Ways Contact Center Makes Me Cry – chapter 1

One of the fun yet often excruciating parts of working in voice is the opportunity to troubleshooting a wide variety of devices and applications.  For me personally, Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCCX) proves to be one of the more challenging pieces of the software I encounter. This is probably because I started out in voice completely unfamiliar with the product- and also because the application developers may or may not have been smoking crack.  Alas, I jest with that last part- UCCX (formally IPCC) does what it does well. When something goes wrong, however, that box is like a wounded wild animal – there’s a very good chance it will bite your hand off when you try to help it.

Let me relay just one of many anecdotes I have accumulated that illustrate my point.

Executing a simple assignment: to change out the memory in an elderly IPCC server so that it will be ready for its upcoming upgrade to new, snazzy Linux-based UCCX goodness.  For those not aware, starting with version 8 of UCCX, the operating system changes from Windows Server to a Red Hat version of Linux. And there was much rejoicing.

Back to the story though- I gracefully take down the secondary server and pull out 2 sticks of 1 gig memory and put in 2 sticks of 2 gig memory. We’re not talking rocket science here, just your basic hardware swap, expected to be so simple and quick I’ve left the car engine running.

When I power on the what-should-be-happier server, however, I am woefully disappointed when all is not right in Whoville.  I’m greeted with this message of awesomeness:

c:\program files\wfavvid\ClusterData\profile.ini cannot be found and you won’t be making out of here on time tonight, if ever.

That last part doesn’t come standard with this error, but it should.

The effect of a profile.ini file gone missing – the server loses all willingness to be social.  It refuses to join in the UCCX game the other server is playing and instead pouts in the corner.  At this point I’m left with no other options but to figure out what it going to take to reconcile this sullen server with its former BFF.

Browsing to the aforementioned folder, I find that this server has overstated it’s case just a bit in that the file is most certainly there.  But it’s blank. Just a bunch of whitespace with no clues whatsoever as to what dark magical incantations used to abide there. Since 5 minutes ago I didn’t know this now vacant profile.ini file existed and my maintenance window was closing fast, I determined it was time to call up my buddies at TAC and let them enlighten me on this peculiar set of circumstances.

Sure enough, the engineer knew exactly what to do.  If at the time I had been a little more familiar with IPCC on a Windows platform, I likely would have guessed the solution as well since it oozes simplicity. Just copy the contents from the same named file located in the same named directory on the primary server into the now blank file on the secondary server.  Yep, that’s it! Just reboot, and voilà!  Two joyfully reunited IPCC servers strolling hand in hand down the boardwalk. Wonder if I qualify for a Nobel Peace Prize or something…

As a bonus for listening to this tale of woe, here’s what the profile.ini file generally looks like: (ip addresses have been changed to protect the innocent)

#Tue Oct 18 18:05:25 CDT 2011

Note: In case you were wondering, this particular server was MCS-7825-H3-CCX1-DL380, the version of IPCC was 7 with the latest SUs.

3 thoughts on “Ways Contact Center Makes Me Cry – chapter 1

  1. Ain’t that the truth! “c:\program files\wfavvid\ClusterData\profile.ini cannot be found and you won’t be making out of here on time tonight, if ever.”

  2. Any idea why the file would be empty now just because of a memory upgrade? Would downgrading the memory back to 2x 1Gb sticks repopulate the file and hence resolve the issue?

    1. I couldn’t get a straight answer from TAC on this one, but the engineer seemed like it wasn’t entirely uncommon. I don’t think it would have depopulated the file if I had put back on the old memory sticks, but we didn’t have time to test that theory.

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