So, what is Device Configuration? Let’s begin with the basics.
Device Configuration is where detailed configuration management of Cisco collaboration devices can be performed using pre-defined Templates and Cisco xAPI commands.
It is also where Device Management and Automation (DMA) can be provided with reference information (Locations and Labels). These will be used to configure device details in the DMA database.
Please note: In the initial releases of DMA the Locations of devices are extracted from the TMS database and are not directly editable in DMA. In a similar way Labels are also not currently editable in DMA and of course, will not have been extracted from TMS as it doesn’t support them.
There are however ways of bringing devices into DMA with Locations and Labels assigned using our CSV import features. This might be worth experimenting with in your lab environment.
Device Configuration Basics
Important: Device Templates is a new menu item in VQCM 3.11 (DMA 1.1). We recommend that you read the, ‘DMA Device Templates and Templates Modules chapter in our 3.11 Release Notes, before using the features outlined below.
Device Templates in DMA are the equivalent of the ‘Configuration Templates’ function found in the ‘Systems’ section of TMS. The primary use case for Device Templates is ensuring standard configurations are applied to all endpoints in the environment. This process assures critical security, performance and capability settings are maintained.
Before creating templates, you will need to create one or more Template Modules. These contain the commands or configuration settings that will be sent to the collaboration device.
Template Modules are a new concept unique to DMA. We have introduced them with the aim to reduce the amount of work required to create, manage and change configurations in large environments.
To begin creating modules in DMA, select the Template Modules menu item on the side bar menu.
Create a new module by clicking the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page
In the Settings tab, give the module a name and description
Select the Commands tab to begin adding the required xAPI configurations and commands to the module.
Add commands to the module one at a time. This process can be done either by typing directly into the field or by copying and pasting from the xAPI Reference Guide.
To add a multiline command, tick the Multiline Command check box to activate the multiline command entry box.
Type or paste the command text into the entry box. You must ensure that the last line is a period (full stop).
Once all the required commands have been added to the module, you can return to the Settings tab to ‘Enable’ the module ready for use in a template.
Alternatively, you can click save to store the module and return directly to the Template Modules page. Note that if you do this, the module will be created but be in a disabled state until the ‘Enable’ switch is set.
Note: DMA provides a direct link to the online Cisco xAPI resource website
If you are unable to access this internet resource, PDF versions of the guide can be downloaded from here.
DMA’s Device Templates consist of:
- Template modules – containing the required commands or configurations settings
- A list of devices that the template must be applied to
- Details of when this should be done -if ‘persistent’ i.e., to be re-applied regularly to the devices
Create a new template by clicking the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.
The template must be given a name and at least one template module must be selected for the template to save.
Select the module[s] to be included in the template using the drop-down menu.
The selected modules will be displayed in the field showing their status.
A ‘green tick’ symbol indicates that the module is enabled, and its settings will be included in the template at run/send time.
A ‘red cross’ symbol indicates that the module is currently disabled and will not be included at run/send time.
Note: The template can be sent to devices in this state, but disabled modules will be ignored until enabled in the Template Modules area.
Step 2 (optional)
If the template is to be re-sent on a regular schedule to devices i.e., it is ‘Persistent’, then the Persistent check box must be ticked.
Note: Devices can only be assigned one persistent template in DMA to avoid potential conflicting settings be sent at different times to a template. However, it is still possible to send ‘one time’ settings to a device using a non-persistent template.
The page will automatically display the Apply Time selector to begin setting time, recurrence interval, and day of week.
Once these settings are chosen, the template can be saved.
Note: Persistent templates can be identified by the persistent ‘chip’ displayed on pages or in lists against the template name
Once saved, you will be sent back to the Device Templates page. You are now ready to begin selecting the devices that the template will be sent to.
Locate the template that has just been created and click on the Action ‘dots’ to display the Action menu.
Select the ‘Add to Group’ tab. Selecting this tab will bring up the template action page to add target devices.
Note: The template action page will alert the user to any disabled modules that will be ignored at run/send time and provide a link to identify them.
The in-scope devices will be displayed on the main page. Click outside of the filter builder to see them.
Select the devices to be included in the group by either clicking the ‘All Displayed Items’ check box, or individually select the devices, if not all are required.
Once your selection is made, click the ADD button to add the device to the template group.
DMA will confirm that the group has been successfully created.
The devices will now be displayed in the VIEW GROUP tab.
Note: To remove devices, click the REMOVE FROM GROUP tab and repeat the above process of filtering and selecting devices.
After you’ve created a template and added devices to the group, you may want to send it to those devices rather than waiting for the scheduled time (if ‘Persistent’). Alternatively, if the template is not persistent, it will need to be sent manually to devices using this process.
Select the SEND NOW tab.
Then, click the SEND button to execute and confirm the send action.
You will be automatically taken to the ACTIVITY tab where the status of the send action will be displayed. On send completion, a summary of the send action results will be displayed.
In this example, one device was sent the template successfully and one failed after three attempts. The failure message will identify the device that failed and provide an explanation or possible reason for the failure.
The template send routine of DMA doesn’t currently check if an endpoint is currently in a call when sending, this will be added in a future update.
Interested in finding out more?
This blog is the first in our DMA series. The others in the series will cover:
For additional information, please visit the Resources section of our website.
If you’ve any other questions and would like to speak with us, please feel free to contact us.