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AudioCodes MediaPacks – Endpoint Dual Registration

Uptime is important in most companies. A famous saying(At least among us working with Telephony products) states that no one knows the importance of Telephony until it breaks down. The fact is that telephony downtime usually means lost orders or degradation in customer service. In the end, that could mean lost revenue.

When I design solutions for my customers, I always have redundancy in mind. Having a secondary device take over in case of hardware, WAN, or network failure helps secure uptime for the telephony services.

When it comes to Mediapacks, which are usually used for analog endpoints, whether that be fax machines or regular analog telephone devices, it is a single point of failure, as it is the endpoint. Not much we can do about that. But we can make the MediaPack redundant by adding a secondary registration point(Another SBC!).

Let’s say we have a dual regional SBC setup hosted in Azure. It must be 2023 compliant, right?

Why not make MediaPacks register to both the SBCs?

That way, the MediaPacks will continue to function with one SBC down. Of course, that will demand dual SIP trunk setup and so on, which is beyond the scope of this article. 😊

As usual, AudioCodes documentation is not telling you “How-to.” It describes the features and what the parameters do. So, with this guide, I will show you how this is set up and give you some of the troubleshooting scenarios I have experienced. In the end, I hope this will help you successfully implement this to add redundancy to your telephony environment.

By the way, what do I mean by saying registration of endpoints?

You can set up an AudioCodes MediaPack to use Routing tables or have the endpoints register to an SBC in your network. When the MediaPack endpoints register to an SBC device, we no longer use the routing tables. The endpoints start utilizing the routing on the SBC instead.

This feature demands a Far-End user license on your SBC per registered endpoint. They are not expensive but reach out to your AudioCodes reseller to get the prices.

Now that we have the technical details in place let’s look at how this is done.

MediaPacks with firmware 6.6

AudioCodes still have many old hardware devices mounted on walls, in basements, and behind printers. I will show you what parameters you need to set up on the old firmware release devices.

First of all, make sure you are up to date on firmware. Get the latest release of the 6.6 firmware from your ACTS or CHAMPs service agreements with AudioCodes. I have seen different firmware versions do different funny things, resulting in countless troubleshooting hours. I will show you some specific examples later, but let’s jump into the fun stuff!

Log into your AudioCodes MediaPack 6.6 device. By the way, this guide should help you with devices such as MP112, MP114, MP118, and MP124+E versions.

Start by going to Proxy & Registration. You can reach this by going to Configuration, clicking the “Full” radio button, and browsing to SIP definitions.

Here we have a few parameters to consider.

Prefer Routing Table: No
Enable Registration: Enable
Registrar IP Address: The IP/Host of your second entry is defined in the Proxy Set.

Scroll down a bit and configure the following.

Subscription Mode: Per Endpoint
Registration Mode: Per Endpoint

Now open Control Network and click on Proxy Set Table. Configure the IP / Hostnames of the SBCs.

Set the following parameters:

Proxy Load Balancing Method: Disable
Is Proxy Hot Swap: Yes

To tie things together, we need to create an IP group. Navigate to IP Group Table.

Configuration –> Control Network and IP group table. Click on “Add”.

Please describe it adequately and add the Proxy Set ID you created.

Next, you configure the Hunt Group Settings. This is where you glue the Proxy Set together with the endpoints.

Configure the Hunt Group ID and choose the following configuration.

Channel Select Mode: By Dest Phone Number
Registration Mode: Per Endpoint
Serving IP Group ID: 1
Dedicated Connection Mode: Reuse Connection

Make sure you don’t have any entries on the second index, pages 13-24. I have seen funny things happen because I had a colleague working on the wrong index page, resulting in issues with correctly registering endpoints.

Now it’s time to populate our endpoints. Type in the phone numbers, and use the Hunt Group ID you used in your Hunt Group Settings.

Navigate to Configuration –> VOIP –> GW and IP to IP –> Hunt Group.

The last element we need is to enable and upload the Userlist file.

Browse to SIP definitions and Advanced parameters. Configuration –> VOIP –> SIP Definitions and Advanced Parameters. Set the following parameter.

Enable User-Information Usage: Enable

Let’s look at the list and the format it is expecting. This is an example, and you can get the file right here. Just replace the phone numbers with your endpoint phone numbers, E.164 or not; that does not matter. 

Now that our file is ready, we must upload it to the device.

Go to Maintenance –> Software Update and Load Auxiliary Files.

Under the User Info file, click the “Choose File” button, navigate to your UserFile, and load it into the device.

