Preface

When I had to deploy Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS), I couldn’t find any simple straightforward guides to walk me through the installation. My only option was to read through the 70 page Cisco deployment guide (which isn’t fun), so I hope this blog helps you keep the deployment guide on the bookshelf.

Note: I’ve structured this guide for those who have not deployed Cisco TMS beforehand, so if you are an experienced installer YMMV.

Overview

Before deploying Cisco TMS on Windows Server 2016, make sure you have a virtual environment with the necessary software and hardware in order to deploy Windows Server 2016 with the correct specs for your deployment size. This blog will only describe how to configure the Network Settings for Windows Server and deploy TMS; we won’t cover how to deploy a Windows Server 2016.

If you need to set up Windows Server, follow this guide before proceeding with the TMS deployment and make sure your server meets the hardware requirements for TMS below.

Prerequisites

For this configuration and deployment of Cisco TMS on Windows Server 2016, you will need the following required software listed below. If you do not have any of the following required software, you can find each item at the bottom of the page under Helpful Links.

Before proceeding with the deployment of Cisco TMS, you must first have a Windows Server 2016 configured and deployed with the correct hardware virtualization specifications to your deployment size. You can find the specifications below under TMS Virtualization Required SpecificationsThis guide covers the Business Edition 6000 with TMS and SQL (we will not be installing the additional add-ons TMSPE and TMSXE).

  • You will not be able to download all of the required software for Cisco TMS until you have configured the network settings for internet connectivity on your Windows Server 2016

Servers Needed:

  • Windows Server with a configured DC (Domain Controller) and DNS configured.
  • Windows Server 2016

Required Software:

  • Cisco TMS 15.7 installation files.
  • SQL Express installation files.
  • Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 17 installation files
  • NET Framework 4.7 (Web-Installer) installation files

TMS Virtualization Required Specifications

Below are the virtualization requirements for each deployment size of TMS. Business Edition 6000 is the smallest deployment size and the focus of this guide. For a Regular Deployment or Large Deployment, follow the VM Configuration Requirements below. Also, make sure your configuration is greater than or equal to the required specifications. The configuration details are critical for proper functionality.

Business Edition 6000 Deployment

This is the smallest deployment size of Cisco TMS. With this deployment size you will only need one Windows Server, which means any additional extensions (TMSXE, TMSPE, and/or SQL) must be co-resident.

Regular Deployment

This deployment is the same as the Business Edition 6000, besides the VM Configuration Requirements and some supported hardware. It also requires additional vCPU and vRAM.

Large Deployment

For the largest deployment, both the hosting environment and the VM Configuration Requirements will be different. For the Large Deployment you will need the following items listed below:

  • 3 Windows Servers configured specifically to the VM Configuration Requirements.
  • TMS and TMSPE installed and co-resident on the same server.
  • TMSXE installed and on a stand-alone server.
  • Microsoft SQL installed and on a stand-alone server.

Adding DNS entries

What is DNS and why is it important? To briefly explain, DNS is a comprehensive translation system used to search the internet. DNS is the term used to describe a system that assigns domain names to unique IP addresses. It translates unfathomable amounts of data into words and phrases in order to provide clear and accurate search results.

DNS is where this deployment begins.  Head over to Domain Controller and look under DNS Manager to add the Forward Lookup Zone and Reverse Lookup Zone. Once we complete this process our Windows Server will then have communication across the network. You can then resolve your server from an FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name), as in “Win2016.tms.com” instead of an IP address. This process is critical for your server to function properly across the network.

  1. Go to “Server Manager” on your Domain Controller Server. This is where you can manage and add features.

  1. Click on “DNS” as shown below.

  1. Now, right-click on the server listed as shown and click “DNS Manager.”

  1. Click on “DC” > “Forward Lookup Zones” > choose your Domain (mine is “cloverhoundlabs.com”).

  1. At the top of the window click “Action” > “New Host” (A or AAA) > type in your “Host Name” > type in your “IP address.”

Once you’ve successfully added the entry you should see the following dialog box.

  1. Add the “Reverse Lookup Zone” > click “Reverse Lookup Zones” > choose the subnet “ex: 54.16.172” > Action > Pointer (PTR).

You won’t see a new dialog box after you’ve configured the new resource record, so no news is good news.

