Acme Packet SBC looping after attempted upgrade

When upgrading the Oracle SBC it fails and keeps looping without actually booting up>

boot device          : eth
unit number          : 0
processor number     : 0
host name            : XX.XX.XX
file name            : /boot/nnECZ730mXX.XX
inet on ethernet (e) : x.x.x.x:ffffff00
gateway inet (g)     : x.x.x.x
user (u)             : vx
ftp password (pw)    : vx
flags (f)            : 0x0
target name (tn)     : XX.XX.XX

Loading /boot/nnECZ730x.x.x.bz…/boot: volume uses UTF-16 on disk, but Unicode is disabled

CAUTION: 32bit CPU attempting to boot an untagged Linux image.
If system hangs, power cycle and set boot file to a 32bit image.

Boot protocol version 2.10

Found kernel version string: 2.6.39-el6uek.v2.6.39-400.298.2-cov (acme@goose) #2SMP PREEMPT Thu May 17 16:19:36 EDT 2018

Kernel cmdline = console=ttyS0,115200,n8 flags=0x00000000 hostname=x.x.x.x  acmeplatform=SD3 crashkernel=128M quiet

Starting at 0x1f863d5a…

kernel_start = 0x208a9010
kernel_size = 0x0388b7d0

Acme Packet Net-Net 3820
Processor speed: 1.866 GHz
Stage 1 (built Nov  1 2013 11:09:15)
/boot: volume uses UTF-16 on disk, but Unicode is disabled
Stage 2 (built Nov  1 2013 11:09:15)

Resolution is to boot back to previous image by changing the /boot/oldimage and freeing up space on the /boot/ folder. revert back to new image and it should upgrade.

other possibilities could be incorrect stage3 bootloader.

 

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Cisco WebEx Assistant

Webex-AssistantWe all agree Technology should be an enabler not a hindrance. In the collaboration area, enabling colleagues to be able to communicate with each other without the need to understand technology but rather to ensure the medium used to contact another is simple and causing the least hindrance possible. Aside from the area of interoperability – which is in itself an entire topic for discussion, in recent years vendors have tried to prioritise the usability as a main focus. In this fast pacing world, users already have a vast number of things they need to specialise in and the last thing they should be worried about contending with should be the technology. 

in my experience, Cisco has successfully managed to standardise the usability aspect across all their video enabled endpoints so there is no need to learn how to use one endpoint to another. For their part, they have generally been focussing on making most of its products more ‘intuitive’ and in the workspace based collaboration arena they have been pretty consistent in achieving this ‘more intuitive’ way of working.

while continuing on working to enhance the user experience they are now working on leaveraging the use of Artificial Intelligence to take it to the next level. With the upcoming introduction of Cisco WebEx Assistant it aims to take the collaborative experience to the he next level by making it more personal. With WebEx Assistant it now powers a more natural way of communicating with technology as if it was a person. This way, it does away with the need to know how to dial a person rather now to just speak to the Assistant asking it to make the call. 

What makes this different to the use of Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and any other consumer based offering out there? On the face of it, it seems like a valid question, but when you consider the broad nature and superficial depth of the queries it does not fully apply in the business context. When querying Amazon Alexa for the name of an actor on a particular movie one is watching will be different to a business application where its application has more a specific context, for example in an organisation there would be thousands of users and the AI component can identify differentiate John from another user based on his speech patterns, and then to link the relevance of John’s calling habits, meeting information and organisational structure to identify the most likely match for John wanting to call Jon ABC as opposed to Jon DEF on the basis of his interaction and organisational placement and a number of other factors. If John has a impending meeting to then just join the meeting:

Okay – WebEx, Join my meeting …

Hi John, Joining your meeting…

From a corporate perspective there is also the consideration of security, we may have all read the reports of Amazon Alexa listening in on and recording private conversations and sending to other people – would this be acceptable in corporate organisations ? 

