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Old 12-18-2017, 09:30 AM
montg40 montg40 is offline
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Default Avaya 9641GS Hupgrade

Hello, I have performed a cursory search of this forum and have not seen a solution to the following issue -- hopefully I'm not treading on tired territory...

We primarily employ Avaya 9641GS phones using H.323 and recently went through failover testing with our provider. During this test, our phones registered to the backup call server properly as indicated by our DHCP server. I decided to perform a hardboot on a sample unit just to see how it would handle the situation.

Our supporting technicians exhibited surprise at the fact that phones would not complete the reboot process while the primary servers were down. This is due to the fact that our provider supports a backup call server, but not a backup file server. Any phone rebooted during the failover period would endlessly search for the 96x1Hupgrade.txt file at the single address provided by DHCP.

We're not contracted with the provider for them to support a backup file server. We can, of course, host the firmware locally as a backup. I'm looking for an alternate solution as the supporting technicians felt that the Avaya phones should have continued to boot even after failing to locate the 96x1Hupgrade.

They were not correct in this belief. I'm currently seeking a reason for that.

Is there an element within the 46x1Settings.txt file that could allow 9641GS to complete the boot sequence without locating Hupgrade or any file server? The supporting technician believed that all firmware would be retained by the unit's memory even in the event of a hard boot. If this is true, the phone should be able to function without downloading new versions.

I'm especially eyeballing that REUSE setting. From the sample 46xxSettings.txt file that they provided, we're running on the default 60 second interval. If that were changed to 0, would the 9641GS mark the file server address as bad and continue to boot? If not REUSE, is there another setting which could accomplish this?

I'm also seeking an override code similar to *CRAFT#. I do not have access to a complete list of possible codes, but I did not see anything within CRAFT services which would force the boot to move on without Hupgrade. Are there other *?????# codes that could be employed?

If not, as stated earlier, we can always host the firmware locally. It's just bothering me that the phones will not boot without a valid file server, and that our technicians cannot explain why this is.

Thank you.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:53 PM
markgallagher markgallagher is offline
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You're doing a lot of thinking about what would not be the main problem if your phones went into failover - the main problem being investigating and fixing why they have gone into failover.

Meanwhile, the firmware is not an issue. The phones retain their existing firmware and use it if they can't contact their file server. They also use their previous settings and that's the issue. Having been powered off the phone restarts by trying to register with its normal call server - the one that isn't available because of the whatever caused failover.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:21 AM
montg40 montg40 is offline
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Good ideas, but slightly off the mark. This was a level 4 test which simulated the total loss of the primary infrastructure. Disaster Recovery and BRC...

In a situation such as that, we would likely not be the ones investigating the complete destruction of our provider's facility. We would, however, be relying on their backup servers on the other side of the continent. Less newsworthy events could also disrupt communications on such a scale, and they still would not be our servers or our building to administer. It's a contracted third party.

Keep in mind that the phones themselves did failover to the provider's backup call server properly. Any phones connected and functioning during the event re-registered properly to a secondary address supplied by our own DHCP. Howerver...

Any phone which was rebooted during this time had issues. This could be from a power outage at our site, from a phone being unplugged, or from a user hitting the highly visible RESET button that appears during the re-registration step.

The boot sequence for 9641GS first seeks DHCP through its ethernet connection, and then searches for a new 96x1Hupgrade.txt file using whatever file server address is supplied. This is before reaching out to the call server, and the phones can accept multiple HTTP/HTTPS addresses in the same way that they can be fed a backup call server address.

Until the phone moves past the Hupgrade step, it does not even look for the call server. It only seeks out Hupgrade when rebooting. It seems to always seek out Hupgrade when rebooting, and during our last round of testing I discovered that it would loop endlessly on the Hupgrade seek -- essentially bricking itself.

The contract with our provider does not state that they maintain a backup file server, only a backup call server. We can't rely on them to provide that, but we can certainly keep Hupgrade on a local server and feed that location as a secondary HTTP/HTTPS address from our DHCP. However...

Everyone continues to comment that the phones should move past this file server/Hupgrade seek on their own. They do not. They loop. This was demonstrated on multiple units during the last failover testing. They never look for a call server if rebooted during the failover period.

So why is that? As stated, my guess is this setting might have something to do with it:

################## REUSE TIME SETTINGS ##################
## Phone can reuse its previous IP address, and parameter values after configured REUSE TIME elapsed, if
## the DHCP server and/or file server is not available after a power outage or reset.
## Value 20 to 999 - This value specifies the number of seconds that an IP telephone will attempt to
## contact a DHCP server on the default VLAN before proceeding to reuse its previous
## IP address and parameter values.
## The Default value of REUSETIME is 60.
## When set to "0", reuse of an IP address and parameter values will be disabled.
## For other values - Waits for the DHCP offer for an infinite time.
## NOTE: This feature is available on H.323 release 2.0SP1, 3.0SP1 and
## SIP release R2.5 for 96xx phones.

Note that the actual setting is commented out, which indicates that we're using the default 60 seconds which would have been set if that line were in use. Would a setting of 0 allow for the phones to mark the file server as unreachable and move on to the call server?

I don't know. Until we start hosting the firmware locally, that's not something we can modify and load. So I'm looking for greater expertise than my own since our provider's technician has not been able to produce an answer, nor have they received communication back from Avaya providing an answer.

Last edited by montg40; 12-19-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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