Networking Guide for Cisco Unity Release 8.x (With Microsoft Exchange)
Using VPIM for Networking Cisco Unity 8.x with Cisco Unity Express or Other Cisco Unity Systems
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Using VPIM for Networking Cisco Unity 8.x with Cisco Unity Express or Other Cisco Unity Systems

Table Of Contents

Using VPIM for Networking Cisco Unity 8.x with Cisco Unity Express or Other Cisco Unity Systems

Messaging Between Cisco Unity 8.x Servers in Different Directories

Correspondence Between Locations

VPIM Subscribers Correspond to Remote Cisco Unity Subscribers

Audio Format Conversion Settings

Example 1: Both Cisco Unity Servers Use G.729a for Recording and Storage

Example 2: Both Cisco Unity Servers Use G.711 for Recording and Storage

Example 3: One Cisco Unity Server Uses G.711 and the Other Uses G.729a

Messaging Between Cisco Unity 8.x and Cisco Unity Express Servers

Correspondence Between Locations

VPIM Subscribers Correspond to Cisco Unity Express Subscribers

Additional VPIM Networking Functionality When Cisco Unity 8.x Is Connected to Other Cisco Unity or Cisco Unity Express Servers

Networked System Broadcast Messages

Addressing System Broadcast Messages to Multiple Servers

How Networked System Broadcast Messages Are Processed by Cisco Unity

Considerations for Networked System Broadcast Messages

Sending Networked System Broadcast Messages

Setting up Public Distribution Lists for Addressing Networked System Broadcast Messages


Using VPIM for Networking Cisco Unity 8.x with Cisco Unity Express or Other Cisco Unity Systems


For the most part, configuring VPIM Networking for messaging between Cisco Unity systems, and between Cisco Unity and Cisco Unity Express, is the same as between Cisco Unity and a third-party voice mail system. For example, VPIM Networking can be used for messaging in the following cases:

Between Cisco Unity systems where the partner Exchange servers are in different Active Directory forests.

Between Cisco Unity with Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 and Cisco Unity with Domino.

Between Cisco Unity and Cisco Unity Express.

However, there are some special considerations that you should be aware of when configuring VPIM Networking for messaging between Cisco Unity systems.

See the following sections for details:

Messaging Between Cisco Unity 8.x Servers in Different Directories

Messaging Between Cisco Unity 8.x and Cisco Unity Express Servers

Additional VPIM Networking Functionality When Cisco Unity 8.x Is Connected to Other Cisco Unity or Cisco Unity Express Servers

Messaging Between Cisco Unity 8.x Servers in Different Directories

Generally, when setting up VPIM Networking for Cisco Unity servers in different directories, you configure the Cisco Unity servers just as you would for VPIM Networking with any other voice messaging system. However, there are some settings that need to be coordinated between the Cisco Unity servers, as explained in the following sections:

Correspondence Between Locations

VPIM Subscribers Correspond to Remote Cisco Unity Subscribers

Audio Format Conversion Settings

Correspondence Between Locations

As Figure 8-1 illustrates, you create a VPIM delivery location on the local Cisco Unity server to correspond to each remote Cisco Unity Bridgehead server. Typically, the Domain Name that you enter on the delivery location matches the Domain Name for the corresponding primary location on the remote Cisco Unity server and vice versa. However, the domain names that you enter depend on your email addresses/recipient policy. In addition, the Dial ID and Display Name on the local delivery location are typically the same as the Dial ID and Display Name on the remote primary location and vice versa (this is for convenience only and is not a requirement). If prefixes are needed to accommodate numbering plans and subscriber dialing habits, enter applicable prefixes on the local and/or remote delivery locations.

Figure 8-1 Correspondence Between Locations

VPIM Subscribers Correspond to Remote Cisco Unity Subscribers

If you do not want to use blind addressing, you can create VPIM subscriber accounts on the local server that correspond to subscribers on the remote Cisco Unity server. On the remote Cisco Unity server, VPIM subscriber accounts can be created that correspond to the Cisco Unity subscribers on your local server. Figure 8-2 illustrates the relationship of VPIM subscribers to remote Cisco Unity subscribers.

