Avaya IP Phones Best Practices

3 easy techniques to install, and maintain Avaya Endpoints

Avaya IP Phones Best Practices

By the end of this post “Avaya IP Phones Best Practices” you will gain different techniques for troubleshooting common Avaya IP Phones issues. If you are responsible for installing, servicing, designing and maintaining Avaya Products, this post is for you. No matter if you work with ECG or SME, this post is tailored to help you through the basics.

At the beginning of 2015 I was dispatched to replace a system, and re-ip all the gateways, including the Avaya IP Phones. After I was done forklifting the system from 5.2 to 6.3, bringing the Media Gateways, Modules, and IP Phones up to specs, I found out that non of the Avaya IP Phones were working as they were prior to the upgrade.

This site was configured as a Survivable or Branch Gateway G350, Cisco PoE switch, and the 9600 series Avaya IP Phones. The DHCP Server was located a the Core site.

To help you troubleshoot this issue, I have created these 3 steps=

  • 1- Data gathering
  • 2- Develop, and exercise a plan
  • 3- End results
  • A- resources
  • B- quick tip 

1.- Data Gathering

You need to understand the voice and network topologies, from port assignments, duplex settings, VLANs, DHCP Scopes, and File Servers are imperative. I will step you through explaining each one.

Port assignment – Check with your data/network engineer and verify that the priority (QoS) and Class of Service (CoS) are both implemented. Verify that these two options are setup to match the Avaya IP Phones configuration. Avaya recommends the QoS DiffServ Value= 46, and use a high priority CoS value around 5. Assigning a higher CoS value will prioritize the voice packets over the regular marked ones.

It is also good to know that 802.1Q, and CoS operate at L2, and DiffServ at L3.

Duplex Settings – Avaya recommends to leave the IP Phones set a Auto Negotiate, and devices such as Media Servers, CLANs, MedPros, and MGs set to Auto / Full Duplex .

VLANs – By now you should know what a VLAN is. The most common protocol between switch vendors is 802.1Q, which lets the voice frames to be tagged with a 4 byte tag field allowing the switch to prioritize the traffic. VLAN operates at L2 (No Routing). Implement the same methodology at L3. Lastly I suggest to always segregate the Voice and Data traffic.

DHCP Scopes The 6 steps boot-up sequence

The follow steps explains how the Avaya IP Phones boot-up

Step 1 Access the network

  • PoE
  • MDI / MDX (Medium Dependent Interface / Medium Dependent Crossover or A.K.A Autosense)
  • Auto Negotiation
  • 802.1 Security
  • Logical Link Discovery Protocol
  • Quality of Service

Step 2 – DHCP

  • IP, Subnet, Default Gateway (Router)
  • Site Specific Options

Step 3 – Download files from HTTPS

  • Upgrade Configuration Script
  • Firmware
  • 46xxsettings.tx
  • Language Files
  • Certificates

Step 4 – Time and Date

  • Simple Network Time Protocol

Step 5 – Registration

H.323 Endpoints

  • Time To Serve
  • Alternate Gatekeeper List
  • CLAN Load Balancing

SIP Endpoings

  • Personal Profile Manager
  • Alternate Registrations System Managers

Step 6 – Other Applications

  • Push
  • Web using WML
  • MS Exchange Calendar

Now that we understand the IP Phone boot sequence, notice how important is having a DHCP Server implemented, there are a variety of of Scope Options available for IP and SIP phones. But if you are interest in having the phone up and running smoothly in the correct VLAN; do this first=

The Avaya IP Phone will boot-up in the data VLAN first, and it is viral to let it know where to go next. Configure the DCHP Options 242, and 176 in the Data DHCP Scope first, to let the phone know that 802.1Q is active, and which VLANID to use for Voice. Once the Avaya IP Phone learns all of these, it will boot back up in the correct VLAN ID the using 802.1Q tag.


Data Scope Option 242 and 176 = L2Q=1,L2QVLAN=xx,VLANTEST=0

The 0= off, and 1= On

Voice Scope Option 242, and 176= MCIPADD=x.x.x.x,MCPORT=1719,HTTPSRVR=x.x.x.x,L2Q=1,L2QVLAN=xx

Keep in mind that DHCP Scopes can push more information to the Avaya IP Phones

  • L2QAUD=6 (Layer 2 Audio)
  • L2QSIG=6 (Layer 2 priority Signal)
  • DSCPSIG=34 (Layer 3 DSCP for Signal)
  • DSCPAUD=46 (Layer 3 DSCP for Audio)
  • TFTPSRVR= TFTP File Server IP Address
  • SIG= (1= H.323, 2= SIP, Default= 0) this is supported on CM 6.0+
  • BOOTFILE= 46xxupgrade.src (Self explanatory)

For more refer to the Resources.

