VPIM Networking in a nutshell…

By Vik Malhi on February 13th, 2009

I’ll get straight to the point- VPIM is a horrible question for a CCIE-V candidate to see for the very first time in your lab. It takes a while to test, it’s a little tricky to troubleshoot and it NEVER works first time unless the Gods are with you (or you’ve read this article- fingers crossed).

For those of you who have put in the hard yards beforehand then it’s OK- the points are achievable in a small amount of time. Lets discuss how…

Before I get started, the assumption being made throughout this post is that the Voice Connectors have been installed and the Active Directory Schema has been extended. Both of these steps are required for VPIM Networking. The Unity box will be the DNS server for both Unity and Unity Express (CUE).

Step (1)- Host & MX record for Unity

I’m going to use DNS to resolve the name for the Unity location- I will need to create a host record and MX record. For CUE, I will not use DNS for resolution. Instead, the IP Address of the CUE module will be used.

In this example the domain for Unity is “voip.lab” and the hostname is “Unity-lab”. The IP Address of Unity is 10.27.200.22.

Step (2) Adding Locations in Unity

When I define the Unity location I have specified the domain name. When I add the location for the CUE module I have used the IP Address of CUE. The screenshots below show the creation of a primary location in Unity (Dial ID = 212) and a VPIM delivery location for CUE
(Dial ID = 331).

Note that in the primary location we allow blind addressing. Blind addressing allows Unity to address messages without knowing CUE subscribers’ mailbox numbers.  When defining the delivery location for CUE, the CUE module IP Address is speficied.

Step (3) Adding Locations in CUE

The next step is to add the primary and delivery location on the CUE module. This time the Primary Location is Dial ID 331 and the Delivery Location is the Unity Dial ID 212.

The domain name of Unity should be specified when defining the Unity location and, like on the Unity box, the CUE module IP address must be used when defining the CUE location. Note that you can only assign a primary location after creating a location- this is slightly awkward and something to watch out for. The third screenshot above shows both locations added and the local location being defined as Location “331″. Don’t forget it!

Step (4) Verification

Make sure the DNS server in both cases (Unity and CUE) is the Unity server. You don’t need to reload, but it won’t hurt anything if you are one of those overly paranoid people. :-)

It’s a good idea to set up tracing on CUE (unless you want to starting tracing on Unity, in which case – best of luck to you!). Session into the CUE module and disable all tracing before you begin to set up the trace- the default on CUE is to enable tracing for almost everything and this would make it impossible to use the trace in a meaningful way. Then we turn tracing for VPIM networking- see below:

cue> trace networking vpim receive
cue> trace networking vpim send 

The best way to view your VPIM messages is shown below:

cue> sh trace buffer tail

Now send a message from phone with mailbox at Unity to the phone with mailbox at CUE. To do this, log into your Voicemail account, press “2″ and press “##” to dial by extension. Dial the Location for CUE and then the mailbox at the CUE location you wish to send a message- so for example “3313003″. Press “#” about 3 more times, record your message and keep pressing “#” until the annoying lady tells you the message has been sent.

Look at your Trace buffer on CUE… you should see the following snippet:

From: “br1 phn1″ <2001@voip.lab> 3241 02/13 09:24:46.076 netw vpim 4 VPIM: To: 3003@10.27.202.2 Look at the From field. If your Unity location did not have the domain name “voip.lab” defined, it isn’t going to work since it would appear to CUE that the message originates from an unknown source. The “TO” field MUST match what is defined for the Domain Name/IP Address field of the primary location at the CUE site. You must also have a mailbox on CUE with extn 3003. A few seconds after seeing this message the MWI light lit on the BR2 phone (I promise). Now the other way… Sending the message from CUE to Unity is done in pretty much the same convoluted way- Login to the CUE mailbox, “2″, “##”, etc…. Look at the trace on CUE and you should see something like the following output:
3288 02/13 09:34:57.220 netw vpim 3 VPIM: To: <2001@voip.lab>
3288 02/13 09:34:57.223 netw vpim 3 VPIM: From: cme cmethree<3003@10.27.202.2>

Again- you must make sure that the text on the right hand side of the “@” matches what has been defined in Unity and that there is a mailbox for extn 2001 in Unity.

As a shortcut for sending messages from Unity to CUE, you could simply add a VPIM subscriber. This would mean that your users at the Unity site would not need to specify the Location ID of the CUE site.

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    Tags: CCIE, CUE, Express, Location ID, Networking, Unity, vik malhi, Voice, VPIM

    6 Responses to “VPIM Networking in a nutshell…”

    1. Larry H. says:

      Vik:

      This is very good stuff. I really appreciate the screen shots!!! The blog definitely helps.

      Thanks

      Larry H.

      CCIE #12203 (R&S)

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    2. Larry H. says:

      Vik:

      This is very good stuff. I really appreciate the screen shots!!! The blog definitely helps.

      Thanks

      Larry H.

      CCIE #12203 (R&S)

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    3. [...] CUE itself. For timebeing,I will cover only  CUE side of things.For setting up Unity side,follow this post by Mr.Vik [...]

    4. [...] CUE itself. For timebeing,I will cover only  CUE side of things.For setting up Unity side,follow this post by Mr.Vik [...]

    5. dtox says:

      Thanks Vik- this is really good stuff.

      I am very much struggling with VPIM though. Even though I think I understand and configuring correctly- my results are very unpredictable. Any chance there is a troubleshooting post coming up soon?

      Maybe list of errors and causes?

      Thanks,
      DM

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    6. dtox says:

      Thanks Vik- this is really good stuff.

      I am very much struggling with VPIM though. Even though I think I understand and configuring correctly- my results are very unpredictable. Any chance there is a troubleshooting post coming up soon?

      Maybe list of errors and causes?

      Thanks,
      DM

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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