CUCM/UC/UCCX Upgrades to 8.6/8.5

Unanswered Question
Mar 29th, 2012

Hi Folks,

We're planning an upgrade of our current systems and wanted another set of eyes to review our options.

We have a 3 server cluster for CUCM 6.1.2 with a single Unity Connection 7.1.3bSU2 server for voicemail and a single UCCX 7.0.1SR5 box for our contact centre. The plan is to move to the latest and greatest on UCS C210M2 hardware. Redundancy for UC and CCX will come after the upgrades to 8.x....the licensing has already been purchased for v8.x....

We've reviewed the compatibility guides so know not all our CUCM MCS servers support the 8.6 upgrade without bridging them.  We're a healthcare facility so CUCM uptime is of most importance - we can deal with UC and CCX downtimes in the wee hours of the morning so long as phones are functional.

Option 1: 

Upgrade all the 72Gb drives on the CUCM MCS servers to 146Gb drives - server at a time. Upgrade CUCM from 6.1.2 -> 6.1.3 -> 7.1.3 -> 8.5 then migrate them to UCS and upgrade to 8.6 on UCS.

Upgrade and migrate CCX from 7.0.1SR5 on MCS hardware to 8.5 on UCS hardware when we move to CUCM 8.5.

Upgrade the 72Gb drives on the UC MCS server to 146Gb drives.  Upgrade UC from 7.1.3 -> 8.6 then migrate to UCS.

Option 2:

Remove 1 of the CUCM servers from the cluster, upgrade and use that as a swing server to get to UCS.  Build up the swing server on a separate network, restoring from backup and migrating to UCS. Then we'll have our live CUCM MCS cluster and the new CUCM UCS cluster side by side. 

Upgrade the 72Gb drives on the UC MCS server to 146Gb drives.  Upgrade UC from 7.1.3 -> 8.6 then migrate to UCS. Add the new CUCM UCS cluster as a phone system with it's own vm ports. 

At CUCM cutover time we'll change the TFTP entries in DHCP for the phones to point to the new cluster.  At the same time we'd bulk edit all the UC subscribers and call handlers to point them at the new UCS phone system.

Upgrade and migrate CCX from 7.0.1SR5 on MCS hardware to 8.5 on UCS hardware when we move to CUCM 8.5.

Question regarding Option 2. Has anyone pointed existing voice mail subscribers and call handlers at a new phone system and retained full functionality including all their old voicemail?  Given that all DNs remain the same.  Am I missing something here?

Are there any other options I'm missing or do you have any suggestions on the best approach?

Hope that all makes sense.  Thanks for your time! 


I have this problem too.
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rob.huffman Thu, 03/29/2012 - 12:04

Hi Jay,

Sorry, this is not a complete overview of your plans but rather a couple of comments

Due to the extra downtime required when upgrading CUCM and CUC to 8.6 because of the

"Refresh" upgrade process I do prefer - Option # 2

For CUC have you thought of using Cobras as it can export between versions (ie: 7.1 to 8.6)

Here is the link;

Refresh Upgrade process for CUCM & CUC 8.6



PS: when moving users/mailboxes between phone system integrations

all messages are kept intact. We do this all the time.

Jason Ewing Fri, 03/30/2012 - 05:54

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the reply!  I wasn't aware of Cobras....looks to be just the tool we need. I'l have to bookmark the CiscoUnityTools site.

I'm preferring option 2 as well.  I'll have to try this out in a lab to see how everything works...I may be back with more questions....

Thanks for your help Rob! Nice to have another set of eyes. (+5) 



rob.huffman Fri, 03/30/2012 - 06:23

Hi Jay,

You are most welcome my friend

The tools available via the Unity Tools suite are invaluable

to be sure! You will find that you can't manager CUC properly without

them. A few that we use all the time are Audiotext Manager, Remote Port

staus monitor, Bulk user delete and CUDD. Jeff and the team @ the BU

have done a fantastic with these and I've always felt they were the best available

for any Cisco product line.

Best of luck with your migration/upgrade and please keep us informed of your progress.




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Posted March 29, 2012 at 8:37 AM
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