Cisco IPICS Server Quick Start Guide, Release 2.1(1)
Overview of Cisco IPICS
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Overview of Cisco IPICS

Table Of Contents

Overview of Cisco IPICS

Related Documentation

Getting Started

Cisco IPICS Components

Cisco IPICS Administration Console

Identifying Items in the Administration Console

Cisco IPICS Server Usage Guidelines


Overview of Cisco IPICS


Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (hereafter referred to as Cisco IPICS) provides voice interoperability among disparate systems. It offers an IP standards-based solution that interconnects voice channels, talk groups, and virtual talk groups (VTGs), and provides powerful and flexible management of personnel and media resources.

This chapter provides an overview of the tasks that you need to perform to set up Cisco IPICS. It also introduces components to help familiarize you with Cisco IPICS.

This chapter includes the following sections:

Related Documentation

Getting Started

Cisco IPICS Components

Cisco IPICS Administration Console

Cisco IPICS Server Usage Guidelines

Related Documentation

For additional information about the Cisco IPICS server and the PMC application, refer to the following documents:

Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS Server Quick Start Reference Card, Release 2.1(1)

Using Cisco IPICS on Your IP Phone Quick Start Reference Card, Release 2.1(1)

Using the Cisco IPICS TUI Quick Start Reference Card, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS Radio and Tone Descriptor File Examples Reference Card, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS Server Installation and Upgrade Guide, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS Server Quick Start Installation Reference Card, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS PMC Installation and User Guide, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS PMC Quick Start Reference Card, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS PMC Debug Reference Quick Start Guide, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS PMC Command Line Interface, Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS Troubleshooting Guide, Release 2.1(1)

Release Notes for Cisco IPICS Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS 2.1(1) Resources Card (Documentation Locator)

Solution Reference Network Design (SRND) for Cisco IPICS Release 2.1(1)

Cisco IPICS Compatibility Matrix

To access the full Cisco IPICS documentation suite, refer to the following URL:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7026/tsd_products_support_series_
home.html

Getting Started

After installing the Cisco IPICS operating system and server software, you perform a series of procedures in sequence to set up and configure Cisco IPICS.

For more detailed information about installing the Cisco IPICS operating system and Cisco IPICS server software, refer to the Cisco IPICS Server Installation and Upgrade Guide, Release 2.1(1).

Table 1-1 provides an overview of the sequential procedures that you need to perform to set up and configure Cisco IPICS, with references to sections in this document that provide additional information. You can use this information as a guide when setting up Cisco IPICS for the first time.

For information about logging in to Cisco IPICS, see the "Logging In to and Out of Cisco IPICS" section.

Table 1-1 Set Up and Configure Cisco IPICS

Procedure
References
Become Familiar with Cisco IPICS

1. Learn about the hardware and software components that are part of Cisco IPICS

Cisco IPICS Components

Refer to "Introducing Cisco IPICS" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for detailed configuration and management information.

2. Learn about the roles that Cisco IPICS users can have

See the "Operator Tasks" section.

Refer to "Performing Cisco IPICS Operator Tasks" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for detailed information.

3. Learn about the Cisco IPICS Administration Console, including how to access this application

Cisco IPICS Administration Console

See the "Logging In to and Out of Cisco IPICS" section

Set Up and Configure Cisco IPICS

1. Configure the router media service (RMS) component

See the "System Administrator Tasks" section, the "Managing the RMS" section, and the "Understanding Locations" section.

Refer to "Performing Cisco IPICS Server Administration Tasks" and "Performing Cisco IPICS Dispatcher Tasks" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for detailed configuration and management information.

2. Configure locations

3. Configure the multicast pool

4. Create push-to-talk (PTT) and/or radio channels and VTGs

5. Determine user roles and add users and user groups

See the "Operator Tasks" section.

Refer to "Performing Cisco IPICS Operator Tasks" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for detailed information.

6. Create VTGs

See the "Dispatcher Tasks" section and the "Understanding VTGs" section.

Refer to "Performing Cisco IPICS Dispatcher Tasks" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for more detailed information.

7. Install the PMC installer and upload the current PMC version package

See the "System Administrator Tasks" section and the "Managing the Cisco IPICS PMC" section.

Refer to "Performing Cisco IPICS System Administrator Tasks" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for more detailed information.

8. Configure the Cisco IPICS policy engine, if needed

See the "Managing and Using the Cisco IPICS Policy Engine" section.

Refer to "Using the Cisco IPICS Policy Engine" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for detailed information.

9. Create operational views (ops views), if needed

See the "System Administrator Tasks" section and the "Understanding Ops Views" section.

Refer to "Configuring and Managing Cisco IPICS Operational Views" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for detailed information.

