0,4.1) which were windows based whereas the one we have here is 5.0(4a) which is linux based (I will come to this later).

So we put in the installation CD in the MCS (Media Convergence Server) we bought and intially there were some hiccups (the hard disk was not recognized)  and the installation aborted, but then  started working fine without any reason on the second attempt.(just like a woman, don’t you think 🙂 ) The installation process was very simple with us just answering some minor questions ( like network details, date etc) and the installation scripts started running. We went out for lunch hoping that when we returned we would see the familiar Linux KDE or worst case the console in case something went wrong with the graphics controller drivers. But what greeted us was a console with absolutely no resemblance to Linux. It was a mixture of IOS/TCL commands ( I have a hunch that it is running TCL) and since I was familiar with IOS we maneourved a bit and finally got the machine to ping another machine in the network.

But then we reasoned that there was no way in hell, Cisco would ship a box to the market thinking that the end user would know IOS, hence we strongly believed that the web UI would be exhaustive. Let’s give credit where it is due. The web pages were very intuitive ( they have Call Manager Administration pages and Call Manager OS Administration pages) and every detail we would want or operation we would need to do (like restarting the machine) can be done through these pages. Initially, we had issues in logging into the webpages with username as ‘administrator’, turns out the username must be specified as ‘ccmadministrator’ (pretty lame , seriously). So we crossed that hurdle and the next step was installing the license files and this is were we took the love-hate relationship to the next level.

We had been shipped a whole lot of license keys with the Call Manager CDs. What Cisco requires you to do is register these keys with them through their website and they would mail us the license files. We had six such keys and we were able to register three of them, and the other three were not accepted ( it said invalid number). Now this is the bummer. There are two kinds of licenses, one as to how many ip phones you can register with the CCM and secondly how many CCMs can run in the setup ( this is silly; though I see where this is coming from. This is the way they keep a tab on the number of nodes in the CCM cluster).  The licenses which worked ( the three of them)  were the phone licenses. So we have licenses to connect thirty ip phones. But we have zero CCM nodes license which means we can’t run the CCM!!!!!!!! So get this, we have the license to connect IP phones to CCM, but we don’t have the license to run CCM. Isn’t that whacked up? We are going to see how we can get in touch with the TAC guys ( Customer advocacy. They probably should call it WHACK) tomorrow and resolve this whole issue.

Now do you see where all my anger/anguish is coming from? Am I wrong in comparing this whole ordeal with a love affair?

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9 Responses to “Installing the Cisco Call Manager : A love affair”

  1. […] We have contacted some people in Cisco to help us with the license issues and we have given all the necessary details. We have not heard from them yet. So we have not proceeded any further and finally got a chance to catch up on other stuff which we have been pending for couple of days. We are hoping that we will get some new licenses tomorrow and finally get done with this stuff. After all is hope is lost , everything is lost. […]

  2. Arvind said

    Ha,

    strangely enough today was my first CCM 5.0(4) install at a customer after months of trying to win the project. was a little nervous as i only had experience with 3 and 4.x systems as well as installations from scratch.

    went in a installed no problem. got connectivity and accessed the web page. no matter what i couldnt log in. i read and reread the documentation and i started to look a little shaky in fornt of the customer. hehehe. finally got it CCMAdministrator (forum posts) and well thats where i am at right now. also if you really read the documentation it only asks to put the password in. re-read and realised that 😦

    the rest should be pretty easy and just as a note, licensing is really tough. i think you have to actually specialise in licensing only with cisco.

  3. tggokul said

    Hi Arvind,

    Had you been a regualr visitor here, you would not have faced this isseue 🙂 Anyway its good to know that things are working now.

