Configuring OCS Server QoS Part 2: Mediation Server

Part 2 of this series will cover the enabling QoS on the Mediation server. This is slightly different than the FrontEnd as you will need to enable QoS on every Mediation server rather than just the pool. Similar to the last post I will use the TechNet documentation in conjunction with screen shots to make stepping through this the first time a little easier and in some cases you may want to use this in it entirety to help create internal documentation.

Here is a basic overview:

-Using Wbemtest change ServerQoSenabled setting to TRUE on each Mediation server.

-Enable packet scheduler (each Mediation Server)

-Set GPO for conforming packets

Configuring an OCS Mediation Server step by step:

1.Log on to the Mediation Server as a member of the RTCUniversalServerAdmins group or an account with equivalent user rights.
2.Click Start, and then click Run.
3.In the Open box, type wbemtest, and then click OK.
4.In the Windows Management Instrumentation Tester dialog box, click Connect.
5.In the Connect dialog box, in Namespace, type root\cimv2, and then click Connect. and then click Enum Classes.



6.In the Windows Management Instrumentation Tester dialog box, click Enum Classes.
7.In the Superclass info dialog box, leave the name blank, and then click OK.



8.In the Query Result dialog box, double-click the class name MSFT_SIPMediationServerConfigSetting.



9.In the Object editor for MSFT_SIPMediationServerConfigSetting dialog box, click Instances.
10.In the Query Result dialog box, double-click the MSFT_SIPMediationServerConfigSettingInstanceID instance (which should be the only instance available on this Mediation Server).



11.In the Object editor dialog box, in Properties, click QoSEnabled, and then click Edit Property.



12.In the Property Editor dialog box, in Value, specify True, and then click Save Property.



13.In the ObjectEditor dialog box, click Save Object.
14.Restart the Mediation Server service.
15.Repeat the preceding steps on each Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Mediation Server.

To install the QoS Packet Scheduler on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003

1.Log on to the computer as a member of the Administrators group or an account with equivalent user rights.
2.Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
3.Click Network Connections.
4.Right-click the network interface on which you want to enable the QoS Packet Scheduler, and then click Properties.



5.Click Install.
6.In Select Network Component Type, click Service.
7.Click Add.



8.In Select Network Service, click QoS Packet Scheduler, and then click OK.



To verify service type settings on a computer

To support DSCP the GPO settings used by the packet scheduler for GUARANTEED (voice) and CONTROLLEDLOAD (video) must be set to non-zero and enabled.

1. Log on to the computer as a member of the Administrators group or an account with equivalent user rights.
2. Click Start, and then click Run.
3. In the Open box, type gpedit.msc.
4. In the Group Policy Object Editor dialog box, expand Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Template, expand Network, expand QoS Packet Scheduler, and then click DSCP value of conforming packets.



5. In DSCP value of conforming packets, verify that Guaranteed service type and Controlled load service each have the following settings:
• Enabled with a nonzero value. To see the value, right-click the setting, and then click Properties.
• The correct DSCP value

This first sceen shot is of the GUARANTEED values set to Enabled and a DSCP value of 46 (EF)


This second shot is of the CONTROLLEDLOAD value set to enabled and a DSCP value of 34which is typical of video.



Hopefully this has been somewhat helpful. Once complete with QoS configuration on the servers also ensure that you network switch port is set to trust your DSCP markings from your servers for both network ports for the Mediation Server. In the case of Cisco if QoS on a network switch has been enabled this must be set otherwise all DSCP settings will be return to 0. Which means all your hard work would be for nothing.

This is the last post in this series.

Comments and questions welcomed.

VoIPNorm

Wave 14 Resources

It is early on but here are some publicly available resources for Microsoft’s Communications Server “14”. With links to Gurdeep’s keynote and the VoiceCon RFP, it is worth checking out.

http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver/en/us/whats-new.aspx

The next link is Microsoft's VoiceCon RFP response with Wave 14. Noteworthy are the mentions of branch survivability, E911, Call Admission Control and new IP phone devices. Also of interest are the answers to the Call Center section. Although Aspect’s Unified IP was used to answer some of these questions, a large portion can be solved using OCS Response Groups which is included in the licensing cost of OCS ECAL.

http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/9/3/B939AA7C-AB08-49E2-B85D-136EDDAF4071/RFP%20-%20IP%20Telephony%20System.xps

Having seen a few telephony RFP’s during my career this is pretty standard template that VoiceCon have chosen to use and doesn’t really address unified communications. Hopefully next year with the name change to Enterprise Connect, telephony will be part of the all-encompassing UC RFP.

VoIPNorm

VoiceCon day 3: Microsoft Communications Server “14” Announced

Well it has been officially announced. Wave 14 is now public knowledge with some key new features being talked about publicly for the first time. I am not going to try to cover all that was announced but it was certainly interesting. From a high level in no particular order:E911 location tracking, Call Admission Control, Expert Search using Sharepoint to name a few. Probably the thing I saw as the most telling way the industry was heading was when Gurdeep presented the map of the show floor and highlighted every partner that Microsoft have either interoperability or platform integration with for OCS. Well over half of the companies on the showroom floor. Interoprability was also highlighted during IBM's keynote as well.

