Configuring Cisco Jabber Problem Reporting

Cisco Jabber has an administrative feature allowing users to submit problem reports directly from the user interface. When troubleshooting issues with Jabber this is usually one of the first steps. I consider this a better method instead of having the user save the PRT zip file, subsequently lose it on their computer, and then clogging your inbox.

The nuts and bolts of how this works is briefly described in the Cisco Jabber installation and configuration guide. You need a method to submit the problem report and a method to retrieve the problem report. This post is purely focusing on how to submit the problem report to a server and it’s up to you on how to retrieve it. If you’re anticipating using this frequently or in an enterprise you’re going to need to do some light file handling on the server side. The Cisco problem reporting upload mechanism doesn’t randomize file names during the upload.

I’m working with my FreeBSD server specialized for Jabber functions so underneath I have Apache and PHP. The disclaimer I’m going to insert is that is up to YOU to secure your installation. Creating a free-for-all upload location on your network poses a big security risk. My goal here is to give you the basics with Jabber and what it is doing.

Cisco Jabber does an HTTP POST directly to the URL you specified in your jabber-config.xml. This HTTP POST contains the following information so this is merely informational if you would like use a different upload method. The “ciscoID” portion of the POST is generated by the Cisco JID.

POST /uploadprt.php HTTP/1.1
Request Method: POST
Host: yuengling.brewery.com
Full request URI: http://yuengling.brewery.com/uploadprt.php
Type: multipart/form-data
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="zipFileName"; filename="PROBLEM_FEEDBACK_Cisco_Jabber_ciscoID.zip"

Now that you know how Cisco Jabber uploads to your server you need a corresponding catch-all script to accept the upload. Cisco gives you an example HTML form that you can put on your server. This form is optional and not necessary to have Cisco Jabber automatically upload PRTs. The goal was to provide you an example of how you need to accept the ‘zipFileName’ form data.

uploadprt.html

<form name="uploadPrt" action="http://yuengling.brewery.com/uploadprt.php" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
 <input type="file" name="zipFileName" id="zipFileName" />

 <input type="submit" name="submitBtn" id="submitBtn" value="Upload File" />
</form>

The next piece of the puzzle is the uploadprt.php file and how it interacts with the incoming HTTP POST from Jabber. Jabber uploads a file name that is exactly “PROBLEM_FEEDBACK_Cisco_Jabber_ciscoID.zip” and if you do nothing else to the file name the user will continually overwrite the same file. So I decided to go ahead and add a time-stamp which you can see below in the $uploadfile variable.

I do not recommend you use this code without adding in proper file handling controls. I’m working in a sealed environment so this is the bare essential method to accept the upload. Obviously the $uploaddir needs to be set to your server location you want to store the files.

uploadprt.php

<?php
$uploaddir = '/usr/local/www/apache22/data/uploads/';
$uploadfile = $uploaddir . date('Y_m_d_H_i_s') . basename($_FILES['zipFileName']['name']);
move_uploaded_file($_FILES['zipFileName']['tmp_name'], $uploadfile);
?>

So you’ve put all this together and as always I’m ready to tell Jabber via the jabber-config.xml file where to upload problem reports. It’s important to note that the PrtLogServerUrl parameter points to your upload PHP script and not the HTML form provided in the documentation.

jabber-config.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<config version="1.0">
	<Client>
		<PrtLogServerUrl>http://yuengling.brewery.com/uploadprt.php</PrtLogServerUrl>
	</Client>
</config>

The end result is I have a directory on the server that houses the Jabber problem reports as “2014_12_10_20_19_50PROBLEM_FEEDBACK_Cisco_Jabber_ciscoID.zip”. From here you can work this into any further automation methods such as e-mailing or FTP. The first goal has been met to get the file from the client to the server and from there further automate.

If everything is working you’ll end up with a little window that looks like this. Happy Jabber-ing!

Jabber_PRT_success

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Configuring Cisco Jabber Automatic Updates

With Jabber releases coming from Cisco on a near monthly basis there is a way to keep everyone updated. You can find a section in the installation guide about automatic updates, but it isn’t super clear. I’ll show you from a live installation how it is put together. You’ll want to only do this starting with version 10.5.

First of all you’re going to need a place to host an XML file and the installation files that will be downloaded by the clients. Some may choose Windows/IIS because of familiarity, but I’m a #FreeBSD fan. It’s also something to notice that some of the other application servers from Cisco like Jabber Guest are built on CentOS Linux so you may want to go that route.