The Initial release of cognitive AI from WebEx assistant allows users to perform basic functions such as Start Meetings, Join and Leave Meetings, Call anyone in the organisation, providing basic capabilities such as:

  • Meeting Rooms
    • ‘Start the Meeting’
    • ‘End The Meeting’ 
  • Personal Room
    • Join my personal room ‘
    • ‘Join Tim’s Personal Room’
  • Calling
    • ‘Call Joe Bloggs ‘
    • ‘End the call ‘
  • Device Control
    • ‘Turn up the microphone’
    • ‘Mute the microphone’ 

 

Error connecting to a S4B and CMS Dual Homed Call

When attempting to Join a Microsoft Skype meeting the call from a Cisco Endpoint fails, a point to point however does not, looking at the logs it suggests that it cannot find the conference “meet.alictrify.com/joe.microsoft/2h2g6c6r” not found

2018-06-19 12:53:27.669 Info 2000 log messages cleared by “admin”
2018-06-19 12:53:34.558 Info call 16: incoming encrypted SIP call from “sip:dx80@alictrify.com” to local URI “sip:meet.alictrify.com/joe.microsoft/2h2g6c6r@alictrify.com”
2018-06-19 12:53:34.625 Info lync conference resolution: C3p query error
2018-06-19 12:53:34.626 Info lync conference resolution: conference “meet.alictrify.com/joe.microsoft/2h2g6c6r” not found
2018-06-19 12:53:34.626 Info forwarding call to ‘sip:meet.alictrify.com/joe.microsoft/2h2g6c6r@alictrify.com’ to ‘meet.alictrify.com/joe.microsoft/2h2g6c6r@alictrify.com’
2018-06-19 12:53:34.629 Info call 17: outgoing SIP call to “meet.alictrify.com/joe.microsoft/2h2g6c6r@alictrify.com” (Lync)
2018-06-19 12:53:34.652 Info call 17: ending; remote SIP teardown with reason 18 (not found) – not connected after 0:00
2018-06-19 12:53:34.653 Info call 16: ending; local teardown – not connected after 0:00

Since we are attempting to join a Lync Meeting and not a gateway call which would be converted to MS-SIP, CMS needs to convert the user portion of the URI into an HTTPS target and try to find an Office365 meeting hosted at that URL. This is achieved by setting the SimpleJoin to be enabled and set to Yes.

Once configured, the resolution will work and this will now show up as:

2018-06-19 13:23:24.749 Info lync simplejoin resolution: successfully completed
2018-06-19 13:23:24.754 Info call 34: outgoing SIP call to “joe.microsoft@alictrify.com;gruu;opaque=app:conf:focus:id:2h2g6c6r” (Lync focus)
2018-06-19 13:23:24.758 Info call 33: setting up UDT RTP session for DTLS (combined media and control)
2018-06-19 13:23:24.785 Info conference “Lync conference meet.alictrify.com/joe.microsoft/2h2g6c6r”: unencrypted call legs now present
2018-06-19 13:23:24.790 Info call 34: SIP call ringing
2018-06-19 13:23:24.826 Info call 35: outgoing SIP call to “joe.microsoft@alictrify.com;gruu;opaque=app:conf:focus:id:2h2g6c6r” (Lync conference subscription)
2018-06-19 13:23:24.861 Info call 36: outgoing SIP call to “Joe.Microsoft@alictrify.com;gruu;opaque=app:conf:audio-video:id:2H2G6C6R” (Lync)
2018-06-19 13:23:24.862 Info call 37: outgoing SIP call to “Joe.Microsoft@alictrify.com;gruu;opaque=app:conf:chat:id:2H2G6C6R” (Lync IM)

This shows that the Lync Focus which is responsible for enforcing the Conference Control Policy,  Lync Conference Subscription, Audio / Video, Lync IM setup completes successfully for Skype Meeting ID 2h2g6c6r

in CMS you can also see the same channels setup in the active calls:-

Cisco CMS remote error

when TLS encryption was enabled on a trunk from Cisco CMS, all of a sudden calls in from Lync/SkypeforBusiness started failing, here is the output from CMS:-

call 48: recognised as Lync
call 48: incoming encrypted SIP call from “sip:julie.microsoft@XYZ.com” to local URI “sip:1004@vc.XYZ.com” (Lync)
forwarding call to ‘sip:1004@vc.XYZ.com’ to ‘1004@vc.XYZ.com’
call 49: outgoing SIP call to “1004@vc.XYZ.com”
call 49: setting up UDT RTP session for DTLS (combined media and control)
call 49: ending; remote SIP teardown with reason 14 (remote error) – not connected after 0:00
call 48: ending; local teardown – not connected after 0:00

this does not give us much information to work from, so you need to dig deeper. You can either pull logs from CMS via logs > detailed tracing and download via SFTP or get CallManager RTMT logs downloaded to see what the problem is