By creating VPIM subscribers, you manually duplicate the subscriber directory of the remote Cisco Unity server on the local server, and vice versa. Such a setup provides the benefits listed in the "Subscriber Experience with VPIM Subscribers" section on page 7-48.

In addition to manually creating VPIM subscribers, you can configure Cisco Unity to automatically update the VPIM subscriber directory based on information contained in VPIM messages that are received from the remote Cisco Unity server. You configure the settings for automatic directory updates on the delivery location that corresponds to the remote Cisco Unity server. If the remote Cisco Unity server is configured to include the vCard of the sender in outgoing messages, you can specify that the vCard be used as the source of information for the directory update. Otherwise, the message headers can be used instead. By default, no automatic directory updates will occur. For further information about enabling automatic updates and configuring these settings, see the "Customizing VPIM Subscriber Directory Update Settings" section on page 7-29.

Figure 8-2 VPIM Subscribers That Correspond to Remote Cisco Unity Subscribers

Audio Format Conversion Settings

When using VPIM Networking for messaging between Cisco Unity servers in different directories, the Audio Format Conversion Settings for outbound and incoming messages need to be coordinated on the Cisco Unity servers to avoid unnecessary conversions. When making decisions about the conversion settings:

Consider the network bandwidth between the local and remote Cisco Unity servers, and the volume of message traffic.

Determine which codecs are installed or will need to be installed on subscriber workstations and Cisco Unity servers in the local and remote sites.

The following examples show a few of the combinations of the Audio Format Conversion Settings to give you an idea of the options.

Example 1: Both Cisco Unity Servers Use G.729a for Recording and Storage

As shown in Figure 8-3, both the local and remote Cisco Unity servers record messages by using the G.729a codec. At 8 Kbps, the G.729a codec is recommended for use when network bandwidth is an issue. Because of theses considerations, no audio format conversions are needed when messages are transmitted between the servers.

Figure 8-3 No Audio Format Conversions

Example 2: Both Cisco Unity Servers Use G.711 for Recording and Storage

It is also possible for both the local and remote Cisco Unity servers to record messages by using the G.711 codec. At 64 Kbps, messages encoded by using the G.711 codec are very high quality, but because of their size, the messages may present a problem if network bandwidth is a concern. In this case, you have the following options:

Do not convert outbound and incoming VPIM messages, but monitor the network for problems. Sending VPIM messages in the G.711 format may not turn out to be an issue, particularly if message traffic between the sites is light.

Configure each server to convert outbound messages to G.726, and convert incoming messages back to G.711. At 32 Kbps, messages encoded by using the G.726 codec are half the size of those encoded by using G.711. The downside to this approach is that it results in two audio format conversions for each VPIM message. This is extra work for the Voice Connector (or for the Cisco Unity web services server, if you are using the Interoperability Gateway). In addition, when incoming messages are converted back to G.711, there may be a loss in sound quality.

Configure each server to convert outbound messages to G.726, but not to convert incoming messages. This approach solves the network bandwidth concern and results in only one audio format conversion for each VPIM message. However, G.726 is not supported as a region (line) format for a Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CM) (formerly known as Cisco Unified CallManager) integration. Also, if VPIM messages are stored in G.726, all Cisco Unity servers and subscriber workstations must have the G.726 codec installed. (The G.726 codec is installed on the Cisco Unity server during setup.)

Change the codec that will be used by the Cisco Unity servers to record messages from G.711 to G.729a, and do not convert the audio format of VPIM messages.

Example 3: One Cisco Unity Server Uses G.711 and the Other Uses G.729a

Consider the case where one Cisco Unity server uses G.711 for recording and storage and the other uses G.729a. If network bandwidth is not an issue:

On the Cisco Unity server that uses G.711

Do not convert outbound messages.

Do not convert incoming messages.

On the Cisco Unity server that uses G.729a

Do not convert outbound messages.

Do not convert incoming messages.


Cisco Unity can transcode messages recorded and stored in multiple formats, so the best option is to not convert outbound or incoming VPIM messages. This approach avoids the overhead of audio format conversions.

If network bandwidth is an issue, and you want to continue recording messages in G.711:

On the Cisco Unity server that uses G.711

Convert outbound messages to G.726. This resolves the network bandwidth issue because the outbound messages will be sent in the G.726 32Kbps format, which is half the size of G.711 messages.

