Upgrading Polycom Soundpoint IP 550 Phones

I have recently been trying to tie my Polycom SoundPoint IP 550 phones to a FortiVoice-VM (FVM) Voice over IP (VoIP) system. This is an attempt to upgrade from our TalkSwitch PSTN to VoIP gateway system. Our goal is to move everything we can into our virtual environment. Currently, our phone system is the last system to migrate into our virtual environment. However, it is just not as easy as expected.

Our first problem was the provisioning of the phone. When we plugged the phone into the FVM, we overwrote the configuration. The FVM version of Polycom is apparently broken, and we had to reset to the one from the TalkSwitch. This caused us quite a delay, until we found out how to set up a boot server for Polycom phones from Tech Geeks. This solution makes use of a Windows system and FileZilla to act as an FTP server for the Polycom phones. The key is to create a user the phones can access within FileZilla and point that user to a directory containing the configuration files downloaded from the TalkSwitch.

I went one step further and downloaded the latest BootROM and SIP application files from Polycom to do an upgrade as well as a configuration file reset. For a TalkSwitch and FVM, you need the SIP-specific form of the firmware and not the UC-specific versions.

Then, you need to configure your phones’ network to use a different provisioning server. Now, this is different than the call server. I set this and the syslog server so I can track what it is trying to do. How to do this:

  • Press the Setup softkey on boot of your phone and enter the admin passkey (456 is the default). If you have issues with the key, such as incorrect, you can hold 4 6 8 * during the boot countdown to reset the phone. However, if this login is disabled, you have to call Polycom.
  • Go to the Server … menu item and set the Server Type to FTP, the Server Address to the IP address of the Windows machine running FileZilla, the Server User to the one you set up, and the password as appropriate. Use the Back softkey once you have everything entered.
  • Go to the Syslog … menu item and set the Server Address to your syslog server and the Render Level to 0. Use the Back softkey once you have everything entered.
  • Save the configuration and reboot your phone.

Once you do this, your FileZilla server should be accessed and the new BootROM will be downloaded. Once it is downloaded, move it out of the directory it is in, so that when the phone reboots it does not pick it up again. Next, it will download the SIP application. After that has happened, move the SIP application to a new location.

Lastly, the phone will download the old configuration from the TalkSwitch and overwrite most of the settings you just made. Personally, I go back and make them again so that I have a provisioning server I can control outside of the phone system for now.

My phones are now reset, and I can use them with the TalkSwitch once more while I try to continue to get FVM to work. My current problem with FVM is that I cannot get the phone to authenticate properly. The usernames are correct, as are the passwords. I am just not sure what is up, and FortiVoice support is just not helpful.

I would eventually like my VoIP server to be virtualized in some fashion. Login is the first hurdle; without sending the phone logs to a log analyzer, such as Log Insight, I would not even know it was a login problem.

Edward Haletky

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an author, analyst, developer, technologist, and business owner. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and TVP Strategy where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization.

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