I Just don't get it... WAN, LAN and BUGS

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Aug 4th, 2011
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I have a UC320 here in the office and have sold the first small job foe to a client. I have worked with a number of platforms over the years, most recently Avaya Partner, Avaya IP office (and IP Office Partner Edition) and Nortel. I am (was?) very excited about the UC320 but now that I have it in my hands I am a bit confused, if not frustrated.


The initial setup interview as somewhat buggy with things like the Dial Plan fields showing <place holders> instead the the field data. The Network Topolgy choices did not appear to "stick" once the setup wizard completed (let alone reflect the current choices and appropriate editable fields during completion)  and that is just for starters.


Honestly, I just don't get the network topology choices. The graphics make sense, but the implementation does not. If I choose to use the UC320 to route VOICE only with (for example an SBS server doing DHCP and DATA0, then the device should be smart enough to use the LAN port and the EXISTING DATA network as the gateway to the internet. Yet, the UC320 expects to have the WAN port connected to get TIME, UPDATES, load PMFS, and function in general. This is insane at best. To be blunt, why is this so complicated? Honestly, how is one reasonably supposed to connect both the LAN and WAN ports to the same small business network without jumping through hoops to prevent a loop?


Why do the "network topology" configuration pages not show the currently selected topology after applyiong the changes?


Of note: even when the LAN and WAN ports are connected properly and the UC320 is routing both voice, data and DHCP the PING function only works part of the time.


The list of bugs posted here (from just the last week) including DTMF problems, AA problems, MOH problems, Incoming call group problems, active call notification beep problems, SIP problems, BLF problems, is almost endless. Add that reality to "features" that just don't make much sense to me, like the need to add multiple "extensions" to a handset to allow external and internal calls to ring differently, and this thing is begining to look like a nightmare under the hood.



How in the world is one supposed to put one of these units into a production environment with this many real world call flow problems that effect even 2 or 3 users businesses? Somebody please set me straight... 

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Alberto Montilla Thu, 08/04/2011 - 07:07
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Dear William;


Thanks for your open feedback. I would like to provide a bit more information and reasoning for some of the experience you are facing in your first install.

William Burnett escribió:


I have a UC320 here in the office and have sold the first small job foe to a client. I have worked with a number of platforms over the years, most recently Avaya Partner, Avaya IP office (and IP Office Partner Edition) and Nortel. I am (was?) very excited about the UC320 but now that I have it in my hands I am a bit confused, if not frustrated.


The initial setup interview as somewhat buggy with things like the Dial Plan fields showing instead the the field data. The Network Topolgy choices did not appear to "stick" once the setup wizard completed (let alone reflect the current choices and appropriate editable fields during completion)  and that is just for starters.


[Alberto] Although I should say that majority of the partners who have installed a UC320W have favorable comments with the ease of install, it is normal to have a few issues understanding some of the features or choices, as this is part of the learning process during first installs. For the most complex pieces (networking one of these) there is a good set of documentation available (starting with the admin guide) which will help you to understand not only what to set but all the implications of the choice. As you have been installing voice systems before, you may not want to start from scratch, but I would like you to review the smart designs, which cover some of the areas you have some concern or questions. They are located here:

https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-14783#Smart_Designs_and_Application_Notes

Please pay special attention to the greyfield deployment smart design which covers the case of routing voice only.


Couple of questions/comments:

- Would like to understand what "place holder" means (would like to know in which specific area). I am not aware of any issue on this particularly.

- I assume you upgraded the box during the installation. Note this is a new system, so we have made some improvements and fixes on the feedback provided during installation.



Honestly, I just don't get the network topology choices. The graphics make sense, but the implementation does not. If I choose to use the UC320 to route VOICE only with (for example an SBS server doing DHCP and DATA0, then the device should be smart enough to use the LAN port and the EXISTING DATA network as the gateway to the internet. Yet, the UC320 expects to have the WAN port connected to get TIME, UPDATES, load PMFS, and function in general. This is insane at best. To be blunt, why is this so complicated? Honestly, how is one reasonably supposed to connect both the LAN and WAN ports to the same small business network without jumping through hoops to prevent a loop?


[Alberto] I suggest you start by reading the Smart design on greyfield which explains this scenario in detail. However, to start the resolution. Management tasks are done from the WAN interface (Time, updates, etc), that being the reason for connecting the WAN (in addition to the LAN port). with regards of the loops, as you may imagine, need to separate both ports (voice/data) on different interfaces on the head router.


Why do the "network topology" configuration pages not show the currently selected topology after applyiong the changes?


[Alberto] Good question. I will escalate this one to engineering. I personally think it is valuable.


