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David Trad
Rising star

Review of CCA 3.1 & SWP-8.2 [UPDATED 08-08-2011]

Hi Cisco Team,

Firstly let me just congratulate you on the release of CCA 3.1 and what a FINE release it is

So let the fun begin...

Was bored on the weekend so I decided to give this thing a good once over, and finished it of this morning by checking its ability to work with 3.0.1 based configurations, and I must say, CCA 3.1 performed exceptionally well, and was pleasantly surprised by a number of things.

Pros:

  • The new Icon, whilst not a functional thing, cosmetics is always a good thing the new Icon looks the part and I quite like it, no more confusion between CCA and CNA as they both shared similar Icons
  • The Speed of it... WOW!!!! This new version loads up in half the time of version 3.0.1, uses up about 40% less memory on first load up which is a pretty good sight to see
  • Discovery process is vastly improved, the speed is much better and you can start working pretty much in half the time as the previous version, no more having ot get a coffer whilst waiting for it to discover everything to be able to work in a safe environment without causing issues with CCA
  • Loading up the User information is brilliant and exceptionally fast, WELL DONE team, that is just an awesome sight to see again
  • Good touch with the customization of the ephone-templates much needed addition, 10 templates is a good amount
  • Assignment of templates on a per phone basis... EXCELLENT!!! previously this could only be done via CLI and CCA would at times remove this configuration randomly, so this is a welcomed addition
  • Bilingual phones.. Great addition team, great addition
  • New Call Back Rule....... Oh stop it, your spoiling us, a very long awaited feature and very much welcome \0/ **Celebrates** you have no idea how much this frustrated installers/engineers like myself and customers alike not to be able to redial on a missed call, it is an absolute pain to have to train a group on how to press edit and add the steering digit in, they just give you this dumb founded look as to why such a complexity in doing such a simple function... I am cheering on the inside on this one
  • New Scripts look good, have done any tests with them as of yet, but I am sure many people will be happy to see them
  • Voice Mail Zero Out Option... Not to spoil the review, but ABOUT TIME this is yet again a very much welcomed feature and long awaited
  • Manual DTMF configuration for SIP trunk is a great addition, again removes the need of trying to do this on the CLI, a big thanks to the team for this one
  • Unlocking the Meet-Me from the outside world, a great feature but I have always been a little worried about this, I guess it will serve its purpose to a wider audience
  • In-bound Caller ID... Happy to see this however Software Pack 8.1 has issues with this on an IOS level, so I am assuming this is in preparation to 8.2 coming out soon
  • Local Directory Support... WooooooooooooooooooooHoooooooooooooooo!!!! I was toasting to this on the weekend
  • Disable DHCP server... YOU BEAUTY!!! Another welcomed addition, Fantastic Team
  • Crash Information gathering, this is just awesomeness it is helpful as removing the flash card or tftp can be a pain in the butt
  • Back Ground (Desktop Pictures) management is fantastic, again another huge thanks for this
  • Addition of the 300 series switches for management, if the ESW range is being replaced by these switches then we needed the ability to use CCA to management them

CCA is starting to take good form, it is edging close to be in competition with its fellow WEB GUI, given that in the past if we engineers needed to do remote work we had SSH or via Port Forwarding web access to the GUI, we are still not quite there yet with CCA, and when you can get VPN access and for CCA to work with it, you have a partial replacement, but still a long way away from reaching that goal. None-The-Less, 3.1 provides a good insight into the road map of its development, and so far it is clear that the design team is listening to the community at large, it is evident that our collective opinions/thoughts are being looked at and this can only serve to make CCA a more well received configuration tool, especially with those who are still quite adamant that it cannot serve as a replacement for the WEB GUI or CLI.