Please submit and burn the configuration to flash memory.

That’s it for the 6.6 firmware. Let’s move on to 7.2 firmware versions and look at the difference.

MediaPacks with firmware 7.2

First of all, 7.2 and above firmware releases are a bit more 2023 alike, which is more convenient to work with. The principals are the same as with the 6.6 firmware, and besides the regular configuration of the media pack, you need to add the following elements.

Core Components

First, we create the Proxy Set of the two SBCs we want to register our analog endpoints.

Go to Setup –> Signaling & Media –> Core Components and click on Proxy Sets. On the right side, click on “New.”

In the Proxy Sets configuration, add the SIP interface, set keep alive to USING OPTIONS and enable Proxy Hot Swap. Leave the rest as default(Unless you have valid reasons for changing). Click Apply.

Now that our Proxy Set is created, we must add the IP addresses / Hostnames of the two SBCs we want to register our endpoints.

Go to the newly created proxy set, scroll to the bottom, and click the hyperlink shown in this picture.

This will take you to the screen for adding the host ID or IP address. Click on “New” to add hosts or addresses.

Type in the IP address and port in the format shown, followed by the protocol used for signaling. Click Apply, and add the second Proxy address as well.

Confirm that your IP addresses are there and that your proxy set is ready.

Create the IP profile to be used for the configuration.

When talking about regular analog phones, there is no need to touch the default configuration of the IP profile. Sometimes you can end up in scenarios where you must consider enabling “Early Media” support, allowing media to flow before the actual call is established.

However, in fax scenarios, things change a bit. If you run both fax and analog endpoints, please add these parameters to your configuration file.

[Voice Engine Params]
FaxTransportMode = 0
V22ModemTransportType = 0
V23ModemTransportType = 0
V32ModemTransportType = 0
V34ModemTransportType = 0
FaxRelayMaxRate = 5
RFC2833TxPayloadType = 101

Do not delete anything. If the parameter is already there, replace it with the mentioned lines. This has proven to be the best configuration for fax worldwide.

Move on to IP groups, which are also located in Core Components. Setup –> Signaling & Media –> Core components. Click on “New”.

IP Group will be used to associate the endpoints with the SBC core components for registration and routing. Keep the configuration as default, and focus on the configured Core Components. Add the Proxy Set, IP Profile we created, and the default media realm.

Core Components are now finished, so let’s dive into the settings of the media pack.

Proxy & Registration

Browse to Proxy & Registration. –> Signaling & Media –> SIP Definitions and Proxy & Registration.

Enable User-Information Usage. As the little lightning indicates, this will take a reboot of the media pack. If you want to, you can give the media pack a name under Gateway’s name.

Scroll down a bit, and enable registration. I usually enable ReRegister on connection failure as well. Under the registrar IP address, you configure the IP address or hostname of the second SBC in the proxy set just like we did in the 6.6 firmware version.

Make sure that Prefer Routing Table is set to No.

Trunk Group and Trunk Group settings

Browse to Trunk Group settings. Setup –> Signaling & Media –> Gateway and Trunks and Groups.

Click on Trunk Group Settings. Click “New”.

Make sure the following parameters are set.

Trunk group ID: 1
Channel Select Mode: By Dest Phone Number
Registration mode: Per Endpoint
Serving IP Group: Our IP group from earlier

Next, jump to Trunk Groups. It is time to define our endpoints.

Associate phone numbers with the module ports and trunk group ID. I usually keep everything in e.164 numbering format, but you can do it as you prefer. You can still use manipulation tables on the media pack before sending the dialed numbers to Teams or an operator SIP trunk.

The last thing we need is our user information list. On the 7.2 firmware, we do not need to upload a text list of the users. Rather we can configure them directly in the web GUI. Go to Setup –> Signaling & Media –> Gateway –> Gateway Advanced and User Information. Click on New.

Put the phone number in all fields, like in the Txt file.

Ok great! We are now in a position where we should be able to register our endpoints. A good rule of thumb is to unregister the endpoints and register them again. This works kind of like a reset. You can do this under Trunk Groups in Gateway or Proxy & Registration under SIP definitions.

The last and final step is to confirm we have registered devices. Browse to Monitor –> VOIP status and Registration Status.

To ensure the endpoints are registered on both SBCs, log into the SBCs and browse to VOIP status…

That’s it. Your media pack is now ready to register on two SBCs. If you doubt the SBC configuration, please refer to this article, which describes the steps needed.

As always, if you have any questions, please leave a comment or reach out directly to my e-mail.

Until next time!

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