Sep 192013
 

LLDP-MED for Avaya CS1000 IP PhonesIncreasing boot efficiency is one of those things I’m working on. My personal or work PC, my IP Phone, systems I manage. The less time I have to spend sitting around waiting for something to boot up is more time doing something productive. On the PC, that involves looking at your startup folder, your registry run folders and removing any unnecessary services from automatic startup.

For Avaya CS1000 IP Phones, that involves looking at the config and determining which features can be added or removed to achieve an optimal boot up sequence.

Although my 4st post is not live yet (when it is, it will be here), in it I cover Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) and how it applies to Avaya CS1000 IP Phone deployment. On of the biggest inefficiencies I’ve found in CS1000 IP Phone deployments is where customers leave LLDP enabled but don’t use it.

ZzzWaiting for LLDP-MED (Link Layer Discovery Protocol, Media Endpoint Discovery) can add as much as 30 seconds delay to the boot process… So disable it if you’re not using it!

With stickiness, you can configure the Phone to not use LLDP on bootup, or you can disable it manually at each phone by turning it off.

On the other hand, if use LLDP you might increase boot efficiency by distributing the configuration of the IP Phones and reducing dependency upon DHCP. If you want to configure the Voice VLAN but don’t use LLDP, your options are to manually configure each IP Phone or use the VLAN-A option to assign a Voice VLAN ID.

Avaya CS1000 IP Phone, DHCP provisioning behaviorIf you use DHCP though, you’re going to be querying the DHCP server (or multiple servers) multiple times.

It’s certainly faster than waiting for LLDP-MED to time out, but using LLDP-MED is faster than multiple DHCP queries (Although talking a fraction of the delay caused by LLDP-MED being enabled and unused.)

It’s also a good idea to reduce the number of retries to allow the IP Phone to failover to an alternate signaling server (i.e. Connect Server) more quickly.

Take away:

  • If you’re not using a feature, disable it. Your phones will boot faster and you’ll recover more quickly from maintenance windows or disaster.
  • Nortel-i2004-B,s1ip=10.10.10.10;p1=4100;a1=1;r1=3;s2ip=10.10.10.20;p2=4100;a2=1;r2=3;vq=y;st=y;lldp=n;vvsource=a;

Aug 272013
 

Last week I talked about an overview of  the registration process and the different phases for the Avaya IP Phone registration process. This week my contribution to the company blog covers the essential information needed to deploy any IP phone. Understanding IP Phone deployment, essential information needed for all deployment scenarios. Part two of a six part series.

Getting started

I start with the assumption that you already know a little bit about the CS1000 architecture and programming– I tried to keep this article to 600-800 words, and even discounting some of the captures I put in the article it still came out to almost double the size. To do a really in depth review of this topic you need a lot more than just a six part series. But, I have plenty of other topics that need attention and while IP Phone deployment is an interesting topic (to me, because of the number of features available compared to those that are implemented in most sites) as a topic, it’s just one of many. Writing white papers is best left to people who have that as a job– amiright?

Unlike completely creative writing, the technical writing comes very easily. The problem with creative writing is always figuring out the answers that you don’t even really understand the questions to– if X happens, how does Y feel about it, how do they react, etc. When a writer gets stuck, often the problem is that either they’re not able to answer the question, or they may not even realize what question they need to answer. But, with technical writing, all you have to be is knowledgeable about your topic and have time to flip through the documentation.

Trimming the fat

But, I removed a lot of in depth detail that I started to slide into the original blog article and instead referenced the documentation. I figure I trimmed at least another 800 words from the article that gave a lot more detail on the use of the Nortel-i2004-A string, as well as a few other B-string mnemonic that I really like when I’m in charge of IP Phone deployment (or tasked with consulting with a customer.)

Trimming takes at least two passes.

Fact checking

Speaking of documentation, it was a challenge getting some of this history straight. I was around during the UNIStim 1.x days (we’re at 5.4 now), but the documentation doesn’t really talk about when features were implemented, changed or removed.

