another lab advice thread (i know..)

ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
After much debate i've decided to do the ccvp now that NP is basically down. I have voip experience but no cisco experience (and no telephony experience). My mind boggles at all the different network modules, cards, etc. I presume that after I complete CVOICE i'll have a better understanding of how cisco's solution fits together, but for now I need something to get me started that won't be throwaway gear. That said, I'm not working at the moment, so a slew of 2811s isn't something i'm going to shell out on right now. I don't need a CCIE-voice level topology at this point...

My understanding so far is that I need to have 3 voice routers with the capability of connecting them to the "PSTN" and the WAN. One will be HQ and I will have 2 branches. I'm reading about simulating the PSTN cloud in other posts... Not quite sure at what point it's required in the VP path...

Questions:

I think the best bang for buck seems to be the 1760-V (is 2 VIC slots enough for everything at the CCVP level?). How many VIC-2FXO and a VIC-2FXS do I want? I'm seeing these priced from 65-85 right now, as well as some really cheap ones from HK... Also, for the the VWIC-1MFT-T1... How many? I guess 2 minimum for connecting back to back since I don't have a PSTN cloud yet, right?

I guess the main thing is i need to get started on CVOiCE and after that i'll be in a better position to assess my own needs.

If I get 3 of these and a 3 7960 phones, is there anything else I need to get something basic up and running? I have switches already. I'm intending to run CME from VMWare.

I know this stuff has been asked before, so... sorry and thanks for reading through yet another lab equipment thread. It's confusing when you're just starting down the path. icon_redface.gif

Comments

  • tokhsstokhss Posts: 473Member
    Not sure you can run CME on VM.. however, full blown Call Manager and Unity you can.. google those and find your iso.

    regarding the routers/switches.. im in the same boat, however, im i will be going for my CCIE:V i opted to go the 2800 route.

    my pstn and frame routers will consist of 2600's for right now until i upgrade sometime in the future..

    from what i have read, the 1760-v is the best bang for the buck however its slow to boot..guess its got an old proc in there.

    ebay the 1760-v.. you will see many different configs.. some sell for 400 bucks and their fully kitted out.

    I plan on getting a bunch of serial interfaces (prob 6--- 3 on the frame cloud and 1 for reach branch/hq )

    for the pstn, about the same in regards to how many T1/E1 interfaces i will need. You will also need something to transcode between codecs .. these are your DSPs.. 1760-v you will need PVDM-256k sticks.. someone correct me if i am wrong..

    lastly, look for FXS interfaces for your analog testing at whatever area of your lab you plan on testing.

    anyhow.. nothing wrong with going 1760-v .. they run CME just fine.
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Although it's no longer required for the CCVP track, I'd start out with CCNA-Voice. It's a good intro into Cisco VoIP and it'll show results in the home lab fast. It also fills in some of the "assumed knowledge" you're expected to know in CVOICE. If you're also new to telephony, also look for the Cisco Voice over IP Fundamentals book, you might find it cheap in the on-line 2nd hand book stores.

    Check out my post for a primer on CCNA-Voice lab gear.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-voice/49420-ccna-voice-lab-home.html

    The 1760 is a good way to start on a budget, and can be passed down to branch router as time goes bye. The have 2 dedicated VIC slots as well as 2 WIC/VIC slots. To start I'd get a VIC-2FXS, VIC-2FXO, a PVDM-256K-8 and maybe a VWIC-1MFT-E1/T1.

    CME is router based (installed in flash), while the full CallManager can be installed in VMware.

    While a PSTN cloud is not part of the CCVP track, we do need something to use to simulate the real world. And it's cheaper than ordering E1/T1 services for the duration of the course.

    More questions? Just ask away! :)
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    azaghul wrote: »
    Although it's no longer required for the CCVP track, I'd start out with CCNA-Voice. It's a good intro into Cisco VoIP and it'll show results in the home lab fast. It also fills in some of the "assumed knowledge" you're expected to know in CVOICE. If you're also new to telephony, also look for the Cisco Voice over IP Fundamentals book, you might find it cheap in the on-line 2nd hand book stores.

    Check out my post for a primer on CCNA-Voice lab gear.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-voice/49420-ccna-voice-lab-home.html

    The 1760 is a good way to start on a budget, and can be passed down to branch router as time goes bye. The have 2 dedicated VIC slots as well as 2 WIC/VIC slots. To start I'd get a VIC-2FXS, VIC-2FXO, a PVDM-256K-8 and maybe a VWIC-1MFT-E1/T1.

    CME is router based (installed in flash), while the full CallManager can be installed in VMware.

    While a PSTN cloud is not part of the CCVP track, we do need something to use to simulate the real world. And it's cheaper than ordering E1/T1 services for the duration of the course.

    More questions? Just ask away! :)

    I think that I will take the middle ground and just read the CCNA:Voice book as there is some useful stuff in there to fill knowledge gaps specifically related to cisco's solutions and telephony stuff.

    Regarding the PSTN, what are you running on these routers? Just a bunch of T1 or E1 interfaces + CME?

