Installing Cisco Webex Meeting Server 1.x

I have recently finished on-site setup & initial integration of almost a Full Cisco UC suit (CUCM, RTX, Webex, UCCX) for one of our customers, and most of those products and software versions have just been officially released by Cisco. Cisco Webex Meeting Server (CWMS) 1.x, for example, is such an product which the majority of UC guys or even Cisco employees are not quite familiar with, and its installation is much more sophisticated and time-consuming than other UC systems from Cisco. Therefore, I record the key steps of CWMS setup here as detailed as possible hoping that it could be of some help for those who are about to conduct the same tasks.

Overall Network Diagram:

BSB UC

Hardware & Software List:

Hardware Product ID

Qty

Functional Role

MCS7835I3-K9-CME1 3 CUCM 9.1.1
MCS-7835-I3-IPC2 1 RTX Server & Manager of Cisco UC for RTX
MCS7825I5-K9-CXA1 2 UCCX 8.5
UCSC-C220-M3S 1 Vmware vCenter 5.0 and CWMS 1.x co-resident

 

Software Product

Detailed version info
VMware ESXi 5.0.0-20120302001-Standard Installer
VMware vCenter vCenter Server 5.0.0, 434157
VMware vSphere Client 5.0
Cisco Webex Meeting Server CWMS 1.0.1.5.A
Windows Server 2008 for vCenter Windows server 2008 R2 Enterprise-Full Install

Installing Cisco Webex Meeting Server

NOTE: If the hardware platforms you purchased do not come along with installer image pre-loaded, it is strongly recommended that your obtain all the relevant installer (ISO image, or CD disk) well in advance as most of them are big-size images (CWMS 1.x Installer: 18GB, vCenter Installer: 2.x GB etc) and take ages for you to download.

This installation intends for deployment of up to 50 con-current connected users without Internet Reverse Proxy (IRP).

Installing VMware ESXi 5.0
Overall, ESXi installation is quite easy and straightforward, there are no issues we have to pay extra attention to as long as ESXi system requirements are met.

  • Pre-requisites & Pre-install checklist:
    Refer to below URL to understand ESXi System Requirements, Supported Guest OS and relevant compatibility infos.
    ESXi and vCenter Server 5 Documentation—vSphere Installation and Setup
    VMware Compatibility Portal
  • Required Info before install
    Root Password: for Administrative Access
    Network Parameters: hostname / IP address / Gateway / DNS server etc.
  • Plugin CD Installer and begin the install
    Following the install wizard and we ended up with below error message “Text object has no attribute device”.
    ESXi Error
    This message indicates that no valid hard disk is discovered by the system. To fix it, a RAID configuration is required.
    Cisco Support Community — UCS C220 M3 RAID Configuration
    Setup RAID from GUI for UCS C220 M3 rack-mount server TRC1
    NOTE: What level of RAID (RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10) you can configure depends on the type of RAID card you purchased from Cisco. (E.g RAID card “R2XX-RAID0” means only RAID 0 is enabled).
  • Post-install Task
    vSphere Client and vCenter Server are mandatory for subsequent setup procedures. When VMware ESXi installation finished, you can go to URL (http://<IP Address of EXSi server>) to download installer of relevant compatible virtual machine management tools (vSphere Client & vCenter Server etc).【You can ignore this post-install task if you already download these tools from VMware official site】.
    ESXi Download
  • Licensing
    To be Continued.

Installing VMware vCenter 5.0

Considering our installation experiences in conjunction with VMware official Install Guide for vCenter Server, there are several issues that we have to bear in mind for a successful setup.

