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Archive for October, 2008

Blog Post: CCM AD plugin notes

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I have just installed CCM plug-in for Active Directory, I have several notes to share it with you, it will be usefull for you to note them down before starting your implementation:

       The installation guide starts here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps556/products_tech_note09186a0080094493.shtml 🙂

       The guide tells you to specify User Search Attribute, which should be SamAccountName, the guide doesn’t tell you that this is the login name, you will be able to search by first name and last name, but this is the login name.

       To install the plug-in in child domain (typically if you have a root/child domain) you will need access to the schema admin.

       The Cisco container needs to be on the root domain.

       The domain name will be the root domain and the user search base DN will point the root domain, don’t worry the plug-in will grab the users from the child domain, don’t know how LOL.

       You will need to place the registry key to enable schema updates even if you are running windows 2003.

       I will upgrade to windows 2008 next weeks, hopefully it will last.

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Categories: Exchange and UC

Blog Post: why CCM 4.3 support has been removed from OCS?

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Well this is hard question,

When OCS released it was officially supported by MS for about 3 days, and then the support removed and only V5 and V6 was supported, to tell you the truth I have been testing OCS with V4.3 for a long period in my labs, and some of my customers went to a non-supported state for a period of time, but OCS/Exchange and V4.3 all works so fine. So why it is not supported.

 

Tricky, no one knows. But based on my lab testing, I found that OCS is using additional SIP extensions and messages that are not supported by older SIP entities that uses SIP standards, I have heard from couple of my friends that meetingplace and Cisco Video conferencing are not working as supposed to be when 4.3 in there.

 

So if you don’t want support from MS, then you can go with V4.3, not supported but you can go for it in lab testing and small piloting, beware that v4.3 will be out of support by mid of next yeaaaaar.

Categories: Exchange and UC

Blog post: Tandberg – OCS 2007 and CCM all together part 2

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

This is the second part of how to install and configure Tandberg Video conferencing, Codian MCU 4200 and OCS 2007 along with CCM support to provide end to end unified communication experience, in the first part I made a small introduction about the subject in this part I will describe the End to End experience and going to the basic configuration of the MCU 4200.

What do you want exactly, this is a so hard to answer, especially in the UC field, all of the vendors as well as partners are introducing end to end UC solutions, so what to chose and where to place is the hardest question.

What do you want, mmmmm let us talk about that part a little bit, what do you want from UC, what you can achieve, to tell you the truth, you can do almost anything, from launching you mail/voicemail/IM end point from your mobile phone, until mounting you desktop phone from your PC or mobile, do FMC, bypass toll charges, doing audio/video/web conferencing and mixing all of them together, now you can place calls to PSTN network over GSM using E1 modules that carries SIM cards, typically anything.

So where to go, it is up to you, your budget, organization and how you do work internally, some companies work with other parties externally WW so they might need web conferencing, or you might have international branches where they want to minimize there phone bill, so ultimatly there are no best fit for you, you have to note that when you ask consultants to do assessment for your organization because vendors will start talking and talking but you need to decide what you need exactly.

Let us go back to my solution, let me give you a brief about the architecture:

And E1 connection that comes from my service provider that hosts 100 extension over ISDN.

One Cisco Voice gateway.

2 Cisco Call Manager (publisher/subscriber).

1 Codian MCU 4200 V2.3

5 Tandberg Endpoints in site1

1 Tandberg conferencing unit in each branch office.

In this part I will walk into configuring the MCU 4200, step by step:

On the OCS create a normal user, you don’t need to create and email, you can give him an email address and enable OCS 2007 for him, don’t login with OC to the user as this will remove the LCS 2005 attributes from the user and MCU will lose its presense.

After giving the IP of the MCU, and configuring the initial configuration like system name…etc follow the below steps:

From the settings page go to the SIP pane,

Enter the SIP address and the SIP proxy address for the MCU, this will be dialed from the OCS clients to join the Conf.

1.

Note that in version 2.3.1.8 you cannot use the authentication since the firmware support basic auth, you need to upgrade to version 2.4 to support NTLM, I upgraded to 2.4 but it didn’t work so I rolled back and I work with Tandberg support on it.

To over come the auth, issue you need to add the IP of the MCU in OCS server in the authorized hosts tab and you need to mark it tread as authenticated.

Once finished you will note that registered mark appears as above.