CONS:

  • No ability to turn call waiting beeps of, this still needs to be done via the CLI. If it is in CCA 3.1 it is hidden, I spent at least 30 minutes looking through every user based section trying to find a way to do this
  • Topology still does not quite save properly, it is fine until you add a new device and then it goes all over the place again, not crucial but annoying none-the-less, and Bonjour devices do not save in the position you put them, in particular printers they are the worst culprits
  • Inability to apply IDLE screen service URL's, this is a major request given that Cisco is now being looked at for Hotel based environments, being able to push information to the phones via the service URL to idle screens is a great feature, this can only be achieved via CLI and not sure if this will be removed in SWP-8.2
  • Inability to convert the Topology to PDF format still
  • Missing ability to print out call flow topology once the system has completed the Telephony Wizard, this is a powerful feature and Cisco really needs to introduce this in its next version
  • Lack of SCC configuration management, this was a much needed feature given the issues that are being faced by engineers, this is an absolute must for the next release, or even better on a maintenance release
  • IOS not letting the user add another List.xml file, which means you can only place custom images onto one phone at a time, it will throw up an at you advising you that this is already being served, which is in fact not being served, a bug that must have been missed in the QA process
  • The link to download the SSL software is broken, when you click on it to takes you to a site that displays the following error  "The download process was interrupted.Please restart the download process. If you continue to see this message, contact Cisco support at web-help@cisco.com

Not many CONS can be listed at this stage, the major issues that were outstanding in CCA 3.0.1 still have to be put through their paces and this can only be done (In theory) on the same systems that this issue was happening.

To be put to the test in round 2 of testing:

  • Bulk user modifications: Version 3.0.1 had a nasty issue of randomly deleting user configuration or not properly applying the request and at time disabling that users details in the system
  • CCA Correctly applying Park Slot configuration without having to restart the whole system, on all installs that required Park Slots after the fact, this issue is prevalent and at each of those installation the only way to get Park Slots working was to restart the whole system once the configuration was applied
  • Brand New build from scratch, I have quite a few installs coming up soon and I hope to be able to do them on SWP-8.2 and CCA 3.1

The Wrap Up:

All up there was about 6-8 hours spent looking over this, and overall this is a good release and it has the HUGE thumbs up, no where near as many features as what I thought it would have, and given that Cisco do not seem to publicly show what is on the road map I suspect that there will be some with shared disappointment and others who have been hanging out for some of these very much needed features with shared excitement.

Who knows maybe the next release of CCA will be a huge surprise and it will be a Xmas present wrapped up with all sorts of goodies, the real compliment would be having a well defined and workable Office Manager that is vastly improved and will work hand in hand with the latest CCA, but alas that is another issue entirely.

All-in-All my hat goes of to the Cisco Team, a job well done and I am looking forward with a renewed energy for the next release of CCA, by the time we have exhausted this versions capabilities we should be ready for the next big surprise...

Cheers,

David.

Cheers, David Trad. **When you rate a persons post, you are indicating a thank you or that it helped, but at the same time you are also helping to maintain the community spirit - You don't have to rate posts and you wont be looked down upon :) *
37 REPLIES 37

David,

I command you for your sense of humor after all the troubles you've run into. Thank you seeing the glass as half full and not as half empty.

- Anna

JP Rike
Beginner

David - Great review. I just deployed the new SWP on our office UC. I love that my office is the guniea pig for everything. They are always the first to complain so we will know if there are any issues. The new CCA is much improved. I am even more excited for the licensing increase.

Anna - Make sure the CCA team keeps up the great work and thank you for the vastly improved CCA!

- JP

Thank you, JP. I'll pass on your comments to the theam.

- Anna

Ryan Hardy
Enthusiast

Just my 2 cents on changing IP's.  Dont do it in the wizard, wait till that is done, then go change it.  Im sure they say you should be able to change that, but back when i used to use CCA, something would always fail. 

RYAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You hit the nail on the head, I have now been able to reproduce the issue, in fact out of 5 rebuilds 3 of them went pear shaped due to changing the VLAN-1 Subnet during the Wizard process, that is a bad failure rate.

I think I may need to change the way I do things, and I would be best to do the change after the fact so that way the system build stays in tact

CCA Team please take note, this will need to be addressed over time, there is justifiable work around's that can make do until it is further investigated, maybe your engineering team can play with various scenarios and try to reproduce this, some notes for them to take consideration of.