Of note: even when the LAN and WAN ports are connected properly and the UC320 is routing both voice, data and DHCP the PING function only works part of the time.


The list of bugs posted here (from just the last week) including DTMF problems, AA problems, MOH problems, Incoming call group problems, active call notification beep problems, SIP problems, BLF problems, is almost endless. Add that reality to "features" that just don't make much sense to me, like the need to add multiple "extensions" to a handset to allow external and internal calls to ring differently, and this thing is begining to look like a nightmare under the hood.


[Alberto] Fortunately, we install many of these systems per day, and we believe in open communications, that's the reason for this community. I have to say that if you compare the issues with the units deployed the rate is very low, which means good quality. I am just trying to scope the meaning of the issues. In addition, as you may consider, a new product always comes with some defects which mainly are related to interoperability with the numerous SIP trunk flavors as well as legacy PSTN line. What is most important I should say, is our committment to resolve any critical, major, moderate and even minor defects. We have already released several new firmware loads which corrects some of the issues highlighted by partners and our continued testing effort.


How in the world is one supposed to put one of these units into a production environment with this many real world call flow problems that effect even 2 or 3 users businesses? Somebody please set me straight... 


[Alberto] There are thousands of UC320W already installed and have to say that overall feedback is very positive. I understand you are facing some issues, but would like to highlight that we are committed to continue improving the product, so you should be optimistic that your requests and comments are being heard and action is continuously taken to approach them.


Best regards;

Alberto

beananimal Thu, 08/04/2011 - 09:12
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Alberto,


Thank you for the quick response.


Couple of questions/comments:

- Would like to understand what "place holder" means (would like to know in which specific area). I am not aware of any issue on this particularly.

- I assume you upgraded the box during the installation. Note this is a new system, so we have made some improvements and fixes on the feedback provided during installation.


I don't remember the exact wording, but the drop downs in several sections showed the FIELD NAME instead of the actual datra. So, for example, the drop down where you select the geographical location for the dial plan was not populated with geographical locations. The list was all placeholders similar to or something. Choosing items in the list did change the dial plan digits as expected, but the list was simply not populated with the proper names.


I did upgrade the box during installation to version 2.0.6


Greyfield:

My concern is that in many (most?) cases this device will be added to an existing network that does not have an existing device capable of defining VLANs and the cost and complexity to add such a device is somewhat against the basic design methodology of a small 5-10 person business. I simply don't understand why this device does not have an option to function like any other appliance and use the existing gateway for WAN traffic. It is likely that such a small install will never utilize the WAN for voice traffic.


I will post back after attempting to the greyfield setup, as it appears the actiontec provided by fios can create VLANs.

Nicholas Balog Mon, 08/08/2011 - 06:36
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The big problem as I see it is that most of the helpful documentation is related to partners only. Someone at Cisco needs to fix this.

Alberto Montilla Mon, 08/08/2011 - 09:29
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Hi Nicholas;


UC320W is a partner based product. Cisco has always relayed on partners to install and deploy our products. This ensures best performance from partners.


Regards

Alberto

Nicholas Balog Mon, 08/08/2011 - 09:51
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I have noticed that Alberto and from being on the end user side of the fence I see things in a different perspective. With a more comprehensive set of documentation this product could see a broader deployment then what it is considering the contend of the boards as I skim over it from time to time.


I have access to both sides and the information contained in docs is boarderline vague at best.  Someone needs to build  a comprehensive set of technical docs for this product thats widely available. The stuff that ships is about as useful as a comprehensive cookbook on ice and toast recipies. Local partners are not very knowledgable in my area so I would tend to think its because of a lack of info accross the board.


I've even just thought about becomming a partner locally just to eat everyone's SMB lunch with VOIP, but my day job at running a nexus 7k environment is much more lucrative :-)


I spent 10 years as a vendor rep myself, so I completely understand the reseller model your operating under, however a little information goes a long way....especially if the resellers/partners don't really 'get it'.

EricKnorr Tue, 08/09/2011 - 15:10
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I feel your pain......  I too have had allot of installation problems that you should have to deal with.  AA DTMF tones, WIreless not working correctly, 802.1x Auth turned on,  DHCP not behaving, generally slow internet-firewall access.  I am not sure that I would do it again.


Let me know when you hit 3.0.0


Eric

Christopher Edg... Tue, 08/09/2011 - 15:31
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Hi Eric,


I'm sorry to hear you had a rough time.  Are you seeing all these problems on the 2.0.13 Limited Deployment release found here?  Can you please elaborate on the Wireless and 802.1x auth issues?


Thanks,


Chris

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