[Solution] Speed / Duplex auto-negotiation fails between Cisco and Tandberg

In the last weeks I was working closely with a Cisco Telepresence team to identify a issue regarding poor performance of the video systems. We did find pretty quickly the issue as being the failure of auto-negotiation of Speed and Duplex on the connection between Cisco switch port and Tandberg endpoint devices.

This was the easy part. We though it will be fixed in minutes, but after a few days we did recognized that there is something we do not understand. We did change the settings everywhere to have auto-negotiation on, but we still had problems. For example with Cisco and Tandberg ports set on auto-negotiation on both sides, I’ve seen the most uncommon results:
– Cisco 1000Mbps – Tandberg 1000Mbps = negotiation 1000Mbps / Full
– Cisco 1000Mbps – Tandberg 100Mbps = negotiation 1000Mbps / Full on Cisco + 100Mbps / Full on Tandberg
– Cisco 100Mbps – Tandberg 100Mbps = negotiation 100Mbps / Half on Cisco + 100Mbps / Full on Tandberg

These are just a few of the strange results that we got. Myself as part of the network team I turn my attention to search bugs in IOS, configuration issues, faulty hardware. The Telepresence team was doing their job to search on their systems. Nothing was working.

We turn our attention to TAC engineers. They did try to simulate in a lab environment our problems, but failed. Their system were not having this kind of issue. Internet, search engines and boards could not help as well. I was about to think that we are somewhere in the Bermuda triangle and we are the only one with this kind of problem.

Then the solution came from a Cisco engineer when we least expect it. I quote from his e-mail in which he gave us some suggestion to try:

Are you aware that Tandberg endpoints running newer versions of software 
need to be rebooted before changes to speed settings take effect? 
This can sometimes cause confusion.

We stopped for a second and ask “Did we reload any Tandberg device during troubleshooting sessions?” The answer was “No”. After reload all devices, one by one, everything was working expect a few devices.

We discovered that these Tandberg devices didn’t want to auto-negotiate because of lack of a Cat6 cabling. It seems that all 8 wires need to be there and connected. So, if you have a cable that is patched to transport data and telephony for example to spare some wires, then you may be in trouble.

Why did I add this thing here? For sure it will bring some ironic smile on some faces, but I like to learn from my mistakes or from not paying close attention to some small line in the documentation. OK, if I made you laugh it’s fine, but the reason of this article is different. When I did search Internet for possible solution, I could not find anywhere a line with “reload the damn Tandberg device after you modify Speed / Duplex” settings.

Cisco HealthPresence

For sure, many of you heard about Cisco TelePresence, but how many of us know about another new project from Cisco, called HealthPresence?  The most basic description is that what TelePresence does for business environment,  HealthPresence does it for the medical industry.

From the HealtPresence product FactSheet: “Cisco HealthPresence creates a live, “face-to-face visit” experience over the network for clinicians and patients, even though they might be hundreds of miles apart. The visit is enhanced by the availability of physical and diagnostic information (such as vital signs) generated from a variety of medical devices integrated with Cisco HealthPresence. Cisco HealthPresence is based on market-ready, advanced networking technologies. Using the network as a platform, Cisco HealthPresence combines state-of-the-art video, audio, and medical information to create an experience similar to an in-person visit to a doctor or health specialist.
Cisco HealthPresence can be located in a variety of places, including office buildings, shopping malls, community centers, hotels, or schools, thus offering convenient and timely access to healthcare services.”

Below you can see how Cisco’s CTO Padmasree Warrior and Sean Curtis, Technical Marketing, demonstrate new innovative healthpresence solutions that Cisco is developing that build on existing Cisco products and technologies:

[flashvideo filename=https://ipnet.xyz/vid/cisco/healthpresence_warrior_072809_350.flv width=400 height=329 image=https://ipnet.xyz/vid/cisco/healthpresence_warrior_072809_350.jpg /]

If you are wondering when this project will become a realistic alternative to the “trip” to hospital then find out that a trial is already in place in a real medical environment.  The Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Cisco collaborate on the first HealthPresence pilot based at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland. Upon a successful outcome of this program, further trials may be planned in Scotland and around the world:

[flashvideo filename=https://ipnet.xyz/vid/cisco/telehealth_070909_350.flv width=400 height=329 image=https://ipnet.xyz/vid/cisco/telehealth_070909_350.jpg /]

Is this the future of medical investigation and research? I guess for now we can only wait to see if this solution can really overtake the classic travel to doctor.

Source: Cisco.com