Do not convert incoming messages. In general, if a message is recorded and stored in a lower quality codec, and then later converted to a higher quality codec, the sound quality does not improve, so there is no benefit to converting the incoming G.729a messages to G.711.

On the Cisco Unity server that uses G.729a

Do not convert outbound messages. At 8Kbps, the G.729a is the best codec to use when there are network bandwidth issues.

For incoming messages, your options are:

Convert incoming messages to G.729a. Although this results in an additional audio format conversion, presumably all subscriber workstations are already configured for G.729a, because that is the codec used by the Cisco Unity server.

Do not convert incoming messages, and leave them in G.726. Although this avoids another conversion, G.726 is not supported as a region (line) format for a Cisco Unified Communications Manager integration. Also, if VPIM messages are stored in G.726, all Cisco Unity servers and subscriber workstations must have the G.726 codec installed.


Messaging Between Cisco Unity 8.x and Cisco Unity Express Servers

Generally, when setting up VPIM Networking between Cisco Unity and Cisco Unity Express, you configure the Cisco Unity servers just as you would for VPIM Networking with any other voice messaging system. However, there are some settings that need to be coordinated between the Cisco Unity and Cisco Unity Express servers, as explained in the following sections:

Correspondence Between Locations

VPIM Subscribers Correspond to Cisco Unity Express Subscribers


Note For information on the versions of Cisco Unity Express that are supported for VPIM Networking with Cisco Unity, see the list of supported VPIM voice messaging systems in Supported Hardware and Software, and Support Policies for Cisco Unity, at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps2237/prod_installation_guides_list.html.


Correspondence Between Locations

You create a VPIM delivery location on the local Cisco Unity server to correspond to each remote Cisco Unity Express server. Typically, the Domain Name that you enter on the delivery location when configuring Cisco Unity matches the Domain Name configured for the network local location on the Cisco Unity Express server. Similarly, when configuring Cisco Unity Express, the Domain Name that you enter for the network location that corresponds to the Cisco Unity server typically matches the Domain Name configured for the primary location on Cisco Unity. For convenience, you may wish to also match the Dial ID and Display Name for each delivery location in the same way. If prefixes are needed to accommodate numbering plans and subscriber dialing habits, enter applicable prefixes on the local and/or remote delivery locations.

VPIM Subscribers Correspond to Cisco Unity Express Subscribers

If you do not want to use blind addressing, you can create VPIM subscriber accounts on the local server that correspond to subscribers on remote Cisco Unity Express servers. In addition to manually creating VPIM subscribers, you can configure Cisco Unity to automatically update the VPIM subscriber directory based on information contained in VPIM messages that are received from Cisco Unity Express servers. On the Cisco Unity server, you configure the settings for automatic directory updates on the delivery location that corresponds to each Cisco Unity Express server. If the Cisco Unity Express system is configured to include the vCard of the sender in outgoing messages, you can specify that the vCard be used as the source of information for the directory update. Otherwise, the message headers can be used instead. By default, no automatic directory updates will occur. For further information about enabling automatic updates and configuring these settings for Cisco Unity, see the "Customizing VPIM Subscriber Directory Update Settings" section on page 7-29.

On remote Cisco Unity Express servers, administrators or other privileged users can add remote users to the local directory by using the Administration via Telephone (AvT) feature. If the Cisco Unity Express system has vCard information enabled, incoming vCard information updates the remote user directory as well as a dynamic cache of remote users. For directory and cache size limits and other details on remote subscriber handling in Cisco Unity Express, see the Cisco Unity Express documentation, at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps5520/tsd_products_support_series_home.html.

Additional VPIM Networking Functionality When Cisco Unity 8.x Is Connected to Other Cisco Unity or Cisco Unity Express Servers

In addition to the standard functionality available when using the VPIM protocol to exchange voice messages with remote voice messaging systems, certain extended functionality is available when Cisco Unity is connected via VPIM to other Cisco Unity or Cisco Unity Express servers. The following section provides further information.

Networked System Broadcast Messages

System broadcast messages are recorded announcements sent to everyone in an organization (or to particular locations within an organization). System broadcast messages are played immediately after subscribers log on to Cisco Unity by phone—even before they hear message counts for new and saved messages. Subscribers must listen to each system broadcast message in its entirety before Cisco Unity allows them to hear new and saved messages or to change setup options. They cannot fast-forward or skip a system broadcast message.


