Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cisco MeetingPlace backup to Windows servers using rsync

The Cisco MeetingPlace Application or ExpressMedia server DOES have a backup utility built into the administration pages but unlike other Cisco UC applications, it is not the familiar DRS interface and it does not support SFTP like every other UC server you like.

Cisco MeetingPlace from approximately version 8 on only supports rsync as a protocol to move backup information to an external server.  If you aren't Linux / Unix savvy, implementing an rsync server may not be trivial.

The best synopsis of how to do it I can find is here:

For posterity and safety sake, I'll summarize here as well, but please support

Assuming you are running a Windows machine of some type, you can get an combined installer for cwRsync Server 3.0.1 and CopSSH from this link:

In the event that link breaks, here's another option:

The cwRsync Server is the piece that will provide the rsync server itself, and CopSSH sets up an SSH server to provide security over your rsync transfers.

The following is straight from the website as it relates to implementing rsync on a Windows machine:

 Installing CopSSH and cwRsync
  1. Run the CopSSH/cwRsync installer.
  2. Continue through the install wizard, installing the package to any location you choose.
  3. During the installation you will be presented with the following popup. We suggest leaving the SvcCWRSYNC account name as is.
  4. Later in the installation you will be presented with the below popup. At any time after the install you can access "Activate a user" from your start menu to give SSH access to that user. You must activate at least one user before you will be able to register an Rsync client. Click "OK" to continue your installation. 
    • Doing so will cause a lock down on the account due to CopSSH's security settings. We recommend activating a newly created account.    

Activating a user

If you are planning to use SSH, then before you register a client with your Rsync server, you must activate a user with CopSSH. In the start menu, under All Programs > CopSSH, select "Activate a user". You will be presented with the screen below. Select a user and hit next. You will be prompted to enter a passphrase which can be any text string.

Doing so will cause a lock down on the account due to CopSSH's security settings. We recommend activating a newly created account.

Your user's home directory will be located at (for example) C:\Program Files\ICW\home\justin. The location of this directory can be changed by editing the file C:\Program Files\ICW\etc\passwd.
  • Note: If you need to uninstall the CWRsync server at all, please be aware the two Windows service users ‘SvcCOPSSH' and ‘SvcCWRSYNC' are not removed. So if you then re-install the cwrsync server package the Windows users cannot be recreated and then passwords to do not match. This ultimately means the COPSSH and Rsync services will not start on the server. The fix is to uninstall and remove the users manually then re-install to add the users again with known passwords.
The only thing I might add is that if you are already using the target server as a backup target for other UC applications, be aware that CopSSH will use port 22 to listen for SSH traffic.  You are likely running OpenSSH, FreeFTPd, or the like already to accommodate your normal SFTP backups from CUCM, CUC, UCCX, etc.  If so, when the MeetingPlace archive application attempts to authenticate to your backup server, you will likely run into failures due to it authenticating to your previously installed SFTP server, rather than the SSH / rysnc server.

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