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Archive for the ‘Cisco VOIP’ Category

Text Message: Call manager is down, Love SpiceWorks

March 21, 2008 1 comment

Spiceworks ScreenshotThis particular message saved a lot of worry as I walked back to the main Dealership after getting a phone call that the phones were going crazy. This is only one of the many things my SpiceWorks server does in the run of a day.

I first found SpiceWorks while looking for an inventory management solution. During my search I had two criteria to fulfill

  1. Be able to keep track of resources over the network, taking out the human factor
  2. Free

and SpiceWorks managed to fill those two nicely with some added features. The question of how to keep your inventory up to date plagues many IT shops. SpiceWorks is just one in the large pool of asset management tools available on the market (including Micosoft SMS and LanDesk). Going the Open Source path SpiceWorks stands as a leader. An all in one Inventory and Help desk ticket oriented software, SpiceWorks works over the network polling machines and hardware using user defined options. During my original testing of SpiceWorks I was amazed on how much data was displayed from applications installed to the specifications of each system.

One of the key aspects of the system was this particular warning. Spice works is able to watch the heartbeat of a server on the network and e-mail someone if a particular action takes place (in this case it was a dead server, but it could be software installed or network printers out of toner). So I just set my cellular providers e-mail for my cellular as a user and I was set.

Here’s hoping I don’t get many more of these texts 😉

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Fluke vs. Cisco VOIP: A Token Ring Story

March 20, 2008 Leave a comment

Heres an interesting one. The other day I was called away from my desk with complaints of a phone continually trying to associate with the DHCP server. I had looked at this phone before, and my previous tactic was to unplug the client PC from the phone and then let the phone associate at which point I would plug back in the client PC. This time though it wasn’t so easy. The phone just wouldnt get an IP.

Luckily I had been tracing cables when I was called away, so I happened to have my trusty Fluke LinkRunner. This little baby has been my saviour manys a time accopanied with his buddy the Pro3000 Probe. I plugged the LinkRunner into the cable from the switch and lone behold it displayed the symbol for Token Ring…. Now I know there is some old stuff kicking around the building, but I dont even think they had Token Ring at all back in the day. So I traced the cable back on the switch and moved it over one port. Everything now worked fine, but being curious I decided to put the LinkRunner on the “Client PC” Cable.

And here is where the magic was happening. The apperant “Client PC” was actually another cable run to the switch . The phone had created its own little token ring network. From what I can gather, once the phone grabbed an address, it would pass through to give a DHCP address to the client PC… which happened to be the same switch the phone was plugged into, which caused the DHCP request to bounce around like a token.

Interesting behavior, and something that could have taken hours to track down without my trusty LinkRunner