What I would like to see in future CCA releases

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Sep 25th, 2009
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I actually am aware of the fact that CCA does not have the same level of flexibility that the CLI has, at least for IOS devices. I have familiarized myself with the IOS commands used on the UC520 because CCA 1.6 could not configure every feature that our customers needed.

I really like the web-based GUIs in some of the new Small Business Pro products, such as the ESW 520, ESW 540, SA520, and SA540. These web-based GUIs are better designed and can configure every feature found in the device. On the other hand, CCA has left out features that are commonly used on the UC520 and UC540. CCA really needs to have the flexibility provided by the Cisco Configuration Professional program and the web-based GUIs found on various Small Business Pro products.

Improvements that really need to be made to CCA:

  • Ability to configure a shared extension that is made up of multiple ephone-dns, each with the same number but with different preference values
    • The ability to configure a shared extension consisting of a single ephone-dn does exist since CCA 2.0
    • The ability to do the same thing with multiple ephone-dns is not in CCA yet. Configuring this feature in CLI breaks CCA compatibility currently, and we use this feature at every customer site that has the UC520.
    • We use this feature at all of our UC520 customer sites.
  • Ability to configure site-to-site VPNs
    • This is already possible in CCA 2.1 with the Multisite Manager
    • The ability to do a more advanced configuration needs to be added to CCA. The CCP and SDM programs supported on the Cisco Integrated Services routers, and the SA500 web GUI actually allow you to set up site-to-site VPNs.
  • Ability to edit access control lists within CCA
    • The ability to re-arrange ACLs in CCA is possible in situations where CCA needs to modify ACLs and detects that the ACLs have been modified outside of CCA.
    • An ACL editor similar to that provided in CCP, SDM, and the SA500 web GUI, and needs to be exposed on the left hand side of the CCA window.
  • Ability to make changes to the UC520, UC540, and SR520 configuration remotely without a VPN
    • This feature will make it easier to the TAC, SBSU, and partners to diagnose problems on UC520, UC540, and SR520 units without being at the customer site.
    • The full CCA functionality will not be available remotely without a VPN. This has to do with the fact that some of the functionality of the UC520 and UC540 is dependent of either being connected to the UC520 at the actual customer site, or accessing the UC520 through a VPN connection. Examples of features that are dependent of eiither being connected at the actual customer site or connecting through a VPN connection include:
        • IOS, CME, CUE, and/or phone load software upgrades. Remotely upgrading software requires a different procedure from upgrading at the actual customer site, and needs to be done in CLI. This is because you need to do the following steps in a remote upgrade:
          • Connect to the UC500 with the Cisco VPN Client
          • Back up the current CUE configuration
          • Leave the currently running IOS image (whose filename starts with uc500-advipservices on UC520 units), and the vlan.dat file behind, but remove all of the other obsolete files. Upgrading from pre-7.0.2 releases to 7.0.2 or later requires you to delete all files other than the IOS image or vlan.dat file in this step as the directory structure has been rearranged in 7.0.2.
          • Copy the new IOS image over to the UC520. Verify that the new IOS image has been copied over and is not corrupted by executing the verify command.
          • Delete the old IOS image from the UC520, but do not delete the new IOS image from the UC520.
          • Extract the contents of the CME-Phone-Loads.tar (or a modified version of it containing the needed phone loads) and CME-Support-Files.tar files through the archive tar /xtract command. You might need to use 7-Zip to create a modified CME-Phone-Loads.tar file that has the unneeded phone loads removed in order to save flash memory space, and extract that file through the archive tar /xtract command. CCA 2.1 and later can deal with a UC520 or UC540 unit that does not have all of the phone loads present in its flash memory.
          • Copy the <UC500 model number>-factory-<UC500 software version>.cfg file over to the UC520 unit, where <UC500 model number> is substituted with the UC500 model number (such as UC520W-8U-4FXO-K9), and <UC500 software version> is substituted with the UC500 software version (such as 7.0.3).
          • If upgrading to 7.0.2 or later from a pre-7.0.2 release, making these changes in configuration mode (entered by typing the conf t command):
            • Executing the ip http path flash:/gui/ command
            • Executing the telephony-service command in config mode, and then entering the moh flash:/media/music-on-hold.au command
