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
- 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
- Language Files
Step 4 – Time and Date
- Simple Network Time Protocol
Step 5 – Registration
- Time To Serve
- Alternate Gatekeeper List
- CLAN Load Balancing
- Personal Profile Manager
- Alternate Registrations System Managers
Step 6 – Other Applications
- 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.
- Benefits of Time To Server (TTS)
- DHCP Scope Options on Page 55
- Inter-Switch Link and IEEE 802.1Q Frame Format
- Waiting for LLDP
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