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Mitel 3300 weekly reboot... Is it necessary?

 
 
Williamson, Adam
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      02-19-2004
After lurking for a while I haven't seen this topic come up before...

During the sales cycle I was lead to believe that the ICP 3300 is a 24/7
telecom solution. After installation I come to find out that the system
(according to Mitel) absolutely requires a full system restart at least once
a week. We do business world wide so there is no good time to do this
reboot. I'm told that if we don't reboot they (Mitel and our integrator)
will not support any issues until a reboot is done first.

- Is this behavior something that others have experienced or heard of?
- Have any of you come up with creative methods of minimizing the need for
frequent reboots?
- Does anyone know of changes being made by Mitel to alleviate this
requirement completely?

Can you recomend any other news groups where I might cross post this to
gather any more (valuable) opinions?


 
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DPGumby
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      02-20-2004
I think it gets better each new load. Weekly, I don't know about that. Had a
3300 ( 3.2 software ) run 2 months no reboot, but then one day was acting
weird and of course a reboot fixed it. Software now 4.1 and has some other
options for scheduling reboots. Of course with a 24X7 operation there is no
good time for a reboot.

Reminds me of Microsoft, NT needed restarts, W2K less so, Server 2003?


 
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jneiberger@gmail.com
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      01-21-2005
DPGumby wrote:
> I think it gets better each new load. Weekly, I don't know about

that. Had a
> 3300 ( 3.2 software ) run 2 months no reboot, but then one day was

acting
> weird and of course a reboot fixed it. Software now 4.1 and has some

other
> options for scheduling reboots. Of course with a 24X7 operation there

is no
> good time for a reboot.
>
> Reminds me of Microsoft, NT needed restarts, W2K less so, Server

2003?

Bump.

My company is in discussions with several companies regarding their
VoIP solutions, including Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, and Mitel. Our first
face-to-face meeting with Mitel is tomorrow morning and I was doing
some last-minute reading when I ran across this tidbit of info.

Do these boxes still need to be rebooted often? If so, how often? And a
better question...why?? If they're truly enterprise-class boxes then
they shouldn't need to be rebooted all the time, IMO.

Thanks,
John

 
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Mitel Lurker
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      01-21-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>
"(E-Mail Removed)" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:


>My company is in discussions with several companies regarding their
>VoIP solutions, including Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, and Mitel. Our first
>face-to-face meeting with Mitel is tomorrow morning and I was doing
>some last-minute reading when I ran across this tidbit of info.


>Do these boxes still need to be rebooted often? If so, how often? And a
>better question...why?? If they're truly enterprise-class boxes then
>they shouldn't need to be rebooted all the time, IMO.


Posted & mailed

The Mitel reboots only as needed (programmable, after hours) but will only
do so when memory fragmentation reaches a specified threshold. You can
address this either by scheduling a regular programmed reboot, i.e.,
weekly at a time of your choosing or else let the machine do it only when
it needs to, but again at a (programmable) time of day that is least
disruptive to your business needs. The machine is quite intelligent in
this regard. Ordinarily this is not a problem, but I could see where it
might be if you had some type of critical 24/7 operation.

Mitel's latest software for the 3300, release 5.2.4.4 is far more stable
than and bears little resemblance to release 4.x.x loads of just last
year. My employer, a major Fortune-100 energy company, presently has 3 of
the 3300s in service with plans to add 3 more this year. We also have 5 of
the smaller capacity new Mitel SX200-ICPs (also VOIP) in a few of our
field offices. We're sold on Mitel VOIP (and we tried Cisco).


 
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Guest
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      01-21-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>
"(E-Mail Removed)" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:


>My company is in discussions with several companies regarding their
>VoIP solutions, including Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, and Mitel. Our first
>face-to-face meeting with Mitel is tomorrow morning and I was doing
>some last-minute reading when I ran across this tidbit of info.


>Do these boxes still need to be rebooted often? If so, how often? And a
>better question...why?? If they're truly enterprise-class boxes then
>they shouldn't need to be rebooted all the time, IMO.


Posted & mailed

The Mitel reboots only as needed (programmable, after hours) but will only
do so when memory fragmentation reaches a specified threshold. You can
address this either by scheduling a regular programmed reboot, i.e.,
weekly at a time of your choosing or else let the machine do it only when
it needs to, but again at a (programmable) time of day that is least
disruptive to your business needs. The machine is quite intelligent in
this regard. Ordinarily this is not a problem, but I could see where it
might be if you had some type of critical 24/7 operation.