    I guess for now I'll just buy a couple 1760-Vs, 1 VIC-2FXO and 1 VIC-2FXS, and 2 VWIC-1MFT-E1/T1. I'll figure out everything else after I've read through the CCNA Voice book.

    Oh and a quick question about phones... When I read about the 7960 having SIP firmware on ebay, does that mean it can't run other protocols? Or is SIP just in addition to the others?
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    My PSTN is a 2691 with 2 x E1, 2 x T1 and CME. Just use Cisco's SoftPhone (CIPC) as the "handset" there.

    Depending on the handset, CME supports either SIP, SCCP or both (one at a time). If the phone you buy has SIP, you can force it to load SCCP (or vice-versa), just do a search for the doc.

    If you plan on running a PoE switch (instead of power bricks), make sure that the PoE implementation you use (cisco or 802.3af) matches the phones, some phones will support both, some will only support the cisco standard.
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    azaghul wrote: »
    My PSTN is a 2691 with 2 x E1, 2 x T1 and CME. Just use Cisco's SoftPhone (CIPC) as the "handset" there.

    Depending on the handset, CME supports either SIP, SCCP or both (one at a time). If the phone you buy has SIP, you can force it to load SCCP (or vice-versa), just do a search for the doc.

    If you plan on running a PoE switch (instead of power bricks), make sure that the PoE implementation you use (cisco or 802.3af) matches the phones, some phones will support both, some will only support the cisco standard.

    I'm not gonna run PoE. I already have a stack of 3550 switches so I can make do without it.

    Btw, is there a reason I'm missing you can't use a 1760 as a HQ router? People keep saying i can use them for the branches. :P

    I just ordered:

    Books:

    Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 1
    Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 2
    Cisco Voice over IP (CVOICE) (Authorized Self-Study Guide) (3rd Edition)
    CCNA Voice Official Exam Certification Guide (640-460 IIUC)
    Voice over IP Fundamentals (2nd Edition)
    (already have the Odom QoS book)

    +

    Gear:
    2 1760-V, one has a PVDM-256-12, and the other the standard pvdm-256-4

    just working on the interface cards now...
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    There is nothing wrong with using a 1760 as a HQ router, just you will find some of it's CLI syntax can be very different, and you may not get as many features as a higher end router.

    Differences that come to mind for the 1760 are:

    E1/T1 clocking
    DSP resource management
    No Unity Express support (if you intend to use Unity Express)

    I'd definitely get the CBT Nuggets for each topic, a lot cheaper than a real instructor and complement the Study Guides. Though CVOICE seems very disjointed due to the exam being updated. CIPT1 has just been released and CIPT2 is scheduled for release before July. The book for TUC can probably wait for now.

    You can run your 2 1760's back to back to start with using an E1/T1 crossover and get a PSTN router down the track if needed.
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    azaghul wrote: »
    There is nothing wrong with using a 1760 as a HQ router, just you will find some of it's CLI syntax can be very different, and you may not get as many features as a higher end router.

    Differences that come to mind for the 1760 are:

    E1/T1 clocking
    DSP resource management
    No Unity Express support (if you intend to use Unity Express)

    I'd definitely get the CBT Nuggets for each topic, a lot cheaper than a real instructor and complement the Study Guides. Though CVOICE seems very disjointed due to the exam being updated. CIPT1 has just been released and CIPT2 is scheduled for release before July. The book for TUC can probably wait for now.

    You can run your 2 1760's back to back to start with using an E1/T1 crossover and get a PSTN router down the track if needed.

    the clocking is a negligible difference... For the DSP stuff, are we talking small differences like that or having to type mls qos on a 3550 vs not having to on a 2950? Or like multiple significant differences that'll make studying for the tests a pain in the butt (because they test the newer routers with the different syntax)?

    Unity I don't care about since I can presumably run that in VMware along with CallManager
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Posts: 1,376Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    ciscog33k wrote: »
    the clocking is a negligible difference... For the DSP stuff, are we talking small differences like that or having to type mls qos on a 3550 vs not having to on a 2950? Or like multiple significant differences that'll make studying for the tests a pain in the butt (because they test the newer routers with the different syntax)?

    Unity I don't care about since I can presumably run that in VMware along with CallManager

    There deffinately are some differences in the syntax - check out the other active lab thread ( or search for DSPfarm). I don't think that it's a deal breaker, rather worth noting the commands in the book for test day.
    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    There are a few different flavours of unity;

    Unity Express - runs in a NM or an AIM, can't be emulated in VMware
    Unity Connection - can be run in VMware, its on the same DVD as CUCM
    Unity - presume it can be run in VMware, haven't seen one so not sure

    The DSP resource commands;

    Don't think the 1760 supports the dspfarm command, but has 2 separate commands for transcoding and conferencing. I'm fairly sure there is also one feature that the 1760's don't support, but can't think what it is.icon_sad.gif

    For E1/T1 clocking;

    Non 1760's use the clock source internal|external command under the E1/T1 controller config mode.
    The 1760's use a very unintuitive tdm clocking command in global config mode. Plus there is no network clock select/participate commands. I'd need to check my notes for full details.icon_study.gif

    Sometimes the 1760's do things very differently or not at all, and its off to google or cisco.com to find out why. That's why I use a 3725 as my main lab router (and it boots faster).

