during the last few days, I had the job to implement the virtual edition of OfficeMaster Gate (short: “OMG”) by Ferrari electronic AG and I’m going to write about my impressions in a mini series of blog posts.
- Part One: Overview and installation process
Facts about the OfficeMaster Gate VE
The OfficeMaster Gate is a Session Border Controller, which is qualified for Lync Server 2013 and can be deployed on Microsoft Hyper-V and vSphere/ESX(i) from VMware. Like virtual SBCs by other vendors, this device is made for pure IP environments – there are no physical interfaces like ISDN- or FXO/FXS-ports. So possible deployment scenarios include connecting the Lync Server to an existing IP-PBX or to an ISP SIP trunk provider.
The virtual hardware requirements for a typical deployment are the following:
- 2x CPU
- 2048 MB RAM
- 7 GB HDD storage
- at least on NIC
The operation system of the OMG is based on CentOS, so if you use VMware choose “Red Hat Enterprise Linux (32-bit)” as the guest operation system. On Hyper-V choose a Generation 1 VM with a legacy network adapter and assign a static MAC Address.
Note: For my test deployment 1x CPU and 1024 RAM were sufficient. With less than 1 GB RAM, I noticed that the performance is noticeable slower.
Detailed information about the OfficeMaster Gate in general can be found in the administration guide. And a short quick start guide for the virtual edition can also be found in the download area of the home page.
Install the virtual OfficeMaster Gate
After this brief description, the next steps will describe a test deployment with Microsoft Hyper-V in my Lync Server lab. I created a virtual machine based on the settings described earlier.
After a few minutes the installation was done and the system powered off automatically. I unmounted the installation media and powered the virtual machine on.
At this point, the system should boot into the OMG menu, but in my case this did not happen. Instead the startup was stuck on the boot process at the point “Determining IP information for eth0…”. After 15 minutes, I decided to restart the system, but it got stuck on the same point.
In a network trace of this lab environment I saw some DHCP requests. I didn’t have a DHCP server or any DHCP client in this lab, so I guessed those requests came from the virtual SBC. I’m not very familiar with CentOS, but I belived that some kind of interface configuration files must exist. Therefore, I looked in the CentOS wiki to find the appropriate files and directories.
Well, after another 20 minutes I decided to restart the SBC again, but in the OMG boot menu I chose the option “Single user mode”.
From the opened console I switched to the directory of interface configuration files (
cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/) and edited the file
ifcfg-eth0 according to the wiki article of CentOS to not use DHCP at startup.
I saved the changes und reloaded the system. The system booted without any problems and I was shown the OfficeMaster Gate menu.
From here I defined a temporary IP address to manage the system from the common OfficeMaster Gate Configuration Tool, like the hardware-based OfficeMaster Gates. You can get it from the download area of the offical home page from Ferrari electronic.
Note: Interestingly, I didn’t have this problem during customer deployment or in my other test deployment based on Windows Server 2016 TP4, although no DHCP server existed there either.
Connect to the OfficeMaster Gate
I opened the Configuration tool and clicked the “Search…” button. The default password for the login is “omc”.
Note: If the SBC is on a different subnet than the tool, choose the button “Connect…” and type in the desired IP address.
This configuration tool is the main tool for administrative tasks – with this you can configure the SBC, check the systems status and make self-tests, update the firmware, set IPv4/v6 addresses, change password, load license files and so on.
In the next part I will describe some basic configuration steps to get the OfficeMaster Gate to an operational state.
On my days off I like to cook healthy and tasty dishes. On beautiful days I want to do running and biking. If there are cold and stormy days I take a book from my favorite author Stephen King and read until the sun is back 🙂
Opinions displayed on this blog and my social media pages are my own and do not express the views and opinions of T-Systems Multimedia Solutions.
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