Posts from ‘Phones’

Mar
24

I am running this week’s Voice Trivia Contest a bit early (launching it on Thursday instead of Friday) to try to give more people a chance to win that might not otherwise see this over the weekend, however we will still end the contest on Monday morning, as usual.

Here are the facts for this week’s Voice Trivia Contest:

  • Tobias has a phone on which he needs to be able to have two BLF SD buttons that accurately show the presence status of Gob, Buster and Lindsay’s primary DNs. This needs to include status updates for when either Gob or Lindsay’s primary DN is ringing, but not when Buster’s primary DN rings.
  • Gob, Buster and Lindsay’s primary DNs are all in the same Partition.
  • Tobias has a SUBSCRIBE Calling Search Space that contains that Partition all three phones’ primary DNs are in.
  • Tobias also needs to be able to view Call Lists (Missed Calls, Corporate Directory, etc.), but when he views them, he should only see the BLF status change for Lindsay’s DN, and not for Gob or Buster’s DNs.
  • To aid in that, two Presence Groups have been setup. One for Tobias and Lindsay which have been assigned to both their Phone devices and their Lines. One for Gob and Buster, which have been assigned to both their Phone devices and their Lines. The Presence Groups both explicitly have Disallow Subscription to each other’s group reciprocally.
  • All is good with Tobias’s BLF SDs on his phone display, and he can see all of their status changes appropriately – including seeing when Gob or Lindsay’s DNs ring, but not Buster’s.
  • However, there is an issue. When he pulls up the Corporate Directory and searches for everyone, he sees BLF status updates for both Lindsay and Gob, but not for Buster. Remember that he should not see Gob’s BLF status updates either.

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Mar
09

As continuing pioneers of so many firsts in the CCIE training space, we have noted before on this blog how we have been offering you for over 6 months now, the first and only 100% web-based remote control client that controls not only CUCM SIP & SCCP phones, but also that controls SRST & CME SIP & SCCP phones. And we give it to you at no additional cost to your rental – it’s built-in to every rack for free (no need to install a messy Windows-only software client). And now, we are very excited to offer you another first – the ability to access and control everything in our Voice Racks, with no need for any VPN client.

Simply use one of the following HTTP links below to access your Voice Rack (you must have a valid session during the time you try to authenticate):

Please take a moment to watch this instructional video on how to use this VPN-Less connection to access and control your Voice Rack and IP phones.

So to summarize:

  • No messing around with silly macros which don’t apply in the CCIE Lab
  • Actual support for SRST (not only CME)
  • Who needs VPN?
  • A software client? Our lips shudder to even think it. No, we live in the real, web-based world
  • 7960′s in our 3 Sites? What’s the point?? They aren’t usable when studying for the CCIE Lab – they’re vastly different in every realm of configuration, which will only distract you from studying for the real exam – so why would we even consider including them? We don’t, save for a PSTN phone, which just like in the real lab, you don’t configure.

And to top it all off, our Voice Racks cost 1/4 of any others.

We look forward to continuing to being the first to bring you the best and brightest innovations that get you one step closer to both of our goals: You Passing Your CCIE Lab Exam.

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Feb
22

If you recall from a past article I wrote about “Which Phone Should I Use?” – A Comparison of Models, you may remember from the graphic that support for remotely controlling SIP & SCCP IP phones in CME or SRST was coming approximately around Feb 14. Well, I now have a new graphic to replace that old one (after the jump):

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Jan
21

I have been asked for many years now, “What is the best phone to use when studying for the CCIE Voice exam?”. And while this answer has changed over the years with the different blueprint requirements (with no doubt whatsoever it will change again come next blueprint), the answer for the past year and a half has been a tough one. You see, the actual CCIE Voice lab exam uses Cisco 7965G phones – which you certainly do not need to run out and buy, since all of the same features can be tested using a lesser model, say a 7961 or 2 hardware phone (only difference would be the background image – color and resolution). And certainly, without a doubt, using hardware phones –attached to an INE / GradedLabs Voice Rack using hardware EzVPN through a Cisco IOS router or Cisco ASA– is hands down, the absolute best way to study.