File Server= Contain the Avaya IP Phone Binary, Firmware, Upgrade, 46xxSettings, 96xxSettings files, and VPN Files.

2.- Develop, and exercise a plan

Take the data collected, and come up with steps to exercise your solution. I would communicate with the site contact to let him/her know what went wrong, and what will happen next. It is always a good idea to keep your customer aware.

3- End results

I had to engage the IT Engineers immediately, and had them update the IP Helper Address table in the Cisco switches with the new Voice DHCP Server IP Address information.  After these changes were made the Avaya IP Phones were back up and working fine.

For future reference I would consider gathering the network documentation including switches and DHCP information to avoid headaches. If possible test the new solution before going with it live.

Get my fresh content

A.- Resources

B.- Quick Tip

Avaya IP Phone Functions

hold or mute 2 3 3 7 # (ADDR) – Address information programming

hold or mute 2 4 2 3 3 7 # (C H A D D R) – Set the DHCP chaddr field value

hold or mute 2 4 2 # (A G C) Enable/disable Automatic Gain Control

hold or mute 2 5 3 2 7 # (C L E A R) Clear all values to factory defaults

hold or mute 2 5 3 7 8 # (A L E R T) Alerting mode control

hold or mute 2 6 6 8 # (C O N T) Contrast control

hold or mute 2 8 4 # (C T I) Computer-Telephony Interface enable/disable

hold or mute 3 5 3 8 # (F K E U) Enable/disable FKEU (XMOD) protocol

hold or mute 4 6 8 # (I N T) Interface control

hold or mute 4 7 6 8 7 # (G R O U P) Set the GROUP identifier

hold or mute 5 6 4 6 3 3 # (L O G O F F) Unregister the telephone extension from ACP

hold or mute 5 6 4 # (L O G) Enable/disable event LOGging

hold or mute 6 3 3 # (O F F) Turn the display backlight OFF

hold or mute 7 3 7 3 8 # (R E S E T) Reset system initialization values to defaults and/or RESET the telephone

hold or mute 7 4 4 # (S I G) Set the SIGnaling protocol download flag

hold or mute 7 6 7 # (Q O S) Set the Quality Of Service options

hold or mute 7 7 6 6 # (S S O N) Set the Site-Specific Option Number

hold or mute 8 0 2 1 9 # (8 0 2 1 X) Set 802.1X operational mode

hold or mute 8 2 4 # (T A G) Layer 2 frame tagging control

hold or mute 8 3 7 8 # (T E S T) Initiate self-TEST

hold or mute 8 4 3 9 # (V I E W) View current parameter values and file names

hold or mute 8 7 6 6 6 3 # (VPNMOD) Show VPN start up parameters

When installing and maintaining Avaya IP Phones, what procedures and best practices do you take? Please leave me a comment below, I want to hear from you

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • John Zonneveld

    This works in most cases, however in 2013 when rolling out a ‘big’ customer Avaya was unable to supply the phones we needed. Phones (2420s) were found in a depot in Belgium I believe, only problem was that the firmware was too old and the bootup didn’t bring the settings we required.
    To resolve this problem we had to manually configure all the Phones to an IP-address and direct them to the fileserver. After the download and the 2nd reboot, we did a reset of the phones and everything was as it supposed to be.
    Wasn’t really fun to run around a 14 story office building late at night to do all this, but luckely everyone in the building lend us a hand.

    • I can’t imagine the stress you were going through; trying to deliver a quick solution.
      The 2400 are digital sets, I’ve been able to upgrade their BIN files, but not send anything more than that. Tell me, which setting were you able to push out to the digital sets.

      • John Zonneveld

        Uhh, meanwhile already a Stay-at-home dad for two years. It were IP sets so mistaken due to lack of hands-on, most likely they were 4620s.
        Was a complete multi datacenter IP-solution. Only during transistion we had G450s for local breakout until they were migrated to the SIP trunks.

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  • simran

    Sir, Do your site has technical videos for easy learning.

    I really like your site. A simple language for a person like me to understand.

    Most of the topics I have learnt from your site sir. Please let me know If you present any technical