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ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to get an update on how the Cisco Unified Border Element can provide secure and flexible VoIP network interconnecting services with Cisco experts Christina Hattingh and Darryl Sladden. Christina Hattingh is a technical marketing engineer in the branch office Unified Communications group at Cisco, focusing on unified communications technologies and network deployments on the Cisco 2800 and 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers. Unified communications technologies integrated in Cisco IOS Software offer numerous communications services, such as voice and video gateways, call control, network services, and applications. Darryl Sladden is in Cisco's Access Routing Technology Group, where he is responsible for product management including driving features, market development, and positioning for the Cisco Unified Border Element. Darryl has been a product manager at Cisco in the area of VoIP, focusing on voice gateways and connecting across communications networks, for more than six years.

Remember to use the rating system to let Christina and Darryl know if you have received an adequate response.

Christina and Darryl might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through July 25, 2008. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

48 REPLIES
New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hi christiana,

I have a cisco router 2821 ready to be connected to a Siemens OTLE8 NT 4x2 Mbit/s Optical network termination Series in both end of point of a lease line, could you please which the right card should I use it

could you please explain the difference

1

VWIC2-2MFT-G703= Port 2nd Gen Multiflex Trunk Voice/WAN Int. Card - G.7032

2

HWIC-1CE1T1-PRI= port channelized T1/E1 and PRI HWIC

if you are not able to respond me please redirect me to anather expert.

Many thanks

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

This is not really the right forum for this question as this connection is unrelated to CUBE. I'm not familiar with the optical connections on a Siemens switch - is this a data or a voice connection? TDM or IP?

The VWIC2-2MFT-G703 will give you an unstructured E1, which is a pure data connection and cannot be used for voice. If this is a voice connection, then it has to be G.704 (structured E1), in which case you can use any of the VWICs and do not need the -G703 card.

The HWIC-1CE1T1-PRI card is also a TDM data connection for T1/E1 channelized data PRI. You cannot terminate voice using this card.

Neither of these card provide optical connections, they are all T1/E1 cards.

HIH,

CH

Silver

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

When should I use CUBE in a SIP trunking application?

Tom

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

CUBE should always be used when a SIP trunk from a provider outside the enterprise network is brought into the enterprise. CUBE, as a session border controller, provides call admission control, session management and security services for terminating external traffic into the enterprise (in the DMZ typically) before it enters the protected part of the enterprise network. It also grooms traffic for the SP (QoS markings, call admission control, SIP trunk management) and offers a voice demarcation point for both the enterprise and SP to troubleshoot to.

It is not always necessary to use CUBE on a SIP trunk between two applications within the enterprise as security services are not typically necessary. However, quite often the interworking (H.323 to SIP) and SIP Normalization (SIP header manipulation) features are useful even in these situations.

CH

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hello,

It is true that a CUBE IOS does not support pstn cards like V2-2BRI-NT/TE when you using h323 protocol?

Regards

Anestis

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

No, that is not true. Cisco IOS voice has always, since introduction in 1997, supported the H.323 protocol for PSTN cards (all of them).

You can integrate CUBE (IP-to-IP calls) and PSTN GW (TDM-to-IP) calls on the same Cisco IOS platform and use SIP and H.323 as needed for your deployment. For PSTN interfaces, MGCP is also supported.

CH

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hello,

I had successfully used MGCP with a CUBE IOS but when I try to use H323 to VIC2-2BRI-NT/TE I could n 't bring up the layer 2 of the isdn.

But thank you very much for your clear answer to my question

Regards

Anestis

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

This sounds like a mis-configuration or a bug to me. Pls contact Cisco TAC for further help.

This feature is definitely supported, you can use a BRI voice card with any of the VoIP protocols (MGCP, H.323 and SIP) on the same platform. A port configured for MGCP cannot also handle calls with H.323/SIP at the same time (MGCP by its nature takes full control of a port and assumes exclusive control), but you could certainly have BRI port 1 being MGCP-controlled, and BRI port 2 being configured with dial-peers to switch its calls with either H.323 or SIP.

