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!

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…

Campus infrastructure and QoS

July 7th, 2012 | Posted by Jaime Diez in Cisco - (0 Comments)

During these last two weeks I have been dealing with the campus infrastructure, VLAN, DHCP, TFTP and NTP, brushing up on some concepts, and also with QoS, which has taken me most of my time. QoS was the topic in which I had the less experience, but now, I can say that I understand it and know how it works perfectly.

In this post I will just show you the guides and documents that I am using. Next week I will post again with some examples and notes.

Regarding VLAN, DHCP, TFTP and NTP protocols, if you are pursuing the CCIE Voice, like I am, you should be quite familiarized with these, but it is worth it to have a look at the SRND to refresh best practices

Cisco SRND CUCM 7.x

Try these links in case you need to check any example, commands, or ways to configure something:

Cisco IOS 12.4T

Catalyst 3750 12.2(44) Configuration Guide

Catalyst 3750 12.2(44) Command Reference Guide

Regarding QoS, you should read the following to get the expert level:

Cisco SRND QoS

QoS section in the Catalyst 3750 Configuration Guide

QoS section in the Medianet Reference Guide

Cisco QoS Command Reference

Here you have some useful examples:

Cisco Catalys 3750 QoS configuration examples

In the following link, you can see an animation to make understanding easier.

QoS animation

In a lab environment sometimes is difficult to simulate congestion, therefore you have better know the behaviour of every command that you type because you will just be able to “test” it in your mind.

I also have been watching some videos which have been really useful to learn some tips and new ways to do things.

This is a short post but deep in content.

In previous post, I expressed my desire to get the CCIE Voice certification, so because I am going to start my continuous working day at work(not stopping for lunch), I have been preparing and scheduling my “journey” for the next months. I know that the version could change soon, but I am not in a hurry. The five numbers are the prize, but the important part is the knowledge.

There are no guides or specific books to get this certification, just the blueprint with the topics that will appear on the exam. It requires the best of your effort and proper planning. Every person is completely different, so something that worked for one might not work for others.

To accomplish my goal, I have designed my schedule based on my personality and the things that I have learnt about myself. Nobody knows you better than yourself. Look inside of yourself and look for your most productive hours and days. how will you handle difficult moments when you feel down (because you will have these)? On the other hand, when you feel full of energy, how will you take advantage of that?
Continue reading…

Changing the IP for a CUCM cluster

June 18th, 2012 | Posted by Jaime Diez in Cisco - (0 Comments)

Lately I have had to change the network parameters for a CUCM cluster, this is not a day-to-day task, because of that I going to show you how to change it to avoid any major issue.

As a network parameter, it should be done during a time window out of business hours. As you would do with any other operation, verify the proper operation of the CUCM cluster before make any change, make a backup and have a rollback plan to use in case that something goes wrong.

You will find a guide from Cisco which is a good point to start and covers all the process but I like to have always my own documentation in addition to other, to have my own notes. It helps me to remember important details and issues that I have had, the purpose is to have the whole experience write down.

Let’s start the task, it is very important to follow this order to avoid any error. You will have to request a new license file re-issued  by Cisco to use it after the change. Start making all the changes on the publisher and after that with the subscribers.
Continue reading…