Now you can add the MCU in your buddy list and you can dial it, once dialed you will be prompted for the conf. ID enter it and you can see/hear the conf.

I have tried to register the MXP 75, but it looks that the firmware 6.3 has a bug in registering the GRUU, I will acquire the latest MXP firmware (v 7) and once finished I will update you with it.

In the next post I will post the CCM configuration followed by an article for configuring Exchange 2007 UM with CCM 4.3, keep reading J

Categories: Exchange and UC

Blog Post: you cannot use GFI Endpoint security due to Remote HW/Registry locdown policy by Windows Vista SP1

October 20, 2008 1 comment

Hi,

I have been working with GFI support team for that last couple of weeks to diagnose a problem that looks so hard in the first place but it was so easy to spot once we identified the cause, I have several Windows Vista SP1 laptops since all of them comes shipped with it, we wanted to deploy GFI Endppoint security and we were testing the product, everything works fine on XP SP3 machines, but on windows Vista SP1 it didn’t work, the problem that we couldn’t detect the drivers on the machine that runs Vista Sp1, the error was “Failed to enumerate devices on the machine”; if we try to deploy the agent manually it yells at us saying that you don’t have permissions to install this product so what the heck going on?

 

After several hours of regmon and filemon, I found that the agent access the machine using remote registry, so you have to:

       Start the remote registry service.

       On Vista SP1 machines, you need to allow the access for HKLM hive totally remotely.

       The GFI agent service needs to run as domain admin!!!

1.Go to Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ System \ Device Installation
2.Double click on  "Allow Remote Access to the PnP interface" and enable the policy

 

Finally it works, now we need to test it out, please read more about the security lockdown settings of windows Vista and the new registry access restrictions for windows Vista.

Blog Post: Integrating OCS 2007, Cisco Call manager, Tandberg MCU 4200 all together – part 1

October 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Hi,

I have to say that all of you will like this topic a lot, I have been doing a lot of work in the previous 2 months to mount my new infrastructure in my new company, one of the challenges that I had is to provide a centralized conferencing and unified communication solution.

 

The challenge that I had is providing UC service across different sites (I had many), Audio conferencing, Video conferencing, Web conferencing , Telephony conferencing , Voice mail and all of nice stuff all together; well it wasn’t an easy task.

 

When I came to my company I found CCM 4.3 mounted already and in place, so I had to work it out with OCS 2007, we decided to have a HW video conferencing solution and not relying on the round table since it is not available in the middle east yet so we investigated Cisco/Polycom and Tandberg and we chose Tandberg.

 

At the early time I wasn’t involved yet in the vendor selection for the video conferencing, so I was working in choosing a telephony conferencing solution, knowing that OCS R2 will provide that module for me made it much harder to choose between Alcatel, Cisco and Nortel.

 

When Tandberg solution mounted in our HQ and was in place in 3 of our sites I found that it is amazingly works with OCS 2007 and Cisco Call Manager, so I decided to integrate them together which worked so perfectly after, I will share my experience with you across several configuration notes, solution design posts and Finally showing you how an End to End solution will be implemented between the 3 island and connecting them together.

 

I will be posting within 2-3 days a entry blog about the design notes for the solution, I am working on some TMS (Tandberg Management Server) design and some MCU issues, so I will post the first blog about the design consideration for such an integrated solution, posting afterwards a configuration notes and tips.

 

See you in the upcoming post.

 

Mahmoud

Categories: Exchange and UC

Blog post: how to avoid importing the GUID into the new computer information

October 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Here is a nice tip,

If you are importing the computer information to the SCCM for new client OS deployment you will find that you need to import the MAC and the GUID, the GUID is the hardest part, but to get rid of it, you can fill the GUID information with 1s and this will do the trick.

 

So the MAC address plus 1s in the GUID will make your life much easier J.

 

Cool one.

Categories: SMS/SCCM

We are back

October 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Hellooooooooooooooooooooo fellows,

I am back, I have been not posting since 3 months, but I moved to new country, new job, new place so it was all mixed up, any way so many things happened and I will get back with very new posts that will make you explode,

First posts will go about OCS 2007, CCM and Tandberg conferencing integration, I will explain the integration points and how you can do all of it in my upcoming posts, hold tight because afterwards I will post some interesting stuff about hyper-v , P2V windows 2008.

See you.

Mahmoud

Categories: Uncategorized
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