Once you’ve found a suitable location you need to create the update.xml file which Jabber checks for changes. If you have thousands of clients in your environment be prepared for that.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<JabberUpdate>
        <App name="JabberMac">
                <LatestBuildNum>191164</LatestBuildNum>
                <LatestVersion>10.5.0</LatestVersion>
                <DownloadURL>http://yuengling.brewery.com/jabber/Cisco-Jabber-Mac-10.5.0.191164-56574006-MCwCFF7lmx_A_Q1b6iK97ETn7QBfP_N9AhQOKTx6TgnCyw3Z4NfjVqdactMcgA!!.zip</DownloadURL>
        </App>
        <App name="JabberWin">
                <LatestBuildNum>37889</LatestBuildNum>
                <LatestVersion>10.5.0</LatestVersion>
                <DownloadURL>http://yuengling.brewery.com/jabber/CiscoJabberSetup.msi</DownloadURL>
        </App>
</JabberUpdate>

Now that you’ve prepared your server and update.xml just upload those files to your server. The Jabber for Mac version requires the DSA signature in the file name and you can find that in the release notes from the download. I haven’t tried this on IIS but I do hear it requires a few modifications to host this file on IIS considering the name.

[email protected]:/usr/local/www/apache22/data/jabber # ll
total 56100
-rw-r--r-- 1 upload www 56574006 Sep 22 10:50 Cisco-Jabber-Mac-10.5.0.191164-56574006-MCwCFF7lmx_A_Q1b6iK97ETn7QBfP_N9AhQOKTx6TgnCyw3Z4NfjVqdactMcgA!!.zip
-rw-r--r-- 1 upload www 786432 Nov 1 17:47 CiscoJabberSetup.msi
-rw-r--r-- 1 upload www 557 Sep 25 19:33 update.xml

From here you need to test downloading each of these files and once that works you can proceed updating your jabber-config.xml. Recall that your jabber-config.xml file is hosted on CUCM so be prepared to update that file, upload to CUCM, and restart TFTP services. Please remember to upload to all your TFTP nodes in the cluster.

<config version="1.0">
        <Client>
                <UpdateUrl>http://yuengling.brewery.com/jabber/update.xml</UpdateUrl>
        </Client>
</config>

You can add a piece of code into your jabber-config.xml that will give users a display of information. I haven’t found that really useful at this stage, but I may do it for the Jabber 10.6 update that is coming ‘soon’.

If it displays properly your next task is to load up Jabber, click Help and “Check for Updates”. If everything pieced together properly you should get the following.

Jabber-up-to-date-pic

Skype’s first day on the job?

Is this really the message the Microsoft Skype team is trying to send?  We’re getting marketing showing that Skype is having it’s first run as a business communications platform. Great for the new guy getting a new job, but are you ready to align your business with Skype? I disagree with this approach from Microsoft and say that this may not be the best marketing approach for the future of Skype for Business.

I now have to reach out to some Lync fan-boys and get their reaction.

 

Cisco Collaboration Summit Notes

The new IX5000, Project Squared, Collaboration Cloud, and Box integration.

We’ve seen the new IX5000 revealed which is the next generation experience without the room remediation.

Project Squared bringing #reactjs #angularjs #webrtc development to life by taking the conference room virtual.

Collaboration Cloud ties it all together without additional Outlook plugins to schedule meetings.

Box integration gives real time document previews without downloading on any device.

 

I’ll have additional posts this week as I compile my notes from the #csummit

 

Is Skype for Business WebRTC?

It has been an exciting few days in the WebRTC world. We’re seeing movement from Microsoft, Cisco, WebRTC, and the IETF. If you haven’t heard the IETF released that the “mandatory to implement” codecs include VP8 and H264. While this seemingly kicks the can down the road at least we have a direction. The enterprises I talk to are 99% on the H264 bandwagon. It’s very difficult to displace a codec once it is in the market and we have H264 devices that will be around for at least 6 additional years. So anything we pick moving forward needs the backwards compatibility.

Is Skype for Business WebRTC?

