Contact Center Failover Solution?

Answered Question
Mar 22nd, 2010
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Hi,


We have CiscoCallmanager Publisher/Subscriber and UCCX Server in one site (A). The other sites (B,C) they all use the contact center services from site A. If something happened to site A, we want site B and C can still work. Right now, we only have some integrated service router which is capable of doing callmanager fallback in site B and C. But for contact center, I believe the router can't do the failover. So how can I realized the contact center service failover? Buy and install another UCCX server in site B and C?


I'm new to VoIP stuff. Please help. Thanks a lot.


Lou

Correct Answer by Jonathan Schulenberg about 7 years 3 months ago

I typically use CME in SRST mode with an ephone-hunt group. The agent ICD lines need to be preconfigured as ephone-dn for you to add them to the hunt group. You can add the B-ACD TCL application in front of the hunt group if you want to play a prompt and get some basic call queueing abilities. Ultimately, this is a very very basic functionality set when compared to CCX. The only licenses needed for this are the SRST entitlement licenses for the ISR.


It is worth noting that CCX 8.0 does add HAoWAN support very similarly to UCM. If you had a DR site with a UCM cluster node and a second CCX node, sites B and C could fall back to the DR nodes and retain full functionality instead of relying on SRST.

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ISRs at the "branch" are the go. You are OK with teh h/w but may need some Router software features - and licences.


The normal method is to use SRST (look up the acronym on Cisco if it means nothing to you) with a hunt group. You can develop a more sophisticated solution using B-ACD (Basic ACD) under CME (Call Manager Express). Quite a tricky config to get this working, but it is OK.


Regards,

Geoff

hxmengmetro Mon, 03/22/2010 - 10:58
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Thanks Geoff for quick reply. I was thinking SRST in the router only can do the failover for Call Manager register/call signalling stuff. So you mean with proper license/software installed in ISR, the router is capable of doing both call manager and UCCX server failover, right? If so, the solution will be much simple. Can you tell me what license or software I need? Thanks


Lou



Yeah, I'm more a CVP person, so I'm guessing a bit.


When the dial peer on the gateway sends the call to the Call Manager route point to start the app, and it fails, does that signaling come back to the dial peer as a failure?


If so, you can send it to a dial peer that is head of the hunt group of the SRST phones.


Regards,

Geoff

Correct Answer
Jonathan Schulenberg Mon, 03/22/2010 - 11:48
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I typically use CME in SRST mode with an ephone-hunt group. The agent ICD lines need to be preconfigured as ephone-dn for you to add them to the hunt group. You can add the B-ACD TCL application in front of the hunt group if you want to play a prompt and get some basic call queueing abilities. Ultimately, this is a very very basic functionality set when compared to CCX. The only licenses needed for this are the SRST entitlement licenses for the ISR.


It is worth noting that CCX 8.0 does add HAoWAN support very similarly to UCM. If you had a DR site with a UCM cluster node and a second CCX node, sites B and C could fall back to the DR nodes and retain full functionality instead of relying on SRST.

hxmengmetro Mon, 03/22/2010 - 13:07
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I believe we have the license for SRST in ISR. So you mean even with ISR, we can still play some basic prompt to customer after we setup some TCL script in the hunt group. If so, then it should be good enough for us to conintue our services.


As for HAoWAN, right now we do have DR site but no CM cluster there. We don't have plan to setup another one yet. That's why I asked this question here before we make any descision to buy new equipment. But it seems with proper configuration in ISR, the failover should be fine. We may need a powerful ISR for this, I guess.


Thanks a lot!

Jonathan,
How does the dial peer work? How does it know that the application trigger has failed?
Is this the same as CVP where you apply the survivability service (defined by survivability.tcl) to the pots dial peer and then configure the service to send the call to another dial peer which is the head of the hunt group or a queue point in B-ACD? Do you use a different TCL file to CVP?
I do CVP but would like to know how Express works for this part.
Regards,
Geoff
Jonathan Schulenberg Mon, 03/22/2010 - 13:34
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The H.323 dial peers to UCM should use TCP. The TCP session will time  out quickly enough that it can proceed to the next less-preferred dial  peer. IMO the voice gateway is not the place to address a CTI  application failure. That can be accounted for using the Call Foward  Busy value on the CTI Route Point within UCM. The voice gateway only  needs to address how to act when UCM is not responding.


Specifically, you can create a VoIP outbound dial peer that has a destination of the loopback interface on the router. Add a translation profile to this dial peer that transforms the called party information. On that same VoIP dial peer, add an incoming-called number value equal to the translated value as well as the direct-inward-dial command. You can attach the B-ACD application to that dial peer.


