Podcast – Common Engineering Questions – How to Implement InformaCast

Are you about to implement an instance of Singlewire InformaCast in your organization? Are you concerned about what issues you might discover and you install and begin testing? Want to know more about what needs to be configured on your network?

We’ve put this question to Peter Lord, one of Singlewire’s Senior Solution Architects. He discusses the common problems network admins run into and details the simple fixes to bring resolution. For over a decade Peter has been implementing the InformaCast mass notification and emergency communication software in organizations large and small. Peter’s list of certifications include: CCDP, CCNP-V, CCNP, CS-CIPTDS, CS-CIPCCES, CS-CUSS, CCDA, and CCNA, in addition to certifications in Microsoft and CompTIA.

Listen to the podcast below or read the transcript to learn more about the common network engineering problems when installing InformaCast for the first time.

I'm here talking with Peter Lord, Solutions Architect at Singlewire Software. The long and short of it, you are very familiar with technical implementation of InformaCast. In organizations you're a guy that's on site in many cases. And in previous jobs you were actually that person pulling the levers and making things work.

Right, I bring an integrator, a network engineer perspective to the Informacast installation and sales perspective. OK, what we're looking to talk about today are just common technical problems that maybe you've seen when you've been out in the field or an end user would see if they're sitting down to implement InformaCast for the first time.

Alright so, what are some of the things that you see as major technical hurdles that you know an engineer might find when their looking to implement? Well, the great thing about our documentation is that it's really thorough. The downside to that is our documentation is quite long. But people who are familiar with InformaCast and our documentation and follow through it step by step.

Really get through the install process and things just work. The downside is that we're dependent on a lot of other pieces, there's a lot of moving parts to Informacast installation.

So the first common issue that I see is that a lot of people don't have one web access enabled on their phones. And two, that the authentication URL is not set under the enterprise perimeters on CUCM. Both of those settings require phones to be reset.

So what people end up seeing then is they install InformaCast, they think they have everything configured properly. And then they go to do a test and when they do that test, nothing happens. So the two common causes for that are the web access not being enabled and the authentication URL not being set at the phone level.

The next most common problem is that when somebody does do that test, they install InformaCast, do that initial test. The phone gets the text and the lights come on and makes a little beep noise but none of the audio comes out and this is the big red flag that says multicast routing is not enabled.

Because the phones got text but the phone did not get the audio. The only piece of InformatCast broadcast that uses multicast is the G.711 u-law multicast audio stream.

Another common question that people have is what platform should I use to run InformaCast? InformaCast runs on Windows or we also have a virtual appliance which has a Linux backend. The major difference between these two is that, with the Windows installation you have administrator access to the server, so you can do what you want on that server.

Where the virtual appliance there is no root access, so what comes on that server is what's available on that server. Nothing can be added minus a plug in. So the real difference between the two then is if I have a new installation of InformaCast and I don't need any other peripheral applications, like the Legacy Paging Interface, CallAware and PushToTalk.

The virtual appliance is a very easy way to get an InformaCast server up and running very quickly. If I have an InformaCast installation that's going to require the functionality of CallAware, Legacy Paging Interface or PushToTalk. It starts to make more sense just to use a single Windows server to host all those applications.

So those are probably the places where people should look to when their starting out, just to being aware of kinda those as the common pitfalls or, or problem areas. Precisely, and we do have a compatibility matrix on our website as well that shows what versions of InformaCast work with what version of Cisco Call Manager, Call Manager Express and the Cisco IP phone models.

And you mentioned documentation at the beginning that is something where you can find answers to all these questions and troubleshooting and those types of questions and answers.

Very much so, there is a lot of very good documentation on our website. Not only the software installation manuals but a quick start guides, video tutorials, tools and other tips to get people moving in the right direction.

And maybe we should mention here too if there are problems or questions, customers with a extended maintenance contracts can contact us here at Singlewire Software. We have a support team in place that can walk through and point people in the right direction and get 'em going pretty quick.




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