With the VoiceCon IP-PBX RFP results released today there was another boost in the arm for Microsoft. OCS was the most economical solution based on Wave 14 responses. This included a subset of devices that where the new standalone IP phones and not jsut PC endpoints. I will post a link to the material when they become available.

I took some more shoots today. These are the two new phones that are going to be released for Wave 14 from Aastra and Polycom.

Aastra Information Worker Model...



Polycom's Information Worker model...



IBM are giving away copies of Windows now as their keynote presentation slide said “Windows Free”. JK. Photo from the IBM keynote...



Opps sorry about that, this is the view at the Disney Animal Kingdom from the rooms:- )

This will be the last post from the show as I head home tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

VoIPNorm

VoiceCon Day 2: VoIPNorm Hits the Microsoft Booth

Unfortunately today I have no photos to share but I hit the Microsoft booth to do demos for customers. Being the first time I have done this as an exhibitor it was a truly tiring experience and I have a greater appreciation for the people that man the booths at these types of events. Basically, it was nonstop talking and demoing for the 3 hours I was there. It made the time pass quickly but in the end I was beat.

The only session I attended today was the Cisco keynote. IME was one of their big announcements which was kind of underwhelming for those more familiar with federation which has been around for the last five years or so. Basically, its kind of like federation but with telephone numbers and intelligent call routing. From what I could gather it was for audio and video only but I could be wrong. It was a very high level presenation as you would expect so I am sure more details will follow after the annoucement today.

Tomorrow (which by the time I post this will be today, somewhat of a late night) Microsoft will be doing their keynote and I promise to get more photos up.

Till Tomorrow.

VoIPNorm

VoiceCon day 1: Battle of the Interop Standards and Show Floor Opens

Day one really kicked off with a bang with some heated discussion in the interoperability standards discussion. I didn’t witness the discussion but from what I hear things got pretty heated between a few leading vendors.

The show floor opened up today and all the major players where there. Cisco, Avaya and Shoretel spared no expense on floor space with large booths. Microsoft was towards the back but still with a strong presence.

The Microsoft booth…



Cisco and Avaya in the background…



The Microsoft telephone abacus.



Tomorrow I will get some more booth photos. This is probably the biggest VoiceCon show I have been to. It certainly feels as though the vendors have put a lot more on the line this year and there seems to be a lot of companies in attendance.

Till tomorrow.

VoIPNorm

Catch me at VoiceCon

That’s right folks. Come visit me Tuesday afternoon at VoiceCon at the Microsoft booth. I will be on the floor from 1pm till 3pm. Look for photos and entries over the next few days from the show floor. There are sure to be some big announcements from a number of vendors this year around the wave 14 release and other new products coming out so stay tuned.

VoIPNorm

Enabling QoS on OCS Servers Part 1: Front End Servers

I did consider doing this with one entry but it was way to long so I have broken it into a series. The TechNet documentation is great but sometimes having a screen shot is pretty handy and this configuration is not easy to follow the first time through. Rather than recreate the wheel I have used information from Technet and inserted information where I thought it was most helpful.

There are two important areas to enable QoS on OCS servers(just an FYI OCS supports QoS using DSCP). Front Ends that provide media functionality (conferencing, Attendants, Reponse Groups etc.) and Mediation Servers which provide PSTN connectivity in conjunction with a gateway. This first post I will begin with Front End servers.

The major steps to enable QoS are as follows:
Front End servers

-Using Wbemtest change the ServerQoSenabled setting to TRUE for the pool (only once)
-Enable packet scheduler (each Frontend)
-Set Group Policy for conforming packets. While I am not going to show how to set up your GPO I will present how to check the setting. Also take note that DSCP values represented here are examples only. The DSCP values you use in your production networks may be different that the examples given.

Enabling QoS on Front End Servers ( once per pool as the change occurs in the Backend database and not on the Front End itself)

1. Log on to the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 server as a member of the RTCUniversalServerAdmins group or an account with equivalent user rights. Any front end will be okay. Only has to be done once per pool,
2. Click Start, and then click Run.
3. In the Open box, type wbemtest, and then click OK.



4. In the Windows Management Instrumentation Tester dialog box, click Connect.


5. In the Connect dialog box, in Namespace, specify root\cimv2, and then click Connect.


6. In the Windows Management Instrumentation Tester dialog box, click Query.




7. In the Query dialog box, in Enter Query, do the following:
For an Enterprise pool, specify select * from MSFT_SIPPoolConfigSetting where backend ="", and then click Apply. (Find the instance name in the pool settings in the OCS MMC.)





8. In the Query Result dialog box, double-click the MSFT_SIPPoolConfigSetting instance (which should be the only instance available on this media server).



