Communications Manager - Teamed NICs and GigE Speeds

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Jan 31st, 2009
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<p>We've had a vendor install Communications Manager 6.1 (we're also installing UCCE so we couldn't go with CM 7.x).  The vendor is getting ready to hand over the system prompting us to do a review of the "as built."  We've noticed two things about the server configuration that we're curious / concerned about.  First we're using MCS-7845-HP servers (one Publisher, two Subscribers) about 500 phones (right now), integrated with Unity 7 (with Exchange), UCCE 7, and CER 7.</p>

<p>1.  Speed - Even though we run a GigE network (even across our Metropolitan Area Network) with the Unified Communications servers connected to Cisco 3750 GigE ports, they told the installation folks to set the ports to 100/Full.  Why shouldn't these servers (with dual procs and 4 GB of RAM) run at native GigE speeds?</p>

<p>2.  NTF - Network Fault Tolerance appears to be supported (as of Communications Manager ver. 5.x for the 7845 HP servers) but our vendor has said "... yeah, its supported  but not recommended."  This leave a single point of failure with each server (I understand the servers are clustered but why not run them with NTF?).  I understand that it may be too late for this change as the licensing is based on MAC addresses.  Why would we not want to run teamed NICs?</p>

<p>Thanks for your input!!</p>

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Rob Huffman Sat, 01/31/2009 - 19:18
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Hi Ken,


We have our CUCM 7845's connected @ gig speed (Auto/Auto) without any issues;


Support for NIC Teaming


The Cisco Unified Communications Operating System Administration Guide does not indicate the appropriate support for NIC teaming. Server platforms with dual Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) can support NIC teaming for network fault tolerance with Cisco Unified Communications Manager . Cisco began support of NIC teaming on HP servers in the 5.0(1) release and began support on IBM servers in the 6.1(2) release. This feature allows a server to be connected to the Ethernet via two NICs and, hence, two cables. NIC teaming prevents network downtime by transferring the workload from the failed port to the working port. NIC teaming cannot be used for load balancing or increasing the interface speed.



http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/rel_notes/6_1_3/cucm-rel_note-613.html#wp616516">http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/rel_notes/6_1_3/cucm-rel_note-613.html#wp616516



NIC Teaming for Network Fault Tolerance


The NIC teaming feature allows a server to be connected to the Ethernet via two NICs and, therefore, two cables. NIC teaming prevents network downtime by transferring the workload from the failed port to the working port. NIC teaming cannot be used for load balancing or increasing the interface speed.


Hewlett-Packard server platforms with dual Ethernet network interface cards can support NIC teaming for Network Fault Tolerance with Cisco Unified CM 5.0(1) or later releases.


IBM server platforms with dual Ethernet network interface cards can support NIC teaming for Network Fault Tolerance with Cisco Unified CM 6.1(2) and later releases.


 


Connectivity to the IP network should also ensure maximum performance and availability. The Unified CM servers should be connected to the Ethernet at 100 Mbps full-duplex. If 100 Mbps is not available on smaller deployments, then use 10 Mbps full-duplex. Many servers also include the capability of using Gigabit Ethernet, which is also an option. Ensure that servers are connected to the network using full-duplex, which can be achieved with 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps by hard-coding the switch port and the server NIC. For 1000 Mbps, Cisco recommends using Auto/Auto for speed and duplex configuration on both the NIC and the switch port. The default for Cisco Unified CM 6.x is Auto/Auto, and this setting is also the default following an upgrade from a previous Unified CM release.



http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/srnd/6x/callpros.html#wp1043559">http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/srnd/6x/callpros.html#wp1043559


Hope this helps!


Rob

jasondrisc Wed, 05/13/2009 - 06:22
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Guys, I really hate to look like a fool, but I can not find the procedure to configure NIC Teaming. CM 6.1.2.1000-13. I'll gladly take my lumps if its right in front of me but if you could steer me in the right direction I would appreciate it.


Thanks,


Jason

jasondrisc Wed, 05/13/2009 - 06:32
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Dang, sure enough, right there. Thank you for the quick reply.

Tommer Catlin Wed, 05/13/2009 - 06:37
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It will stop your network connection briefly when you enable or disable it. Cheers!

jasondrisc Wed, 05/13/2009 - 06:52
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Thank you very much for the follow up, I wondered about the impact.

Tommer Catlin Mon, 02/02/2009 - 09:06
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To add to Rob's words of wisdom.... If you want to use Gig, you can not force it. It has to be set to Auto/Auto. There is no way to force it like you would 100/full, etc. Something to get used to when you use these servers. Will you ever use a gig in these servers? probably not, but it's there to use.


Cheers


Leo Laohoo Wed, 05/13/2009 - 21:13
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Nice one Rob. +5 from me.

Rob Huffman Thu, 05/14/2009 - 04:51
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Hi Leo,


Thanks for this my friend! Much appreciated.


Cheers!

Rob

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