Silent Monitoring: CTIOS based vs CCM based

Unanswered Question
Jun 5th, 2008


we are about to implement silent monitoring in our IPCC environment (CCM: 6.1, IPCC: 7.2) with CTIOS based desktop clients. Cisco provide 2 solution: one is CCM based the other is CTIOS based solution.

We were told that the CCM based is the better option and that the CTIOS option is based on an "OLD" architecture, which will maybe no more available in future IPCC releases, so the CCM based is the way to go.

I want an expert view on this matter as we would prefer the CTIOS based solution. will future IPCC release support the CTIOS based version?


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Overall Rating: 4.1 (8 ratings)
lpezj Thu, 06/05/2008 - 06:18

Really I don't know if the CTIOS based solution will desapear, but in my experience it is an straighforrward solution.

If you plan, as in this case, to deploy CCM 6.X probably CCM based is the better solution, because you can have any deployment and have the silent monitor feature availble easily. But keep in mind that this feature is depending on the DMS CallManager feature that it is not available for all the IP Phones.

Hope this helps,

Juan Luis

As Juan Luis says, the built-in bridge is only available on the newer phones - 7911, 7931, 7941, 7961, 7970, 7971. The CCM solution is a much better design in that the monitored voice comes on the same VLAN as normal voice traffic. Other points are:

* Allows Supervisor to monitor Agents through IP phone.

* Monitoring session is managed as normal call (e.g. can be transferred, held, or conferenced)

* Network topology friendly

* Does not require SPAN (not needed on the CTIOS/WinPcap method)

* Plays through phone, not pc

* Provides Call Admission Control, Bandwidth Reservation, and Codec Negotiation

* Provides notification tones when legal compliance is required



lpezj Thu, 06/05/2008 - 07:01

One more thing regarding the list provided by Geoff is that Communicator doesn't support this feature, by now. This can be a problem in some enviroments that use only Communicator for agents.

Hope this helps,

Juan Luis

Jayd000007 Thu, 06/05/2008 - 23:40

Thank you guys for your answers.

That s exactly our problem, we are using 7960 and 7940 which are not compatible with the CCM based solution.

@juan: could you please post the link where it says ip communicator are not supported when CCM based is used?

My other question is still not answered:

will future IPCC release support the CTIOS based version? and how is it with the CTIOS based silent monitoring is an "old" architecture thing??

adignan Fri, 06/06/2008 - 02:09

As long as 7940/60 model phones are supported with CTIos, I don't see this feature going away so you are fairly safe for quite a while in my opinion.

Riccardo Bua Fri, 06/06/2008 - 02:27

There is also a Caveat with the CUCM supervision, supervisor needs to be in a not ready status when monitoring, not sure this would work for all small CC scenarios.



Jayd000007 Fri, 06/06/2008 - 02:34

The caveat you mentioned is not a problem for us. What bugs me is that they told us, the CTIOS based solution is based on an old architecture which will be no more supported in future releases.

winijenh Fri, 06/06/2008 - 03:35

At this point there are no plans to stop supporting the CTI OS-based monitoring method, because of the limitations of the UCM-based method.

We are working to remove these limitations in future releases. Some steps will be taken later this year (e.g. IP Communicator support), others will likely not happen until 2010 (e.g. Mobile Agent support). Part of these plans are to make the solution independent of the IP Phone built-in bridge.

As the UCM-based solution is architecturally much cleaner, it is safe to assume that over time it will replace the CTI OS-based method, but that is not something that will happen quickly. If you have a choice now, deploy the UCM method. If you can't use it because of its limitations, the CTI OS-based method is a good solution.

Willem Evert Nijenhuis

CCBU Product Management

dknov Sun, 06/15/2008 - 21:24


Looking at Cisco documentation it is always mentioned that CTIOS monitoring and recording requires a SPAN port. Is it a "hard" requirement?

I believe I had once seen a reference that since IP Phone traffic is visible to PC connected to the back of the phone and given that this PC has a NIC that supports dot1q, when Supervisor invokes the monitoring option, RTP stream will actually come from Agent PC straight to Supervisor PC and no SPAN is needed. Is this accurate?

If so, is there a configurable option to choose between two methods of silent monitoring?

