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Get the latest new and information the November issue of the Cisco Small Business Monthly Newsletter

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Beginner

UC LAN Deployment

Hi,

We've put in a couple of UC540s now there is something really bugging me that I wanted some feedback on... It seems to be painful to make it into just a telephone system... Of the installs we have completed so far, not one customer has wanted to use it as a wireless access point, router, or firewall. So each time, we find ourselves having to disable DHCP and add ip routes within the CLI just to get it to talk to the internet and basically not interfere with everything else. Even if our customers didn't mind it being their router, firewall and wireless AP I would be reluctant to allow it - in my opinion, something like a phone system should not be publicly facing; it is designed to be a phone system, like a security appliance is designed to protect a network. What are the benefits of going against instinct and using this system as a router, switch, AP and firewall as well as a pbx? Why have Cisco made it so difficult to use as just a LAN device - or is it just us doing it wrong?

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8 REPLIES 8
Beginner

UC LAN Deployment

I can't answer anything except to say, as the end user, I'm in total agreement

Rising star

UC LAN Deployment

Hi Stuart,

Your comments/feelings would probably resonate with quite a few people on these forums

However one needs to take a step back for a minute and look at Cisco as a core hardware vendor and see what is actually being offered, when you REALLY take a look at it from the right angel, a greater level of understanding comes into play.

For instance, the UC-500 IOS is not too dissimilar to that of their core switching and routing products, knowing this logically it would tell you that the core fundamentals of the UC appliances (ISR or UC-500 series) are derivatives of the core product lines... This now ventures into the territory of weighing out the differences between the Cisco appliances and its competitors (Vastly differentiates them).

Whilst you can purchase a Cisco for just its telephony side of things, I would argue that the purchase decision then might not have been sound when going through the sales cycle process (This is my argument only), as much as I hate admitting it, there have been a few times now when I have just turned around and said that the Cisco is just not the right solution for this opportunity, simply put if it aint right, you shouldn't be selling it for the sake of making a sale.

From my perspective Cisco operate under the pretences of their appliances being Unified Communications, and under this banner all core aspects of Unified come into play I.E Switching, Routing & Security and then over the top of that the application layer *Telephony* which incompasses all telephony related subjects.

In this context though I have myself in quite a few cases put a UC into quite a few environments to act as purely nothing but a telephony device, but what the client didn't know is that the Unit was placed into a position to be ready at anytime to manage the network with a simple few small changes (Again something that gave us the advantage over our competitors) this wins the trust and respect of the clients when you want to win it the most.

Understand the appliance more intemately and I assure you that you will understand the best practices in deploying them in any scenario, but there is one thing that should always be considered, what was the device designed to do, and then follow the Cisco Smart Design practices.

Lastly CCA whilst not perfect and with its own set of problems, is your best friend when building and designing the system, putting the system into pure telephony mode is never an issue if the right options are chosen, (And made much easier with CCA 3.1.1), but I would caution anyone about removing the security aspects of the system, wether you realize it now or later, this is what has protected our clients when a spate of Toll fraud happened to other vendor equipment that had no inbuilt security at all, wether we like it or not, telephony equipment these days needs to be Internet facing, especially if you want to use the Unified aspect of it to its fullest.

/rant

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 :) *
Beginner

UC LAN Deployment

Hi David,

I can't say I completely agree, but I do feel a little "owned"!... Lol

Rising star

UC LAN Deployment

Oh Cr*p that was not my intention with my post :(

Sorry if it com across that way, that was not my attention at all.

If there is any particular issue that is troubling you, would certainly love to try and help you out with it.

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 :) *
Beginner

UC LAN Deployment

Don't worry.

What functionality is lost by not using the core hardware functionality? i.e. not using router, vpn, firewall etc.. Does anything rely on it being positioned that way?

Rising star

UC LAN Deployment

Hi Stuart,

Sorry for the late reply, I disconnect on weekends and remain unplugged until Monday these days

Actually your question is a pretty good one

No functionality perse is lost, as a phone system the UC-500 works like a charm, but you have to ask yourself why would you spend so much money on a system that has all these capabilities and not use them or offer them to the client??

