Category Archives: telepresence

CUCM Video Codec Preferences Support – CSCuw53802

Colleague called me for assistance with a video call that wouldn’t set up when dialling in to a VC bridge.

The call flow was from a Polycom endpoint to the new Conductor-managed vTS bridge that I’d installed a week before.  The endpoint could dial into the Rendezvous VC bridge, but calls only had audio.  Some additional testing showed that this wasn’t working for point-to-point calls to Jabber as well, which helped us rule out the bridge completely.

My colleague pulled a Wireshark from Jabber, and the signalling confirmed a codec support issue on the Polycom:

Jabber INVITE with H.264:

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However, the response clearly showed that our Polycom unit didn’t like this, and marked the video streams as inactive:

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My colleague did some reading up on our somewhat outdated Polycom unit, and we ultimately found that some release keys and a firmware upgrade would be needed.  Customer not too happy, but nothing to do here other than upgrade…

However, my colleague did post a question to me:

Can we not just set some video codec preferences for this call, or at least for the call into the VC bridge?

Well, the answer is… no!

 

As of 11.0 this is not supported.  However, thankfully this does appear to have been considered in the roadmap for CUCM 11.5:

https://bst.cloudapps.cisco.com/bugsearch/bug/CSCuw53802/

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This is good news, as the CUCM-based video architecture is now quite mature, having gone through several iterations since it’s inception from CUCM 9.x.

As the market for Skype for Business grows, H.265 begins to create more and more headaches due to patent licensing problems, and Cisco subsequently begins to punt Thor as a potential future video standard, this new feature should hopefully solve some problems down the line.

 

#dontcalltac

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Cisco Support Community Collaboration Videos

Thanks to Java for sharing this – can’t believe I’ve never come across this!

A really, really awesome resource for a number of Collab-related support topics.  Some excellent videos on topics such as:

  • CUOS certificates
  • Self-Provisioning
  • Conference Now
  • PCD
  • TelePresence
  • VCS
  • Service Discovry and UDS
  • Various phone model factory reset procedures

 

 

Enjoy! 🙂

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ExpressWay DMZ and NAT Design Considerations

There are a number of excellent documents on the subject of ExpressWay traversal DMZ design and handling NAT.  I must however commend Cisco on the updates on this topic in the X8.7 documentation release.

Please see the below:

http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/expressway/config_guide/X8-7/Cisco-Expressway-Basic-Configuration-Deployment-Guide-X8-7.pdf

 

Cisco discusses various DMZ deployment models:

  1. Dual-NIC Static NAT (Recommended)
  2. Single NIC Static NAT
  3. 3-Port Firewal Static NAT

 

There are other methods that include variations without NAT where a Public IP is placed on the Edge.  Personally, “It works” is not a good enough reason to deploy as such.  Avoid as far as possible.

 

Most specifically, I must highlight the following from the document:

  • Preferred Architecture dictates a dual-NIC Static NAT design
  • Dual-NIC design requires static routing on the Edge
  • Static NAT is definitely preferred to a Public IP on a ExpressWay-E box
  • Disable SIP ALG on your firewall – pretty standard stuff
  • Single NIC designs result in problematic implementation considerations that can relate to:
    • NAT Reflection – resultant asymmetric routing, security concerns and firewall support issues
    • Hair-pinned media
    • Excessive bandwidth consumption (3 times in fact!)
    • Public IP exposure in SIP signalling to B2BUA

Please see pp. 50-51 for excellent visual representations of the traffic flows for the the various implementations!

 

Some Useful Links:

 

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