Note System broadcast messages do not light message waiting indicators (MWIs) on subscriber phones, nor do they cause distinctive dial tones to notify subscribers of a new message when they pick up their desk phone receiver. System broadcast messages also do not trigger message notifications for alternative devices, such as a pager or another phone.


A system broadcast message can be sent to all subscribers on one or more Cisco Unity servers that access the same subscriber directory, by addressing the message to the delivery location Dial ID of the desired server. For more information, see the "Setting Up System Broadcast Messaging for Sending to All Subscribers in the Directory (Optional)" section on page 2-10.

In organizations where there are multiple Cisco Unity servers that access different directories, system broadcast messages can be sent to all subscribers in the organization (or to all subscribers associated with specific sets of digitally networked servers) by setting up public distribution lists that include VPIM subscribers representing each location where subscribers should receive the message. A similar approach can also be used to include all subscribers on a Cisco Unity Express server in the distribution of a system broadcast message.


Note A system broadcast message sent to one or more VPIM locations contains special attributes that mark the message as a system broadcast, and a start date and an end date that indicate when the message should be made available to subscribers. This feature is intended for use with remote Cisco Unity and Cisco Unity Express locations that support these attributes. If the message is addressed to other types of remote locations by adding VPIM subscribers from those locations to the public distribution list, or if the public distribution list contains Cisco Unity, Internet, AMIS, or Bridge subscribers, these attributes will be ignored by those distribution list members, and they will receive the message as a regular voice message.


Addressing System Broadcast Messages to Multiple Servers

Depending on how multiple Cisco Unity and Cisco Unity Express servers are connected, system broadcast messages can be addressed to all subscribers on all servers, or to all subscribers on a subset of servers in the organization. Figure 8-4 illustrates addressing in an organization with multiple networks of servers connected via VPIM.

Figure 8-4 System Broadcast Messages Can Be Addressed to Subscribers on Multiple Servers in an Organization

Example 1: Addressing a System Broadcast Message Within the Directory by Using the Digital Networking Configuration

A subscriber on ChicagoUnity who has been granted permission to send system broadcast messages to subscribers on multiple servers can address a message from the Cisco Unity Broadcast Message Administrator by using the options shown in Table 8-1, which result in a system broadcast message being transmitted to all subscribers on the local server or to all subscribers on multiple servers within the directory (ADForest1). These options use the existing Digital Networking configuration; no additional configuration is required.

Table 8-1 Using the Cisco Unity Broadcast Administrator to Address Messages to Servers Within the Directory 

Cisco Unity Broadcast Administrator Option Selected
Extension Entered
System Broadcast Message Recipients

Send to Subscribers on This Server

N/A

All subscribers on ChicagoUnity

Send to Subscribers at All Locations

N/A

All subscribers on all Cisco Unity servers in ADForest1—ChicagoUnity, NewYorkUnity, and AtlantaUnity

Send to One or More Locations, or to a Public Distribution List

444

All subscribers on NewYorkUnity (dial ID 444)

Send to One or More Locations, or to a Public Distribution List

444, then 544

All subscribers on NewYorkUnity (dial ID 444) and AtlantaUnity (dial ID 544)


Example 2: Addressing a System Broadcast Message by Using Public Distribution Lists to Reach VPIM Locations

In the next example, an administrator configures the following objects on the VPIM bridgehead server in ADForest1:

Table 8-2 Cisco Unity VPIM Subscriber Configuration for VPIM Example 

Name
Remote Mailbox Number
Description

SysBroadcast-HalifaxCUE

661

VPIM subscriber at location HalifaxCUE

SysBroadcast-ADForest2

Any unused remote mailbox number

VPIM subscriber at any location in ADForest2


Table 8-3 Cisco Unity Public Distribution List Configuration for VPIM Example 

Name
Extension
Description

SBM_DL1

111

Public Distribution List

Members:

SysBroadcast-HalifaxCUE

SBM_DL2

222

Public Distribution List

Members:

SysBroadcast-ADForest2

SBM_DL3

333

Public Distribution List

Members:

SysBroadcast-HalifaxCUE

SysBroadcast-ADForest2

USbms_ChicagoUnity

USbms_NewYorkUnity

USbms_AtlantaUnity

(The USbms_<Servername> mailbox for each of the Cisco Unity servers in ADForest1 has been manually added to the public distribution list using Exchange tools.)


