Using a Polycom VSX-7000 Behind a Cisco PIX Firewall

Posted on 2007-11-29
Last Modified: 2011-01-14
I am trying to use a Polycom VSX-7000 Video conferencing system behind a PIX fiewall.  I have set all features in both the PIX and the VSX to recommended settings but I can't complete a connection.  I can tracert from the VSX to the remote site but a call will not complete - the Polycom just rings and the other site does not answer.
 We are using a PIX 506E, with vers. 6.3(5) software.  The Polycom is using ver. 8.5.3 and we are not using Gatekeeper.  
I listed the changes made to our PIX as recommended by Polycom.  When discussing the problem with Polycom they believe it's a PIX problem.  I can't seem to find what we need to change to make this work.  Has anyone setup a PIX to handle a Polycom Video Conferencing system?

PIX Changes --
  Opened outbound ports - TCP 1720
                                           TCP 3230 - 3235
                                           TCP 3603
                                           TCP 389
                                           UDP 3230 - 3253
  Opened inside interface (all IP) to video device.
  Entered a static NAT to translate inside/outside addresses.
  Tried with both fixup h323 h225 1720 and with no fixup h323 h225 1720 - same results.
The Polycom has an inside LAN adddress and has NAT turned off in the software settings.  We assume this is correct since the PIX is handling the NAT.                                      
Question by:uescjp
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Expert Comment

ID: 20378843
Have you tried taking the PIX out of the equation and making a connection when the traffic is not going through the PIX?  This would mean giving the Polycom unit a public IP address for a certain amount of time while you test.

I think I would verify that the Polycom connection without the traffic going through the firewall.  Might save a lot of time troubleshooting the issue.

Author Comment

ID: 20381234
Yes.  We have done that and the Polycom works fine if we do not try to go through the PIX.

Accepted Solution

foobar_666uk earned 250 total points
ID: 20571492
Can you post your Pix Config so I can help?

If you have "fixup h323" commands on, this will interfere with your port forwarding as it will try and do clever packet inspection. So use "no fixup h323"

There is a great guide to VC (Polycom) through a Cisco PIX 501 firewall here on my companies website:

If you are still have problems, please let me know!
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Expert Comment

ID: 20797539
Have my comments helped at all? I have setup the Polycom VSX behind PIX Firewall many many times, so I am sure I can help...

Expert Comment

ID: 21863561
Do you have an inspection class defined? Try removing any 'inspect' statements related to H323.

policy-map global_policy
  class inspection_default
   no inspect h323 h225
   no inspect h323 ras

I think this achieves the same as using the "no fixup" command.

Assisted Solution

tlcsupport earned 250 total points
ID: 21986810
Also make sure your Polycom suites are configured to use fixed ports. (Admin / ip / firewall I think) If they are, they will use ports 3230 - 3253. If they aren't, they will use random ports (1024-65535) and probably won't make it through your firewall.

You can rule out firewall ACLs by either opening up all IP (for testing only, of course) or by using a laptop and wireshark to inspect the traffic (I'd only recommend the latter if you've done this before and know what you're doing).

Worth noting - If you use the inspect h323 command, you only need open ports 1720 and 1731 as the PIX automatically opens and closes ports required for the audio and video RTP data by sniffing (inspecting) the control traffic. However, I've found that the inspect H323 command caused a lot of problems with Polycom 7000e suites.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31411787
Sorry our firewall was upgraded to an ASA making this question unneeded.  Mostly our fault for not replying, but thanks for the help and effort.

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