Rollout of 200+ 7925Gs

Answered Question
May 11th, 2011

Does anyone have any experience with massive rollouts of 7925G wireless IP phones?

We have 200+ to roll out.  We're trying to find a way to streamline the process.

Does anyone have any tips?

Any ways to avoid configuring each phone individually?

Thanks!

Ven

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by John.Gerlach about 2 years 11 months ago

Look for something called the Cisco 792x (or 7921 but it works for 792x models) Bulk Deployment utility.  I have gone as far as a proof of concept and been able to make it work.  Then the rest is procedural in-house items.  Give the following a read to get the general idea.  First I did a default config which shared a username & password just to verify the process worked - this is not best practice as one disabled account could pretty much take down all of your wireless phones.  Download the Bulk Deployment Utility from Cisco and there should be some documentation available for it too (http://www.cisco.com/web/software/282074239/14006/792xBD.1-0-Readme.pdf).  After then initial testing I worked with the Bulk Deployment Utility to create per phone configuration files that uses a CSV file (list of phone MAC address, usernames, and passwords) that are combined with a template with the rest of your settings required to configure the wireless connectivity on the phone.  Overall there will be more prep work involved (creating accounts for each phone, generating the config files and placing them on the TFTP server but it works fairly slick overall.

Ok the following is from an email summarizing my playing around with this a couple weeks back:

General Process

1) Grab new phone and insert battery

2)  Power on the device - it connects to the 'cisco' ssid and pulls down  and applies config from the file WLAN.xml (if present) or WLANDefault.xml which it pulls from the  TFTP server (IP address specified  in DHCP Option 150).

3) Reboot the phone (manually)

4) Phone connects to the production network and pulls down the latest firmware.

Step  #3 was hanging me up longer than I care to admit - I had expected after downloading the config file  that it would apply and reconnect to the network and go on its merry way  but for whatever reason  that did not seem to be the case.  A power off & on resolved that issue and at least produces consistent behavior.

The date  never completely syncs up but I believe that will occur once the phones  are defined on the Call Manager and phone registration completes.   There are methods for generating  a CSV file containing MAC Address, username, and password for bulk  unique deployments.  This file then gets used with the WLANDefault.xml  file (which would be changed to contain no credential info) and will  generate unique files per phone (WLAN.xml).   Those files would need to be copied to the TFTP server and then when  the phones appear on the network they will download the appropriate  config file based on MAC address and apply those to the phones.  That  should mean no manual configuration steps other than  powering the phone off & on in steps 1 & 3 above.

The  set up is completed here - using VLAN 93 (192.168.93.0/24) and the  'cisco' SSID was added only to apname (non-broadcasting).  An ACL  has been applied which only  allows that network to get a DHCP address from the DHCP server and to  pull files from the TFTP server.

A  process will need to be developed for the user IDs for the devices and  then adding them to a CSV file.  That CSV file would then be used by the  Bulk Deployment Utility  to create config files for each MAC address in the file. 

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Correct Answer
John.Gerlach Thu, 05/12/2011 - 10:12

Look for something called the Cisco 792x (or 7921 but it works for 792x models) Bulk Deployment utility.  I have gone as far as a proof of concept and been able to make it work.  Then the rest is procedural in-house items.  Give the following a read to get the general idea.  First I did a default config which shared a username & password just to verify the process worked - this is not best practice as one disabled account could pretty much take down all of your wireless phones.  Download the Bulk Deployment Utility from Cisco and there should be some documentation available for it too (http://www.cisco.com/web/software/282074239/14006/792xBD.1-0-Readme.pdf).  After then initial testing I worked with the Bulk Deployment Utility to create per phone configuration files that uses a CSV file (list of phone MAC address, usernames, and passwords) that are combined with a template with the rest of your settings required to configure the wireless connectivity on the phone.  Overall there will be more prep work involved (creating accounts for each phone, generating the config files and placing them on the TFTP server but it works fairly slick overall.

Ok the following is from an email summarizing my playing around with this a couple weeks back:

General Process

1) Grab new phone and insert battery

2)  Power on the device - it connects to the 'cisco' ssid and pulls down  and applies config from the file WLAN.xml (if present) or WLANDefault.xml which it pulls from the  TFTP server (IP address specified  in DHCP Option 150).

3) Reboot the phone (manually)

4) Phone connects to the production network and pulls down the latest firmware.

Step  #3 was hanging me up longer than I care to admit - I had expected after downloading the config file  that it would apply and reconnect to the network and go on its merry way  but for whatever reason  that did not seem to be the case.  A power off & on resolved that issue and at least produces consistent behavior.

The date  never completely syncs up but I believe that will occur once the phones  are defined on the Call Manager and phone registration completes.   There are methods for generating  a CSV file containing MAC Address, username, and password for bulk  unique deployments.  This file then gets used with the WLANDefault.xml  file (which would be changed to contain no credential info) and will  generate unique files per phone (WLAN.xml).   Those files would need to be copied to the TFTP server and then when  the phones appear on the network they will download the appropriate  config file based on MAC address and apply those to the phones.  That  should mean no manual configuration steps other than  powering the phone off & on in steps 1 & 3 above.

The  set up is completed here - using VLAN 93 (192.168.93.0/24) and the  'cisco' SSID was added only to apname (non-broadcasting).  An ACL  has been applied which only  allows that network to get a DHCP address from the DHCP server and to  pull files from the TFTP server.

A  process will need to be developed for the user IDs for the devices and  then adding them to a CSV file.  That CSV file would then be used by the  Bulk Deployment Utility  to create config files for each MAC address in the file. 

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