Upgrading vHardware To A Specific Version

September 1st, 2014

Sometimes it’s necessary to upgrade the vHardware of a VM to a specific version. For example, in vSphere 5.5 the “right-click / Upgrade Virtual Hardware” task from the vSphere thick client will bring your VM to vmx-10 vHardware. This isn’t always desirable if you are not running vCenter and/or don’t have access to the vCenter Web Client (as vmx-10 vHardware is only editable from this client).

You can do this via CLI to the host with the following steps:

  1. Shutdown the VM.
  2. Enable SSH or the CLI console on your ESXi host that is running the VM.
  3. After logging in, get the VM ID by entering:
     vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms
  4. Upgrade the VM to your desired vHardware version by entering:
     vim-cmd vmsvc/upgrade <id> vmx-0<ver>



Using the Apple Store “Telephone” SIP Client as a CUCM Endpoint

September 1st, 2014

This will walk you through setting up the free Telephone.app from the Apple App Store to work as a 3rd party SIP Client to Cisco Unified Communication Manager.

Specifics used for testing:

  • CUCM
  • Telephone 1.1.4 (114)
  • CUCM setup with “nicknet.home” as both the top level domain and cluster fqdn.
  • e.164 DN used for testing +10002443001
  • Digest Authentication

Steps to setup:

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Integrating Cisco UCCX 10 with Open Source MRCP for TTS and ASR

August 25th, 2014

So what is MRCP and why do we care?

MRCP is the protocol that UCCX uses to interface with TTS and ASR engines. Typically, this is a IBM Websphere Voice, Nuance Vocalizer, or Scansoft Realspeak server. However, the MRCP protocol is an open standard. It is possible to integrate UCCX with other MRCP compliant servers. UCCX supports both version 1 and version 2 or MRCP.



So why all of this? Well.. simple… For one, I have always wanted a TTS/ASR  setup in my lab to work on some more advanced UCCX scripting techniques. But… more importantly…  I really just wanted  a way to quickly insert and edit prompts without having to manually record each one as I made changes to my script logic. Also, recording prompts to do testing with really breaks my thought workflow while I’m focusing on writing and debugging script call flows. A time limited demo of one of the commercial products really doesn’t appeal to me either so I started looking at other unlimited/open-source options. After a little bit of digging I discovered UNIMRCP and was able to cobble together a basic TTS and ASR server that works well with UCCX.

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Speeding Up VMWare vSphere Web Client

August 5th, 2014

Found a simple little hack that speeds up vSphere Web Client. This involves adjusting the maximum allowed local storage that flash can use. By default this is a measly 100kb. YMMV.

  • Open the browser you access the web client from
  • Go here (www.macromedia.com…)
  • Click either global storage settings (for all sites) or website storage settings (for specific site)  and change from 100k to 10MB or unlimited
  • Open/reopen/refresh the vSphere Web Client page


Cisco Live 2014, DevOps, and evolving the UC Engineer…

June 8th, 2014

Cisco Live 2014 came and went. This year marked the 25th anniversary for the Cisco sponsored conference. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend again this year. As always, I left highly motivated and invigorated for another great year of working for a Cisco partner. That alone was worth the ticket price in my opinion… but there was so much more too. There was the social networking, the amazing sessions, the Cisco sponsored appreciation events. Highlights this year was Lenny Kravitz and Imagine Dragons which gave us all a private show at the Giants Stadium (AT&T Park). All that… plus beanbag chairs everywhere… and of course all the new technology to see and play with. Thank you Cisco!

Cisco Customer Appreciation Event Lenny Kravitz and Imagine Dragons The traveling band...

Box seat view for VIPs ;)  Cisco Bean bag chairs for lounging... White DX650

One of the biggest highlights for me this year was the focus on DevOps. This is becoming a very big buzz word. It really doesn’t describe anything new (basicly development combined operations), but I like that the industry has coined something for this. It really shows an awesome movement toward development skills being applicable for more than just purely dedicated programmers. Anyone in the industry knows that this is not completely new… Sys and Network Admins have been using custom programming to build their own automation and management utilities for a very long time. The difference is that many hardware/software manufacturers are API enabling their products for an easier method of integrating custom applications into these platforms. Cisco is no different and is one of the leaders in this movement (and I’m Cisco biased so I am going to focus on them). Cisco’s Unified Computing platform and Datacenter technologies have been at the center of this in most of what is published out there. However, there are also many other initiatives that Cisco is participating in heavily. Things such as SDN and OpenStack. These are all technologies designed to provide greater flexibility and give the enterprise more control and integration possibilities.

A very neat demo Cisco had in the DevNet zone was this little model train setup that would interact with your phone and was very easy to program using a handful of sensors and actuators. This all ran atop a Cisco platform to show the flexibility of what they can provide.

DevOps demo... DevOps demo...

So how does all this fit into the world a UC focused engineer such as myself?

Good question.. I’m glad you asked… Read the rest of this entry »