Tx,

CH

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hello Cristina,

you describe prefectly what I was tring to do.I have configure the first port of the VIC2-2BRI-NT/TE with MGCP protocol (control it by a CUCM 5.1.2)and it works find.The second port is configure with h323 and dial-peer but as I have told prevously when I place the bri line can not take up the layer2.I have test the config with simple voice gateway and it works fine and olso I have check the card to another router and it works fine.I will check for bugs but I not able to open TAC case because is an implemetetion that I did to my former company.I using the following ios c2800nm-ipvoice_ivs-mz.124-15.T5.bin with feature set INT VOICE/VIDEO, IPIP GW, TDMIP GW.

Regards

Anestis

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Ok, that should work.

CH

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Can I upgrade my existing ISR to a CUBE?

Thanks,

Bill

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Yes, absolutely you can. Depending on what IOS release you're on and which CUBE feature you'd like, you may need an IOS release upgrade. You also need to purchase a CUBE license (there are several options available).

More info in the CUBE ordering guide at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6790/gatecont/ps5640/order_guide_c07_462222.html

You can also continue to run existing ISR data and/or voice services at the same time as using the ISR as a CUBE.

Tx,

CH

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hi Experts,

I keep getting this Alert from RTMT. what surprises me is that we are not using Attendant Console.

"Attendant Console Server heartbeat rate below 24 beats per minute. Current heartbeat rate is 14 beats per minute."

Can anyone please elaborate whats going on? Also, Do I need to restart any of the services? Thanks.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

I'm sorry, I don't understand. How does this question relate to CUBE functionality?

Is this a CUCM related alert? It is coming from an IOS router?

CH

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Can the CUBE support codec transcoding when used in a SIP-VxML context? Take this example to help understand my situation...

We communicate to our voicemail server via VXML. We SIP trunk from CUCM to the 3845, then invoke the VXML service against the matching dial-peer. The voicemail server can only record in G.711, but I need to be able to terminate calls received from WAN-connected locations, at G729.

So to work-around this codec mismatch, I want to accept an incoming G729 call leg, and transcode UP to G711, then match the outbound VXML leg. Is there any reason why this wouldn't be possible?

I'd expect that if trancoding is supported outside-the-box (ie, DSPs hosted on another router), I can't see why it couldn't also happen on the same router.

I understand there is a limitation in dynamically negotiating codecs on IP-to-IP call legs, but it would be acceptable for me if we could hard-code the inbound leg to G729 and the outbound VXML leg to G711.

(I have a TAC case open on this, but they don't seem real sure of what is/isn't feasible).

Finally, if this is possible, are there platform limitations? We are trying to prove the concept on ISR hardware, but a production environment would preferably be executed with AS5400XM hardware. And what IOS versions are required.

If this isn't possible, what would be your suggestion for handling such a situation?

Look forward to your reply.

Thanks,

-Martin

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hi, take http://forums.cisco.com/eforum/servlet/NetProf?page=netprof&forum=Unified%20Communications%20and%20Video&topic=IP%20Telephony&topicID=.ee6c829&fromOutline=&CommCmd=MB%3Fcmd%3Ddisplay_location%26location%3D.2cc1219c as an example. For H323 to SIP, using 108 as incoming and 103 as outgoing dialpeer.

Should the configuration be like this?

dial-peer voice 108 voip

incoming called-number 40..

dtmf-relay h245-alphanumeric

codec g711ulaw

(keeping dialpeer 103 unchanged)

What is the usage of

dtmf-relay rtp-nte digit-drop h245-alphanumeric

in dialpeer 103?

From the configurtion guide,

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/ios/voice/cube/configuration/guide/vb-gw-h323sip.html#wp1313530

"Configure the dtmf-relay rtp-nte digit-drop command on the incoming SIP dial-peer."