With the additional configuration from Table 8-2 and Table 8-3, a subscriber on ChicagoUnity who has been granted permission to send system broadcast messages to subscribers on multiple servers can address a message from the Cisco Unity Broadcast Message Administrator by using the options shown in Table 8-4, which results in a system broadcast message being transmitted to all subscribers on multiple servers by using VPIM Networking.

Table 8-4 Using the Cisco Unity Broadcast Administrator to Address Messages to Distribution Lists 

Cisco Unity Broadcast Administrator Option Selected
Extension Entered
System Broadcast Message Recipients

Send to One or More Locations, or to a Public Distribution List

111

All subscribers on HalifaxCUE

Send to One or More Locations, or to a Public Distribution List

222

All subscribers in ADForest2

Send to One or More Locations, or to a Public Distribution List

333

All subscribers on HalifaxCUE, in ADForest2, and in ADForest1


How Networked System Broadcast Messages Are Processed by Cisco Unity

When Cisco Unity is installed, a new Windows service called CsBMsgConnector is created, along with a special mailbox that has the display name USbms_<Servername>. The USbms mailbox is created in the default directory container for Cisco Unity, and is hidden from the address book. The CsBMsgConnector service processes messages that are placed in the USBms mailbox. For systems that use failover, the CsBMsgConnector service runs on both the primary and secondary servers, and both services access the same USbms mailbox, but only the service on the currently active server will process messages.

When a VPIM message is received with attributes indicating that it is a system broadcast message, the messaging gateway component (Interoperability Gateway or Voice Connector) first verifies that the message is from a domain specified in a VPIM delivery location. If a VPIM delivery location with a matching domain name is not found, the messaging gateway component rejects the message and sends a non-delivery receipt (NDR) to the sender.

If a VPIM delivery location with a matching domain is found, the messaging gateway component does the following:

Removes the remote phone prefix from the From address, if the prefix is specified on the corresponding VPIM delivery location page. (If a remote phone prefix is specified, the beginning digits of the sender ID must match the prefix, or the message will be rejected and an NDR sent.)

Converts voice attachments to the audio format specified on the corresponding VPIM delivery location page.

Addresses the message to all USbms_<Servername> mailboxes in the directory and hands the message back to Exchange for delivery.

The CsBMsgConnector service on each Cisco Unity server then processes the message and makes it available to all Cisco Unity subscribers on the server, based on the start and end dates that are configured for the message.


Note In order to update any properties on a system broadcast message after it has been sent to multiple locations, the local copy of the message on each server must be updated directly on that server. On each Cisco Unity server, a subscriber with access to the Cisco Unity Broadcast Message Administrator and permission to update system broadcast messages on the local server can change the properties or delete the message for that server. On each Cisco Unity Express server, the system administrator can change the properties or delete the message for that server by using the command-line interface.


Considerations for Networked System Broadcast Messages

To include one or more VPIM locations in the distribution of a system broadcast message, you first create an VPIM subscriber for each location, and then add the VPIM subscriber to a public distribution list. In the Cisco Unity Broadcast Message Administrator, you address the message by specifying the public distribution list number. (When you are prompted to enter the extension of a location or public distribution list, the Cisco Unity Broadcast Administrator allows you to enter only the dial ID of a digitally networked Cisco Unity server, or the extension of a public distribution list; it will not recognize extensions for VPIM subscribers or other types of objects).

Note the following considerations when setting up distribution lists to be used for sending networked system broadcast messages:

At this time, Cisco Unity with Domino only supports sending and receiving system broadcast messages that are recorded and addressed to subscribers on the local server. Although VPIM Networking can be used for messaging between Cisco Unity with Exchange and Cisco Unity with Domino, Cisco Unity with Domino servers should not be included in networked system broadcast message distribution lists.

Any members of the public distribution list that are not VPIM subscribers will receive the message as a regular voice message rather than as a system broadcast message, and the message properties such as start and end date will not be respected. For Cisco Unity subscribers, this also means that the message will be delivered to the subscriber mailbox and will be included in the total mailbox size for the subscriber. For these reasons, we do not recommend that you add non-VPIM subscribers to the distribution list.