Configuring Network Settings

  • Next, you will set up RD (Remote Desktop) on our Windows Server 2016. I recommend configuring Remote Desktop so you can configure what is needed for TMS much faster than using a console connection via vSphere. We will also configure Network Settings for the server which is required in order for internet access and Remote Desktop to function properly.
  1. Once you have logged into your Windows Server 2016 via vSphere console connection and everything loads successfully, right click on the bottom right corner and select “Open Network & Sharing Center” > “Change Adapter Settings.” This will take us into each of our network cards available on the server.

  1. Right click “Ethernet adapter” > click “Properties” > scroll down > click “Internet Protocol Version 4” > “Properties.” Once you are in “Properties,” we can change our current network settings to what is needed. This must be done in order to have full network connectivity and internet-access which is required for this deployment.

  1. Once we are in the “Ethernet Adapter Properties,” choose “Use the following IP address” and “Use the following DNS server address” > Configure your settings > Click “OK.” As you can see, I have entered a static network configuration for my server. This may vary depending on how your network is set up and which IP addresses you have available.
    • If you’re wondering, to Manually add DNS server’s: Click “Advanced” > “DNS” > “Add” > Type in the DNS server. I would also recommend you add 8.8.8.8 as a DNS entry as well. Which is the Google Public DNS.

Verify Internet Connectivity

  • Once you have clicked “OK,” right click on the “Ethernet Adapter” > “Status”. We should now be able to verify our IPv4 connectivity status.

Configuring (RD) Remote Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop uses a protocol called (RDP) Remote Desktop Protocol which provides remote display and input capabilities over network connections for Windows-based applications running on a server.

  1. Now that you have configured the Network Settings turn each firewall off. Head over to “Server Manager” and choose “Local Server” on the left side of the window. Then click “Windows Firewall.

  1. Click “Turn Windows Firewall on or off.”

  1.  You should now see the Customize Settings window. Select “Turn off Windows Firewall” for “Private” and “Public” network settings. Click “OK” (do not do this on an Enterprise network).

  1. You should now be back on the Server Manager window under “Local Server.” Once you are there click “Remote Desktop” as shown on the right-hand side.

  1. Choose “Allow remote connections to this computer” > “OK.”

  1. Make sure you have the “Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication” box unchecked. This will help for the purpose of connectivity issues through Remote Desktop.

  1. Once you have completed the Remote Desktop Configuration you should verify that Remote Desktop functions correctly. Click the Windows logo at the bottom left of the screen and type RDP in the search tab. Select “Remote Desktop Connection.

  1. Type in the server “IP address” or “FQDN,” whichever you prefer.

 

  1. Type in the server local login credentials, unless you have created a new user for Remote Desktop you would like to use. 

  1. You have now successfully logged into the Windows Server 2016 through Remote Desktop Connection!

Installing and Configuring SQL (Structured Query Language) Server 2017 Express on Windows 2016 Server

SQL is a database computer language designed for the retrieval and management of data in a relational database. SQL is a ANSI (American National Standards Institute) language used to operate databases, which includes database creation, deletion, fetching rows, modifying rows and much more. TMS will use SQL to store all of its data in a SQL Database which TMS will then retrieve its data from via an SQL Query.

  1. Right click on the “SQLServer2017-SSEI-Expr” setup file and “Run as administrator.”

  1. Once the installation file has opened, choose the “Custom” installation.

  1. Here you will choose our “Directory” where the files will download. In this example I have left the location default. With this option the files will store in our “Local Disk (C:)” folder.

  1. Now we will wait for the files to download in the “Directory” we have selected.

  1. Once the files have successfully downloaded close the program. Head over to “Local Disk (C:)” and click “SQLServer2017Media” > Right click “SETUP” > “Run as administrator.

  1. You should now see the SQL Server Installation Center window. Click on “New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.

  1. I accept the license terms” > “Next.

  1. You can select “Use Microsoft Update to check for updates (recommended)” if you’d like. Select “Next.

  1. For the features make sure to have “LocalDB” selected. Click “Next.

  1. Choose “Named instance” and make sure you have “SQLExpress” or a name you prefer in that field. Click “Next.

  1. Select “Next.

  1. For the Authentication Mode select “Mixed Mode (SQL Server authentication and Windows authentication)” > Enter a “Password” you will use for the Server system administrator account. Click “Next.”

