Cisco Support Community
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Welcome to Cisco Support Community. We would love to have your feedback.

For an introduction to the new site, click here. If you'd prefer to explore, try our test area to get started. And see here for current known issues.

New Member

Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

Has anyone got a ballpark time it would take to upgrade Unity from version 4 to 5.

I have a customer who needs to know the exact time it would take.

They have Unity 4 with failover (ie 2 servers) running on win2000 with off box message store on exchange 2000. They want to ungrade/migrate to unity 5 on win2003 and off box exchange 2007.

Anyone done something like this and how long did it take?

Thanks, Keith

New Member

Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

Difficult to estimate the time frame cuz you might run into problems during the upgrade but if everything goes well at first shot, you are talking about atleast 6-7 hours for the entire ugprade to complete.


Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

Also are the Unity servers new hardware? If you have Unity 4 on old servers and you have new servers,, total of 4 servers. you can build up the Unity 5 on the new servers.

I am not positive but I think for Unity 5 you will need new servers.

We did this and then slowly moved mailboxes from E2k3 to E2k7. All the subscribers were on the new Unity though and the old Unity was decomissioned.

Many people hear have done the same thing.

Like it has been said here before many times, there are just to many variables to estimate the time. How do you plan to do it? How many subscribers? Are you moving mailboxes. How many, and what size?

Really there are many ways to do this too.


New Member

Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

thanks ran,

The intention is to take the failover server and upgrade it to unity 5 then migrate the 300 or so users, so it's not a large deployment. Once thats done the primary unity 4 will be upgraded to 5. The hardware is still good for 5. The mailboxes will be moved at a later date when the customer upgrades there exchange server(s) to 2k7.


Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

So like said before if there are no issues then 6+ hours.

One thing you for sure need to do is run CUSPA cause the requirements are different.

Also you for sure need to update the schema. you can do this before the upgrade cause it is backwards compatable. I do not remember if the schema master that you run it on needs to be rebooted or not.

Just look at the installation guide you are using.


Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

Careful! I would say longer than 6 hours. Think about it your approach.

If you are doing DIRT you will be doing the following:

Installing the new servers as 4.x and windows 2003. That's 6 hours by itself. (getting it all tested and working and settled in)

Turn off the old servers or decommission them. (assuming these are new servers, but does it really matter? still doing the above process on (2) servers.

Now, you have to do an inplace upgrade from 4.x to 5.x on the new windows 2003 sever. Prep time would be 2+ hours. (download software, licenses, etc)

The inplace upgrade does not take that long, maybe 2 hours per server, maybe more. Including all patching, etc.

Sounds like you have VM only setup also. After you get the Unity 5.x upgraded, you will need to upgrade the Exchange server, which is a complete re-install also. But also, Unity VM Only and Exchange 2007 is NOT supported. You will need to use Exchange 2003 in this case. (which makes it easier)

If the customer is UM based and they are supporting the "message store" it's up to them to upgrade to Exchange 2007 and then for you to re-run permissions wizard and Mailstore wizard to find the new 2007 server.

The other way I have done this, if they have new hardware (3 new boxes) and they are 4.05+ is to use Cobras:

- install new Unity 5.x, Exchange 2003 and Failover server. Get it all working and tested.

But check with the Cobras tool if you can use it your scenario. Some things do not migrate and you will have to recreate things like Subscriber Templates, etc.

If it works, simple Cobras back up everything, including mailboxs. Cobras will dump it all back into the new AD domain you created for the VM only. (accounts and mailboxes)

When it's UM bases, the mailboxes and accounts have to be created first. Unity can not create accounts and Mailboxes when using Exchange 2007, only can import from AD.

Any more info on your setup, maybe estimate time better.

I would say 20 hours (on and off including prep work) If the customer is looking for actual down time, it depends on if you have new boxes, or reusing the old boxes.

If you are planning a "rolling upgrade" you will be doing it twice. One "roll" to upgrade the primary to Windows 2003 and the same Unity version. Then roll back to the primary, upgrade secondary.

Now for Unity 5.x inplace upgrade, roll back to failover, upgrade Primary, then secondary.

Sounds simple, but there are many steps and a number of things that could go haywire.

New Member

Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

Thanks for the info, i will probably do a trial run or 2 inhouse on some test servers. I'll end up having to do several customers in the next year so may as will get it right. Just have to wait till i get the software down for the customer. At least i can give our consultants some feed back so he can provide a quote + some contingency time.

Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

no two upgrades are the same. I do advise to practice the process before hitting the customer site. And know AD! I find a lot of engineers who do these upgrades have trouble because they are not familiar with how Active Directory works.

Give me a VNC access and I will do it for you... haha...

Good luck!


Re: Time taken to upgrade from Unity 4 to Unity 5

I said 6+ for the upgrade not prep work. hehehe.