The incoming dial peer will match, the preferred dial peers to UCM will time out, and the VoIP dial peer will then be selected (likely at preference 2 if you have two UCM nodes before it). It will loop the call back to the ISR after translating the number which will match the same VoIP dial peer as an incoming dial peer. The B-ACD TCL application will service the call and likely be configured to drop it through to the hunt group pilot.

hxmengmetro Tue, 03/23/2010 - 11:33
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I forgot one thing to mention. We do need cisco desktop supervisor program usabel after the failover. But with only CME in SRST mode, I guess that program can't run since it needs UCCX to communicate. So maybe the HAoWAN will the only option we can go.


In addition, we have several remote sites which register the ip phone with CM in HQ. Each site has their ISR. So if CM in HQ is down, I need configure each ISR to do the CME in SRST. If so, we need buy lots of license for CME, right? I guess it maybe better to buy another cluster and put in the DR site and then do the HAoWAN. Am I correct?


Thanks a lot.


Lou

hxmengmetro Thu, 03/25/2010 - 06:15
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Hi Jonathan,


Sorry to bother you again. I have thought about this failover plan again. Our current UCCX version is 5 which can't do the HAoWAN. Build another CUCM cluster and UCCX box in DR site could be expensive now. Also if only one remote site lose the connection to the main site, it's easier for that particular site to use SRST in their own gateway. I'm curious what's the feature of B-ACD TCL script can have. Right now our UCCX server have multiple aef scripts which can:

1. Give customer prompt to select appropriate option.

2. Tell customer where they are in the calling queue when they are waiting.

3. Play reminder message when the contact center will be closed. Like 15 minutes later, the center will be closed.

4. Play closing message when the contact center closed and direct all the calls to this message.


Can B-ACD TCL script realize these functions?


By the way, if I need voicemail to be saved, I also need a Unity Express module in my ISR, right? I'm considering deploy CME plus CUE in the remote ISR. Thanks a lot for your help.


Lou

Jonathan Schulenberg Thu, 03/25/2010 - 12:21
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You would not deply a separate UCM or CCX cluster at the DR site, just add nodes to your existing clusters. You are correct that this would do nothing for an individual site that looses connectivity to the WAN. This would only help if the primary data center was lost.


As for B-ACD functionality: It is called basic for a reason. It is capable of playing a prompt to greet the caller, optionally offering them a list of IVR options, and directing these selections to a destination of your choosing. If it is a hunt group on CME, B-ACD will queue the caller and provide periodic prompts between music on hold. If the queue time is exceeded or full, it can direct the caller to a final destination such as voicemail. This is about it. None of the more complex things you can do with AEF scripts on CCX will be possible.


As for voicemail with CUE: This is possible. In fact, the new Unified Messaging Gateway, when combined with Unity Connections and CUE modules at the remote sites, can provide survivable voicemail (SRSV). Messages would even be restored to Unity Connections automatically when the WAN was restored. Without the new SRSV feature, you would need to educate users to manually check the CUE periodically in case messages were left in it during an outage.

hxmengmetro Thu, 03/25/2010 - 12:50
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Thanks a lot Jonathan. I read from cisco website it says B-ACD can do the call statistics. I was guessing maybe the script can know how many calls ahead in the queue from somewhere in the CME.


How can I tell my current gateway can support Unitiy connection or not? Do we have compatiblity list for that?


Thanks.


Lou

hxmengmetro Thu, 12/02/2010 - 06:43
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Hi Jonathan,


This contact center failover discussion is long time ago. Finally I got the time to give it shot. I'm manually configuring the ephone, ephone-dn and ephone hunt in the router. I noticed I must configure "dial-peer hunt" to specify the dial peer hunt sequence. But how can I use this command appropriately? It has multiple mode to configure. In the normal operation, the router just sent the inbound contact center calls to CTI route point. We have a pots dial peer to match all the incoming call:

dial-peer voice 1 pots
description Incoming Calls
incoming called-number .
direct-inward-dial


We have two queues, when the link to UCCX and UCM is down, I preconfigured two dial-peer to match two different incoming calls like:


/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

dial-peer voice 120 pots

description incoming call to group1

service aa-group1

incoming called-number xxx1111111

direct-inward-dial

port 0/0/0:23

forward digits-all

dial-peer voice 130 pots

description incoming call to group2

service aa-group2

incoming called-number xxx2222222

direct-inward-dial

port 0/0/0:23

forward digits-all



Since these two new dial-peer coexists with the old "wildcard" dial-peer matching any incoming calls, I need specify the preferences for them to make router select new dial-peer with auto attendent during the failover. Can the "dial-peer hunt" command do this? Thanks a lot for your help. Really appreciated.


Lou

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