Including any VPIM subscriber at a remote Cisco Unity delivery location that supports networked system broadcast messages in the public distribution list will cause the system broadcast message to be directed to all subscribers on all Cisco Unity servers that are digitally networked with the remote VPIM bridgehead server. It is not possible to restrict the system broadcast message to a particular server or set of servers on the remote network.

For Cisco Unity Express delivery locations, a VPIM subscriber must be created specifically for each Cisco Unity Express server. The remote mailbox number configured on the VPIM subscriber account in Cisco Unity must match the number configured for the system broadcast mailbox on the Cisco Unity Express server.

Only one system broadcast message should be sent as a VPIM networked message to each remote location. In other words, only one VPIM subscriber per remote Cisco Unity Express system or Cisco Unity domain needs to be included in the public distribution list being used. The receiving system will distribute the message to all local users. However, if for some reason the remote location receives more than one copy of the same system broadcast message, only the first one will be processed and subsequent ones received with the same message ID will be discarded.

To include specific digitally networked Cisco Unity servers in the distribution list along with VPIM locations, you can manually add the system broadcast mailbox of each desired server in the public distribution list. Because the Cisco Unity Administrator does not allow you to select a subscriber for these mailboxes, you must use Exchange tools to add the mailbox to the distribution list. The system broadcast mailbox is named USBms_<Servername>, and is automatically created in the default directory container for Cisco Unity during installation.

Sending Networked System Broadcast Messages

To allow one or more Cisco Unity subscribers to send networked broadcast messages, you first set up and offer the subscribers access to the Cisco Unity Broadcast Message Administrator, and then create one or more public distribution lists that can be used to network system broadcast messages. For information on setting up the Cisco Unity Broadcast Message Administrator to address and send messages to the distribution list you create, see the "Setting Up Broadcast Messaging in Cisco Unity 8.x" chapter of the System Administration Guide for Cisco Unity Release 8.x, at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/unity/8x/administration/guide/8xcusagx.html.

Note that any subscribers who will send networked system broadcast messages must be configured such that they are allowed to send broadcast messages to subscribers on multiple servers.

Setting up Public Distribution Lists for Addressing Networked System Broadcast Messages

To set up a public distribution list for use in sending system broadcast messages, do the following tasks.

1. Create one VPIM subscriber to represent each Cisco Unity Express server or each remote Cisco Unity domain. Depending on the type of the remote location, do one of the following:

If Cisco Unity Express servers are to be included in the distribution list, find out the broadcast message VPIM ID of each Cisco Unity Express location. For each Cisco Unity Express broadcast mailbox, create a VPIM subscriber with a remote mailbox number that matches the broadcast message VPIM ID, and the subscriber location set to the delivery location configured for the Cisco Unity Express server.

For remote Cisco Unity locations, create a VPIM subscriber by using any unused remote mailbox number from three to ten digits in length (any existing VPIM subscriber for the delivery location can be used in this case, but for ease of administration and to avoid the possibility of the subscriber being inadvertently deleted, we recommend that you configure a subscriber account specifically for this purpose).

You can create VPIM subscriber accounts by using the Cisco Unity Bulk Import wizard or the Cisco Unity Administrator. We recommend that you hide any VPIM subscribers that are created specifically for broadcast mailboxes from the Exchange address book, so that Outlook users do not send messages to them, and that you uncheck the List in Directory setting on the VPIM subscriber profiles so that subscribers do not inadvertently address messages to them. See the "Creating VPIM Subscribers" section on page 7-23.

2. Create a public distribution list and add VPIM subscribers for each remote Cisco Unity network or Cisco Unity Express broadcast mailbox that should be included in the broadcast. See the "Creating and Modifying Public Distribution Lists in Cisco Unity 8.x" section in the "Managing Distribution Lists in Cisco Unity 8.x" chapter of the System Administration Guide for Cisco Unity Release 8.x, at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/unity/8x/administration/guide/8xcusagx.html.

3. Optionally, add the USbms mailbox for any digitally networked Cisco Unity servers that you wish to include in the system broadcast message distribution (you must use Exchange tools to add the mailbox to the distribution list).