Manageability tools ease the burden of managing a large system. BAT and CAR are discussed in this section. Using these tools, you can perform bulk transactions, where a large number of users or devices are added, updated, or deleted from the CallManager database. In addition, you can run reports on the system to generate information about billing, traffic, gateways, and QoS statistics.
Bulk Administration Tool (BAT)
BAT lets you perform bulk add, update, and delete operations on the CallManager database. This means that for large systems, you can configure or update your CallManager database faster and with less manual entry. Different versions of BAT provide different features. This discussion focuses on BAT release 5.1, which is included with CallManager release 4.1.
With BAT release 5.1, you can perform the following bulk operations on the CallManager database:
Using BAT templates in combination with comma-separated value (CSV) files that you create, you can effect basic database changes that previously required labor-intensive manual entries in CallManager Administration. With BAT, instead of adding 100 phones one at a time in CallManager Administration, you can create a BAT template and a CSV file (both of which are reusable for future bulk add transactions) and add the same 100 phones in one transaction. BAT includes an Excel template spreadsheet where you can enter data and create the CSV files automatically using macros in the spreadsheet. You should always use this Excel template, which is validated by BAT, for generating the CSV files to ensure they are properly formatted.
To help ensure against performance degradation on CallManager, BAT provides a formula to compute roughly how long it takes to complete a bulk transaction. This is useful information to know before you perform the transaction, because you can determine whether system performance will be impacted. If performance is an issue, perform the bulk transaction when the system is not heavily used.
BAT is available as a plugin application to CallManager Administration (Application > Install Plugins), and you must install it after installing CallManager. New versions of CallManager do not automatically upgrade BAT, so you should always run the BAT plugin installer after any CallManager upgrade.
Depending on the number of records you are adding, updating, or deleting to the CallManager database during the bulk transaction, BAT can consume a great deal of system resources. Therefore, Cisco recommends that BAT be used only during off-peak hours to minimize the impact on CallManager performance.
Reasons to Use BAT
BAT's goal is to save you time by reducing repetitive labor-intensive manual data entry tasks. This goal remains the same whether you are installing a new CallManager system or already have an existing system. BAT also combines tasks by allowing you to add users and devices (phones, gateways, or CTI ports) and associate users with their devices, all in one bulk transaction. BAT can also be very useful for adding or deleting FACs, CMCs, or setting up IPMA users.
Setting Up a New System or Installing New Devices
BAT is most useful when you are first setting up a system. The information you provide in the BAT template and CSV file (described in the section "CSV Files") can be as specific or generic as you want. If the information is generic, you can always update the device or user information in CallManager Administration later.
A common problem with new systems is misconfiguration. This problem can result because of incomplete understanding of how a feature works; often it is simply a data-entry mistake. With BAT, if you add devices, for example, and then realize after doing so that there is an error in the device configuration, you can simply modify the same CSV file to correct the error. You can then use it and the same BAT template to update the same set of devices. In this example, you would have to delete the misconfigured devices first before you could add them again, but you can do that using BAT, as well.
You might find that you want to restrict long distance dialing on certain phones in your company, such as lobby phones, conference room phones, or other phones that are located in common areas. You can use BAT to add or update that set of phones with a calling search space that blocks long distance dialing.
Working with an Existing System
BAT also proves useful when you have an established system for which you need to add a new block of users or devices or make the same update to many devices or users. For example, if you plan to delete a device pool, all phones currently using that device pool must be updated with a new device pool before the old one can be deleted from CallManager Administration. You can quickly update all phones using the existing device pool with the new one by running a bulk update on all phones using the old device pool.
Perhaps you want to change the voice mail access number, add a new voice mail access number, or add a speed dial to the Human Resources department for all phones. BAT lets you update all phones that have a common characteristic, such as device pool, location, or calling search space.
In another example, you could set up all the phones used by salespeople in your company with a special set of Cisco IP Phone services. Phone services are Extensible Markup Language (XML) services that you can configure using the Cisco IP Phone Productivity Services Software Development Kit (see Appendix A, "Feature List," and Appendix B, "Cisco Integrated Solutions," for more information). Perhaps you have services that tie in directly to a database showing current sales goals or a list of reference account contacts. Although this information is critical to salespeople, it might not be of much interest to anyone else in your company. You can add a specific set of phone services to phones belonging to the sales staff so that only their phones provide this service when the services button on a Cisco IP Phone is pressed. Likewise, if you have a common service that you want to appear on all phones in your company, such as your company's stock quote or a calendar showing paid holidays, you can specify this when adding the phones in BAT. As of mid-2005, BAT cannot be used to bulk add XML services that require parameters such as username and password. This means that services such as Personal Address Book (PAB) and the Fast Dial service cannot be added in bulk using BAT.
