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Deepak Rawat
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Over a period of time, I found that there is lot of confusion in order to understand what all types of Recording Options are there with Media Sense and how to configure them. Hence, I have tried to create this document in order to provide a single point of reference for this.

Hope it will help the customers and partners out there trying to set this up.

Media Forking

Recording is accomplished by media forking, where basically the phone or Unified Border Element sends a copy of the incoming and outgoing media streams to the MediaSense recording server. When a call originates or terminates at a recording-enabled phone, Unified Communications Manager sends a pair of SIP invitations to both the phone and the recording server. The recording server prepares to receive a pair of real-time transport protocol (RTP) streams from the phone. Similarly, when a call passes through a recording-enabled Unified Border Element, the Unified Border Element device sends a SIP invitation to the recording server and the recording server prepares to receive a pair of RTP streams from the Unified Border Element. Finally under NBR, Communication Manager sends a pair of SIP invites to the recording server, and a special message to Unified Border Element, and a pair of RTP streams from the Unified Border Element to the recording server

Below are the types of forking options Media Sense provides:

1) BiB Forking

Because forked media can be recorded from either a Cisco IP phone or a Unified Border Element device,MediaSense allows you to record a conversation from different perspectives. Recordings forked by an IP phone are treated from the perspective of the phone itself—any media flowing to or from that phone gets recorded. If the call gets transferred to another phone however, the remainder of the conversation does not get recorded (unless the target phone has recording enabled as well). This perspective may work well for contact center supervisors whose focus is on a particular agent.

2) Unified Border Element Dial Peer Forking commonly known as Cube Based forking

Recordings forked by Unified Border Element are treated from the perspective of the caller. All media flowing to or from the caller gets recorded, no matter how many times the call gets transferred inside the enterprise. Even interactions between the caller and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system where no actual phone is involved are recorded. The only part of the call that is not recorded is a consult call from one IP phone to another, for example, as part of a consult transfer. (That can be recorded if Unified Communications Manager is configured to route IP phone to IP phone calls through a Unified Border Element.) This perspective works well for dispute resolution or regulatory compliance purposes where the focus is on the caller.

3) NBR Forking

With Cisco Unified Communications Manager 10.0 and later, a third option also is available, Unified Communications Manager Network-Based Recording (NBR). With this option, the media is forked from a Unified Border Element, managed by Unified Communications Manager. Unified Communications Manager also offers a fallback feature, by which Unified Communications Manager fallback to IP Phone forking if the Unified Border Element forking is unavailable. By pairing these features, both the caller's and the agent's perspectives can be captured with the exception of any part of the call that precedes delivery to a Unified Communications Manager phone.

Please make sure that you check the differences between these three types of Media Forking under the Unified Communications Manager Network-Based Recording section of below Design Guide to understand what you should deploy in your environment based on the requirements:

Once you will check the differences between these three types of Media Forking, you will understand the most commonly used is Cube Based forking over the other two since it records almost everything including IVR and video as well

Now coming to the configuration part of these forking types is mentioned below:

For BiB forking, refer to below document:

For Unified Border Element Dial Peer Forking, start looking from MediaSense Setup with Cisco Unified Border Element section of below document:

You can also refer to below doc which is not a Cisco DOC but it also covers everything required to setup Unified Border Element Dial Peer Forking

For CM Network Based Recording forking, refer to System Requirements section under the Recording topic of below document:

Last but not the least, below are the documents talking about Selective Unified CM-Based Recording configuration required for UCCX agents and Unity Connection Integration with Media Sense to play Video Greetings to the caller  :



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