  1. The OS that hosts vCenter Server 5.0 should be 64-bit, 32-bit OS is not supported.
  2. VMware & Cisco Official Guide requires that windows server which hosts vCenter Server should belongs to a domain and its full host name should be resolvable by DNS service which is verified by command <nslookup vcenter.bsb.com.cn> in CLI.
    However, we did successfully set up the vCenter and webex server without adding vCenter server into a domain, and so did some other UC guys as far as we know. And so far, we still do not see any features lost because of that.
    Besides, we strongly suspect that insertion of DNS entry for vCenter server on DNS server might not be mandatory either as long as you use IP address instead whenever FQDN of vCenter server is required.
    There are even rumors indicating that vCenter server is only used to initially deploy webex virtual machine and manage it afterward, therefore it is totally OK to delete it after successfully installing webex as vSphere Client can be used to manage the webex virtual machine instead.
    If you deploy webex OVA directly on EXSi host suing VMware Sphere client, you will not be able to specifiy some parameters of Webex VM. Another reason why vCenter is mandatory for Webex OVA deployment is that it enables you to concurrently install several VMs (admin VM, IRP VM etc) on different ESXi hosts in large scale deployment while VMware Sphere can only login one ESXi host at a single time. Ask The Expert: Deploying, Configuring and Troubleshooting Cisco Webex Meeting Server.
  3. VMware Official Guide also indicates Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1 Framework & Windows Installer version 4.5 (MSI 4.5) are required for a successful vCenter server install.
    However, we did not encounter any explicit instructions that prompted us to install those Microsoft components, and our installation was still proven to be successful.
  • Prerequisites & Pre-install checklist:
    Make sure to review below VMware official Guide to be aware about the system requirements for vCenter Server such as Minimum Hardware requirements, Operating System, Software components etcs. (some of those requirements might not be mandatory according to my install experiences as well as other UC guys’, so Official Guide can only be regarded as best practice).
    ESXi and vCenter Server 5 Documentation—vSphere Installation and Setup
  • Install procedure briefing:
    1. Login ESXi host using vSphere Client, create a virtual machine on it for installation of windows server 2008 R2 and vCenter Server.
    2. Install Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise on that newly-created virtual machine and launch vCenter Server install wizard afterward.
    vCenter Database
    vCenter FQDN
  • Troubleshooting Tip: Disabling IPV6 on Windows Server 2008,
    During installation, we found that IPv6 interface were automatically active and did cause some interferences with our expected behaviors which was truly annoying. Therefore, below procedures were taken to disable IPv6 Interfaces on Windows Server 2008.
    Disable IPv6 All

Installing Webex Server:

NOTE: Webex Server can only be installed through vCenter Server. More details, refer to below doc,
Cisco Webex Meeting Server 1.1 Installation Guide.

  • Prerequisites & Pre-install checklist,
    1. Add ESXi Server (UCS C220 M3 rack server) into vCenter Server as a host machine before.
    2. Required info for installation: Webex virtual machine (VM) hostname / IP address / GW / DNS server, Webex Site & Admin URL and its DNS-Resolved IP address.
    3. make sure DNS entries for Webex VM hostname, Webex Site & Admin URL are already added on DNS Server before you proceed.
  • Installation key steps briefing,
    Login vCenter Server using vSphere client, and add Data Center as well as ESXi Server (along with its administrative credentials) as a host machine in that DataCenter.
    Add ESXi Host to vCenter
    Deploy the OVA Template through vCenter.
    Webex Parameters
    When OVA Template deployment finished, power on the Webex VM, the installation continues,
    50 Users
    Finally, a Configure URL will be provided for you to continue with the setup,
    Config URL
    What we need to do is just login that URL and follow the wizard,
    In regards to vCenter URL, IP address rather than FQDN can be used here.
    vCenter InfoVIP for Webex
    Make sure the Webex Site & Admin URL you input in below dialog could be resolved by DNS server, otherwise installation does not proceed.
    Webex Site and Admin URL
    After above steps, you are noticed about the state of deployment and system self-test,
    Webex SuccessWebex System test
    Now you are provided with a URL to setup user name and password for Administrator of Webex. Bear in mind that mail server is required for Administrative Credential setup thus make sure you have mail server up and running properly before you proceed.
    Webex Admin account

    webex mail

    Webex Credential
    Then, a email will be sent to mailbox of webexsuper@bsb.com.cn with a hyperlink which lead you to the page where you can setup your password for webex administrative login.