Cisco wants you to move your collaboration deployment to the cloud. Why? Because it makes sense.
Having your collaboration network on the cloud allows for better scalability, faster feature adoption, maintaining and running secure and latest firmware. It also relieves you from initial costs of setting up your data center. These costs range from rack space to hardware to cooling to human resources.
How is Cisco pushing its customers to adopt Collaboration Cloud solutions? The easy answer to that is: through many ways 😊.
Today I am going to go over one method and that is it’s WebEx application, formerly WebEx Teams. Cisco introduced the all-new WebEx application, to provide you with calling, messaging, calendar integration, permanent spaces for team or one on one discussions and to join temporarily WebEx Meeting Rooms.
Not all businesses are open to have their “sensitive” IP PBX hosted on the cloud, some consider voice to be more secure when its hosted-on prem. That is why cisco included an option to have everything hosted on the cloud except the voice and voicemail. My personal take on this, is that with time Cisco is going to make it look more appealing to have everything on the cloud (feature set, manageability and of course financially). In this article, I will go over having the WebEx Teams registered to the on-premise Call Manager and having its messaging, directory and meetings hosted on the cloud.
Prior to WebEx, we had WebEx Meetings for cloud meetings and Jabber for phone calls, voicemail, and calendar integrations. The only application hosted on the cloud was WebEx Meetings as it made sense if you are going to have a meeting with people from all over the globe, hosting it on the cloud was a better idea than having it in your own data center (even though Cisco provided an option for it being hosted on prem).
Prior to WebEx, the network looked something like the below, this snapshot is taken from Cisco’s document, Transitioning from Jabber Unified CM Calling to Webex Teams Unified CM Calling Deployment Guide:
As shown in the figure, Jabber had all its services on premises: DNS, Active Directory, CUCM, IM&P and Unity Connection. A feature was later added to allow Jabber Registration over the internet, using Expressway MRA.
With WebEx deployed, you can start expecting to have your network look like the below, snapshot also taken from Cisco’s document, Transitioning from Jabber Unified CM Calling to WebEx Teams Unified CM Calling Deployment Guide:
A shown, the messaging, directory and authentication have been moved to the cloud (there are many methods for authentication so I will not cover it in this discussion). The on prem Presence server is now redundant and can be removed. So, Cisco has taken the messaging, directory to the cloud and bundled it with its existing WebEx Meetings.
I will consider that the users have already been imported to the WebEx Control Hub and WebEx users are able to sign in successfully. The areas of interest are the below
I. WebEx Control Hub
This is where the users are stored. So, when you first login to WebEx, your user must be imported to the WebEx Control Hub and you must be licensed for WebEx messaging. To inform the WebEx to register to the Call Manager we need to set the calling behavior to Calling in Webex (Unified CM) – Use my organization’s domain.
- Log into Webex control hub.
- On the left Click on users, search for the specific user, click on their name.
- A box opens to the right of the page, scroll all the way down to Calling Behavior
- Click on it and Select Calling WebEx (Unified CM).
How will WebEx know where to send the CUCM registration requests? It has two options.
- If you set under Calling WebEx (Unified CM), use my organization’s domain, it will default to the domains added in Organizational settings.
- If you choose use a UC Manager Profile for Calling, you will be asked to choose from a list of predefined UC Manager Profiles. Those profiles are also configured in Organization settings, and you would simply enter a profile name and the Domain you want your WebEx Teams to reach out to register to.
- So depending on the domain configured, it will perform an SRV lookup and that SRV will direct the requests to the Expressway E or the call Manager depending if the WebEx Team is signing in from inside the network or from the internet.
II. Call Manager
Cisco decided to make it as easy as possible for you to register your WebEx Teams to your call manager. That is why it kept the same naming convention that was used in Jabber; meaning WebEx Teams on desktops will have their names start with CSF, on android with BOT and apple with TCT on the call manager (TAB is for tablet as well).
So, make sure that your device is created, associated to end user and you are ready to experience call manager calling through your WebEx application.
This was a very short summary of the requirements to get WebEx Teams to enjoy the services of both Worlds, the Call Manager and the WebEx Control Hub. Later, I will update the blogs with features, authentication methods and voicemail integrations. Till then, enjoy Cisco’s ride to the cloud.
As always if you have any questions on moving your collaboration deployment to the cloud and would like to schedule a free consultation with us, please reach out to us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help!
Freddy Tabet, Network Engineer