Why is firmware needed ?

Answered Question
Jun 1st, 2010

Hi experts.

SCCP based Ip phones request services from their SCCP server (like CME router). What do i need firmware for ? i mean i have read cases where like 7960 is being upgraded so why is that ? what a firmware natively provides to ip phone ?

Can someone explain or direct me to what are firmwares for ? pls dont direct to upgrade procedures, i am just confused as to what are ip phones firmware ?

One more question pls, if i reset the ip phone, will it delete the firmware also ? i have heard of a default firmware, so is that default firmware always present even in the presence of newer firmware ?

Please explain them to me.

Also does any book explains the above concepts ? i think they are critical for voice newbies like me :-)

I have this problem too.
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Correct Answer by Jonathan Schulenberg about 6 years 6 months ago

There are two different resets: normal and factory. A normal restart (power removal, Reset button in CUCM, etc) just reboots the phone and does not remove the firmware stored on its local flash. A factory reset on the other hand does. You cannot do a factory reset remotely and there are model-specific procedures for doing it. If you perform a factory reset the phone has no firmware at all, only the bootloader necessary to find the TFTP server and download firmware again. The firmware it downloads from CUCM will be the default firmware unless you have specified a different version on the device configuration page.

Default Firmware is a CUCM term, not a phone term.

Correct Answer by Brandon Buffin about 6 years 6 months ago

Firmware is a widely used term in reference to many different types of electronic devices (printers, graphics cards, phones, etc.) and normally refers to a small piece of software that provides the most basic functions for a device.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmware

Cisco phone firmware provides several functions:

1. Tells the phone what protocol to use (SCCP, SIP)

2. Controls the boot process including DHCP, TFTP, etc.

3. Interacts with the configuration file downloaded from the call control server in order to provide a particular DN, specific ring tones, phone features, etc.

This is certainly a broad overview and does not cover all functions of the firmware. Hope this helps.

Brandon

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Correct Answer
Brandon Buffin Tue, 06/01/2010 - 13:24

Firmware is a widely used term in reference to many different types of electronic devices (printers, graphics cards, phones, etc.) and normally refers to a small piece of software that provides the most basic functions for a device.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmware

Cisco phone firmware provides several functions:

1. Tells the phone what protocol to use (SCCP, SIP)

2. Controls the boot process including DHCP, TFTP, etc.

3. Interacts with the configuration file downloaded from the call control server in order to provide a particular DN, specific ring tones, phone features, etc.

This is certainly a broad overview and does not cover all functions of the firmware. Hope this helps.

Brandon

Jonn cos Tue, 06/01/2010 - 21:58

Dear Brandon, thanks for the answer.

Can you also clear the concept of default firmware that comes with IP phone ?

1) Is the default firmware stays if i upgrade the firmware to support newer features ?

2) If i upgrade the firmware, what the phone restarts (not reset), will the firmware still gets deleted or remains ?

3) What is usually done if default firmware get corrupted ? does in that case normal reset works or we need to contact cisco for that ?

Jonathan Schulenberg Wed, 06/02/2010 - 03:36
Can you also clear the concept of default firmware that comes with IP 
phone ?

Two answers here:

  1. The firmware that ships with the phone just happens to be what Cisco manufacturing had on their TFTP server when they tested the phone.
  2. The default firmware level defined in CUCM is what all phones on that CUCM cluster will run unless overridden at an individual device basis. Any phone added to the cluster which is running a different version will automaticall upgrade/downgrade to the default level.
1) Is the default firmware stays if i upgrade the firmware to support 
newer features ?

If you upgrade the firmware on your CUCM cluster, all phones will upgrade. When you run the COP file on the publisher, the installdb script will also update the default version shown in CUCM Administration.

2) If i upgrade the firmware, what the phone restarts (not reset), will 
the firmware still gets deleted or remains ?

I believe it will not upgrade if a restart is performed. Firmware level checks are performed using the TFTP files at boot. The restart does not reprocess these TFTP files; only the registration with CUCM.

3) What is usually done if default firmware get corrupted ? does in that
 case normal reset works or we need to contact cisco for that ?

I have never seen this happen; however, the easiest route would be to reinstall the COP file for the current default firmware level and then restart the TFTP service. Doing so will refresh the files on the disk and in memory.

Jonn cos Wed, 06/02/2010 - 03:46

Dear Jonathan, thanks alot for the feedback. I am confused in just 2 points pls spare some time to help me out


If you upgrade the firmware on your CUCM cluster, all phones will upgrade. When you run the COP file on the publisher, the installdb script will also update the default version shown in CUCM Administration.

What i meant to ask, that does the default firmware stays ? Actually i have read on this forum that, when we RESET the phone, the config files are deleted and so is the firmware, so now phone boots up with the default firmware and look for DHCP/TFTP server. What does that means ? i mean if the upgrade deletes the previous firmware, from where this default firmware comes ?

I know i am being stupid, i just need a little clearance pls, thanks for your patience with me. Looking forward for help

Correct Answer
Jonathan Schulenberg Wed, 06/02/2010 - 03:51

There are two different resets: normal and factory. A normal restart (power removal, Reset button in CUCM, etc) just reboots the phone and does not remove the firmware stored on its local flash. A factory reset on the other hand does. You cannot do a factory reset remotely and there are model-specific procedures for doing it. If you perform a factory reset the phone has no firmware at all, only the bootloader necessary to find the TFTP server and download firmware again. The firmware it downloads from CUCM will be the default firmware unless you have specified a different version on the device configuration page.

Default Firmware is a CUCM term, not a phone term.

Jonn cos Wed, 06/02/2010 - 04:37

Dear Jonathan, Thanks alot buddy. I really owe you experts.

Thanks alot again. Looking forward from more feedbacks like this in future also.

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