Cisco (Tandberg) EX90 stuck in maintenance mode boot cycle

EX-90 in Maintenance mode.

Our eval kit EX90 rebooted during a jpg background upload, the file size limit for these is 2Mb, and I had select a 900kb file to do the company logo. When the machine came back up, it was in maintenance mode, suggesting 3 options of action: Restart, Factory rest or Software Upgrade.

I instantly restarted the machine, same situation. I powered it off, same situation. I removed the power altogether, same situation.

I contacted our Cisco rep for help. We didn’t want to factory reset it as we had put some considerable effort into it to configure the content channel for data (screen sharing AV etc). We decided to proceed with a software upgrade as we were 1 point behind the current release 7.1.3 and that wouldn’t affect any licensing. Downloading the file as always with cisco requires CCO download rights which we no longer have( cheers cisco, that’s frustrating when it requires the licence anyway, without it the download is useless!).

I opted to upload the package (pkg file) and auto load it. The screen goes to a predictable ‘this may take some time’ etc etc and then the browser timed out on me about 5 minutes in. I reloaded the page only to be presented with a log-in challenge again. I logged in and luckily the file had uploaded but had not been upgraded.

I proceeded with the upgrade, which took about 4 minutes, do file verification and various checks. Again after 2 reboots, the EX90 came up in maintenance mode.

There was only 1 option left, factory reset. This again took 2 reboots, the control surface taking the longest to complete. At this point it came up with a configuration menu and we were back to a configurable unit. We then painstakingly re-configured it all and we were back.

Faced with the situation again, I would instantly go for the factory reset with the current software as I don’t believe the software upgrade did anything to assist.

Cisco UC Product Tour

I had an interesting trip to see our friends at Cisco HQ (UK) today. It was a multi-purposed session to discuss a multitude of UC subjects.

We’re busy embarking on a Cisco Unity Connection install, to replace our old Unity 4.X installation. We’ve made a few test builds, but that’s largely been to get comfortable with the install process. We wanted to see some of the technology in action, hear some of the marketing and also get an informed demonstration.

Unity Connection:
Features like Visual Voicemail and its ability to store voicemail ‘offbox’ in Exchange are what have attracted us. It’s an interesting way to achieve Unified Messaging without incurring the expensive Microsoft licencing costs. I like that unlike Unity, Unity Connection is now a linux appliance, it’s AD integration isn’t some masked Exchange 2003 installation. The only aspect I am currently not impressed by is the personal contacts feature, it’s a manual upload of contacts, with limited fields. It’s not dynamic at all, not linked to Exchange, it’s a one time import via a web portal.

Jabber: Cisco have started to combine open standards based XMPP technology obtained through the Jabber acquisition. This is being integrated into the WebEx and CUPS and CUPC products. There are ‘Cisco Jabber’ applications available for the Android and Apple platforms, and lots of work in progress to bring in more features towards the end of the year. Blackberry solutions require MVS which is essentially some glue to get it to work under the RIM framework. It creates a SIP trunk into CM, to enable you to use your mobile to make calls via CM trunks.

Cisco Quad: A very interesting product, I’m sure there are many ways to describe it and frame what it is, but it’s essentially a fully fledged ‘corporate-facebook-intranet-in-a-box’ That somewhat undersells it, a recent piece of work has seen our company develop its own intranet with social collaboration in mind, this has met with mediocre success. The Quad product would have pretty much full-filled all the technical needs for us in a turn-key solution. I’m not saying it’s all things to all men, but I was suitable impressed. As a social collaboration suite, it tops my interested list. There are Android, iPad and iPhone applications available for Quad.

Cisco CUPS: I’ve known about CUPS for ages, but it’s always been this monstrously huge product, that was a sledge hammer to crack a nut. It always felt expensive and cumbersome. I’ve no doubt it’s still quite a challenging install, but it’s mediation/federation offering to lash together CUCM and OCS/Lync that mean I will definitely be looking it over again now. The CUPC client is also much improved and is very polished. It has become a very polished and attractive product. The product was re-written with the Jabber technology and is now open standards based. Federation will be achieved using XMPP. Version 8.5.

Show and Share: I’d describe it as corporate YouTube. It enables users to share and collaborate with video/media rich content, tagging and making video content searchable. You can record a piece via a video enabled device and with 1 click publish it as online content. Also known as Cisco Digital Media Manager.

Video Conferencing (Telepresence): Cisco has done a lot of work integrating the Tandberg end points into their product range. I was impressed with the speed that this integration seems to have happened.