9. In the Object editor dialog box, in Properties, click ServerQoSEnabled, and then click Edit Property.



10. In the Property Editor dialog box, in Value, specify True, and then click Save Property.



To install the QoS Packet Scheduler on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003:

1. Log on to the computer as a member of the Administrators group or an account with equivalent user rights.
2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
3. Click Network Connections.
4. Right-click the network interface on which you want to enable the QoS Packet Scheduler, and then click Properties.



5. Click Install.
6. In Select Network Component Type, click Service.
7. Click Add.



8. In Select Network Service, click QoS Packet Scheduler, and then click OK.




To verify service type settings on a computer

To support DSCP the GPO settings used by the packet scheduler for GUARANTEED (voice) and CONTROLLEDLOAD (video) must be set to non-zero and enabled.

1. Log on to the computer as a member of the Administrators group or an account with equivalent user rights.
2. Click Start, and then click Run.
3. In the Open box, type gpedit.msc.
4. In the Group Policy Object Editor dialog box, expand Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Template, expand Network, expand QoS Packet Scheduler, and then click DSCP value of conforming packets.



5. In DSCP value of conforming packets, verify that Guaranteed service type and Controlled load service each have the following settings:
• Enabled with a nonzero value. To see the value, right-click the setting, and then click Properties.
• The correct DSCP value

This first sceen shot is of the GUARANTEED values set to Enabled and a DSCP value of 46 (EF)


This second shot is of the CONTROLLEDLOAD value set to enabled and a DSCP value of 34which is typical of video.



Hopefully this has been somewhat helpful. Once complete with QoS configuration on the servers also ensure that you network switch port is set to trust your DSCP markings from your servers. In the case of Cisco if QoS on a network switch has been enabled this must be set otherwise all DSCP settings will be return to 0. Which means all your hard work would be for nothing.

Comments and questions welcomed.

VoIPNorm

100th Post Guess the Search Term Competition

I thought I would celebrate the 100th post here on VoIPNorm with a giveaway. I have a Microsoft LifeCam Cinema to giveaway to the first person who can answer the following question:

Guess the keyword people most often used in search engine searches to reach VoIPNorm? Hint: I have mentioned it in previous posts.

Competition rules:

Unfortunately mailing cost will be at my expense so the competition is only open to those residing in the USA.

Only one comment will be accepted per person as your entry. Make sure to leave an email address in your entry so I can contact you to get your address details. Comments that are left without an email address will not count and will be removed.

The first person to leave a comment with the exact correct response is the winner.

The competition will run until I have announced a winner via a comment with the words “THE COMPEITION IS OVER AND THE WINNER IS” with the winning search entry with accompanying email address. So there is no time limit.

Good luck and start searching.

VoIPNorm

Video:Presence Liars

Are you a presence liar???????????

video

Thanks to Jamie Stark from Microsoft for letting me use his home made educational material.

VoIPNorm

QoS or More Bandwidth. Where do you stand?

I keep running into this and I thought it would be an interesting question. Quality of Service is a pretty common network configuration to help with ensuring your voice quality on enterprise networks. I have come across a number of large enterprises (10,000 + endpoints) that have deployed IP telephony and haven’t deployed QoS. They have gone for the approach of keeping the network simple and making sure there is adequate bandwidth.

The benefits of QoS are of course well documented and not just limited to voice. It certainly brings forward a number of points about cost of network to complete QoS over bandwidth upgrades and to what level is voice and video acceptable. Of course the world’s largest network (the Internet) doesn’t support QoS with millions of people using it for voice, video and everything else every day. So what side of the argument do you stand?

Comments welcomed.

VoIPNorm

Review: Polycom CX300

First off, I really like this device. For people that struggle to make the transition from phone to just a headset this device is for you. Ergonomically this device is far superior to earlier models of USB handsets. Yes, you can place the hand set between your shoulder and head without it slipping out. That seems like a strange test but it is a common thing.

Of course the biggest thing is the dial pad. The most common comment I hear about Communicator is that people didn’t know where to enter a phone number when trying to dial for the first time since there is no dial pad for initial dialing, only once you have a conversation started. I have also had some interesting feedback from people that are die hard Communicator users, when they get this device they instinctively go back to dialing with a dial pad. Old habits die hard.

The LCD display is pretty handy for when the computer is locked and you want to see who is calling and answer the call without unlocking. As far as sound quality goes again a big improvement over previous USB handsets with support for wideband audio.

The CX300 also has some other handy shortcut buttons for voicemail, call redirection and answering a second call. Lastly I will mention it has MWI. The LED is embeded in the one button but is pretty bright.



This device’s adoption rate has far exceeded expectations according to my source at Polycom, which to me is no surprise. With a retail price point of about $160 it really is well worth a look when investigating UC devices that help overcome the PC jitters of form factor.



Find out what the Communcator Team had to say on their blog about the CX300.

1 Billion Remote Workers

This is a quick story on remote worker growth. Asia/Pacific is certainly going to be a hot spot for UC in the coming years so its progression will certainly be something to watch as vendors move their focus from US markets to Asia.