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Importance of naming standards in Cisco Unified Communications Manager

In network engineering I have learned that the biggest lie I tell myself is that “I do not need to write this down.” That being said, when you are in the heat of troubleshooting a production issue I really try to design my systems so that I can tell what the heck something does by a label or good name. This does not replace the need for other documentation, but it does help when you are in the heat of troubleshooting a system problem. As I started supporting Unified Communications applications, I discovered there are lots of opportunities to really create a mess when you are configuring things if you do not keep supportability in mind. I want to share with you some tips that I have found helpful in naming objects specifically in Cisco Unified Communications Manager; however, similar concepts can be used for other network components such as Access Control Lists on traditional network equipment too.

When you are starting with a fresh Cisco Unified Communications Manager install, you have a blank slate. This is both good and bad. Good in that you have a lot of flexibility in the system to configure things, but bad because if you don’t put some thought into naming it can get confusing quickly. Spending some time up-front will save you some headaches down the road. Even if you don’t have a fresh Cisco Unified Communications Manager installation, you can start cleaning things up as you provision new services and go back and adapt what is in the other systems when you have time to do so.

Some of the common things you will configure in Cisco Unified Communications Manager will be: Partitions, Calling Search Spaces, Route Groups, Route Lists, Route Patterns, SIP Trunks, Device Pools, etc. First let’s get started with some basic definitions of what some of common objects are. I will also share some examples of how I like to name things to keep them easily sorted so objects of similar function are grouped together in a long list. These are just examples, and your naming convention will have to be something that works for you, your team and your specific environment. Read More »

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The Evolution and Impact of Collaboration Technologies

As I sit here on an airplane en-route to San Jose with my MacBook Pro at hand, heading to an industry-leading networking event (albeit on my own time, yes – this is officially vacation), I’ve found myself reflecting on collaboration technologies and how I’ve seen them evolve in the short 15 years I’ve been working with them. After all, it has become one of those things that I spend the majority of my day doing these days, working as a partner engineer specializing in Collaboration.

One of my first experiences with collaboration technologies was back during my third IT job, sometime circa 2001, only a few short years after the Cisco acquisition of Selsius networks brought the Call Manager product to us, and I was working for a company supporting what we now call ‘telepresence’; back then we simply referred to it as  ‘video conferencing’. These immersive environments (calling them ‘life-size’, as we did back then, seems kind of silly now) were not all that different from what you see today; projectors, nice furniture, and an executive meeting room experience. Read More »

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Modernizing Public Safety Communications

Modernizing Public Safety Communications

Your existing radios and voice system do more, with Cisco IPICS 4.8

If your agency uses Cisco Unified Communications as well as PTT radio communications, you can make both more valuable by adding Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS).Communicate, Collaborate, Operate 3

Hundreds of public safety agencies around the world already use Cisco IPICS to make radio dispatch operations simpler. IPICS improves incident response because personnel can join PTT talk groups using just about any device. That includes land-mobile radios, smartphones, IP phones, PCs and laptops, and even traditional phones.

The newest release, IPICS 4.8, has new features that improve communications, collaboration, and operations. Read More »

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Importing contacts from WebEx Connect to IM & Presence

Currently, WebEx Connect has no method of exporting contacts into Jabber or IM & Presence. I came up with this solution to help a couple of my users migrate their large contact lists, and thought I would share the solution with you. Let me know what you think.

This method relies on the use of a perl script and having the user log into pidgin XMPP client to WebEx Connect to populate the pidgin blist.xml file with the WebEx Connect contacts. Read More »

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What is Cisco IT’s UC Global Cluster Architecture?

Over the last 15 years, we’ve progressively centralized our UC architecture. As WAN services have become bigger, better and more cost effective, we’ve been able to rely more heavily on the network to extend UC services out to the branch networks.  Read More »

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