Switching Upgrade

Recently the HP chassis switch in the main rack was replaced with a Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 5520-48 PWR, providing layer 3 routing and qos, all gigabit ports and PoE with configurable energy saving features.  At the same time some cabling was tidied up a little, so I figured it would be a good time to take some pictures.

Upgraded Switch

Upgraded Switch

ERS 5520-48 PWR and Cisco 2811 Router

ERS 5520-48 PWR and Cisco 2811 Router

I didn’t have much time to fully rerun all the cables, so I cleaned it up as best I could.  The new switch is in a different position and the cable routing is a bit different, so the old management didn’t work anymore.

Back of the CS1000E

Back of the CS1000E

Cabling

Cabling

 

 

 

Mitel Madness

Mitel SX-2000 Light

Mitel SX-2000 Light

AA while back I did some lab setup trying to get a Mitel SX-2000 Light redundant processor digital PBX up and running, and connected via E&M 4 wire trunks to the Option 61C standing next to it.

Cross Connect Field

Cross Connect Field

The trunks are connected between an MC324BB card on the SX-2000 and a NT8D15AK card in the Meridian, each supporting 4 trunks.  It took a great deal of effort and a couple attempts to get a wiring pinout that matched the configuration of each system.  There are multiple types of E&M trunk, and the documentation for each PBX uses different terms to describe each of the terminations.  In the end it ended up being 4-wire type II E&M.

Mitel SX-2000 Control Node

Mitel SX-2000 Control Node

lThe top cabinet is the Control Node for the system, containing the dual call processors  and their resources (each considered 1 “Plane”).  The control node also contains the dual SCSI hard disks which sound like a box full of operating gyroscopes and a magneto-optical removable disk drive.

Mitel SX-2000 Planes A&B

The SX-2000 Light is named so not because it’s light weight (though it is considerably lighter than a redundant core TDM Meridian 1) but because it is connected to its peripheral equipment via fiber optic cables.  In this configuration the cabinets are connected with standard ST terminated multimode fiber.

The Light in SX-2000 Light

The Light in SX-2000 Light

Connected via these fiber optic cables are the Peripheral Cabinets, which contain the line cards for non-digital trunks and analog and digital stations.  Each contains 12 card slots, a power converter and a controller with associated fiber interface module.

Peripheral Cabinet #1

Peripheral Cabinet #1

This cabinet contains the E&M trunk card, as well as some analog DID trunks that were connected to the Meridian before I started work on the much better E&M configuration.

Peripheral Cabinet #2

Peripheral Cabinet #2

Also installed in the cabinets are 16 port DNIC line cards, supporting the Superset family of digital sets.

Superset 430

Superset 430

Superset 4150

Superset 4150

mitelprofile

meripe1

meripe2

 

Mother Russia… Telekom

Located in Swanton, Vermont is the main site for Russia Telekom.  This location houses the primary call servers, application servers, SIP gateways and other services, like an SSL VPN gateway for IP phones located at sites without permanent tunnels back to the main site.   The equipment is housed in a rack belonging to a fairly large IBM RS/6000 system which is very large, and as is typical for equipment constructed by IBM it is VERY heavy.

Russia Telekom Rack

Russia Telekom Rack

The rack looks very much like a scaled up version of the RS/6000 at the Burlington site.

Full Rack View, Door Open

Full Rack View, Door Open

Door Detail, Just like the RS/6000

Door Detail, Just like the RS/6000

The real star of the Swanton site is the CS1000E 7.6 system that comprises the heart of the Russia Telekom telephony network.  This system handles most subscriber sets, call routing, ACD and IVR in addition to voicemail using the Callpilot system.

CS1000E Cabinets

CS1000E Cabinets

The CS1000E is contained in a pair of NTDU14/NTDU15 MG1000 rack chassis.  These contain the core and peripheral equipment as well as the voicemail server and audio sources for the ACD queues.

CS1000E Cards

CS1000E Cards

In the top cabinet, there is a Call Server based on the CP-PM card platform which controls the CS1000 components.  Along with the Call Server there is an MGC card which connects the cabinets themselves to the IP network, and allows the Call Server card to control the behavior of the other line cards as well as DSP channels to connect digital and analog voice paths to the IP network.  In the top slot of the cabinet there is a TMDI card which provides a T1 PRI interface with clocking to the system, allowing it to connect to the Cisco voice gateway router interfacing with CUCM.  Below it is a Digital line card allowing the connection of traditional digital sets.  Third from the top there is a MIRAN card, which provides audio tracks on a loop for hold music as well as ACD queue announcements.

Top Cabinet

Top Cabinet

The lower cabinet houses the Callpilot 201i voicemail card.  This card is a mini-server on a card running Windows Server 2003 which hosts the Callpilot application server.  Below that is an MC-32 Voice Gateway Media Card which in this configuration is providing additional DSP resources for voice calls to IP sets and IP trunks to other sites.  At the bottom there is an Analog line card with message waiting capability to supply dial tone to analog devices.

