Getting Started with Cisco Configuration Professional
Let's shift gears a little bit and start talking about the Communications Manager Express. This is your product that runs in your branch location. It can be a backup strategy in a centralized deployment or it could be a standalone phone system in a branch location. Now when we're accessing this we want to be aware of how we're accessing it, in other words if it's a secured connection or not. We can use SSH, the Secure Shell protocol, and we could use HTTPS. We also have other ways to get to it, not so secure, you can telnet to it and you can use HTTP. You could see there is an example of a SSH and HTTPS configuration, you want to go in and you want to secure all of your VTY lines and you want to make sure that you are using SSH, when you connect to the server. If you're just using HTTP and telnet, now you could do this if it was within your environment and it's already secured from the outside world, I suppose that's not as big a risk.
username cisco privilege 15 secret 0 cisco
ip http secure-server
line vty 0 4
transport input ssh
You could just set up your HTTP server and just say that your transport is telnet, and with your user name credentials you want to make sure you have the privilege 15 - that is the full access administrative level that you need for access into your Communications Manager Express.
Cisco Configuration Professional Community
This is what we would use to manage devices, not IP phones, but like your Communications Manager Express another Cisco configurable router through this utility. By default when we install the Communications Manager Express it gets installed into a community, based on its IP address, and within that community there's a password, it's a default password. It's "cisco", all in lowercase and the username is cisco, all in lowercase. Now this is printed in documentation on Cisco's website, in your curriculum make sure you change that, because everybody knows in other words what those default one time passwords are. So we want to define new credentials and we have the option to import and export devices into the community. So let's say you have a router that you want to take out you can export it, you can import devices maybe that are already out there in the environment that you want to set up in this community so that you can manage them together.
Adding Devices to Communities
Let's say we want to add a device. Here is a look at what this Communications Manager Express would look like within the community. We could see how, we could even discover device information, and this is how we would add, like we said, devices up to five within the community.
So it could discover all the devices if that checkbox is selected, and it would look and find all the devices in your network and then be able to add them on a case-by-case basis. And then with all of this you can go in and monitor these devices too, through the CCP product. So you may say well my router's already set up and ready to go well, why should I bother to add it. Well, remember you can do ultimate ongoing management but as well you can also do some monitoring through this product, so that might be a reason why you want to add another device to this community.
Before we can configure and monitor a device it needs to be discovered. So we use this device discovery to verify the platform is supported. It has to have the proper IOS version and it has to be the proper hardware type and of course if we're using voice, it's got to be the proper voice product, the security product or the Communications Manager Express version. Now the CCP is fairly new so I would kind of caution you that you may even want to go out to Cisco's website, go to www.cisco.com/go/fn for feature navigator, that'll take you right to the area where you can look up your devices and see if they're actually supported by this or if there's an update and maybe you want to perform that update, depending upon licensing and your agreements with Cisco, you may be able to update your software so that now those devices can be added to the community.
In this course, the CCP is used to manage the Communications Manager Express, but I want to remind you it can manage other devices depending on platform type and IOS versions. But if we want to go in and configure our telecommunications portion we go in to Configure > Voice, and then Voice Mode menu. Within this we can choose the Communications Manager Express as the Router Mode. And once we've done that then we can go in and log in with that default login and then we can create the new one.
Now if we need to go into telephony-services configuration mode, you remember that, within the CCP we can do this by accessing Configure > Voice > Telephony Settings. And remember we talked about the maximum ephones and maximum DNs – this is where you can set those type of global parameters. So just like you were sitting on the router doing this at the command line you're now configuring this through your CCP environment.
If you need to manage the firmware of your phones we can go into Configure > Voice > Firmware, select the Phone Firmware Option and now we can manage all of those firmware files. So let's say you needed to do an update, you wanted to update the firmware. What you would do, is you would get those files on your PC and then you would access or browse to those firmware files on the PC and pull them into the CCP and now you could store them in flash, because remember your phones have to be able to pull that out of the Flash of your router. So here is a way that we can now update that firmware and we can use the option Show Registered Phones and we can see the current total number of registered IP phones at that point. So now we know what types of phones we have so that we make sure we have all the appropriate firmware files for each one of those.
We can add extensions or directory numbers to the system going into Configure > Voice > Users > Phones and Extensions, choose the Extensions, and now we can go in and manage that extension number. What can we do here? Well, we can do things like set the call forwarding all, call forward busy or call forward no answer conditions, and we can even set a no answer timeout so that it doesn't ring forever and then at that point I would assume we'd want to forward off to like Unity Express and take a voicemail message.
Adding IP Phones
If I was managing phones and extensions, first I'd want to create my extensions, so that way when I go in and add my phones I can tie the extension to the phone. So we go into Configure > Voice > Users > Phones and Extensions, select Phones and now we can select the phone type, add the MAC address, or if we're just changing something we can view the MAC address, and then we can remove a worker code selection, we can even set up Night Service features and who the night operator is. We can set up After-Hours Call Barring Exemption. In other words there is a bunch of different features in here that we can select that are specific to that IP phone and now we've got that configured as well.
We can add users through the CCP with Configure > Voice > Users > Phones and Extensions. Now select Users and now you can specify the user password and pin – it's blank by default – we can set up first names, last names, what should be displayed. It's just a great way to go in and modify user information or add user information to the system.
Associate Users with Phones and Extensions
A final step in getting everything together is associating your users with phones and extension numbers. So we can go into that same menu, Configure > Voice > Users > Phones and Extension and now Users and the Phone Extension Option and now we can go in and say, okay, here are the available list of phones and extensions and we can now select and assign them to the users. We can even go in and configure how the lines behave, whether it's just a standard one line, like one button can take one phone call, or if it's an overlay environment where we could take more than one call, whether we're just monitoring in kind of a presence environment or we could even set up the call waiting on our overlay option. And then we can change the ringing, so we can set up some distinctive ringing, we can either say normal, feature, silent or we can select beep. So this is a great way to go in and customize the user, the phone and the extension that they're going to be managing.
Configuration Tool Comparison
A little side-by-side comparison now of your configuration tools. You've got the command line, which maybe you're very familiar with and maybe you're not. And then you've got the GUI, the Cisco Configuration Professional.
|Command-Line Interface||Cisco Configuration Professional|
|Preferred interface for personnel already familiar with Cisco IOS commands||Easy to use GUI for voice personnel not familiar with Cisco IOS commands|
|Default configuration method for Cisco||Requires command-line interface to get started|
|Requires detailed knowledge of configuration commands and feature dependencies||Intuitive menu-driven feature structure|
|Simple copy and paste for large configurations||Supports bulk import from CSV files for large configurations|
So just as a side-by-side comparison if you were comfortable in the command line managing your interfaces you can still do that, but you can do it within the GUI to manage your voice configuration, which you may not be as familiar with. And honestly you should use the graphical user interface, because it also kind of make sure that you do everything. If you look at all of your menus and you go through them you could be like "oh! Yeah, I got to create this" and "oh! I've got to set these settings" and the graphical user interface is kind of like a reminder to you that you need to do all this configuration. And of course you can always use a blended solution, you can do things at the command line and go into the CCP and of course we want to make sure that ultimately that we manage all of our files. And however you do that, you can do a copy and paste for large configuration files into the command line or you can do your bulk imports from a CSV file for larger configurations. So you really have a lot of options here and I'm very pleased at the CCP environment because it also gives us another way to manage all of these different devices, all of these Communications Manager Expresses specifically and it all looks the same. So no matter what version you're running – an older version, a newer version hopefully if it's compatible with this tool you can do it all from the same menu environment and it doesn't differ.