          • Removing the old tftp-server entries and adding the new tftp-server entries. The new tftp-server entries can be found in the <UC500 model number>-factory-<UC500 software version>.cfg (where <UC500 model number> is substituted with the UC500 model number  and <UC500 software version> is substituted with the UC500 software version) that you copied over to the UC500 unit.
          • Performing the CUE upgrade if the CUE version is different from that installed on your UC500 unit. This requires you to do the following:
            • Back up the current CUE configuration.
            • Install the upgraded CUE version by executing the software install upgrade url <FTP URL of CUE package file> username <FTP username> password <FTP password> command. The CUE package file for CUE 7.0 and later is cue-main.ise.<CUE version>.pkg, and the CUE package file for CUE 2.3, 3.0, and 3.2 is cue-vm.ise.<CUE version>.pkg.
            • Restore the CUE configuration if necessary.
          • Rebooting the UC500 unit through the reload command
        • CUE backups
        • CUE prompt uploading
        • CUE Web GUI access (This is not done through CCA, but through a web browser.)
        • This feature requires one of the following to be configured:
          • WAN interface on UC520, UC540, or SR520 is configured with public IP address
          • UC520, UC540, or SR520 is exposed through static NAT or similar mechanism
          • The appropriate ports of the UC520, UC540, or SR520 is exposed through port forwarding
        • We often need to remotely make changes to CME or CUE configuration. As such, we need to be able to remote into UC520 or UC540 units to make the appropriate changes.
        • We need to remote to a UC520 unit from another customer site during a multisite install. This is needed to get site-to-site VPNs and dial peers configured. I have read over the CCA 2.1 SBCS System Administrator Guide, and according to that guide, you have to configure the Internet settings, telephony settings, the VPN settings, and the multisite dial plan settings at the first site first, and then configure the other sites. Often times, when we deploy additional UC520 units in a multisite scenario, we might not have the VPNs or the additional dial peers configured on the other UC520s. We need to be able to remote in to the UC520 at the first site from the second site and configure the VPNs and additional dial peers. The Multisite Manager really needs to utilize this feature.
        • The necessary changes to the firewall settings and UC520 configuration need to be able to be done through CCA instead of through CLI. CCA is currently unable to make all of the configuration changes needed to support this feature.
        • Easy VPN Server settings cannot be remotely changed through CCA over a VPN connection. However, it is possible to remotely change these settings through a SSH setting using CLI. CCA should support changing these settings remotely without needing to establish a VPN connection.
        • The SA500 Web GUI provides an easy way to enable remote access into the SA500 through HTTPS. SDM provides a similar method for providing remote access to a Cisco router. CCA is missing this feature, and it really needs to be available in CCA for the UC520, UC540, SR520, and SA500.
      • Addition of P-Asserted-Identity option to SIP Trunk window in CCA. Our customers are required to have the P-Asserted-Identity option enabled on their UC520 units. Other customers might need this feature, and this is a critical configuration setting for us and other partners deploying the UC500. As such, it really needs to be configurable in the CCA program and a partner should not have to use CLI to configure it.
      • The ability to configure both the AES and TKIP ciphers for WPA-protected SSIDs in CCA. CCA allows you to enable one cipher or the other, but not both ciphers. You can enable both ciphers for WPA-protected SSIDs in CLI. Some wireless devices fail to function with only the AES cipher enabled, and having the option to turn both the AES and TKIP ciphers for WPA-protected SSIDs solves the problem for these wireless devices.

      These problems in earlier CCA releases have been fixed:

      • CCA 1.8 and earlier required you to have an Auto Attendant extension configured if you used SIP trunking. You could get around this problem by using CLI or CCA 1.9 or later. This problem has been fixed in CCA 1.9 and later.
      • Ability to do a multisite configuration in CCA has been added to CCA 2.1 with the Multisite Manager. The Multisite Manager does have limitations attached to it, and does not yet have the same level of flexibility that CLI does have, but the Multisite Manager will be improved in future CCA releases.
      • Night Service could not be configured in CCA versions prior to 1.9. CCA 1.9 and later allow you to configure night service and call forward night service.
      • CCA 1.9 and later exposed additional options for Wireless APs on UC520 models that have the built-in wireless access point.
      • CCA 2.0 and later exposed additional options for CUE mailboxes and auto-attendant. The CUE Web GUI is well-designed and easy to use and can configure all of the major features of CUE, but having these features in CCA makes it more convenient.
      • CCA 2.0 and later allows B-ACD to be configured in the CCA program.
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