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Earlier this year we noticed a series of errors occurring with the Polycom RealPresence Trio. Customers who used the Trio devices reported multiple failures. Through a series of tests, fixes, and working with Polycom Support, we determined the cause of the problem. And a workable solution.
Since then, Polycom has created a fix and updated their Trio software. Which is great! I’ll put a link to the update at the end of this post. I’m still documenting the solution we devised though, in case you need it at some point. (It also helps to illustrate where the error came from.)
Okay. So what happened with the Trios?
THE ERRORS – Failures during calls, random sign-outs, etc.
Customers reported that the Trio Hubs “kept failing” and “needed restarting every day.” We found the following list of errors occurring:
- Outbound calls wouldn’t work
- Meet Now function would not activate
- Pairing between Trio Hub and Visual+ dropped
- Trio Hub reports “Disk Full” error
- Communication between Trio devices disrupted
- Random sign-outs on the Trio Hub Skype for Business account
In all cases, the Trio required a restart to function normally. However, the errors would occur again, anywhere from 1 day to 1 week later.
THE ISSUE – Provisioning?
The Trio device was looking for a provisioning server.
A provisioning server can perform many roles in a network. Activating servers when needed, allocating storage dynamically, etc. (Techopedia Definitions Page for “Provisioning.”)
Provisioning a Polycom device is a rare occurrence. It’s meant only for configuration (e.g., changing the default hotkeys on a VVX phone). Most devices we only provision once–at the outset, before they’re installed at the customer site.
But, in the case of the Polycom RealPresence Trio, something else is happening. The Trio Hub is looking for a provisioning server, off of which it can copy device settings. The problem is, it’s not finding one. And instead of terminating the search process, it repeats the search in an endless loop.
This is NOT what the Trio should do. But it was.
The process goes like this:
- Trio sends out a signal to the network, looking for a provisioning server.
- No provisioning server responds (because none exists).
- Trio logs the lack of response as a failure event (filling up the Trio’s available space).
- Trio sends out a new signal. Repeat process over, and over.
- The device chokes on its own logs. Memory leaks occur. Device crashes.
This issue hurts all Trio users. But it’s especially problematic for users on Office 365/Skype for Business Online. With nothing installed on-premise, they’re limited by their setup. The bandwidth used up will cause anything from network hiccups to computer crashes.
Polycom does have a VOIP Provisioning Server for some of its IP phones, like the VVX line. It’s publicly accessible; you can view its information here: Welcome to the Polycom VOIP Phone Provisioning Server
But the Trio doesn’t need to call a provisioning server (especially not over and over!). Its firmware is demanding the search without any need for it. We don’t know at which firmware version introduced the search issue, but we do know that Polycom Support is working on it.
THE SOLUTION – Give the Trio something to find
The Trio wants to find a provisioning server. It keeps logging the failure to find one, clogging itself up and crashing. What should we do to solve this?
Use Polycom’s Recovery Mode to install fresh firmware on the Trio Hub (and Visual+)? No. This does refresh the device, but the problem reappeared 1 week later.
How about setting up a provisioning server for it to find?
Sure enough, this approach worked. We set up FTP servers at the customers’ sites, and copied the RealPresence Trio configuration files into them. Simple, and extremely-low-resource.
Monitoring the server logs confirmed that this worked! Now the process goes like this:
- Trio sends out a signal, looking for a provisioning server on its network.
- FTP server responds.
- Trio locates the configuration file on the FTP server.
- Trio communicates with the FTP server. It downloads the configuration file, and uploads its own settings files to the FTP.
- Process completes. No repeated search, no memory leaks.
Going forward, we’ll set up FTP servers as part of the customer environment every time we install a RealPresence Trio. It stops the “chatter” and prevents the above errors.
Trio Software Now Contains the Fix. (But the FTP Solution Works Now, If Your Trios Are Failing.)
Polycom updated their RealPresence Trio Software (Rev AE) to fix the provisioning issue. You can get it here:
RealPresence Trio Software – Polycom
The Release Notes contain more details on the fixes: http://downloads.polycom.com/voice/rp_trio/rp_trio_relnotes_v5_4_3_ae.pdf
We’ve installed and tested the software update. It does resolve the provisioning server issue.
We’ve opted to leave the provisioning servers in place at customer sites though. Even though we’re deploying the hotfix. That way we can verify the fix works by monitoring FTP traffic, and test removal of the FTP servers with the fix in place.
Have you experienced similar errors with the RealPresence Trio? If so, you have two choices. Use the Polycom software fix, or try setting up an FTP server with the Trio’s configuration files.
Either way, please comment or email your experience with the Trio. I’d like to know which solution works best, and what others are doing with the RealPresence Trio.
Thanks to everyone for your votes in the last poll. They’re all counted…as you’ll see, coming up!