Figure 6-2 shows the Phone Options screen (Configure > Phones / Users) where you can perform various functions such as insert, update, and delete phones; export phones; add and update lines; reset phones; insert phones with users; generate phone reports; and perform bulk CAPF operations.
Figure 6-2. Bulk Administration Tool
BAT's strength lies in its ability to allow you to make large device or user changes to the database without compromising customization of the devices or users. Using the CSV file, you can specify as much detail as you like about the devices you plan to add. For example, for phones you can supply directory numbers, Media Access Control (MAC) addresses, call forward no answer directory number, and more. After you have entered all the data in the CSV file and have created a BAT template, you can insert the data from CSV files and BAT templates into CallManager Administration. When the phones are plugged into the network, they register with CallManager and find their device settings based on the information inserted into the database from the CSV file.
You can use the sample Microsoft Excel spreadsheet template (available on the Publisher at C:CiscoWebsBATExcelTemplate) to create the CSV file for each type of bulk transaction. A different tab is provided for users and each type of device: phones, gateways, gateways ports, and so on. When you first open the Excel spreadsheet, select the kind of device you want to create (phone, CTI port, H.323 client, and so on). For some operations you then click the Create File Title or Create File Format button, which prompts you to select the device and line fields you want to insert. Previous versions of BAT were not as flexible and required you to have all the available fields as columns in your spreadsheet.
After you have entered the data in the spreadsheet, click the Export To BAT Format button in the spreadsheet. A dialog box displays the default filename and location to which the file will be saved. The default filename is Filetype#timestamp.txt (e.g., PhonesUsers#06272005093545.txt). The filename indicates that this file was created on June 27, 2005 at 9:35:45 a.m. You can overwrite the default name with something more memorable, such as June_new_hires.txt. You should save CSV files in the appropriate subdirectory of the C:BatFiles directory on the Publisher where BAT is installed. A subdirectory exists for each type of BAT import operation. For example, there is a subdirectory named C:BatFilesPhonesUsers where you store CSV files for phone and user import operations.
In the CSV file, you can specify individual MAC addresses for each phone or use a dummy MAC address. If the dummy MAC address option is used, the address can be updated later using the Tool for Auto-Registered Phone Support (TAPS).
Tool for Auto-Registered Phone Support (TAPS)
TAPS is an optional component of BAT that requires Cisco IP Interactive Voice Response (IP IVR) on a Cisco Customer Response Applications Server. You can also install TAPS on a CallManager server with Cisco Extended Services installed. You must enable auto-registration in CallManager for the TAPS feature to work. With TAPS, you can leave the MAC address blank in the CSV file and import this data using BAT with the Create Dummy MAC Address option selected. Later, when a Cisco IP Phone is plugged in, the user can retrieve device information for the new phone simply by dialing a TAPS directory number and entering his or her phone number. This is particularly useful when you want to configure devices for a group of users where a physical phone has not yet been assigned to the user. TAPS also proves useful when an existing user replaces his or her phone because of damage or defect. When users receive the new phone (same model), they can simply dial the TAPS directory number and then their current directory number, and TAPS downloads device information configured for the previous phone to the new phone.
Updating Phone Certificates
Another important function of BAT is the capability to bulk update Locally Significant Certificates (LSC) installed on your IP phones. These certificates are necessary if you are using the device authentication or media encryption features introduced in CallManager release 4.0.
Without BAT, you would have to go to each phone in CallManager Administration and set the Certificate Authority Proxy Function (CAPF) configuration to update the certificate on the phone. With BAT, you can tell the CAPF service to issue new certificates to all phones of a particular model (for example, all Cisco IP Phones 7960). This is especially useful for phones that do not come from the factory with a Manufacturing Issued Certificate (MIC) and therefore require an LSC before device authentication and encryption can be used.
Learn More About BAT
Detailed information about BAT is available at the following location:
CDR Analysis and Reporting (CAR)
CAR, a web-based application, provides reports about QoS, gateway usage, traffic details, user call details, and more. CallManager stores information about each call in call detail records (CDR) and call management records (CMR), collectively known as CDR data. This CDR data serves as the basic information source for CAR. This discussion focuses on CAR release 4.1, which is included with CallManager release 4.1.
CAR is available as a plug-in application to CallManager Administration (Application > Install Plugins). Once installed, you can access CAR from CallManager Serviceability under Tools > CDR Analysis and Reporting.
