Cisco Unity

Unity Approved Methods for Remote Cisco Technical Support Access

Document ID: 43566

Updated: Aug 10, 2006



In addition to the Remote Access procedures listed in the Cisco Unity Maintenance Guide, this document lists the methods used by Cisco Technical Support to access systems remotely. This greatly enhances the engineer's ability to diagnose and resolve system issues. Though not required, customers are highly encouraged to supply some kind of access for troubleshooting purposes.

It is the customer's responsibility to supply any required software.



There are no specific requirements for this document.

Components Used

The information in this document is based on these software and hardware versions:

  • Cisco Unity 3.x(x) and later

  • PcAnywhere *

  • Citrix *

  • Virtual Network Computing (VNC) *

  • Windows Terminal Service (WTS) (also called Remote Desktop) *

  • Cisco MeetingPlace

* PcAnywhere, Citrix, VNC, and WTS are not supplied by Cisco. Previous versions of Cisco Unity included the PcAnywhere application, but this is no longer supplied by Cisco.

The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you understand the potential impact of any command.


For more information on document conventions, refer to the Cisco Technical Tips Conventions.

Approved Remote Access Methods

Cisco Unity

For additional information on Cisco Unity remote access, refer to the Remote Access chapter of the Cisco Unity Maintenance Guide.


For installation procedures, refer to Installing Symantec PcAnywhere.

For supported versions of Symantec PcAnywhere, refer to Cisco Unity 4.0 System Requirements, and Supported Hardware and Software.

For more information on PcAnywhere, refer to Symantec's site.


Officially, Citrix is not supported for use with Cisco Unity. Refer to the Cisco Unity with Citrix Server Products FAQ for additional information.


VNC is not fully tested for compatibility. However, numerous sites have used VNC with no adverse effects. If Cisco Technical Support determines that this product causes issues, the customer may be asked to remove it. For more information, refer to Using Virtual Network Computing Version 3.3.7.

For more information on VNC, refer to the RealVNC site

caution Caution: If you have installed VNC but do not plan to use it to perform the upgrade, disable it to prevent remote access to the server. If you do not disable VNC and a user/administrator accesses the server during the upgrade, the upgrade fails.

WTS (Remote Desktop)

WTS was not an officially supported remote access solution for Cisco Unity until release 3.1(4). For this reason, it is still required that Symantec PcAnywhere or another solution is installed on the Cisco Unity server for all versions earlier than 3.1(4). For more information, refer to Workaround for Accessing Cisco Unity Remotely Using WTS.

WTS Limitations

WTS is supported for use on the Cisco Unity server, with the limitations shown in this table.

Remote Functionality Cisco Unity 4.0(1) and Later
Install or upgrade Cisco Unity. Not supported.
Use the Set Volume utility to set the dB level of recorded names and greetings. Not supported.
Use the Set Wav Format utility to convert recorded names and greetings to a different codec. Not supported.

For more information on WTS, refer to Microsoft's WTS site

Cisco MeetingPlace

MeetingPlace is a unique tool used by Technical Support for web conferencing. It allows access to systems via HTTP. As long as there is Internet access from the Cisco Unity server, this is the preferred method.

Note: By default, Internet Explorer opens new links in the existing windows. Therefore, you can easily lose your web conference when you click on a link. To prevent this Internet Explorer behavior, select on Tools > Internet Options > Advanced and uncheck Reuse windows for launching shortcuts.

Open TCP port 1627 in order to share the desktop. If TCP port 1627 is blocked by the firewall, messages are tunneled through TCP port 80. MeetingPlace also supports tunneling using HTTPS (SSL). SSL requires SSL Certificate. To enable support for SSL, port 443 must be open on the network. For information on the Web conferencing application, refer to Cisco MeetingPlace Web Conferencing.

Note: When you initiate a Terminal Service session to the Cisco CallManager server, launch a browser from there to Cisco MeetingPlace, share the desktop, and then minimize this Terminal Service session, the web conference with Technical Support freezes. Cisco recommends that you either share the desktop from your local PC, logon to Cisco MeetingPlace from the server console directly, or do not minimize your Terminal Service session to Cisco CallManager.

For additional product information, refer to Cisco MeetingPlace.

If you need to set up a session with a Technical Support engineer, go to the TAC MeetingPlace page.


From this page, enter the unique meeting ID number that the Technical Support engineer assigned for this meeting. If you are a first time user, select the Test Browser link to ensure compatibility. If you do not already have them, the Test Browser page prompts you to install some Java components. This is a one time process and is not required the next time you connect to Cisco MeetingPlace.

Once you sign in as a guest, you can share any application with the Technical Support engineer and allow the engineer control.

Note: When you use Cisco MeetingPlace for Web conferencing, the Internet browser process uses a portion of CPU resources. This is expected behavior.

Secure Network Connections

Customers are responsible for secure network connectivity for access. Cisco Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections are the preferred method.

How to Use a VPN

A VPN is a private network that uses public phone lines (or in some cases a cable modem). Privacy is maintained through encryption and the use of secure protocols. When you use a VPN to access Cisco Unity through a firewall, you can use Cisco Unity as if you were inside the network.

VPN is required in these circumstances:

  • When you need access to the Cisco Unity Administrator website (http://<Cisco Unity server name>/web/sa) from a remote computer outside your network firewall.

  • When you need to use the Media Master control bar to record voice names and greetings by using Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) to connect your remote computer to the Cisco Unity server through a firewall.

Note:  If you do not use VPN for remote access, refer to the Microsoft website for information on configuring DCOM through a firewall.

Discuss the set up of a VPN with your LAN administrator.

For information on supported software, refer to Cisco Unity 4.0 System Requirements, and Supported Hardware and Software.

Related Information

Updated: Aug 10, 2006
Document ID: 43566