Builds are done on Laptops or Note Books:

Laptop Specs:

CPU:                Interl Centrino 1.7Ghz

RAM:                2GB

OS:                   Windows XP vanilla install (Meaning nothing but the OS and Cisco Software installed)

Screen:          14.1" screen (Irrelevant I know)

Netbook Specs:

CPU:               Intel Atmon 1.6Ghz

RAM:               2GB

OS:                  Windows 7

Screen:          11.6" 1366x768 (The best net book ever )

I am confident that the system environment can be eliminated from the equation, but hey I am happy if this needs to be explored further.

Cheers,

David.

Cheers, David Trad. **When you rate a persons post, you are indicating a thank you or that it helped, but at the same time you are also helping to maintain the community spirit - You don't have to rate posts and you wont be looked down upon :) *

Thank you, David. I'll ask the team to take a look at the VLAN 1 subnet change in Telephony Set-up Wizard.

renato.guimaraes
Beginner

Great post David! Good job to the CCA team on the updates, I haven't a chance to update my CCA yet but will today. I will wait at least a week or two before updating our UC's to swp 8.2, I'm already hearing complaints about SIP and configuration issues.  I got 20 UC540/560's that need to be updated so I think I might wait a bit.

I'm still a little pissed about the holiday date entries not affecting the business schedule. I know this is "by design" and only affects AA..but it just doesn't make any sense!! Why would my phone not switch to the "Closed" greeting during Labor Day?? I'm able to work around it by manually changing the systemschedule to one I created called "Holiday" that is basically no open hours on the schedule (Under VM Configuration...) .

Anyway, please fix! Thanks!

Hi Renato,

The way to get around scheduling (And it is not the best answer but it does work) is to use Office Manager, this can then be managed by an individual on site and since Holidays may change, it can be quickly and easily activated, or OM can do auto scheduling, not sure why it does it better than CCA, but OM seems to work better for this

Cheers,

David.

Cheers, David Trad. **When you rate a persons post, you are indicating a thank you or that it helped, but at the same time you are also helping to maintain the community spirit - You don't have to rate posts and you wont be looked down upon :) *

Thanks for the response David. I'm afraid that using OM will screw up my config as it has in the past. And from your original post, I can already tell it's still giving you a hard time.

David Trad
Rising star

Well CCA 3.1 is going to get a good bash with 2X UC-540W's ready to be put on the chopping block.. That would be the next review update, I am interested to see what comes of it as of late I have only been working with UC-560 systems.

Cheers,

David.

Cheers, David Trad. **When you rate a persons post, you are indicating a thank you or that it helped, but at the same time you are also helping to maintain the community spirit - You don't have to rate posts and you wont be looked down upon :) *

Do you know of any 3rd party books/references that “walk” you through the telephony side?

The info on the site is just all disparate docs etc – and the Help files say things like “ the ACA is the automatic call attendant” DOH!

For someone like me who is all network and no telephones, configuring (correctly!) the PABX side of things is a bit of a mystery…

Regards,

Robert Prideaux

Director

Ailean OnLine

Description: Description: ailean_colour_complete_sml

Hi Robert,

I am not aware of any books per`se sorry mate..

But I am thinking of one weekend doing a Video using Adobe showing the whole process, a basic configuration, semi complex and then an advanced setup with funky call routing possibilities..

Would something like this help you out if I do venture down this track??

Cheers,


David.

Cheers, David Trad. **When you rate a persons post, you are indicating a thank you or that it helped, but at the same time you are also helping to maintain the community spirit - You don't have to rate posts and you wont be looked down upon :) *

Hugely helpful!

Am guessing this is what really stretches you in most of your sites?

Regards,

Robert Prideaux

Director

Ailean OnLine

Description: Description: ailean_colour_complete_sml

so how is it going with CCA 3.1?

(and 8.2 I guess?)

Have you ironed out the bugs? (I am not installing until I know you are happy!)

I have a new toy to amuse myself with J

I have borrowed a demo unit of a Network Certifier… a JDSU 40G.

I am thinking of buying it and setting up a sideline in certifying cable plant for the Cablers around town – who don’t seem to have them.

Bit of a bite; but that is what leases are for J

And it all started with this client with the UC560 – and the appalling cable infrastructure, a lot of which was governed by the even worse building design – however it quickly shows you the limitations of a basic continuity tester!

renato.guimaraes
Beginner

Has anyone tested the SSL VPN function of the SPA525 phones? It's been a major fail for a long time now.