Reasons to Use CAR
CAR helps you obtain system capacity and QoS statistics by generating reports that give information about call activity and voice quality. CAR generates reports on the performance of the gateways and is also useful to associate calls to users and reconcile phone billing with usage. CAR can also be used for troubleshooting. For example, if several users report busy signals when dialing in to retrieve voice mail messages, you can run a voice mail utilization report in CAR to see whether all ports on the voice mail server are busy during peak usage hours. The information in this report can help you determine whether to add more ports to your voice mail server.
CAR provides reporting features for three levels of users:
CAR administrators can use all of the features of CAR. Managers can monitor call details for the various groups and individuals in the company. Individual users can view details about their calls. Numerous reports are available in either detail or summary format.
CAR administrators can use CAR to monitor QoS. For example, reports generated in CAR help you detect QoS problems in the system and, to some extent, diagnose and isolate QoS problems. Note that QoS statistics are available only from devices that support sending CMRs to CallManager. At this time, only Cisco IP Phones and MGCP gateways have this functionality.
Other reports provide metrics on traffic, system overview, gateways, voice mail utilization, conference bridge utilization, Cisco IP Phone services, and more. Managers can use CAR to generate reports about usage for their department or select users to view top usage by cost, call duration, or number of calls. These reports can be useful to keep watch over expenses or to determine ongoing budgeting for departmental phone usage. Managers can also run detailed reports that help determine whether any unauthorized calls have been made by their department or select users. Individuals can use CAR to generate summary or detail reports for calls they made, which can prove useful for tracking phone numbers and call duration and for billing purposes.
Users must be given the URL for CAR before they can access the system. Authentication is handled by the user ID established in the Global Directory in CallManager Administration. See the CAR documentation for more information.
Figure 6-3 shows the QOS Summary screen in CAR (System Reports > QoS > Summary). In this screen, you can specify the types of calls to include in the summary report and the timeframe that the report examines.
Figure 6-3. User-Configured QoS Summary Report
You can also view monthly summary reports by selecting the report in the Available Reports list box (shown in Figure 6-3). Available Reports are reports automatically generated periodically according to the CAR configuration. Figure 6-4 shows an example of a QoS monthly summary.
Figure 6-4. QoS Monthly Summary Report
CAR consumes a great deal of system resources when generating reports. Therefore, Cisco recommends that CAR be used to generate reports only during off-peak hours to minimize the impact on CallManager performance. By default, report generation is configured to run during the night, when system utilization is typically low.
CAR provides all the reports already discussed plus access for the three levels of users. CAR enables you to schedule automatic generation of reports, the time that CDR data is loaded into the system, and CAR database maintenance. You can also set up alerts to notify you when certain conditions occur. The following sections describe the CAR features:
Descriptions of these features follow.
Loading CDR Data
CAR enables you to specify when CDR data (CDRs and CMRs) is loaded into the CAR database. You can schedule the loading of data at the nonpeak hours of CallManager. CAR uses data in the CAR database to generate reports, so data in CAR will be current only up to the last time CDR data was loaded into the CAR database.
CAR only loads CMRs for records that have an associated CDR. To get complete CDR data, ensure that both the CDR Enabled Flag and Call Diagnostics Enabled service parameters (Service > Service Parameters > select a server > Cisco CallManager) are set to True. CAR only purges CMRs if they are associated with CDRs, which means that if you set the CDR Enabled Flag service parameter to False and the Call Diagnostics Enabled service parameter to True, CallManager will continue writing CMRs to the hard drive until all available disk space has been depleted.
If you are using third-party software that reads CDR data from the CallManager database, ensure that it either deletes both CDRs and CMRs or does not delete CDRs, allowing CallManager to automatically purge the CDR data. Failure to delete CMRs associated to CDRs will result in disk space depletion which could eventually crash CallManager. Future versions of CallManager will prevent this condition from occurring.
Automatic Report Generation
CAR allows reports to be generated automatically at a user-specified time, which results in reports being automatically generated and stored for future use. You can view these reports quicker than reports that are generated on demand. Automatically generated reports can also be e-mailed to administrators after being generated.
CAR reports can be scheduled to run automatically or to be used on demand to track incoming or outgoing call quality, overall system performance, individual or group call usage (such as cost or duration of all calls), and gateway usage details, among many other functions. CAR reports display in either PDF form (using Acrobat Reader) or CSV format. Reports generated by CAR include the following:
Reports can be generated for viewing, printing, or e-mail distribution to interested parties by clicking the Send Report button in CAR.
Individual/Department Bill Reports
Individual/department bill reports (User Reports > Bills) provide information to enable users and managers to monitor their own or their department's calling records. Reports about user calls can be sent to relevant personnel (managers, high-usage users, and so on) to inform them of possible anomalies in their usage patterns.
