Campus is going to 11.5 CUCM release version and planning an in place upgrade. What's needed to school campus prepping for in place upgrade? Any phone administration feature changes on 7970 phones? Anything that operations side need to be on the look out?
The last CUCM release you can have on MCS servers, is 9.x, 10.x+ is only supported as a virtual appliance. You cannot do an in place upgrade from 7.x to 11.5
What you're doing, is a migration.
You'll need to get a server which meets the virtualization requirements to do the migration.
The best option, IMO, would be to use PCD (read the ESXi licensing requirements), other option would be to upgrade to 8.6, then DRS into your VM, then keep upgrading, OR, use the jump upgrade method to go to 9.1(2), then keep upgrading.