Author Archives: Tyler L

Avaya IP Office Release 9.1 – What’s New?

Avaya just released the R9.1 firmware version for their popular IP Office platform.  What’s new you might ask?

Here is a basic overview of the changes being made:

  • New Premium Offering
    • IP Office Select (SE platform)
  • IP Office Server Edition Improvements
    • System expansions and increased resiliency
  • IP Office When Deployed as a Branch Improvements
    • Aura System Manager and central management
    • Aura centralized applications, services, and solutions
    • Branch VM Pro and centralized management
  • IP Office Unified Communications and Video
    • New mobile VoIP client enhancements
    • Lync Plugin enhancements
    • Exchange 2013 integration
    • Avaya Communicator (Flare) enhancements
  • IP Office Key Feature Improvements
    • New system capacity expansion
    • SIP service provider (SIP Trunk) features
    • SSL/VPN remote access and continued IPOSS support improvements
    • Communications accessibility
    • Call center enhancements
  • IP Office Web Manager Evolution
    • Expanded integration of management capabilities
    • Sever Edition and Standard Editions
  • IP Office Security Enhancements
    • TLS and SRTP support for SIP traffic
    • Encryption of all H.323 traffic via Line, Trunk, and SCN

IP Office R9.1 will be supported on the following platforms:

  • IP500 V2
  • IP Office for Linux (Server Edition, Virtualized Server Edition, Select Edition)

Some major changes that may affect people wanting to upgrade to R9.1:

  • Discontinued support for: IP401, IP403, IP406, IP406 V2, IP412, IP500 V1, or Small Office Edition platforms
  • Discontinued support for: IP400 Trunk Cards, IP400 VCM Cards, IP400 Digital Station V1, IP400 Phone V1, IP400 So8, and IP500 Legacy Card Carrier
  • Discontinued support for: Customer Call Reporter (CCR/Advanced Edition).  Existing customers will need to migrate to the new IP Office Contact Center Solution.

For more information, see General Availability (GA) of IP Office Release 9.1 for details.

Simple Guide on How to Install Avaya B179 on IP Office

The Avaya B179 IP Conference Phone works perfectly with Avaya IP Office.   It is supported on IP Office R5.0 and higher, and requires an Avaya IP Endpoint license.  We will provide a basic tutorial here to get your Avaya B179 IP Conference phone connected.  Please see the Avaya B179 Install and Admin Guide for a more in-depth guide.

Avaya B179

1)   First, let’s make sure the IP Office is setup correctly:

  • Log into your IP Office
  • Go to the License Tab > Make sure you have an Avaya IP Endpoint license available (the 3rd Party IP/SIP Endpoint will not work)
  • Go to System > LAN1 or LAN2 (whichever interface is connected to the network the B179 is on) > VoIP tab:
    • Check “SIP Registrar Enable”
  • Create a new extension by selecting Extension > create SIP Extension
    • Add a valid Base Extension number i.e. 8000
  • Create a new user by selecting User > create User:
    • Add a valid Name ie Extn8000
    • Add the Base Extension number that was previously created. i.e 8000
    • Go to the Telephony tab > Supervisor Settings tab:
      • Put a numerical password in the “Login Code” field.  For testing purposes we can use 8000.

2)   Then, configure the Avaya B179:

  • On the B179 conference phone:
    • Press Menu > Status > Network
      • Set or Confirm the IP Address of the phone (DHCP/Static)
        • This IP address is used to log into the web interface of the phone.
  • Web Settings:
    • Enter the IP address of the phone into a web browser of your choice
      • Login with the default credentials
        • User: Admin
        • Password: 1234
    • Settings > SIP
      • Enable Account 1
        • Account Name: This is what is shown on the display of the B179.
        • User:  IP Office Base Extension number i.e. 8000
        • Registrar: IP of LAN1 or LAN2 IP Office interface (whichever is used)
        • Realm: *
        • Authorization Name:  IP Office Base Extension number i.e. 8000
        • Authorization Password: Enter the “Login Code” setup for the user.
        • Save values
    • Settings > Networking
      • These fields are used to make sure your B179 is setup correctly to the network
        • IP Address: IP address of B179
        • Net Mask: Subnet mask of the network on which the B179 is connected
        • Gateway: Local gateway on the network on which the B179 is connected
        • DNS info can be manually specified
        • Save values
        • Reboot the phone and the B179 should register with the IP Office

This should get your Avaya B179 IP Conference Phone connected to your IP Office for testing purposes.  Then from here on, you will want to fine tune your settings and secure your phone following the Avaya B179 Install and Admin Guide.

How to Manually Configure Polycom VoIP Phone to Asterisk

Polycom makes some of the best quality SIP VoIP Phones on the market.  They work well with most IP-PBX and Hosted VoIP Providers.  While most manufacturers and providers will have their own setup guidelines (which you should follow first), there are times when you may need to manually configure your Polycom VoIP phone.  We will provide a very basic guide on getting your Polycom phone manually registered to an Asterisk SIP-based system here.

First you will need some basic information to register your Polycom phone:

  1. IP address of the Polycom phone
  2. IP address of the Asterisk system and SIP Port used to register (usually 5060)
  3. SIP extension number and phone password from your Asterisk system for your Polycom Phone

Once you have obtained the information, open up your web browser and enter in the IP Address of the Polycom phone in the Address Bar. Once it prompts you to login, use the following user name and password (assuming it is still default):

  1. Username: Polycom
  2. Password: 456

When logged into the Polycom phone’s user interface go to the Lines section (may be under Settings on newer firmwares) and Line 1.  Enter the information into the following fields:

  1. Display Name: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system ie. 2000
  2. Address: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system ie. 2000
  3. Label: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system ie. 2000

Under Authentication

  1. Authentication User ID: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system, i.e., 2000
  2. Authentication Password: Phone-password assigned on the Asterisk system

Under Server 1:

  1. Address: IP Address of the Asterisk system
  2. Port: Port number for SIP registration ,i.e., 5060
  3. Leave all other settings default.

Submit to Save settings, which should prompt you to reboot the phone.  Check to see if the Polycom phone is registered properly by pressing on the phone: Menu/Settings > Status > Lines.

You should be all set!

Best Practices for Securing Your Avaya IP Office

With the ever increased threat of hacking, it is very important to follow proper steps in securing your public facing devices. Breaches can occur from multiple fronts, i.e., allowing any SIP and VoIP traffic in your system, improper firewall configurations, and of course not changing default passwords. With Avaya IP Office, there are several steps in making sure your system is locked down as much as possible. Avaya has issued a technical bulletin on doing this with the following basics:

Review your existing installations and/or new deployments.  Determine any security risks and requirements then implement these changes:

  • Change security defaults and passwords
  • Remove any unnecessary accounts
  • Disable any unused services/interfaces
  • Enforce strict password policies
  • Make sure users and extensions are secure
  • Make sure trunks/lines are secure
  • Prevent and block unwanted Calls
  • Secure user voicemail and one-X Portal accounts
  • Block unnecessary and limit IP network exposure
  • Make sure management applications & configuration data are secure
  • Make sure servers running IP Office applications are secure
  • Activate reporting/monitoring of your system
  • Test for vulnerabilities
  • Install latest software updates/service packs

Even with these steps taken, you will want to continually monitor your alarms and logs to detect any unusual activity.  Always keep up with security advisories and make sure to keep your system up-to-date with the latest patches and upgrades.

Please read the document, Securing your IP Office Guidelines, for full detail on securing your IP Office.