Mitel's latest software for the 3300, release 5.2.4.4 is far more stable
than and bears little resemblance to release 4.x.x loads of just last
year. My employer, a major Fortune-100 energy company, presently has 3 of
the 3300s in service with plans to add 3 more this year. We also have 5 of
the smaller capacity new Mitel SX200-ICPs (also VOIP) in a few of our
field offices. We're sold on Mitel VOIP (and we tried Cisco).


 
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jneiberger@
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      01-22-2005
I guess I still don't understand *why* it needs to reboot at all. I
guess it wouldn't hurt to set the 3300s to reboot at midnight or so,
but what do we do with our 24x7 call center? Tell them that once a day
their phones will die for a few minutes while the PBX reboots?

How long does a reboot take on one of those boxes?

On a related note, I'd love to hear about your experience with Cisco
VoIP and find out why you selected Mitel over them. We're looking at
Nortel, Avaya, Cisco, and Mitel. I'm leaning toward either Mitel or
Cisco at this point but I haven't even seen what Avaya has to offer
yet. Pretty much everyone I talk to warns me to avoid Avaya, though, so
I'm a bit biased against them from the beginning.

Many thanks,
John

 
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Mitel Lurker
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      01-22-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>
"jneiberger@<google'smailservice>" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>I guess I still don't understand *why* it needs to reboot at all.


Memory fragmentation. Unlike what you've been used to with your legacy TDM
system, these new VOIP boxes do not have redundant processors or redundant
file systems. Your legacy stuff routinely reboots, just that you don't
ever realize it because the call processing activity switches processors
while the outgoing system reboots. However, redundancy like that is "old
school" not to mention terribly expensive - a reboot isn't needed when all
you really need to do is defrag the memory. Unfortunately the down side is
that call processing is momentarily interrupted, but the cost is a
fraction of what it'd be to duplicate the old way of doing it.

>I guess it wouldn't hurt to set the 3300s to reboot at midnight or so,
>but what do we do with our 24x7 call center? Tell them that once a day
>their phones will die for a few minutes while the PBX reboots?


First of all it won't be once a day and likely not even once a week if you
let the 3300 manage this for you. It's also not a complete reboot, just a
flushing of memory to recover from fragmentation. There is an interruption
to call processing, but it's fairly brief.

>How long does a reboot take on one of those boxes?


I honestly cannot say, since I've never been awake when it happens

>On a related note, I'd love to hear about your experience with Cisco
>VoIP and find out why you selected Mitel over them. We're looking at
>Nortel, Avaya, Cisco, and Mitel. I'm leaning toward either Mitel or
>Cisco at this point but I haven't even seen what Avaya has to offer
>yet. Pretty much everyone I talk to warns me to avoid Avaya, though, so
>I'm a bit biased against them from the beginning.


Avaya: Too expensive, period. Please note the period.

Cisco: Also expensive and doesn't do circular hunting. That means in a
call center situation you'll have only a few agents taking most of the
calls and others sitting there idle most of the day except during traffic
peaks. By contrast, Mitel's ACD-2000 feature package is state-of-the-art.
For anything up to a max of 350 seats there's nothing better.

Cisco also has only 1 class of service for your sets. Whatever priviledges
and features you give to one user are globally assigned to everyone.

Cisco's Call Manager is Microsoft Windows PC-based, running on
*Cisco-PROPRIETARY* loads of the O/S and proprietary versions of SQL &
Exchange Server. Need voice mail? Yup, that's another server. Need E911?
You guessed it, another server. Do you really want your phone system
running on a PC? Do you really want to be routinely applying critical
patches to your phone system as often as you already are to your
application servers and desktops? Gauwwwwwd-almighty!

The Cisco Call Manager also cannot do "common ringer", such as you might
need in a shop or yard area where you had a claxon horn or a set of Dan
Mac bells or a "Stinger" configured to ring with multiple incoming lines.

A Cisco phone system required doing a complete forklift upgrade, replacing
literally everything. With the Mitel we initially replaced nothing and
after a full year have still replaced very little. Mitel had the best
(most intelligent) migration strategy for us.

A Cisco solution also meant only a 90-day warranty followed by having to
pay for a Smartnet contract on everything. Pffffft! In the final
analysis, the Cisco quote was only the tip of the iceberg.


 
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jneiberger@
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      01-22-2005
Those are very helpful comments!