"The following example shows DTMF-Relay digits configured to avoid sending both in-band and out-of-band tones to the outgoing leg in an Cisco Unified Border Element:

dial-peer voice 1 voip

voice-class codec 2

dtmf-relay rtp-nte digit-drop h245-alphanumeric"

I am confused. Please explain. Thanks in advance.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Not sure I follow the references to dial-peers 108 and 103. In the example you give the URL to, there is an incoming dial-peer 200 and an outgoing dial-peer 100, both SIP. If you want to make that config to become H.323 to SIP, just drop the "session protocol sipv2" from the dial-peer.

If you want H.245-alpha DTMF relay on the H.323 leg, then put "dtmf-relay h245-alphanumeric" on the H.323 dial-peer.

In this specific example you will only have H.323 calls coming *in* and SIP calls going *out*, so the "digit-drop" thing is not applicable.

If you structure the dial-peers to be in both directions, and had a call flow from SIP (RFC2833) to H.323 (H.245-alpha), then you would need the digit-drop CLI on the H.323 outgoing dial-peer. What this means is that on the incoming leg you have inband DTMF (RFC2833, or rtp-nte). This is translated to an out-of-band (H.245-alpha) method, so you end up with DTMF both inband and out-of-band on the outgoing leg which gives duplicate digits and some applications don't like that. To force CUBE to delete the inband DTMF and send only the out-of-band method on the H.323 outgoing leg, use the "digit-drop" CLI.

HIH,

CH

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Yes, this should be possible, G.729 dial-peer on one side and G.711 on the other with the VXML app attached. If it doesn't work straight through, we may have to experiment with multiple dial-peers to get it to work.

Yes, you can do xcoding with either onbox or offbox DSPs. More info on this at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps5640/products_configuration_example09186a008092d6b3.shtml.

And yes, if it works on an ISR, the same call flow should also work on a 5400XM. Xcoding on the 5400XM is only supported on the newer DSP cards (the AS5X-PVDM2-64 DSP card). For IOS you'd probably be best off using the latest, which is 12.4.20T. Failing that 12.4.15XZ or 12.4.15XY.

Couple of other things, there is currently one DDTS open that might affect this call flow: CSCsq03028: SIP-H323 - IVR failing to invoke Transcoder and send DTMF correctly.

Also, for this call flow, you will require both CUBE and VXML licenses on the box (FL-VXML and FL-CUBE).

HIH,

CH

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

I was considering using CUBE as a translation device between H.323 with Gatekeeper and Mitel 3300. The idea being have Mitel SIP trunk into CUBE and have CUBE register to the same gatekeeper that is used to tie two CallManager clusters together. Is this possible? Also if it is possible could CUBE also pass through Gatekeeper requests. Example if Mitel makes a call that is routed via Mitel --sip-->CUBE--h323-->gatekeeper and gatekeeper returns ARJ. Would the rejection be send back just too CUBE or would the SIP trunk back into Mitel be aware there is no route in place so alternative routing via PSTN could take place.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Yes, this is possible. You can either use an external GK, or you could use the GK code integrated on the same platform as CUBE.

CUBE does not "pass through" GK requests to the Mitel because GK msgs like ARJ have meaning only on H.323 and has no meaning on SIP. But the e2e call flow will work. The SIP call from the Mitel arrives at CUBE, CUBE sets up a req to the GK, the GK denies it (ARJ), and CUBE denies/fails the SIP call back to Mitel. The Mitel can then use its alternate routing logic to try another path.

HIH,

CH

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hi Christina,

could you plese describe the differences between SBC and CUBE. Please take into account that I'm technical person and as such I'll appreciate if you can focus on features&functions rather than price&performance.

Regards,

Tenaro

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

They are both session border controllers so in that sense they have largely similar features/functions. The primary difference is that of scale and place-in-the-network, CUBE is an enterprise interconnect (either applications within the enterprise, or enterprise-SP) product while the 7600/12K Cisco SBC is primarily a SP-peering product. For that reason CUBE has more enterprise-specific features and the SBC has more IMS-related features.