SIP/2.0 401 Unauthorized
Via: SIP/2.0/TLS 192.168.0.180:5061;branch=z9hG4bK5d3181dbb905b9058
From: “Julie Microsoft” <sip:julie.microsoft@XYZ.com>;tag=e876910435d
To: <sip:dx80@vc.XYZ.com>;tag=2106778089
Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2017 12:49:31 GMT
Call-ID: e62d36f7-5d84-47a1-8ba4-1f3f3433g6a2
CSeq: 183141193 INVITE
Allow-Events: presence
Server: Cisco-CUCM11.5
WWW-Authenticate: Digest realm=”XYZCluster”, nonce=”L1CKj9PJ6qreX9PRZUMm”, algorithm=MD5
Content-Length: 0

401 Unauthorized, well that tells you it is not authenticated to make that call. The SIP Trunk Security profile which had Enable Digest Authentication ticked was not meant to be there.

 

CUCM Device Packs

I was running a DX80 with a CE firmware load but the lab CUCM we had installed did not support the CE Version of code, when i first tried registering the endpoint to the CUCM it came up with the following error: Failed: 485 Ambigious / Device Type Mismatch,i had a look at CUCM to see if the device load was installed but only the “Cisco DX80” endpoint was available. This is the Android version of the DX which is not the same as the ‘Cisco TelePresence DX80’ you see on the web browser of the endpoint.

for this you need to install the relevant device pack to get the ball rolling and endpoint registered.

These notes are applicable on the following versions but tested for 10.5(2)

  • Unified CM 11.5(1)
  • Unified CM 11.0(1)
  • Unified CM 10.5(2)
  • Unified CM 9.1(2)

Step 1: Verify the CUCM Version you are running

From web browser > About

ccm version

you can also get this information from the web browser:

admin: show version active
Active Master Version: 10.5.2.10000-5

or

admin: show  status

Host Name         : cucm01
Date                      : Tue Aug 29, 2017 14:44:48
Time Zone          : British Summer Time (Europe/London)
Locale                   : en_US.UTF-8
Product Ver        : 10.5.2.10000-5
Unified OS Version : 6.0.0.0-2

Step 2: Download the Appropriate Device Pack

Install a the relevant device pack for the endpoint that you wish to configure on the CUCM, in this case the DX80 is not a ‘native endpoint in cucm as such a device pack will need to be installed:

Device Type Device Release Unified CM 11.5(1) Unified CM 11.0(1) Unified CM 10.5(2) Unified CM 9.1(2)
DX70 and DX80 Collaboration Endpoint Software 8.3 cmterm-devicepack11.5.1

April 4, 2017

cmterm-devicepack11.0.1

April 4, 2017

cmterm-devicepack10.5.2

April 4, 2017

cmterm-devicepack9.1.2

April 13, 2017

Collaboration Endpoint Software 8.3 cmterm-devicepack11.5.1

Nov 30, 2016

cmterm-devicepack11.0.1

Nov 30, 2016

cmterm-devicepack10.5.2

Nov 30, 2016

cmterm-devicepack9.1.2

Dec 27, 2016

Please note:

  • A valid cisco support contract will be needed
  • Device package compatibility matrix is located here

 

Step 3:  Upload Device pack to CUCM

3a) in OS Administration under  >  Software Upgrades > Installation/Upgrade > Chose the Remote File system where your device pack is located.

3b) verify MD5 hash with cisco.com downloads page where you installed the file from

Step 4: Restart TFTP Service

Control Center – Feature Services > Cisco Tftp > Restart

Step 5: Install Phone

now if you go to add new phone (device>phone) or go to device defaults (Device> Device Settings>Device Defaults) you will see the new device types:

Cisco TelePresence DX70
Cisco TelePresence DX80

 

my thoughts on the CCIE Continuing Education Program..

change.pngAfter years of blood, sweat, and tears (maybe not blood but you get the idea, alot of hard work) i eventually passed my CCIE Voice in 2012. It was a moment in my life that I can never forget. The journey from my first attempt that literally left me in tears to my 6th attempt, I saw myself develop phenomenally as an engineer. I still to this day recommend anyone to go through atleast one track as it would give you many skills. Aside from mastering the topics on the blue print, it will help you develop tremendously as an individual, from my own experiences of being better able to working under pressure to being calm cool and collected when everything is going wrong but at the same time razor focused to be able to work through the problem at hand and get it resolved in a systematic and controlled fashion.