We have two small call centers (65 and 30 seats, respectively, give or
take a few). I think we'll have to discuss those a little more with
Cisco to make sure that they can even fit into our environment. I don't
want a solution that forces us to fit to it; while some adjustment is
certainly reasonable, I want a solution that already fits *us*.

You mentioned that you initially replaced nothing. Did you leave your
existing PBXs in place and use the Mitel boxes as gateways? What PBXs
were you using? We're currently a Nortel shop so we have an Option 81c
and gobs of Option 11c PBxs. We're thinking of starting out by
connecting those PBXs to the Mitel using QSIG. I've heard that Nortel's
QSIG implementation sucks but we're running Succession 3.0 and 4.0 and
I think it has a more complete implementation.
Any thoughts on that idea?

Thanks!
John

 
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Mitel Lurker
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      01-23-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>
"jneiberger@<google'smailservice>" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>Those are very helpful comments!


>We have two small call centers (65 and 30 seats, respectively, give or
>take a few). I think we'll have to discuss those a little more with
>Cisco to make sure that they can even fit into our environment. I don't
>want a solution that forces us to fit to it; while some adjustment is
>certainly reasonable, I want a solution that already fits *us*.


>You mentioned that you initially replaced nothing. Did you leave your
>existing PBXs in place and use the Mitel boxes as gateways? What PBXs
>were you using? We're currently a Nortel shop so we have an Option 81c
>and gobs of Option 11c PBxs. We're thinking of starting out by
>connecting those PBXs to the Mitel using QSIG. I've heard that Nortel's
>QSIG implementation sucks but we're running Succession 3.0 and 4.0 and
>I think it has a more complete implementation.
>Any thoughts on that idea?


We were already a Mitel shop to start with, using Mitel's SX2000 "Light"
platform and close to 3000 lines, so the 3300 was really the only thing
that ever made any real sense. Because our IT manager/director was sold on
and had his heart set on Cisco, we did put in one Call Manager w/Unity
voice mail under some kind of special demo deal. After some initial
startup problems Cisco came out with a new load that allowed us to do a
full QSIG setup to our existing Mitels and our existing Octel Overture 250
voice mail. That made it possible to see and test side by side and
determine unequivocally that Cisco was probably not what we were looking
for. By the way, Unity V/M is a kludge.

In case no one's told you, the 3300 is a hybrid voip + TDM box so it will
directly connect to existing Mitel legacy TDM peripheral cabinets and DSU
trunk nodes. That was nice because it made all the old line cards and
existing phones reusable. I shouldn't have to tell you how much that
saved. Also the administrative assistants complained that the Cisco sets
(7960) lacked essential features they needed for call coverage of their
people.

And no, a single 3300 doesn't have the capacity/horsepower (yet) to
support 3000 lines from a single controller. That limit today is 700
lines, but that was never our goal anyway. It's really great now when we
get blindsided by someone's last minute, total lack of any planning
(typical) request to set up a dozen temporary employees on a special
project in a big conference room. Now we put a Cisco 3524 switch in the
middle of the table and they can plug in phones to their heart's content
limited only by the number of ports on the switch. Mitel's 5220-IP sets
include their own built-in 2-port switch so users can plug their laptops
directly into the phones, thus requiring only a single cat-5 drop to each
workstation.

Mitel came in and did a site survey and network topology study before we
put in the 3300s and I'm glad they did. We made it clear from the start
that we wanted to be able to integrate both voice and data on one network.
Mitel told us what network pieces needed to be upgraded to accomplish that
and so far everything has worked out great. Mitel got it right.

Sometime in June (I think) Mitel is putting on a nice Forum (annual) for
their users. We go almost every year. Two years ago it was in Las
Vegas!!!!! This year it is being held in New Orleans. The Product Showcase
(usually on the 2nd and 3rd days) is well worth the trip by itself. Twist
your dealer's arm, see if they can get you an invite.


 
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Mitel Lurker
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      01-24-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>
"jneiberger@<google'smailservice>" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>I guess I still don't understand *why* it needs to reboot at all. I
>guess it wouldn't hurt to set the 3300s to reboot at midnight or so,
>but what do we do with our 24x7 call center? Tell them that once a day
>their phones will die for a few minutes while the PBX reboots?


>How long does a reboot take on one of those boxes?


John, give me a good email address for you and I will send you the Mitel
Tech Bulletin that explains how this works.

My address in the "from" header of this message is correct.

If your email client cannot correctly parse dotted decimal email addresses
then use wdg at hal (hyphen) pc dot org


 
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