For instance, it wasn’t until 2.2-2.3 that the new Nortel-i2004-B string was introduced, but the latest UNIStim 5.4 documentation doesn’t say when it was introduced. This is important because if you’re on firmware prior to 2.3, you might not be able to support the B string format (I know this is unlikely– but I know of customers that are still on Meridian-1 software that was released before I got into Telecom in 1999.)

In addition to filling in the facts that I could validate through documentation, I also had to make sure that I hadn’t introduced any errors through typos or omissions. Being thorough takes a couple of passes.

Formatting

Selecting images to fill out a blog is tough for me– I struggle with the artistic creativity required for selecting images that work with the blog post. And, when I cannot find what I’m looking for (and when a google search fails me), I whip something up in Photoshop. You might think that’s creative, but it doesn’t feel that way.

Then, it’s on to getting the text formatting right. Another couple of passes there. Headers are properly coded with the correct H1,H2,H3 tag, words and phrases get the correct bold/underline/italics emphasis. Colored text, when used, can convey information subtly. (e.g., On my company blog articles, I use a dark green bolded text format to represent terms which are universal and not specific to the subject of my blog.)

Approval

Then I submit the blog post to the company approval process and if it gets approved, we schedule it for posting.

 

And thus, Part 2, IP Phone deployment, essential information goes live.

 

The full series will be:

  • Part 1, IP Phone registration process overviewA review of the basic registration process, the phases, a couple of tips and some hints of topics to come.
  • Part 2, Manual IP deployment, Partial and Full DCHP deployment – the essential information needed for all phone deployment scenarios.
  • Part 3, Full DHCP in more detail – the power of DHCP and auto configuration.
  • Part 4, integrating switch level registration – creating efficiencies in phone registration using LLDP/ADAC.
  • Part 5, Using TFTP provisioning for security and redundancy – advanced IP phone deployment techniques using TFTP provisioning.
  • Part 6, remote worker scenarios, NAT, VPN, Firewalls – advanced networking scenarios.

 

Aug 232013
 

The IP Phone Registration process articles are some of the most visited articles on my personal blog. So when my employer began a new initiative asking employees to contribute content to the business blog, I proposed and was greenlit to rewrite and publish my IP Phone Registration overview as a six part blog series.

There will be some rehash of information previously posted here, but there will also be parts that haven’t yet been covered.

The full series will be:

  • Part 1, IP Phone registration process overviewA review of the basic registration process, the phases, a couple of tips and some hints of topics to come.
  • Part 2, Manual IP deployment, Partial and Full DCHP deployment – the essential information needed for all phone deployment scenarios.
  • Part 3, Full DHCP in more detail – the power of DHCP and auto configuration.
  • Part 4, integrating switch level registration – creating efficiencies in phone registration using LLDP/ADAC.
  • Part 5, Using TFTP provisioning for security and redundancy – advanced IP phone deployment techniques using TFTP provisioning.
  • Part 6, remote worker scenarios, NAT, VPN, Firewalls – advanced networking scenarios.

Next week, I anticipate getting part 2 approved and published.

Now, for the “Call to Action”– I get special recognition at my job if my articles happen to be the most viewed articles over the next 6 months (compared to any of my co-worker’s articles.) So, I know this topic is popular and I’m hoping you’ll be tempted by more information on this topic.

Go ahead– do us both a favor and click through to the first article Understanding IP Phone deployment, registration process overview.

If you’d like to influence future articles, register to stay informed and ask your questions either via the registration process or the comments section via the Comments section.

Jul 282012
 

IP Phones LLDP/ADAC Boot Procedure

All Avaya IP Phones, in factory default mode, are configured with ADAC/LLDP enabled. LLDP, or Link Layer Discovery Protocol (802.1ab), and ADAC, or Auto-Detection Auto-Configuration, can operate independently. ADAC provides automatic configuration of the Data Switch port, while LLDP provides a method for the device to communicate it’s nature to the switch it connects to. ADAC can also utilize LLDP to identify the connected device type and configure the Data Switch port. Additionally, LLDP supports LLDP-MED, Link Layer Discovery Protocol Media Endpoint Discovery which permits configuration information to be provided to the Media Endpoint (i.e., IP Phone) automatically from the data switch without the need to communicate with additional components on the network.