Bottom Cabinet

Bottom Cabinet

The ISP1100 server located beneath the MG1000 pair is disued, but kept in place in case of problems with the CS1000E hardware requiring a reversion to an SSC based Call server and older version 5.5 software.

Router and Core Switch

Router and Core Switch

Routing, Firewall and VPN services in Swanton are provided by a Cisco 2811 Integrated Services Router.  This router also terminates the T1 PRI used by the CS1000E.  Switching is accomplished using an HP Proliant 4104GL switch chassis and multiple unmanaged Allied Telesys 8 port PoE switches at the distribution level.

Network Operations Center

Network Operations Center

Also located in Swanton is the Network Operations Center for Russia Telekom.  This is where the main switchboard and answering position for the CS1000E is installed.  Along with the answering position, there is an IBM 3153 terminal which connects to the RS/6000 in Burlington, along with an Okidata ML186 9-pin printer for generating customer paperwork.

Main Answering Position

Main Answering Position

The main answering position and switchboard for the CS1000E uses a digital M3904 phone with multiple Key Based Addon modules for additional keys.  The Busy/Idle status of most of the phones in the network can be viewed and there are speed dials to make call transfers quicker.

Russia Telekom Terminal Session

Russia Telekom Terminal Session

 

Wonky in Winooski

Another site in the Russia Telekom network is located in downtown Winooski, VT.  This site is an autonomous region of the network, running it’s own PBX platform and providing its own data services as well.   The wonky node is mostly composed of open source software and platforms, running on common off the shelf hardware.  The firewall and routing is provided by PFsense and the VOIP services are provided using the eZuce SIPX system.

The equipment rack for the wonky node is located in a laundry closet.

The equipment rack for the wonky node is located in a laundry closet.

The Dell Poweredge line represents the entirety of the computing resources in the wonky node,  hosting the Proxmox hypervisor.  Virtual machines include SipX, Asterisk and various Debian hosts.

Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch

Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch

Switching in the wonky network is provided by two Nortel switches.  Core switching provided by the layer 3 Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 5510-48 and distribution level switching with PoE for phones is provided by a BES50 switch located in the living room.

Polycom Desk Phone

Polycom Desk Phone

Registered to the SipX system there are numerous Polycom Soundpoint phones.  This includes a very nice Polycom IP 6000 conference station in the living room, to allow for group phone calls even with significant background noise.

Nortel Analog Set

Nortel Analog Set

There is also an AudioCodes SIP ATA to allow the connection of analog telephones like this M9316 by Nortel.

Russia Telekom i2004

Russia Telekom i2004

Lastly there is a Nortel i2004 set located in the living room, connected back to the main site in Swanton.

Burlington Site

Located at the office where I work in Burlington, is one of Russia Telekoms more interesting sites.  This site hosts failover services for both Cisco UCM and Asterisk, as well as an additional SSL gateway for VPN enabled IP phones and VPN clients for use with softphones.  In addition this site also hosts the IBM RS/6000 Model 44P-170 which is the platform for development of applications for managing Russia Telekom.  There is also a connection to a Nortel CS1000M / Option 61C which is used for testing in my day job.

The Cisco 2811 and HP Proliant DL360 G4.

The Cisco 2811 and HP Proliant DL360 G4.

VPN connectivity to this site is provided by a Cisco 2811 router, which also provides T1 PRI trunking to the CS1000M and FXS ports for connection of vintage Soviet made telephones.  The HP Proliant DL360 is running VMware ESXi with virtual machines running Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Asterisk to provide failover to remote sites in the event the main site in Swanton is disrupted.  In the near future I also plan to deploy an additional Avaya UCM server to provide georedundant Signaling Server functionality as well as georedundant NRS.

The IBM RS/6000 44P-170

The IBM RS/6000 44P-170

Located in the machine room with the rack containing the router and server is the RS/6000.  The system is headless, lacking a video adapter and solely relying on RS232 for I/O.  Located next to the RS/6000 is an Okidata MicroLine 520, attached to an HP JetDirect print server, allowing hosts from all around the Russia Telekom network to submit jobs.

rs60002

The RS/6000 with the front panel open, revealing the message panel and removable media.

The RS/6000 will be used as a platform to host applications and services used to manage subscribers and monitor the Russia Telekom network.

The CS1000M/Option 61C, big iron.

The CS1000M/Option 61C, big iron.

In my office stands an Option 61C/CS1000M running Succession 3.0 software.  This system is tied into Russia Telekom with a T1 PRI trunk.  It is equipped with a large number of digital and analog ports, as well as a single node Meridian Mail system.  This is perhaps my favorite piece of Nortel equipment in the network, as it really is an engineering masterpiece.  Unfortunately due to its appetite for AC current, the 61C is only on during certain times.

The IBM 3151 terminal at my desk.

The IBM 3151 terminal at my desk.

My desk is sort of a showcase of Nortel and IBM gear of various vintages.  The IBM 3151 terminal is my main means of interface with the RS/6000, my Debian hosts in Swanton as well as the primary TTY access to the Option 61C.  It’s equipped with a very nice buckling spring Model M keyboard and a pleasant amber display.  Behind the terminal is a Nortel M2250 console which is attached to another system we use for testing, a smaller Option 11C that is powered 24/7.

