When working with AudioCodes equipment there are plenty of available tools and utilities; some that are native to AudioCodes and some that are third-party. In this article I will go thru some of the native tools used on a regular day to day basis and some tools used not so often, what those tools are used for and why. The tools are available at the AudioCodes Download Library.
SBC Configuration Wizard
The SBC Configuration Wizard allows you to create a base configuration on the SBC based on an extensive number of pre-defined templates for various SIP carriers, IP PBXs and scenarios. For each of the templates in the wizard there is typically an associated application note available on the AudioCodes support site, describing the configuration scenario in detail.
- Supports 40+ IP PBXs and 200+ SIP carriers
- Limited to two (2) physical SIP interfaces
Even if a scenario is not listed, i.e. Microsoft Teams to Generic SIP Trunk is listed but not Microsoft Teams to Cisco CUCM. The tool is still useful as you can create a Cisco CUCM to Generic SIP Trunk configuration and merge the two configurations manually to get to a Microsoft Teams to Cisco CUCM base configuration. The same applies if you have multiple carriers or multiple PBXs, which the tool natively doesn’t support.
INI Viewer & Editor
This text editor tool allows you to view and edit SBC configuration INI files offline. The view mode presents an easily readable configuration, parsed based on an AudioCodes updated dictionary.
- Table column parameter names parsed in view mode
- Lacks replace functionality, but has general text search
Besides just viewing SBC configuration files offline, the tool is useful for creating INI configuration snippets and merging together sections from other INI files. INI snippets are really useful for creating or updating large routing or normalization tables. Merging sections is useful when using the SBC wizard and there are multiple carriers and/or IP PBXs, but it also allows for moving a configuration file across various models pretty easily.
A comprehensive troubleshooting tool designed to collect, view and analyze syslog messages coming from AudioCodes devices.
- Parsed and color-coded SIP engine traces
- SIP flow diagram (SIP ladder) view
- Comprehensive search and filtering
- Continuously write traces to log files on disk
“The Monkey” is the ultimate SYSLOG trace tool in the AudioCodes world. It easily allows you to identify a call and filter out that call in a trace by its own. The SIP flow diagram will to filter to show calls only and allows you to easily identify important time stamps, messages carrying SDP, and easily drill down to each SIP message on the call ladder.
Conversion utility for creating files for Call Progress Tones, Music on Hold (MoH) files, CAS tables, and VXML records.
- Converts audio files into proprietary AudioCodes format
- Create CAS Protocol and Dial Plan files (very seldom used)
- Coder transcoding feature works very poorly (workaround)
These days this tool is typically used to convert tone files for various parts of the world into an SBC importable file format. Typically, an SBC ships with standard U.S. tone files for ring back, busy, etc. and when deploying globally there may be a need for another country’s tone file. You can create your own tone files with a third-party sound editor and then let DConvert convert it for you. You can also reach out to AudioCodes support for a country specific tone file already converted and ready to be uploaded to the SBC. The tool is also useful for converting Music on Hold (MoH) audio into the proprietary AudioCodes file format for import. When using a third-party sound editor to create either tone files or MoH files, let the third-party sound editor do the audio transcoding and output both G.711 uLaw and G.711 aLaw files for DConvert to process. DConvert does a very poor job at transcoding audio, so leave it to the third-party sound editor.
The utility provides BootP and TFTP services for AudioCodes devices.
- BootP assigns the device networking parameters
- TFTP provides firmware and configuration file upload
The utility is very useful with a “bricked” device and can also be used for restoring connectivity to the device if lost. This loss of connectivity can be due to, i.e.; Software upgrade failure, IP address is no longer known, The Web or CLI interface has been disabled or the password is no longer known, or the device has encountered a fault that cannot be recovered using the Web or CLI interface.
Plugins for Wireshark to parse AudioCodes traces.
- 32- and 64-bit versions
- Built here for Wireshark v2.4.x
For those who wish to use Wireshark for any tracing needs. I seldomly have to revert to tracing down at the wire level and in most cases Syslog Viewer will do the job just fine. Beware of Wireshark versioning support as I know there has been issues in the past.
SCOM Management Pack
Plugin enabling the integration of AudioCodes’ devices status and alarms into Microsoft SCOM.
- SNMP v3 performance and trap support
- SCOM 2012 and SCOM 2012 R2 support
For those who are running SCOM for enterprise monitoring and notification. Even though AudioCodes OVOC is the preferred alerting and management for the devices, SCOM can still be used in conjunction with OVOC. Check the version of SCOM you are running to see if the management pack is forward compatible.
The power of these tools is often overlooked, especially for some of us old die-hards who still prefer to configure everything by hand or do a trace in the web interface. Always make sure to use the latest version of the tools as they are ever evolving. The most commonly used such as the SBC Configuration Wizard, INI Viewer & Editor and the Syslog Viewer has an auto update functionality and are updated pretty regularly. For the other less frequently used tools, you will have to check AudioCodes periodically. The tools are available at the AudioCodes Download Library.