This actually proved itself for a customer for whom I recommended an redesign of an incredibly complicated CUCM deployment that started its life as a single site deployment and evolved into a multi site deployment. As the cluster expanded and new sites were added to the platform without any consideration of how it would be managed. To the point where the ‘expert’ on that deployment didn’t know how certain pieces of the puzzle actually fit together. With no documentation to go by, it was a deployment from hell…  I made a recommendation to do a complete redesign of the CUCM cluster that met its current and future needs, the customer agreed and this ‘expert’ left. Ouch! ..& Yep. Baptism by Fire!, since I made the recommendation, it fell upon me to redesign and deliver. I made the recommendation to the complete redesign of all the UK sites over two weekends to reduce the risk, the customer had other thoughts… can it be done over 1 weekend? 🙂  yep sure Mr Customer… how I regretted that statement….. To cut this story short, that weekend had many challenges but I delivered what I promised by Monday and the end users noticed virtually no difference except for the fact that when they called they noticed their numbers were now in E164, normal dialling habits retained. The LLD was written and the CUCM deployment was hailed by the company CIO as one of the best in their global estate. I can say one thing for certain, my experiences during my CCIE journey helped me keep focussed throughout. Enough! this is not a write up about my CCIE journey or lessons learnt but you get the point. Myself, as numerous CCIE’s, have their own unique experiences that we can all share but rather lets talk about the recent changes in the recertification policy

As with many IT Vendors who have struggled to keep their certification/s updated and relevant in a world where there is something new being released literally every month, the exams in many aspects however are unable to keep up. If you studying for an exam, then you need somewhere to start from and go through the topics systematically mastering each topic/domain and subsequently passing the exam, this works great. But unfortunately it does not end there. Technological innovations are constant and as you progress on with your career you now need to keep yourself relevant. You are no longer the just the engineer, but now the expert in a specific technology area so you need to pull your socks up!. In many cases, as you do well, you develop into roles that are less hands-on and more architectural.

This requires you know the reason, advantages, disadvantages, counter arguments for what you propose. This is a completely different mindset. Broadly speaking, as an engineer we were concerned with configuring and fixing problems. As an architect, we need to now understand all the moving parts of the solution you are proposing and you have the added complexity of understanding how to align technology to business processes and needs, how the solution you are recommending creates value to the organisation, what is the outcome, is it monetary, an increase in productivity etc.. this can go on and on and on…

the biggest limitation when you are progressing through the ranks is that it gets increasingly difficult to remember what specific show command you need so see X, remembering how the output calculates to X etc. We are human after all. unless ‘you’ are AI – i know a few and yes they do exist! but im not. Speaking about the Human element, we also have families. you also need to find a healthy work life balance – you cant constantly put family on hold either.

I, as you may, have read a number of posts online of people criticizing Cisco’s approach, i believe strongly being part of the solution and not the problem, now while some of the perceived negativity may have some basis, one has to understand you have to start from somewhere….that ‘somewhere’ is founded on three principles:-

  • Flexibility is achieved by offering existing Cisco certified individuals an alternative option for recertification, in addition to the already existing option of recertifying by passing the relevant exam(s).
  • Diversity is achieved by allowing individuals a wide range of preapproved items, such as online courses, instructor-led training, authoring of content, and Cisco Live training offerings (collectively called “Continuing Education items”), which can be pursued to earn credits toward recertification.
  • Integrity is achieved by having Cisco authorized content providers, who deliver the content to the individual seeking recertification, validate the credits submitted by that individual.

having some guiding principles keeps you on track…after all the integrity of the program needs to be maintained while at the same time encouraging engineers and architects to  to continue progressing…. then the penny drops and it starts making sense. The Unified Communications market as an example, involves a whole host of technologies one can specialise in that are not covered on the exam, and there is also a bigger world out there apart from UC there that needs exploring….

I certainly welcome Cisco’s new changes, While this is a great start,  im sure this will evolve into something more flexible while adhering to its principles. I, for one would like to see

  • more pre-approved options such as a “Cisco Live like” credits to the Partner training, etc
  • credits for Active participation in certain online platforms such as Cisco communities, Cisco Champions etc.
  • introducing a minimum % of the credits one acquires be in the technology one is a ‘expert’ in. that only makes sense

give it time and im sure Cisco work it out …

Rant over…

 

Additional Links:-

CE Portal
Cisco Continuing Education Program