Administrators can generate a report detailing the users who have a CTI port enabled (User Reports > CTI Application User). They can also generate reports for Cisco IP Manager Assistant (IPMA) usage (User Reports > Cisco IPMA).
Cisco IP Phone Services Reports
The Cisco IP Phone Services report (User Reports > Cisco IP Phone Services) enables administrators to view the number of users subscribed and the percentage of all users who are subscribed to each IP Phone service configured on the system. The report does not show how many times each IP Phone service is actually used.
Top N Calls Reports
Top N (where N represents "number of") reports (User Reports > Top N) are used to analyze the calls based on destinations, users, and calls. Call reports can be generated by charge, duration, or number of calls. The various call reports are as follows:
CAR administrators or managers can generate these call reports.
Traffic Summary Reports
The traffic summary report (System Reports > Traffic > Summary/Summary by Extension) displays network usage patterns on an hourly and daily basis. This report helps you determine whether too much or too little equipment is deployed on the network. Only the system administrator can generate these reports.
Gateway reports (Device Reports > Gateway) provide gateway traffic details to help system administrators analyze the performance of gateways. The following information describes some of the available gateway reports:
Route Plan Reports
CAR offers a variety of route plan reports (Device Reports > Route Plan). The following route plan reports are available:
Each of these reports provides an estimate of the utilization percentage of the route plan component. As with the gateway reports, the utilization can be displayed on an hour-of-day, day-of-week, or day-of-month basis.
Conference Bridge Reports
Two reports are available for conference bridge resources (Device Reports > Conference Bridge).
Voice Messaging Reports
The voice message report (Device Reports > Voice Messaging) enables you to determine the estimated usage of your voice mail ports, which proves useful for capacity planning to determine whether you have enough voice mail ports to meet expected demand.
You can use CAR to gather information on voice quality and manage CallManager QoS statistics and system capacity (System Reports > QoS). Calls are categorized into a voice quality category based on the information in the CMRs and the QoS parameters you provide. QoS reports provide information about the quality of calls for all phones in the network, which helps you determine whether any possible issues exist in the network. Reports include codec type, packets lost, jitter, and latency (although latency is not calculated by any endpoints at this time and will therefore always show zero). The administrator can specify the criteria to classify the QoS as Good, Acceptable, Fair, and Poor based on the reported statistics from an IP phone or gateway.
The QoS reports available are as follows:
System Overview Reports
The system overview report (System Reports > System Overview) provides a composite report consisting of some of the reports. This report gives a broad picture of the overall system performance, and it can be scheduled for automatic generation every month or generated on demand for any selected date range.
Three reports (System Reports > FAC/CMC) are associated with the forced authorization codes (FAC) and client matter codes (CMC) features. These features help you manage call access and accounting. FAC regulates the types of calls that certain users can place, and CMC assists with call accounting and billing for calls that relate to billable client matters. The three reports are as follows:
Malicious Call Detail Reports
The malicious call detail report (System Reports > Malicious Call Details) lists all calls marked as malicious calls by the Malicious Call Identification (MCID) feature. This report is blank if the MCID feature has not been enabled or if no malicious calls have been flagged by end users.
Precedence Call Summary Reports
The precedence call summary report (System Reports > Precedence Call Summary) displays a call summary for all precedence calls made when using the Multilevel Precedence and Preemption (MLPP) feature. The call summary is presented as a stacked bar chart showing the number of calls for each precedence level. The report also provides an overall percentage distribution for each precedence level.
CDR search enables you to view CDR data from the CallManager database based on a specified date, gateway, extension number, user, cause for termination, precedence level, or malicious call designation. The results display the CDR data fields for records that match the selection criteria. You can also use CAR to export the raw CDR data to a CSV file for processing by an external application.
CAR Database Maintenance
You can configure CAR to notify you when the CAR or CDR database is reaching capacity (System > Database > select the alert for CAR or CDR). You can then manually purge the selected database (System > Database > Database Purge). You can also schedule automatic purging of records older than a specified number of days in the CAR database. You should periodically purge old database records to ensure you do not run out of hard drive space. Also note that after performing a purge, you could perform a system backup using the Backup and Restore System (BARS) utility to ensure the database transaction logs are also truncated.
You can configure CAR to alert you when any of the following conditions occur:
Alerts are sent to the e-mail ID you specify when configuring the alert.
Learn More About CAR
Detailed information about CAR is available through the online help documentation contained within the CAR application or at the following location (Cisco.com login required):