Architecturally they are also very different. The SBC is a decomposed product with a data portion (DBE) and a signaling portion (SBE) that communicate via H.248. The DBE and SBE can run on different platforms. CUBE is an integrated IOS feature, does not require any blades, and does not support H.248 or the separation of signaling and media control.

CUBE can do on-platform xcoding (using ISR/5400 DSPs), the SBC can not. There is an external xcoding solution for the SBC using an MGX platform with DSP capability.

CUBE has rich enterprise interconnect features, such as RADIUS-based accounting, digit manipulation/translation features, per call translation/manipulation of SIP headers, more flexible codec and xcoding support, SIP DE-EO interworking, a rich set of DTMF interworking options (22 combinations), TLS support, simpler configuration and debugging, SNMP MIB support, H.323 video support etc.

Also, because CUBE is an integrated IOS feature, it can be collocated on the same platform as various other IOS features providing unique solutions, such as TDM GW (easy SIP trunk to PSTN failover or easy migration from one to the other), VXML control (ContactCenter/CVP integration of SIP trunks), SRST, FW, integrated H.323 GK etc.

But for basic IP-to-IP calls and general session border controller features, both product categories can do that.

HIH,

CH

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Wow, this is great answer!

Before we conclude this, could you please confirm following statements so I'm sure I understood everything you said:

- when SBC (7600/12k) is used in standalone mode, i.e. when working as DBE+SBE is it still using H.248?

- SBC (7600/12k) can work as DBE only or SBE+DBE but in either case can't do transcoding itself, i.e. it must use external DSP resources from MGX; right?

- is MGX only SBC in Cisco portfolio with integrated DSPs when working in DBE mode?

- can we use ASR as DBE and do we still need external DSPs to control media?

Regards,

Tenaro

Cisco Employee

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Tenaro,

- When the 7600/12k is used in standalone mode, there is an internal protocol, that is effectively H.248 that is used between the DBE and SBE components that are running on the same platform.

- Correct, 7600/12K cannot do transcoding without the resources from an external DSP on the MGX.

- MGX cannot function as a SBC without a controlling entity. The only SBC at Cisco that supports both SBE+DBE+Transcoding in the same box is CUBE on the ISR or AS5X.

- When you use ASR as a DBE, today you need external DSP to transcode media. DSP are not needed to transport media if both side of the call use the same codec.

Hope this answers your questions.

Regards,

Darryl Sladden

Cisco Unified Border Element

Senior Product Manager

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Thanks Darryl,

if ISR and AS5XXX are supporting CUBE functionality then they don't support H.248 and can't be controlled by PGW, right? In addition, if I want to use ASR as SBC in DBE mode (controlled by H.248) to control media streams (change codecs, for example), then I acctually need ASR + MGX + PGW, correct?

Thanks,

Tenaro

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Correct, CUBE (5x00, ISR) cannot be controlled via H.248from PGW or anywhere else. You can direct SIP or H.323 call flows from the PGW to CUBE.

You are correct on your 2nd question also.

CH

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Hi,

In case I want to terminate an IP PSTN connectivity and the provider is providing SIP trunk, does CUBE becomes mandatory in UCM setup?

-> Sushil

Cisco Employee

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Sushil,

CUBE should always be used when a SIP trunk from a provider outside the enterprise network is brought into the enterprise. CUBE, as a session border controller, provides call admission control, session management and security services for terminating external traffic into the enterprise (in the DMZ typically) before it enters the protected part of the enterprise network. It also grooms traffic for the SP (QoS markings, call admission control, SIP trunk management) and offers a voice demarcation point for both the enterprise and SP to troubleshoot to.

Because of all of these reasons, the recommended solution is to have CUBE in the UCM setup.

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED BORDER ELEMENT

Thanks Darryl.

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