This question is starting to come up because we’ve seen Microsoft announce additional ORTC support and Skype for Business within two weeks of each other. ORTC is seemingly positioning itself as WebRTC 1.1 which may sounds like a fork but I’ve been told it is not. I took a brief look look at the “shim” that the community is pitching showing how ORTC will have WebRTC 1.0 compatibility. I’m not convinced we will see much support for this “shim”.

Yes, Skype for Business is WebRTC albeit the ORTC side of the specification. I will speculate that we’re simply seeing Microsoft flex their muscle. They have Skype in the consumer market and Lync in the enterprise market to push forward ORTC and H264. This feels similar to how Microsoft has handled codec implementation in the Lync product. While everyone was on the H264 AVC bandwagon we saw Lync 2013 show up with H264 SVC.

While Skype has been traditionally a consumer market product we have to acknowledge what enterprises are evaulating. We saw Microsoft announce that Lync as a product name is on the way out so we needed to quickly understand how WebRTC fits into the picture. Let’s not forget that many enterprises use Lync and they all need to know the direction we’re going. Very soon we’ll most likely see a Skype for Business built around Office Web Apps server and the back end will be Lync Server 2015.

Microsoft gives you a new glass of water to drink every 3 years. You’ll get thirsty near the end of that 3 years wondering what is next. Before you know it you have another full glass and Microsoft expecting you to gulp it down as quickly as possible. Personally I’m getting a bit tired of this approach. Come back around every quarter and top off what we have in front of us.

Moving to FQDN for CUCM

The latest hurdle I’ve seen involves moving existing clusters to FQDN instead of IP. This usually involves making sure all endpoints registering to CUCM have DNS servers and a search suffix provided by DHCP.

Every installation I’ve done has been based on server name and DNS. One client had to change an installation back to IP in the server field because of their DNS domain hierarchy. Heading into DNS usually involves triple checking the DNS/DHCP side of the world before changing a cluster. For a long time Cisco TAC even advocated that cluster server names are set to the IP address. I’ve always had interesting conversations when I would open a TAC case on of my installations.

With the introduction of Jabber, certificates (and multi-SAN in 10.5), and IPv6 we finally have come full circle to needing the server set to FQDN. Since you cannot apply an invalid TLD or IP address into the subject or SAN field names you’ll need to get certificates based on an actual public FQDN. If you want full BYOD interoperability the certificates you get should come from a 3rd party valid certificate authority. (I like Digicert)

Long story short – your “CUCM > System > Server” should be set to hostname.domain.com

Cisco Communications Manager 10.5 Certificates BUG

Finally we get cluster-wide certificate management via multi-SAN certificate support. EDIT 6/10/2014 – and I immediately find a SEV2 bug working with TAC Bug ID:CSCup28852. Callmanager hates this certificate and sends group resets every ITL refresh meaning your phones reboot every 10 minutes or so. Fixed in a later CUCM version but not available for download at this time.

You need to properly set up your Microsoft CA to provide the proper certificate template.

  1. New Certificate template “Web Server X509v3”
    1. Certificate purposes – Server authentication, client authentication, IP security end system
    2. Key usage – Digital signature, Non repudiation (I add this so this can also be used for the VMware hosts, Key encipherment, data encryption. When you are in “Key Usage” you cannot assign Key Agreement and Key Encryption. You want to select “key encipherment”
    3. Key length: 2048
    4. Hash: SHA256
  2. Generate Multi-SAN certificate request from your CUCM publisher
    1. Certificate purpose: tomcat
    2. Distribution: Multi-server (SAN)
    3. Common name: Can be left as-is of put in a vanity name
      1. Auto-populated Domains
      2. This should list all of your CUCM and IM&P nodes in the cluster.
    4. Parent domain!
      1. Be sure this is the parent DNS domain your SERVERS are residing in. There are some caveats here if you have servers in different domains
      2. Example: cucm1.site.domain.com
    5. Other domains!
      1. ADD your directory URI domains (AKA e-mail domain).
      2. Example: domain.com
    6. Key Length: 2048
    7. Hash: SHA265
  3. Submit the CSR to the Microsoft CA via http://ca-server/certsrv
  4. Upload the CA root and any intermediates
  5. Upload the new certificate to CUCM publisher

Enjoy that you didn’t have to do that on every cluster node!

Reminder: If Jabber is connecting to Voicemail you need to go to Unity Connection and create CSR and assign a certificate for each Unity Connection node. Jabber will still prompt for a certificate error if Unity Connection is un-signed.