    Licensing is a little different as you said. But it can be mastered in three or four installations. Keep your experiences coming. It will be useful for other installers as well. And keep reading here. If there is a problem, chances are we would have faced it 🙂

    Gokul

  4. arvind said

    Well,

    after , what two weeks since initial configuration, i tested to ensure everything was working fine( for the most part). system looked stable, testing call routing,failover etc and seemed to work fine. cut over last night at 7 pm from call manager express to ccm5.0(4). cut over went smoothly, and after spending a few days workng with BAT i thought to myself, first time i actually am having no problems.

    well, reached back home 7 this morning. although all seemed well, i had some serious issues with digit routing (i thought i tested) and the CCM system was recreating duplicate values – for instance, i addded a hunt group called operator and when i did a seach saw two coming up. when i also checked number report, i was seeing duplicate phone extension values with difference CSS.

    problems i encountered – 1. the above , 2. i have tow other sites intereconnected that have integrated lovely with the ccme system. when i cut over i added them as h323 gateways and did the appropriate dial-peers. once site worked, the other, nothing when i dial and extension. at this point 4 in the morning i think i was jsut operating on my last brain cell so the issue looked larger than it probably was. i still cant figure out why i cant call the ip phone extesions on the pbx but i can call the pbx users (only change is i have now pointed the pbx gateway to go to the CCM ip instead of the rtr).

    anyway, i not got up and looking to see what went wrong. i checked css for everything and i dunno. whats bothering me is those duplicate values. ill go and re-group on monday and try testing again.

    i did download the 5.0(4)a install but didnt upgrade to that. im thinking, if there are bugs , 5.1 has to be the cure. (initially., cutomer ordered 5.0 when he bought the system, but before project kick-off i convinced hi to go 5.1. but we are still waiting for the distributors to receive whatever they have to receive.

    OH, and finally, at about 6, we said, you know what, we are getting rid of the pbx anyway so we will come in on sunday and cur over everyone. lets just test the operator. BAM, the operator was working fine all the time hunting (while in test), and we called into the hunt pilot, and getting a carrier local service recording. that was the final straw, we put eveyone back on the ccme system and thats that for now. i think the operator issue is based on my fatigue, pilot is 6000 and operator extensions are 6001-10. but i have a post dp to 6411 which is our long distance operator. i think it hits the system and reroutes to the pstn.

    All in all, i saw some bugs( i think) but i still was nto as prepared as i should have been. will sit down and think, and plan properly for monday. will keep you guys informed.

  5. joyh23 said

    I have installed my firs 5.0(4) system also. I am still running into a few issues. if anyone has seen them, please let me know.

    Once a user uses the CFWDAll on there phone, the operator can no longer forward directly to voice mail for that extension from the Attendant Console.

    I cannot record to Unity Connection Call handlers from a phone. I resorted to recording from the PC, but when I try to record from a phone I get as far as putting in the extension and the PC/Server IE pages lock up and i have to kill the process and restart it.

    I have a 7936 phone that says it cannot find the Corporate Directory, all other phones see it fine.

    I cannot get the forward directly to voice mail *xxxx to work appropriately.

    Any insight on any of this would be great.

    As for 5.1 being the fix all, not sure if that will be the case, but lets all hope right… I am pretty set on continuing to use 4.x until these things are truely worked out.

  6. Arvind said

    Well,

    have not seen any of those types of issues since we dont even have voicemail. an issue of call pikcup failing when going to a hunt group was popping up. it was again a bug and i did an upgrade to 5.1 and that fixed it along with some other issues. im still seeing a little issue with 5.1, mainly duplicate exntesions popping up but for the most part its much more stable than 5.0.

    now for recoding on the phone, i encounted that same issue with a 4.x implemenation but it was becuase of a firewall issue.

  7. Krrish said

    Does any one know how to configure cisco attendant console on CCM 5.1

  8. Chikkis said

    Hi ALL

    I have been try to install IPCC 4.0 on vmware. i am stuck with cluster setup of IPCC 4.0 with ADS integration. i need help.

    thanks
    chikki

  9. Ojay said

    Hi

    has any one has the idea of how l could set up a callmanager on a computer as a server. I have all the 3 cd’s of the callmanager

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