Some sell it because of Brand, others sell the opportunity of the system but end up not using half of them because it turns out it might be too much for them to do it, and others simply do not know how to position the hardware during the sales cycle and stuff it up completly.

But all-in-all, nothing is lost but then again nothing is gained in doing so (So to speak), I guess your sales position then because one of quality hardware and Cisco SmartNet (SBS) contract which covers the system and the client.

Did I answer your question right or did I miss the mark on this one??

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 :) *
Beginner

UC LAN Deployment

Hi David,

Thanks for your reply.

As a phone system it works well, but there are certain issues I have with it that I cannot understand! For example, why does it by default, remove the first '0' from inbound numbers so you cannot call the user back? You shouldn't have to manually stop that.. In fact, the only way to correct that is by adding a translation rule by CLI, am I right?

Admittedly, we try to fit the UC5xx to every situation we can, so I just needed to understand what angles to take when proposing the UC5xx. Unfortunately, using one of its core functions does not always fit the bill. For example, a customer with 33 extensions is getting a 10/100 leased line from us and 20 SIP trunks. They also want a PBX. Now I may be wrong, but to me, having the UC5xx as a router for a leased line does not sit right.. To think of it, does it support BGP?

You answered my questions indeed, so thank you for that.

Rising star

UC LAN Deployment

Hi Stuart,

As a phone system it works well, but there are certain issues I have  with it that I cannot understand! For example, why does it by default,  remove the first '0' from inbound numbers so you cannot call the user  back? You shouldn't have to manually stop that.. In fact, the only way  to correct that is by adding a translation rule by CLI, am I right?

Ahhh the very question that many of us would like answered

I don't know about the area you live in, but the carrier does not provide the steering digit on incoming calls in my area, and in fact strip the leading area code digit and also the leading "0" for mobile numbers (Pain in the butt), and the Cisco does not remove any, it just simply does not add which really never made sense to me either...

In CCA 3.1.1 there is an option now to modify the call-back-rules which allows you to place a "0" or two "00" in front of the number so that way it can be called back, it works seamlessly on BRI/PRI circuits but I believe it does not properly apply this rule on FXO provided circuits, possibly would get resolved in another version maybe.

This is located in your telephony draw right down the bottom.

Admittedly, we try to fit the UC5xx to every situation we can, so I just  needed to understand what angles to take when proposing the UC5xx.  Unfortunately, using one of its core functions does not always fit the  bill. For example, a customer with 33 extensions is getting a 10/100  leased line from us and 20 SIP trunks. They also want a PBX. Now I may  be wrong, but to me, having the UC5xx as a router for a leased line does  not sit right.. To think of it, does it support BGP?

WOW!! Never been asked the BGP question before No Idea actually, never had to use it before with any of the leased lines we provide via Telstra the incumbent here in Australia. Given that it is an IOS and there is not a HUGE difference between it and say an ISR 2800/2900 (All of them can run CME) it might even support it, but the sticking point would be that CCA does not support it, which would then ask the question why not??

A pretty damn good question Stuart.

Putting aside any fan boi tendencies, positioning the UC-500 series systems in any sales cycle is never an easy one, navigating the murky waters of not intruding on any I.T house that might be managing the site, upsetting in-house I.T people, over committing to the client on what the system can do, or silly things like coming across people who just hate Cisco and would rather see them burn (Yes get it all the time) and would rather a Dell or a HP procurve switching fabric, and then there is the whole thing of having the I.T people agree on how the UC will integrate into the network... Actually the list is quite large so will stop there, but all these things are hard to navigate, annoying to deal with and sometime just outright dangerous because you just know something is going to come back and bite you in the A** .

So I know what you are saying I don't think you can position the Cisco UC-500 on any single core capabilities, not that I haven't tried before, but this is in reference to everything else but the telephony side, so I always try for a combined feature effort, even if they don't get used at least they know it is capable of it.

Good luck any way, you are doing more than a lot of other partners I have seen in the past do, ASK questions and get feed back, some of them just pump and dump and then leave a trail of mess behind them, quite encouraging to see

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 :) *