    I'm also between jobs here due to the global economy, month 14 and counting. The up side is I have plenty of time to study.:D
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    azaghul wrote: »
    There are a few different flavours of unity;

    Unity Express - runs in a NM or an AIM, can't be emulated in VMware
    Unity Connection - can be run in VMware, its on the same DVD as CUCM
    Unity - presume it can be run in VMware, haven't seen one so not sure

    The DSP resource commands;

    Don't think the 1760 supports the dspfarm command, but has 2 separate commands for transcoding and conferencing. I'm fairly sure there is also one feature that the 1760's don't support, but can't think what it is.icon_sad.gif

    For E1/T1 clocking;

    Non 1760's use the clock source internal|external command under the E1/T1 controller config mode.
    The 1760's use a very unintuitive tdm clocking command in global config mode. Plus there is no network clock select/participate commands. I'd need to check my notes for full details.icon_study.gif

    Sometimes the 1760's do things very differently or not at all, and its off to google or cisco.com to find out why. That's why I use a 3725 as my main lab router (and it boots faster).

    I'm also between jobs here due to the global economy, month 14 and counting. The up side is I have plenty of time to study.:D

    Wow, 14 months? That sucks. You make me feel bad for quitting my job lol.

    Ok screw it i'm gonna hold off on the third router until i'm done with my CCNP and get my books to see exactly what's on the exam. Then I'll figure out what I can live without. I need to put my focus back on ISCW heh.

    Thanks for the help azaghul. I'm gonna try and stay out of this forum for the next couple weeks because it's nothing but a distraction lol.
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah, 14 months too long. Previous contract wound up, and even though we had 5 months notice the global economy has made a mess of things. Making the transition from PBX to Cisco VoIP, I either have too much experience or too little. Still, I'm fed, have a roof (and a mortgage) over my head, so things could be a darn sight worse (the power of positive thinking).

    Happy to help.

    Don't leave us, there are worse ways to get distracted. icon_lol.gif
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh crap... forgot one thing... Do phones matter outside of them being cisco and sip/sccp? Can I get the cheapest or are there things i'm going to want to be doing on the 7941 etc?
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    No, you can get away with the older "Type A" phones, like the 7912, 7940/60. They might lack some of the newer upgrades such as hi-res screen and backlit display, but they'll do the job. I heard somewhere that the newer phones also enable newer features due to more memory, etc, but I'm unclear on exactly what features.
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    azaghul wrote: »
    No, you can get away with the older "Type A" phones, like the 7912, 7940/60. They might lack some of the newer upgrades such as hi-res screen and backlit display, but they'll do the job. I heard somewhere that the newer phones also enable newer features due to more memory, etc, but I'm unclear on exactly what features.

    Ok, I figured but was just wondering b/c on INE they seemed to really be pushing the 7941G because it allows +1 global something.
  • geezer301geezer301 Posts: 25Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    azaghul wrote: »
    There are a few different flavours of unity;

    That's why I use a 3725 as my main lab router (and it boots faster).


    Hi, azaghul,

    Can you list out the spec of your 3725 router ? Thanks.
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sure...

    3725 HQ router 128M Flash / 256M DRAM with CME 4.1
    AIM0: AIM-ATM-VOICE30
    AIM1: AIM-VPN/BP
    WIC0: WIC-2T
    WIC1: VWIC-1MFT-E1
    WIC2: <spare>
    NM0: NM-HD-2V with VIC2-4FXO and VIC-4FXS/DID
    NM1: NM-CUE
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just scored 2 free 2611XMs from my old employer. :D

    Don't know what i'm gonna do with them yet...
  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Nice... you could always use them as subsidiaries off you HQ router and build a small campus, have them run VoIP only and route PSTN back via HQ.
  • ciscog33kciscog33k Posts: 82Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    azaghul wrote: »
    Nice... you could always use them as subsidiaries off you HQ router and build a small campus, have them run VoIP only and route PSTN back via HQ.

    aza... You say you don't have any of the dspfarm/clocking differences on the 3725 vs the 2811 like you do on the 1760? After spending the last 3 days staring and vwic/wic/nm/router documentation and some .pdfs of some of the books I ordered, the pieces are starting to fall into place for me in terms of how everything fits together, so I think i'm gonna go ahead and order everything I need for a fully functional lab right now including a frame-relay and pstn clouds, and maybe i'll get a poe switch after all after all... I'm thinking about all those power injectors and what a mess it'll be...

    I think i'm gonna get a nm-16a for the first 2611xm and make it an access terminal and the second can be my frame relay switch. I've been putting off having a proper access server because i was using dynamips for my routers but with all the extra devices it's gonna start to be a real pain...

    Oh and I just found a copy of the CUCM .iso too but I'm out of hard drive space so I can't give it the 80GB it needs to install right now. 6 TB goes so fast lol...
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