In UCM 10.5 when you install a new firmware for SIP 8800 phone the it populates the active version. I want to stage the firmware so I flip the firmware to the inactive version. When and how does the inactive firmware get pushed to the inactive load on the phones that are deployed?
By default, when you install a new firmware version for a device, the UCM database will make the new load the active load for the phone. After that update, the endpoint will receive notification that a new load is available for download. For dual banked phones (like the 88xx phones), the new load will be loaded into the inactive bank. Once the new firmware has been downloaded, the phone will restart and set the new firmware as the active firmware. The download to the inactive partition prior to starting is to prevent the phone from being out of service while the firmware is downloaded.
If you want to stage the new firmware in the inactive partition, but not have the new firmware become active, you just need to swap the active/inactive setting. So after installing the new firmware, go to the Device Defaults page and in the Dual Bank phone section (bottom of the page) hit the 'Swap Loads' icon and the Active/Inactive will switch. Save the change. Now the phones will then keep the new firmware in the inactive partition until you 'swap' them around. When you are ready to switch the inactive firmware to active, just hit the 'Swap Loads' button and save it. After saving you will need to use the 'apply config' to the phones that you want to activate, which will trigger the phone to pick it's config file with the new firmware load.