NOTE
LLDP can delay the IP Phone boot process if ADAC/LLDP is not enabled on the network. LLDP is only recommended for those environments where LLDP or ADAC is enabled on the data network.

 

See the documentation for precedence of configuration methods. Manual configuration always takes precedence over automatic configuration values. If any unexpected behavior is experienced, consider factory defaulting the IP Phone as part of the troubleshooting process.

 

WARNING
This LLDP Process diagram does not include LLDP-MED behavior.

Configuration Methods

  • By default, LLDP is enabled on the IP Phone. If LLDP is enabled on the Phone, ADAC can use LLDP to identify the connected device for ADAC configuration.
    If LLDP is disabled on the IP Phone, ADAC can use the MAC Address of the connected device for ADAC configuration.
  • After DHCP Provisioning or “Manual Provisioning” via TFTP, LLDP can be disabled. However, if LLDP is manually disabled on the IP Phone, it cannot be enabled via DHCP or “Manual Provisioning”.
  • LLDP-MED can configure the following settings on the IP Phone:
    • Voice VLAN ID
    • Control pBits (priority bits, Layer 2)
    • Media pBits (priority bits, Layer 2)
    • Data pBits (priority bits, Layer 2)
    • DSCP Override of Voice and Media DSCP (DiffServ Code Point, Layer 3)

Recommended Scenarios

  • LLDP on the IP Phone is recommended where the data network is using LLDP or ADAC. If LLDP or ADAC are not enabled on the data network, then LLDP should be disabled on the phone to speed the IP Phone boot process.
  • ADAC is recommended on data networks where security is critical, or where the size of the voice network creates a requirement to distribute the boot-provisioning-registration load.
  • LLDP-MED on the data network is recommended to speed the boot procedure where Voice VLAN, pBits and DSCP values are currently configured via DHCP or TFTP (i.e., “Manual Provisioning”) and/or where security is critical.

For environments where Auto-VLAN ID is enabled, the IP Phone must request DHCP (acquiring an IP address and the Auto-VLAN ID from the DHCP server), then release the DHCP IP address and perform DHCPDISCOVERy a second time to obtain the DHCP Provisioning information. By configuring the Voice VLAN ID via LLDP/ADAC or LLDP-MED, you can eliminate the second DHCP request (reducing load on the DHCP server.)

Additionally, ADAC/LLDP and LLDP-MED increase network security by configuring the network port to the Voice VLAN instead of trusting the 801.1q VLAN ID supplied by the connected device. (A standard converged scenario is to configure the data port to trust the VLAN ID tag provided by the attached device, but this does introduce the potential for security issues and is not recommended for a secure environment.)

ADAC

Auto-Detection, Auto-Configuration (ADAC) provides an automatic configuration method for Avaya (formerly-Nortel) IP Phones.

ADAC Modes configured on the Ethernet Routing Switch (ERS):

  • Untagged-Frames-Basic – Used when the IP phones are sending untagged traffic.
  • Untagged-Frames-Advanced – Used when the IP Phones are sending untagged traffic.
  • Tagged Frames – Used when the IP Phones are sending tagged traffic.

Detection Modes configured on each port (one or both must be assigned to each port to enable ADAC for that port):

  • MAC address
  • Link Layer Discovery Protocol, or LLDP (IEEE 802.1ab)

MAC address detection supports up to 32 devices per port. LLDP detection supports up to 16 devices per port. A standard scenario is one IP Phone and one PC on each port.