10. Set up Cisco Unified IP Phones, if needed

See the "Using Cisco Unified IP Phones with Cisco IPICS" section.

Refer to "Setting Up and Using a Cisco Unified IP Phone as a Cisco IPICS Push-To-Talk Device" in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) for detailed information.


Cisco IPICS Components

You can deploy Cisco IPICS in a variety of configurations. Your configuration depends on the types of communications devices that users employ, the media types that are used, and your interoperability requirements. A Cisco IPICS deployment typically includes the following hardware and software components:

Cisco IPICS server—The Cisco IPICS server software runs on the Cisco IPICS operating system and performs the following functions:

Hosts the Administration Console

Hosts the Cisco IPICS policy engine, , that provides the ability to create and manage policies

Provides Cisco IPICS authentication and security services

Stores data that is required for operation

Enables integration with various media resources, such as (RMS) components, PMC clients, and Cisco Unified IP Phones

Push-to-Talk Management Center (PMC)—The PMC is a PC-based audio application that simulates a handheld radio to enable PTT functionality for PC users. It connects Cisco IPICS users via an IP network to enable participation in and monitoring of one or more talk groups or VTGs at the same time. The PMC is supported for use only with the Windows XP operating system.

LMR gateways—LMR gateways provide voice interoperability between radio and non-radio networks by bridging radio frequencies to IP multicast streams.

RMS—The RMS provides the following functionality:

Support through its loopback function for combining two or more VTGs

Mixing of multicast channels to support VTGs

Mixing of remote PMC unicast connections to a multicast channel or VTG

Support for unicast M1:U12:M2 connection trunks

Networking components—Networking components may include some or all of the following components:

switches

routers

firewalls

mobile access routers

wireless points and bridges

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (previously known as Cisco Unified CallManager) functionality—Cisco Unified Communications Manager , or a Cisco router that is running a supported version of Cisco IOS, enables selected Cisco Unified IP Phone models to participate in channels and VTGs. These applications can also serve as the SIP provider for the Cisco IPICS policy engine.

Audio clients—Audio clients are devices through which users participate in channels or VTGs. They include PMC clients, and various models of the Cisco Unified IP Phone.

For more detailed information about Cisco IPICS components, refer to the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1) and the Cisco IPICS PMC Installation and User Guide, Release 2.1(1).

Cisco IPICS Administration Console

The Cisco IPICS server includes the Administration Console, which is a web-based graphical user interface (GUI) that you use to perform various administration, configuration, and management functions in Cisco IPICS. You use the Administration Console to perform and manage Cisco IPICS activities, depending on your Cisco IPICS role. For information about the functionality that is included in the Administration Console, see the "Identifying Items in the Administration Console" section.

Identifying Items in the Administration Console

The Cisco IPICS Administration Console contains several information drawers and tabs. The drawers that display correspond to the Cisco IPICS roles that have been assigned to you. Therefore, depending on your role, you may not see all of the drawers in the Administration Console.

To access the various windows in the Administration Console, click the applicable drawers in the Server and Policy Engine tabs that display along the left side of the Administration Console. When you click the arrow to the left of a drawer, the drawer expands to display the windows that are available in that drawer.

Table 1-2 and Table 1-3 describe the drawers and windows that you can access in the Server and Policy Engine tabs to perform Cisco IPICS functions.

Table 1-2 Server Tab in the Administration Console

Tab
Description

Server

The server tab contains the following drawers that you can access, depending on your user roles:

Home—Users can access the windows in this drawer to manage personal data, view resource associations, and to download the PMC.

VTG Management—Dispatchers can access the window in this drawer to manage VTGs and events, such as notifications and dial-outs.

User Management—Operators can access the windows in this drawer to manage users and user groups.

Configuration—System administrators can access the windows in this drawer to configure various components, such as channels (PTT and radio), channel groups, radio and tone descriptors, locations, multicast pools, ops views, and RMS components.

Administration—System administrators and ops view administrators can access the windows in this drawer to manage functions, such as license, database and activity log management, active users and options.

PMC Management—System administrators can access the windows in this drawer to manage PMC versions, alert tones, skins, regions, and to generate the PMC installer.

Serviceability—System administrators can access the windows in this drawer to monitor system status, get diagnostic information, and to view and download the system logs.


Table 1-3 Policy Engine Tab in the Administration Console

Tab
Description

Policy Engine

The policy engine tab contains the following drawers:

Policy Management—Users can access this drawer to manage Cisco IPICS policies and get information about policy execution status.

Dial Engine—Users access this drawer to manage the dial engine, which enables the telephony user interface (TUI) and its associated features. Tasks that authorized users can perform in the dial engine tab include managing dial-in/dial-out functions, monitoring system status and logs, managing standard and custom script prompts and spoken names, configuring the SIP provider and dial engine parameters, and managing direct dial numbers.

