Wednesday, October 29, 2008

GRE tunnels and OSPF adjacencies

I made the mistake of starting to play with one of Ivan Pepelnjak's OSPF challenges on his great IOS blog, and got carried away playing with GRE tunnels instead.

On R1:

interface Loopback0
ip address

interface Serial1/0
ip unnumbered Loopback0
encapsulation ppp

interface Tunnel0
ip unnumbered Loopback0
ip ospf 1 area 1
tunnel source Serial1/0
tunnel destination

On R2:

interface Loopback0
ip address

interface Serial1/0
ip address
encapsulation ppp

interface Tunnel0
ip address
ip ospf 1 area 1
tunnel source Serial1/0
tunnel destination

This configuration forms no adjacency because the GRE tunnel interfaces are on different networks. A debug confirms this:

R2#deb ip os adj
OSPF adjacency events debugging is on
*Oct 29 09:43:03.123: OSPF: Rcv pkt from, Tunnel0, area : src not on the same network

from a debug ip packet at the same time:

*Oct 29 10:08:11.015: IP: s= (Tunnel0), d=, len 76, rcvd 0

[incidentally, I'm not sure why this behavior doesn't violate section 8.2 of RFC 2328, which states:

  ...the packet's IP source address is required to
be on the same network as the receiving interface. This
can be verified by comparing the packet's IP source
address to the interface's IP address, after masking
both addresses with the interface mask. This comparison
should not be performed on point-to-point networks. On
point-to-point networks, the interface addresses of each
end of the link are assigned independently, if they are
assigned at all.

GRE tunnels are considered point-to-point networks by OSPF.]

However, if I remove the explicitly configured IP address on R2's tunnel interface and replace it with an unnumbered configuration, using a loopback that's still not in the same network, it works:

R2(config)#int tu 0
R2(config-if)#ip unn lo 0
*Oct 29 09:44:44.907: %OSPF-5-ADJCHG: Process 1, Nbr on Tunnel0 from LOADING to FULL, Loading Done

R2#sh ip os n

Neighbor ID Pri State Dead Time Address Interface 0 FULL/ - 00:00:33 Tunnel0

R1#sh ip os n

Neighbor ID Pri State Dead Time Address Interface 0 FULL/ - 00:00:32 Tunnel0

At first I thought that maybe the router was changing the source address for OSPF packets to the address of the tunnel source, but that's not the case:

R1#deb ip packet
IP packet debugging is on
*Oct 29 10:05:44.955: IP: s= (local), d= (Tunnel0), len 80, sending broad/multicast
*Oct 29 10:05:44.955: IP: s= (Tunnel0), d= (Serial1/0), len 104, sending
*Oct 29 10:05:45.703: IP: s= (Tunnel0), d=, len 80, rcvd 0

As you can see, the OSPF hellos are coming from the loopback IP of R2, which is on a completely different network.

Friday, October 17, 2008

IP phones show bogus "unknown" status in UCM

If you end up with a bunch of normally functioning, non-problematic IP phones showing up as "unknown" instead of "registered" in CallManager administration, you can restart the RIS Data Collector service on the publisher to solve the problem. This doesn't affect call processing, but it does seem to restart some media resources like the annunciator, etc.

Monday, October 13, 2008

certification musings

I started this blog intending it as a repository for odd network and VoIP related issues I run into over time, but I just have to vent a bit about a recent experience.

Last week I interviewed someone whose resume listed virtually every non-CCIE Cisco certification there is: CCNA, CCNP, CCSP, CCVP, CCDP, etc etc.

Now, I'm not naive enough to think that someone with all those certifications will necessarily be thoroughly proficient at all the subject areas (I have the CCSP among other things, but I'm pretty rusty on Cisco IDS), but a passing familiarity would be nice. This individual couldn't describe basic ARP operation, a basic TCP handshake, and couldn't name any layer 2 WAN protocols. He didn't do any better on voice or security questions.

Obviously it's possible to get all these certifications without knowing much, but if you're going to put them on your resume, at least try to be familiar with the basic concepts in the subject area.

Better yet, use the tests as a way to evaluate your REAL theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject area, not as something to spiff up your resume.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

update on yesterday's application weirdness post

A friend read my post yesterday on odd problems with H.323 call setup on VT-Advantage-enabled phones after changing media resources configuration. He observed that IOS 12.4(20T), which we're running on the ISRs containing the DSPs, is the first IOS image to fully implement H.320 ISDN video conferencing capability, and that this might have something to do with the problem. The H.323 gateway that's actually handing the call to the PSTN isn't running 12.4(20T); it's running a much older image. Why the code on the DSP farm would affect a call on a different gateway, I don't understand, but it certainly seems like too much correlation to be coincidence.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weird application interactions

Recently we made some changes to our media resource configuration in CallManager 6.x. Specifically, we stopped using DSPs on a 6608 blade in a Catalyst 6500 and started using DSPs in a couple of 2811 routers. Immediately after this change, a couple of users reported that they could no longer make outbound PSTN calls that transit a particular H.323 gateway. The weirdest part was that if they rebooted their 7940 phone, they could make a single call, but all subsequent calls would fail with a fast busy until they rebooted again. Calls through other gateways worked fine.

A ISDN Q.931 debug showed that the second outbound call was setting up as "unrestricted digital" instead of "speech".

I went 'round with TAC about this for a few emails and they were getting ready to blame the telco (?!) when I realized that the thing these two users have in common is VT Advantage (a Cisco desktop video-conferencing application). I asked them to turn off VT Advantage, and presto, all calls now worked.

Upgrading to the latest VT Advantage version solved the problem completely.

Why a change in media resources would affect outbound calling through a single H.323 gateway on users with an old version of VT Advantage is beyond me, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Unity and Multiple Active Directory Domains

There seems to be a lack of information out there, even with some TAC engineers, about how to prepare Cisco Unity to import subscribers from Exchange servers in AD domains different from the one in which Unity is installed. I've even had several Cisco engineers tell me that this is unsupported, which is totally false. As far as I know, these are the requirements for Unity with respect to multiple domains:

1) All Exchange servers from which you want to import subscribers must be in the same AD forest. Unity unified messaging does not work across multiple forests. Of course, you can still create voicemail boxes that are totally independent of AD, but that's not the point of unified messaging. Exchange servers in different domains in the same forest is not a problem, as long as the PES (see below) is in the same domain as Unity.

2) The Unity server(s) must be installed in the same Active Directory domain as the partner Exchange server, or PES. You specify the PES during the Unity install process. It can be changed with the Message Store Integration Wizard. The PES must have Exchange routing group connectors to all other Exchange servers from which you want to import subscribers. More info on changing the PES is here.

3) You must run the Permissions Wizard on the Unity server while logged in as an account that can set permissions in all the domains containing Exchange servers from which you want to import subscribers. This might require running the PW multiple times under different accounts. This works fine. You may need to add a domain admin account from another domain to the local admin group on the Unity server. When you run PW from accounts in different domains, it will probably fail on some of the domains. This is because you probably won't have a single account that has all the required permissions in all the domains. You just need to continue running PW under different accounts until it has succeeded in all the domains that have Exchange servers from which you're importing subscribers.