Digging deep into Unified Communications from Spain.

As I commented in my previous post, I am planning the implementation of big unified communications lab environment based on the Cisco and Microsoft UC portfolios.

The goal of this personal project is to show everyone how unified communications connect us with people and information, helping us to improve our collaboration experiences. I will try to show you all the features available and how to implement it following the design rules and best practices provided by each vendor with the methods and tools that help us to build  simple and scalable solutions for large environments, despite the nature of my lab.

As depicted below in the diagram the idea is to have two sites, one located at Madrid, Spain and the other one located at New York, USA. Both sites will have their own and independent solutions to see how to interoperate different platforms with the same or different vendors.


Following a high summary of the versions that I will use at each site:

CompanySP, Madrid Site

  • – Cisco UC based on 9.1
  • – Lync 2013
  • – Cisco Gateway with an E1 PRI and a ISP SIP Trunk
  • –  Exchange Server 2010
  • – Active Directory
  • – Cisco SME

CompanyUS, NY Site

  • – Cisco UC based on 8.6
  • – Lync 2010
  • – Cisco Gateway with an E1 PRI and a ISP SIP Trunk
  • – Exchange Server 2010
  • – Active Directory
  • – Cisco Webex Meetings Server

I will deploy the platform over virtual machines with two host VMware ESXi 5.1, both managed by a vCenter 5.1. My hardware is limited so I will try to allocate the resources as efficiently as possible.

More details and requirements coming!

CCIE Voice #39440!!

July 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Jaime Diez in CCIE Voice - (1 Comments)

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last blog post with a brief summary of the topics that I had covered at that time for the CCIE Voice certification. Fortunately after a very long and tough journey, I got my number one monCCIE #39440 Jaime Diezth ago at my fist attempt in Brussels, it is an incredible experience.

It requires a ton of hours to prepare the exam, many hours taken away from my girlfriend, family and friends, which has been the worst part of this journey by far. Because of that,  I have to thank all of them to support and motivate me, THANK YOU!

During this time I have spent many hours studying, watching videos, reading documentation, practicing in my lab, discussing with other guys in my study group from all over the world, getting in contact with other CCIEs, reading different strategies, planning my attempt, sleeping just a few hours each day… But I have learnt things from every moment, every second and I have put all of them together into my own journey to achieve my goal.

I pass the exam on May 31st two days after the announcement of the new CCIE Collaboration and the retirement of CCIE Voice with the non-grandfathered new, just to add a little bit more of pressure! Anyway I hardly slept a few hours the night before the exam so when I left the lab I was really exhausted.

During the last month, I have been celebrating the achievement with my family and friends but there is not time to relax, so here I go again with lot of great things in mind for the future. From now on, I will try to keep the blog updated with several topics about unified communications from different vendors.

Up to now, I have deleted the VMs with the version 7.0.1 of CUCM and I am building an interesting lab with the Cisco UC portfolio, Lync and the interoperability of both solutions.

I have decided also to write posts with information for non-technical people to show them what unified communications offer us, to improve business and make our lives easier.

Thank you for reading, see you soon!

It has been more than a month since I published my previous post. Due to the summer and vacation I moved my lab to my village, where I have had limited access to Internet connection, but I have been studying and working hard!

After coming back again to the city, I think that looking back over my progress and what I have done so far could be a great idea.

1.01 VLAN
1.02 DHCP
1.03 TFTP
1.04 NTP
2.01 CUCM SCCP Endpoints
2.02 CUCM SIP Endpoints
4.01 T1/E1 PRI
4.03 H323
4.04 MGCP
4.05 SIP
5.01 ROute Patterns and Dial-peers
5.02 Digit Manipulations and Translations
5.03 Class of Services
5.04 Route Selection Preference and Redundancy
7.01 CODEC Selection and Flexibility
7.02 Conference Bridges
7.03 Transcoder
7.04 MoH
7.05 Media Resources Preference and Redundancy
7.06 Other CUCM Media Resources
8.01 Call Park
8.02 Call Pickup
8.03 Barge
8.04 Callback
8.05 Other Supplementary Services
10.01 L2/L3 Traffic Classifications and Policing
10.02 L2/L3 Queuing Mechanisms
10.03 L2 LFI
10.04 RSVP
10.05 Call Admission Control
11.01 Cisco Unity Connection

 I have been working extensively on the topics remarked and still working on some of them.

I have been using the Cisco documentation for theory. I also purchased the Cisco Press book called ”Cisco Unity Connection” which is based on v8.5  but is quite helpful for most topics of v7.0.1.

Once a week, I try to review everything done up to that day to retain everything in my mind and to gain speed configuring.

I will keep updating my journey more often!

First Month Done!

July 26th, 2012 | Posted by Jaime Diez in CCIE Voice - (0 Comments)

As the tittle says, I started one month ago to study really hard to achieve the CCIE Voice certification. I have spent a few minutes every week to do self-analysis to see what things are working, and what things are not working like I expected. That is the way I can improve my own “processes” to be more efficient with my time.

Things that I have changed during this time:

  1. I have made some minor changes to my initial schedule, but the total number of hours per week, remain the same.
  2. I received my latest phone 3 weeks ago, so I have had to play Tetris to place all of the phones on my table close to me in a comfortable way. So now I have 4x 7961, 1x 7960 and 1×7962. I put them together to take the picture below (sorry, I am a bad photographer).

  3. I have configured US Eng language in all my keyboards to get used to the positions of symbols, which is quite different from the spanish one. I do not want to waste time or get nervous because of that during the lab day. After one month, I am able to configure at the same speed as before, in fact I now have to think  for a second, if I am typing with the Spanish configuration. I have noticed that some people even buy keyboards with the US layout, but since I do not need to look at the keyboard, it is not necessary for me.
  4. I am using PuTTY and SecureCRT either way to be familiarized with both since it is not clear for me which will be on the lab exam.
  5. I am documenting everything, although it seems really obvious. I intend not just to pass the exam but to retain the knowledge, and at the same time elaborate in very detailed notes for the future. You never know when are you going to use a feature again; it could take months hence you could forget it.

The purpose of all these little details is to try to make the lab day like any other day, to be focused on the important tasks and to avoid any headache over things you don’t expect.

I didn’t know how to approach this post because of its depth; therefore, I thought that giving an example would be a good idea keeping the post short and just as a brief reference on how to configure QoS. So, here I go.

Before you continue reading, you should have a good understanding of the QoS stages and the different mechanisms, because I am not going to explain the theory which can be found on my previous post.

The whole configuration posted here is based on the Cisco Catalyst 3750 which is on the lab exam.

I always keep in mind the stages to follow the same steps while I am configuring.

Classification > Policing/Marking > InputQ Mapping/Input queuing > Ingress scheduling > Stack Ring > OutputQ mapping/Output queuing > Egress Scheduling

Bellow a little diagram that it is always easier to remember and understand.

QoS Catalyst 3750 Continue reading…