  1. Accept” > “Next.

  1. Now wait for the installation to complete. This does take time so please be patient.

  1. Once everything has successfully installed, we should now see the following window “Complete”. Verify each feature succeeded and close the program.

Success! Now that we have successfully installed the SQL Server Express, let’s move on to Server Management Studio.

Installing Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio will give us the ability to manage SQL Server Express and all of the current databases. Once installed we will have access to configure, manage, and administer all components within the Microsoft SQL Server, including but not limited to SQL database(s), Logins, Server Roles, Credentials, Backup Devices, Linked Servers, Providers, Triggers, and Replication.

  1. Locate the “SSMS-Setup” file. Right click on the file and click “Run as administrator.

  1. We should now see the installation window. Click “Install” and let everything complete. This may take a while.

  1. Once the setup has completed click “Close.

  1. Now we will go to the “Windows” icon at the bottom left of the screen and locate the “Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.” Right click on the program > “More” > “Open file location.

  1. Once at the file location “Right click” on the program and “Create shortcut”.

  1. Now on the Desktop locate the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio shortcut. Right click > “Run as administrator”.

  1. Once the program has opened you should see a Login window with the options shown below. Leave everything as is and click “Connect.

  1. You should now see the following window with everything stored in our SQL Server. In this window you can customize various features.

Sweet! Let’s move on to installing TMS.

Installing Cisco TMS 15.7

In brief, Cisco TelePresence Mangement Suite provides complete control and management of TelePresence conferencing and media services infrastructure and endpoints. With Cisco TMS, you are able to schedule conferences quickly and easily supporting effective collaboration while at the same time providing scalable, multivendor support across the telepresence network.

Let’s get started. Now that we have installed all of the required items for TMS it’s time to proceed with the installation of TMS. Make sure you have the “.Net Framework 4.7 Web-Installer” downloaded. Once downloaded, follow the steps below so we can deploy Cisco TMS.

  1. To start off our Cisco TMS installation we will need to install “.Net Framework 4.7”. This process is very straight forward. Open the .Net Framework 4.7 file and “Run as administrator” click “Next” and wait for the install to complete.

  1. After you have completed the .Net Framework 4.7 installation head over to the “TMS 15.7” setup file. Right click on the file and “Run as administrator”.

  1. Once the TMS installation window has opened, click “Next.

  1. Click “Yes.

 

  1. For the Database Settings choose “Use local SQL Server.” Now under the “Username” and “Password” for these credentials you will use the SQL Server username “sa” and the password you set. The reason we need SQL is, so Cisco TMS has a location to store data.

 

  1. For the Release and Option Keys click “Next.” If you have a release key you would like to enter, you can do so in order to activate the full version of TMS.

 

  1. Under the Network Settings make sure the “TMS server IPv4 Address” is the same as your Windows 2016 Server IP address. You can also enter Email settings as well to your preference.

  1. For the IP/ISDN Zone make sure you have the following options set to your preference.

 

  1. Leave the “TMS Destination Folder” as the default location.

  1. Now under the Encryption Key window, click “Generate” and then copy the key to a notepad for future purposes.

  1. Next copy the TMS Settings over to a notepad and click “Next.

  1. Wait for the installation process.

  1. Now for “HTTPS for the Cisco TMS website” click “Create” and “OK” as shown below.

  1. Click “Finish.

Congratulations! Now that you have finally completed installing and configuring everything, let’s access the TMS Server you deployed.

Accessing the GUI of the Cisco TelePresence Management Suite Server

Once TMS has successfully installed and all services are up we can now access the TMS Portal. Follow each step below in order to access the TMS GUI Portal.

  1. Open your Web-browser and in the URL bar type in the IP address of your server 172.16.54.204 with “/tms”. This will access the TMS GUI Portal.

 

  1. Once the webpage has loaded you should be prompted to enter your Local username and password for the Windows 2016 Server in order to log into “TMS”.

  1. If you have configured and installed everything correctly, you should now be able to login. This is the Cisco TMS portal.

In the Cisco TMS GUI Portal you can schedule meetings for telepresence endpoints, manage phonebooks, add systems to your TMS server as in VCS, CUCM and MCU’s. You can also monitor video endpoints, reporting and much more.

 

That is all for now! If you have any questions or comments regarding anything pertaining to this guide feel free to submit them below.

Helpful Links