Ports are polled every two (2) seconds for their auto-configuration state. ADAC will be applied against a port when one of the following two conditions are true:

  • op-mode untagged-frames-basic or op-mode untagged-frames-advanced, at least one IP phone is detected on the port and no non-IP phones are detected on the port.
  • op-mode tagged frames, and at least one IP phone is detected on the port.

ADAC is removed if any of these conditions become true:

  • Auto-detect becomes disabled on the port.
  • The ports operational state becomes disabled.
  • op-mode untagged-frames-basic or op-mode untagged-frames-advanced, and at least one non-IP phone device is detected on the port.
  • There are no IP Phones detected on the port and the link is down.
  • If the link is still up but there are no IP phones on the port, auto-configuration is disabled after an aging period of about 90 seconds.
  • If all MAC addresses belonging to Nortel IP Phones on a port age out, the auto-configuration settings are removed from the port.
WARNING
ADAC will automatically update VLAN ID and PVID settings under the above specified conditions. This will cause manual settings to be over-written and is design intent. Michael McNamaranoted in 2008 that an earlier release of the ERS software will maintain the VLAN ID and PVID as the port is configured when ADAC is enabled. For example, if you configure the default VLAN ID and PVID as 10 and the ADAC Voice VLAN and PVID as 20, then change the VLAN ID and PVID to 30, when ADAC resets the port configuration (either enabling ADAC or disabling ADAC), the configuration will go back to what it was configured at the time ADAC was enabled. (VLAN/PVID 10 if ADAC is disabling, VLAN/PVID 20 if ADAC is enabling.)I do not have a lab ERS to play with this configuration at this time, so I’ll just make a note that it’s something to watch for.

Jan 232012
 

This article provides an overview of the Avaya IP Phone registration procedure (for UNIStim IP Phones)

When the phone is powered up, the following happens:

  1. NVRAM (non-volatile RA) is loaded, including the local configuration information. Any configuration options set to manual on the phone will overwrite automatic configuration information received.
    NOTE
    If you experience any problems with any part of the process, use the IP Phone Factory Default reset procedure to clear all local configuration settings.

     

  2. Phone then boots and determines if data switch provides LLDP or ADAC. This setting can be disabled manually, via DHCP or via manual provisioning. Unless this is disabled manually, the phone will always check LLDP/ADAC when it first boots.
    NOTE
    Leaving LLDP/ADAC enabled when it is not supported by the Layer 2 switching equipment installed at the site can extend boot times for IP Phone devices. While LLDP/ADAC is enabled in a factory default configuration, it is recommended that this be disabled unless it is specifically supported by the networking environment.

     

  3. The phone then requests DHCP. If DHCP is available it processes the DHCP information.
  4. If a provisioning server is provided via DHCP Option 66, DHCP or manually configured on the IP Phone, then the the IP Phone requests the system.prv and <TYPE>.cfg from the HTTP or TFTP servers. While there is a lot more available under manual provisioning than just firmware upgrades (and while I will be writing an article to cover those topics later), I have only written the manual firmware upgrade article.
  5. Then the phone attempts to contact the S1 and S2 (primary signaling server and failover signaling server). If the phone cannot make a connection to the signaling server (or that information isn’t provided via any of the configuration methods available: manual, DHCP or provisioning server) then the Phone reboots and tries again.
  6. If a connection is made to either the primary or failover signaling server, then the phone will register and proceed with attempting to connect to External Application Servers (XAS) such as the Application Server 1000. A lot of the functionality that was originally relegated to an External Server (screen savers, backgrounds, some directory functions) have been incorporated in to the base firmware/functionality of the IP Phones. Others still require an XAS. For more information on this, contact an authorized Avaya distributor.

The only information that is critical to an IP phone for the boot process is:

  1. Set IP address, subnet mask and gateway
  2. Primary signaling server (S1) IP address, Port, Action and Retry values
  3. Node and TN

When troubleshooting, eliminate variables by resetting the unit back to factory default and then configure only the minimum number of settings needed to establish connectivity (start with manually configuring the phone, then migrate components of the configuration back to auto to determine where the process fails.)