Console for a Pskov-1 (ПСКОВ-1) electromechanical PBX manufactured in the USSR in 1981.

Console for a Pskov-1 (ПСКОВ-1) electromechanical PBX manufactured in the USSR in 1981.

The Pskov-1 console was an interesting eBay find a while back, that I converted into a single line analog set.  There will be more on this set in a separate article soon.

RIF-1151 Telephone Concentrator, Made in USSR 1991.

RIF-1151 Telephone Concentrator, Made in USSR 1991.

My second eBay find as far as the vintage Soviet telephony gear is a sort of “mini-PBX”.  Its a 2 line telephone console, with 8 subscriber ports for attachment of additional phones without dials.  These phones can be rang from the console, or lifted to generate a signal on the console.  Right now the phone is out of service, waiting on the replacement of around 50 dried out electrolytic capacitors.

ACD answering position.

ACD answering position.

Also located in Burlington is one of the ACD answering positions that are used to manage incoming calls to the Russia Telekom support and business office DIDs.  Incoming calls are placed in queue and treated to music and information RAN (recorded announcement) messages giving information on wait times.  The ACD sets can view information on callers in the queue like number of callers waiting and the longest wait time.

At The Base of The Mountain

One of the Russia Telekom sites is located in the Champlain Valley of Vermont at the base of a mountain called Camels Hump.  This site is unique in that it hosts its own separate CS1000S system, running software version 5.5.  The connection back to the central and failover sites is made by VPN terminating on a Cisco 1841 router.  This site is also an interesting test case, due to the limited internet bandwidth available over the ADSL2+ connection.

huntrtr

The Cisco 1841 Router providing connectivity to the site.

Now on to the Telephony side of things.

The CS1000S

The CS1000S

The CS1000S at the site is running software version 5.5, with a CPPM card being used as a signaling server in place of the ISP1100 signaling server for power savings.  This has drawbacks as I’ve had a fair amount of problems with the CPPM hardware, mainly to do with the 2.5″ ATA hard drive and the anemic processor.  The system is equipped with an NTDK20JA System Core Card, 16 analog ports provided by an Analog MWLC, 16 digital ports provided by a Digtl LC, and a VGMC based on the MC32 platform providing H323 trunking to the main site.

Inside the CS1000S, Showing the cards.

Inside the CS1000S, Showing the cards.

At this site the CS1000S acts mainly as a digital and analog gateway to the main Russia Telekom system, with the advantage of providing proper loop voltage and ring current to analog devices, and supporting digital phones in addition to the IP sets supported by the main site via VPN.  The system is trunked back to the CS1000E at the main site via H.323 utilizing a CDP dial plan.

2nd Russia Telekom Switchboard Position

2nd Russia Telekom Switchboard Position

This site also hosts a number of IP sets operating off the main site.  There is a mix of Nortel i2007 and i2004 sets in various locations around the house, providing intercom functionality and an alternative to the very poor service in the area which is not quite fully mitigated by the use of MicroCell devices.  (Whomever designed those clearly had plenty of contempt for end users.)

The i2007 Touchscreen phone makes up the majority of Russia Telekom sets.

The i2007 Touchscreen phone makes up the majority of Russia Telekom sets.

This location has two i2007 touchscreen enabled phones.  The phones are supplied with background image slideshows by a central server located at the main site, as well as a couple apps including a web browser and notepad application.

What Is Russia Telekom?

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What is Russia Telekom? Good question. The answer isn’t all that simple, and changes constantly.

Russia Telekom started out as a name for a VoIP/TDM network that I started building out in the year 2011 as an educational hobby project. The name comes from the nature in which equipment was purchased in a very cost effective nature (old and cheap), and services being sporadic and somewhat unforgiving from the users perspective. The original idea was that any sort of lab work with voice technology was sort of flawed in that there were no users placing and receiving calls on the network. With the low costs associated with SIP trunking, I decided it would be a good idea to offer friends the ability to sort of beta test the network in exchange for a free pseudo landline with decent call quality. Thankfully Vermont isn’t quite the pinnacle of universal cellular coverage, so this appealed to a few people.

In the beginning, the network consisted mostly of very dated small/medium business telecom equipment, notably the Nortel Norstar system and Cisco Call Manager combined with the Asterisk PBX. Since then the network has matured significantly, having moved to the Nortel CS1000 platform and upgrading through all the versions from 3.0 up to the current version CS1000E 7.6 by Avaya. Through this evolution, the network has expanded in size geographically as well, now connecting to locations spread out all across the state of Vermont, the Public Switched Telephone Network and connections to other telephony enthusiasts systems in a number of countries.

Since the expansion of the telephony projects, additional projects in the area of line of business applications to manage the network and keep track of data. Most of these efforts are being made on platforms with significant “retro-factor” such as the IBM midrange RS/6000 as well as an emulated S/390 Mainframe system. This has led to the appearance of CRT dumb terminals and various vintage computing equipment appearing in various locations occupied by Russia Telekom.