Twitter updates from Intrinsic Connect

12 October 2011

Twitter updates from Intrinsic Connect

We’ve recently integrated posting direct from Twitter into Intrinsic Connect. This way we can share with you any interesting information that we subscribe to from other industry feeds. The format of these postings is slightly different to ones that we create. The subject will look like:

RT @*Source* *Subject* *Content*

This is simply due to Twitter’s 140 character message limitation. There will also generally be a “” hyperlink to the actual page in question. Postings from Intrinsic Connect also synchronise the other way, and end up on our Twitter Feed

Any questions, please contact us.


Barry Hesk

Call Waiting on Cisco 6921, 6941 and 6961 Handsets

7th October 2011

Call Waiting on Cisco 6900 Series handsets

An additional update to one of our previous posts.

As mentioned previously, the Cisco 6900 series handsets only support one call per line. This means that Call Waiting, which is supported on 99.9% of other handsets does not work on the 6900s out of the box. The only way to configure Call Waiting is to assign a line to another button on the handset (assuming you have one spare) and then configure “call forward busy” on the first line to send calls to this.

Only one word for this. Ugly.

Buyer beware. The 6900s look very attractive because of their price point, however the more we see, the less we like.

6900 Series Handset

Barry Hesk

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Release 8.6(2) Upgrade

7th October 2011

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Release 8.6(2)

Nice little challenge if you’re upgrading any Cisco MCS7825H3 servers to CUCM 8.6(2) or indeed Unity Connection to the same release.

In a nutshell, the upgrade process converts the RAID on the server from hardware to software based and effectively results in a total reformat of the machine during the process. A few points about this:

  • You need to attach an external USB storage drive with a minimum size of 16GB (CUCM) or 128 GB (CUC) to the physical server. During the upgrade the server will dump off its current config to the USB drive and then import it after the format is complete.
  • The USB drive will be reformatted during the operation so beware!
  • Obviously this means that remote upgrades will not be possible, and physical access to the machine will be required.
  • Finally, as the server is formatted, you cannot switch back to the old version like you can on most other upgrades. The only way to revert the software is to reimage the entire server, and restore from DRS backup. Ouch!

A link the release notes is here which provides more details on the process.

Because of the RAID conversion, the process can take at least a couple of hours longer than previous upgrades.

Not as straight foward as other upgrades it is fair to say.

Barry Hesk

PCI-DSS Made Simple

October 6th 2010

PCI DSS Compliance Made Simple

Thanks to the folks over at Cisco Systems for this page which provides an easy to understand outline of the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and some sensible advice on how businesses should approach it.

PCI DSS Compliance Made Simple

PCI DSS needs to be considered by all businesses that process or store credit card data. The above link is very much an overview, and more in depth information is available at the official PCI Security Council web site

Barry Hesk

Cisco UCM and Unity Connection VMware on non Cisco hardware

5th October 2011.

Cisco UCM and Unity Connection VMware on non Cisco hardware

Finally. Finally. Finally.

Cisco now officially support deployment of key Unified Communications applications included Communications Manager and Unity Connection on non Cisco hardware when using VMware.

The use of VMware was meant to speed up deployment and provides all of the key business benefits that are brought to the party by virtualization. However, Cisco’s previous insistence that formal support would only be provided when running VMware on Cisco’s own UCS hardware platform was in our minds (a) ridiculous and (b) a massive inhibitor to deployment of new installations.

It’s only a start. It is only selected HP and IBM server configurations that will pass muster with Cisco TAC and the VMs must be built with Cisco’s own OVA templates, however we have to acknowledge that Cisco have finally listened and it’s a step in the right direction. VMware is meant to remove hardware limitations and requirements so we can only hope that Cisco add to their supported platforms list as time moves on.

Barry Hesk.

More Cisco UC Installation Issues

30th September 2011

Cisco CUCM 8.6 Installation Problems

Yet more severe problems upgrading to the latest version of Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

We’d already reported a problem with the Unity Connection 8.5 installer hanging. Now it seems that other issues are present in the latest 8.6 releases too. As the operating system code base is common across all of the main Cisco UC applications, thes issues will probably impact Communications Manager, Unity Connection and and Contact Centre Express.

Details of the issues are:

1. Upgrading to 8.6(2) seems to work ok. A “switch version” is issued on the Publisher. After the reboot, the publisher comes up for a few minutes and then reboots again on the old version. Cisco TAC need to be involved to fix this issue. The latest code on CCO is still broken.
2. Instaled 8.6(2) on the Publisher; rebooted and all ok (see the previous issue). Attempted to install 8.6(2) on Subscriber. Installation hangs for hours and has to be cancelled. Workaround for this is to run the upgrade with “Automatic switch back to previous version if upgrade is successful” set to “no”.

Being brutally honest, this is all an utter mess. Cisco seem unable, or unwilling to actually test anything before they release it these days and it is starting to have a huge impact with customers.

Barry Hesk