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Nov
10

We are very pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with a wonderful company called Variphy that will allow us to give all our remote Voice rack renting clients free remote control access over all of the 7961 phones on our CCIE Voice racks! Variphy Insight is the product, and it is one of the most brilliant inventory control, CDR, phone broadcast and remote phone control software that I have seen in quite some time.

Six months back, we added 3 7961 IP Phones to each rack, and offered a discounted remote control software, but I think that you all will agree that “free” is a slightly more affordable and enticing way of getting you closer to passing your CCIE Voice Lab than “discounted” is.

Oh by the way, we are updating our racks again, and this time adding 2 more 7961 phones to each one. This means you will have 2 7961 phones at the CorpHQ site, 1 7961 phone at the Branch1 site, and 2 7961 phones at the Branch2 site, as well as a PSTN phone – of course.

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Sep
10

A while back, Cisco began consolidating all of the CCIE lab equipment used by candidates when sitting to write their practical lab exam. Most of the lab hardware now resides in San Jose, California US, with only the Storage and Wireless awaiting movement. While most of the CCIE tracks’ practical lab examinations are able to be completely self-contained inside a single rack, the pesky Voice exam remains an abnormality with the need for hardware IP phones at the testing site where the candidate may sit for the exam.

Having the IP phones in a completely separate location — and therefore seemingly an entirely different L3 IP subnet — would seem to present a major challenge for candidates attempting to test certain configuration tasks such as Multicast Music on Hold, many QoS mechanisms, SRST, and even smaller things such as CDP discovery and DHCP. So how is Cisco able to get away with having phones at a remote location (5000 miles or more in some instances), and yet still allow candidates to configure and then properly test what they critically need to?

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Jul
22

As I mentioned in a blog article a few months back, INE installed 7961 phones in all of our Voice Racks used for customer rental, and simultaneously struck up an exclusive deal with the company called VoIP Integration so that our students could buy their fantastic Remote Phone Control Software at quite a significant discount. More students than I ever imagined would, have contacted me and received the INE Student Edition of this software for use during their studying sessions. In fact, many that already have phones of their own, bought the software just so that they could travel and stil practice labs – while on the road – with their phones and without having to pack up and take their phones with them.

This is the very tool we use during all of the live online and recorded CCIE Voice Deep Dive’s to show you exactly what is happening in real-time on the actual phones (which happen to be in front of me so that you can hear what is going on as well) for any given task we are all working through configuring or testing & troubleshooting.

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May
07

That is a very true saying – in fact one that we believe strongly in here at INE. However we also understand just how expensive it can be to undertake studying for any CCIE Lab exam. That is why, whenever we can, we try to reduce the load on you – the students – to bear this cost. Take for instance our CCIE RS Volume II for Dynamips – we do all we can to provide you the best available instruction while trying to reduce, or sometimes even be able to eliminate the hardware costs associated with studying.

So now we have taken to task trying to do the same for our CCIE Voice track products. We can’t quite virtualize all of the routers used as voice gateways (pesky DSP’s and TDM trunk cards that dynamips won’t ever be able to support since we actually need hardware for the drivers to be able to trigger the signaling), but we thought we would try to reduce the hardware cost for you, the student, in any way we can with the necessary hardware. Anyone having decided to study for the CCIE Voice lab exam has no doubt realized that even if you decide not to take on the enormous cost of building your own rack to practice with, and instead, to rent rack time from any vendor on the market, you still must purchase your own hardware 7961 IP Phones along with some sort of a hardware VPN solution (such as an ASA 5505 or 851 ISR router) at a minimum in order to be able to practice for all of the most important features tested in the lab. This is quite simply due to the fact that the much older 7960′s and all current SCCP Software Client phones (including Cisco CIPC, IPBlue VT-GO*, etc) don’t support any of the newer features – those that are most critical to studying for the latest lab exam. Even if you can manage to find refurbished 7961 IP Phones from eBay for roughly $150/phone and $500/ASA5505 – you still have to invest over $1,000USD just in hardware before you are ready to rent the rack! Seeing as how the 7961 phones are already a generation behind the current ones, and the possibility that when you pass your lab 6-12 months from now that they will likely be 2 generations old and harder to sell for the same price you paid for them – it becomes a very expensive venture to undertake!

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