IP Office SCN fallback

IP Office is very strong in building a network of multiple systems that feels like a single PBX for the end user. Users can call each other between sites as if they are local. You can build hunt groups with members from different sites and users can have remote users on their phone’s buttons and many more. Technically you just have to build a SCN (Small Community Network) connection between the systems and you are done. The systems exchange all relevant data of the remote systems (like users, hunt groups) and know the best way to reach a remote user.

The challenge

Most times each site has it’s own PSTN connection but internal calls are handled through the SCN connection. But what happens if the connection between sites is lost? That can happen easily if the VPN fails.

Even if it is not officially documented, Avaya built in a fallback mechanism that can help you to manage such situations. There you can define what should be dialed by IPO over PSTN to reach a user if the SCN trunk is down. Continue reading

Get IP Office extension list

Those days a customer asked me to create a limited access to IPO for human ressources department to check for used and free extensions. Every time new staff is hired HR decides what extension the new user will get.

The challenge

The challenge was to find a way to create a security user with that restricted and read read only access. Continue reading

IP Office: Block calls from specific CLI

The challenge

Did you ever had the case that you get spam calls from a specific CLI? Or do you want to define a special target for calls from a single country or company?
Even if it is good documented and pretty easy many techs and many more costumers don’t know that this is possible. And to be honest I worked a long time with IP Office before I got the hint how to accomplish that. Continue reading

Creating Backups of Estos ProCall and MetaDirectory

Sadfully Estos ProCall and Estos MetaDirectory have neither an inbuilt backup functionality nor a scheduler to backup automatically.

After searching the web for a solution I found a German article about moving the service from one machine to another: Move Estos from one server to another

It describes the steps how you can create a backup of both applications and what you have to do to restore them on another machine. Continue reading

Use case: IP Office MADN

With the new IP Office release 10.1 Avaya added a new feature called ‘Multiple Appearance Directory Number’ or short ‘MADN’ to address some customer requests. While there had been the need to be reachable under more than one single number you had to find workarounds to manage that.

The challenge

You had the opportunity to place one (ore more) cheap digital or IP phone in the data center and create bridged appearance keys for that phone. It was also possible to create a hunt group for the additional numbers. The hunt group solution had some disadvantages. Enabling call forwarding or DND (do not disturb) disabled the user’s membership within the group and the user wasn’t reachable anymore. The only way a user could be reached anyway was to dial a short code using the function ‘Dial extension by number’. That works as long as the user doesn’t use hot desking because the function does not call the logged in user but the phone itself.

So we want to be able to call a user through an extra number even if his phone is forwarded or he is in a call. I had a use case where an alarm server had to call the user to play an important voice message in case of a technical issue or in different alarm scenarios like fire or violence. It is important that the alarm server is able to call the user even if his phone is not available for any reason. Continue reading

One-X Portal central CTI link

The feature

Starting with IP Office release 10 Avaya added the ability to connect One-X Portal to a Server Edition solution through a single connection rather than to add every single node manually. That makes administration much easier and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to add new connections within One-X Portal if your customer needs further nodes. But this enhancement made me struggling almost a full day in a none Server Edition environment.

Up to release 9.1 you had to add every single node of a Server Edition Solution as CSTA provider and as DSML provider. Especially if One-X Portal doesn’t run on primary server but is deployed as dedicated application server it is possible to come into trouble if remote nodes are not reachable from that application server. Since release 10.0 you can now have one single connection from One-X Portal to IP Office primary server. Primary server will kind of act like a proxy to link One-X Portal with all other nodes. Continue reading

Controlled restart of multiple services

Last time we discussed how to handle Windows services with Microsft Powershell. This time we get a little deeper by restarting multiple services at once with an additional check if they all restart successful.

The challenge

Let’s take a real example where one software installs three services. I often use GFI Faxmaker. It can works as a fax server behind a telephone system and is usually connected through SIP or H323. To send outbound faxes it has to receive the fax from the client as SMTP mail. Therefore the Microsoft SMTP Server service is also needed. Let’s guess we want to restart all relevant services. So we have to restart three services that come with GFI Faxmaker and the Microsft SMTP Service.
Just restarting a service is not a big deal but don’t we want to check wether all services run after the restart? Wouldn’t it be bad if we restart four services but only two of them come up again? So we will check the state of the service and if they don’t start again successfully we want to send an email to have a chance to act.

Continue reading

Handling Windows services with Powershell

Today we will take a look at how we can handle Windows service with Powershell.

The challenge

Usually a software that is installed as a Windows service should run all day long without any issues. But did you ever run into the situation that a software does not run fully stable? That it only helps to restart the service? That is not design intend but what should we do? If it helps to restart a service once a day it can be used as a workaround. Nevertheless we should always try to force the vendor to correct the issue that makes the software instable or doing only parts of it’s work. But I also know that it is something not possible to convince the vendor for various reasons. Even if the vendor tries to fix the issue we just need to skip the time before the vendor has done his work.

To be honest it is not the biggest challenge to just restart a Windows service. But sometimes a service doesn’t start reliable or the start runs into a timeout. So we will also check the if the service started successfully and retry to start the service. I will cover some basics about handling with services in this post and publish a follow up article about checking the service state. In that case we have to check the state of the involved services in a loop and if needed trigger the start of a service again. Continue reading

Run Powershell scripts from Windows task scheduler

With this short post I want to share information what you have to do to run Microsoft Powershell scripts from Windows task scheduler.

The challenge

I like to automate tasks I want to run on a daily basis. Earlier I did that with batch scripts but I ran into the challenge to use workarounds to handle pretty basic things. For example if I want to call specific commands only once a week. Did you ever try get the day of the week within a batch script? Or did you try to get the current date formats in a way you can use it to name a folder. Sometimes the easier way is to call a VB Script within a batch script or you have to cut the date string into pieces an reorder the parts in the way you need it.

Powershell is way more powerful (perhaps that is where the name comes from?) and we have a bigger range of opportunities. Since Powershell is deeper integrated in Microsoft Windows than batch ever had been the interaction with files, properties and Windows services is much easier. Powershell gives us much better output than batch does so that we can reuse informations a command outputs.
Continue reading