Note Any Cisco IPICS user can access this tab, but certain activities that are available from this drawer require specific Cisco IPICS user access, such as system administrator. For more information about the various roles in Cisco IPICS and for more detailed information about the functionality of the Administration Console, refer to the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1).


Cisco IPICS Server Usage Guidelines

Be aware of the following tips and guidelines when you use the Cisco IPICS server:

Cisco IPICS provides support for various user roles, including system administrator, ops view administrator, operator, dispatcher, and user. The functionality that may be performed is dependent on the specific user role.

By default, the Administration Console times out after 30 minutes of non use. In this situation, the current Administration Console window remains displayed, but Cisco IPICS prompts you to log back in when you attempt to perform a function. To log back in, enter your user name and password; then click Log In. To exit the Administration Console, click Logout in any Administration Console window.

You may configure this setting for a different timeout value by accessing the Administration > Options window. For more information, refer to the "Managing Cisco IPICS Options" section in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1).

Server login passwords and server host names are case-insensitive; passwords are case-sensitive, so be sure to enter passwords exactly as they are configured in the server.

Access to the Cisco IPICS server online help system is available from various windows in the Administration Console. To access the server online help, click the Help link in any Administration Console window.

To view information about the version of Cisco IPICS that you are using, click About in the Administration Console.

Many of the Administration Console windows allow you to modify the appearance of the results by specifying search criteria and reformatting the results based on rows per window.

Depending on the window, you may be able to search, or filter, your results based on resources, locations, roles, and ops views.

You enter your search criteria in the Filter field and click Go.

When you search on a character string, Cisco IPICS returns all results that begin with the character string that you specify.

To clear the search criteria, click Clear Filter.

To modify the number of rows that display, choose from the Rows per page drop-down list box that displays at the top of the window; then, click Go.

To navigate between results windows, click the arrows that display at the bottom of the window.

Many of the resources in Cisco IPICS, such as channels, users, and VTGs, display in lists in the Administration Console. These lists include check boxes that you can check to select the individual resources to perform certain functions. Some of these resource lists provide a check box that appears at the top of the list that enables you to select all resources at one time.

Many of the Administration Console windows include drop-down list boxes, some of which become available only after you perform certain functions. If you do not perform the required function, the drop-down list box displays as dimmed to indicate that it is not available for use.

An asterisk (*) that displays next to a field, drop-down list box, or check box, in the Administration Console indicates required information. You must provide this information before you can save changes and exit the window.

Most windows contain a Save button and a Cancel button. The Save button saves any changes that you make in a window; clicking this button may close the window automatically. The Cancel button cancels any changes that you have made.

For some resources, separate detailed windows display in which you can take the following actions:

To move an item from one list to another list, click the item to highlight it and then click > or <, or double-click the item.

To move several items from one list to another list at one time, Shift-click or Ctrl-click to select the items and then click > or <.

To move all items from one list to another list at one time, click >> or <<.

To expand a collapsed list, click the arrow that displays to the left of the list.

The Cisco IPICS server contains the associated connection configuration, which correlates to its locations, to determine how the PMC users should connect. Cisco IPICS provides connection support for both multicast and unicast communications. Make sure that users are aware of the appropriate location information to use when they log in to Cisco IPICS.

Cisco IPICS includes the following two predefined locations:

ALL—This location signifies no network boundaries; that is, a channel that is designated with the ALL location means that there are no network boundaries within the Cisco IPICS deployment for that associated multicast address.

REMOTE—This location is available only to PMC users. When a PMC user chooses the REMOTE location, connectivity is established with the appropriate RMS via a SIP-based unicast connection for each channel or VTG that has been assigned to the user.

For more information about locations, see the "Understanding Locations" section.

Users who are in the same multicast domain are also in the same Cisco IPICS location.

When configuring IP multicast addresses, Cisco strongly recommends that you configure IP multicast addresses that are only in the 239.192.0.0 to 239.251.255.255 range. This address range is part of the Administratively Scoped Block, as specified by RFC 3171, and is intended for use in a local domain. As such, this address range is less likely to cause an addressing conflict in an existing multicast domain. For more detailed information, refer to the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1).

Cisco IPICS does not support the use of multiple Cisco IPICS servers for the same RMS component because each server must have the use of resources on a corresponding RMS for proper functionality.

Cisco IPICS provides support for more than one RMS component in the same location.

When you configure your RMS component, make sure that you perform all of the configuration procedures that are documented in the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1).

Be aware of the number of participants in a conference and their type of connection to avoid resource contention.

If you see a VTG become active or inactive unexpectedly, it could be because of a policy that is associated to the VTG. For more information about VTGs and ops views, refer to the Cisco IPICS Server Administration Guide, Release 2.1(1).