Is it also true about recording, or since recording requires some hard drive space it is supported only in SPAN mode?



winijenh Mon, 06/16/2008 - 04:09

CTI OS-based silent monitoring is supported in two ways: desktop monitoring where a windows service running on the agent desktop PC captures the voice stream from the built-in switch of the IP Phone (or IP Communicator) and sends it to the supervisor desktop. Alternatively the SPAN-based solution is available. Desktop monitoring is preferred if it can be used (better scalability, no need for SPAN port or monitoring server hardware). The system will use the desktop monitoring method if available (for example, it will detect when running under Citrix and find a SPAN monitoring server instead).

CTI OS does not do recording.

wenqianyu Thu, 06/19/2008 - 18:47

Hi there,

What supervisor software is used for CUCM based silent monitoring?



lpezj Fri, 06/20/2008 - 01:32


You don't need any special software to use this monitoring way. You only need to set up Silent Minitor CallManager based on CTIOS server and if oyu are deploying a custom integration for agents and supervisor based on CTIOS toolkit desktop, you have to use the correct functions for silent monitor described in the CTIOS programmer huide.

Hope this helps,

Juan Luis

wenqianyu Fri, 06/20/2008 - 17:06

Thanks Juan.

We are upgrading our Call Manager to CUCM 612 + UCCX 502. In our current IPCCx 405, we have silent monitoring for IPCC agents using Supervisor Desktop. My impression from Reading about CUCM 6.1 is that it has silent monitoring function for normal IP phone users (Not IPCC agents), but needs to install an application in Supervisor's PC. My question is that can CUCM 612 be used to monitor non IPCC agents? I have not done installation of UCCX502, but in IPCCX 405, when install Supervisor Desktop, you need to enter IPCC server IP address. In an VOIP environment with CUCM 612, if you do not have UCCX or CTIOS server, how you do silent monitoring? If you can do it, what application used?



dknov Sat, 06/21/2008 - 15:04


IPCCE 7.x SRND guide primarily talks about Silent Monitoring with CTI Toolkit Desktop and Supervisor. It gives a very good explanation on how it works, however it hardly touches CAD.

CAD also has monitoring and additonal recording services, however seeing a few remarks on CAD in SRND guide I see that it might be acting differently...

For example SRND states that with CAD only SPAN option exists when monitoring agent using Citrix to run CAD software...

Is there a document that describes how monitoring and recording works with CAD? What similarities does it share with CTI OS clients? Is there a concept of decoupling CAD application from Silent Monitoring Service which would then make it possible to run CAD in Citrix or Mobile agent option?



winijenh Sat, 06/21/2008 - 19:15

Contact Center Enterprise supports 3 monitoring methods: desktop, SPAN and UCM-based. All three are supported by CTI OS desktops as well as CAD desktops. CAD and CTI OS each have their own implementation of the first two methods.

Monitoring using one of the first two methods is initiated from the (CTI OS or CAD) supervisor desktop and the audio is intercepted by the (CTI OS or CAD) agent desktop when using the first method or by the (CTI OS or CAD) monitoring server when using SPAN monitoring; the audio is terminated at the (CTI OS or CAD) supervisor desktop (i.e. at the PC).

A monitoring session using the 3rd method is initiated from the (CTI OS or CAD) supervisor desktop in the same way as the first two methods, and the audio is sent by UCM to the supervisor IP Phone.

Which monitoring method is used depends on configuration and available monitoring servers.

For agent desktops running in Citrix any of these three methods can be used. In order to use the desktop method with Citrix, a CTI OS monitoring service needs to be installed on the PC connected to the phone (same PC as where the Citrix client runs). If this is not possible (e.g. when the PC is not a Windows machine, or when CAD is used), the UCM (preferred) or SPAN method must be used.

For a Mobile Agent only the SPAN method is available (desktop monitoring doesn't work as there is no IP Phone to intercept the traffic from; the UCM method doesn't work as there is no IP Phone to bridge the media streams).

Contact center Express only supports CAD-based desktop or SPAN-based monitoring. It does not support UCM-based monitoring.

Hope this answers most questions raised here. A white paper and presentation material on this topic will be posted on within a few weeks.

Willem Evert, Cisco CCBU Product Management.


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