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Unity Connection 8.5

I am in the process of upgrading Unity Connection Version 7.1.3ES26.32900-26 to 8.5. If someone has performed this upgraded please tell me what new bells and whistles are offered with Unity Connect 8.5? Are there any gotcha’s when upgrading to this version that I should worry about? I was asked to justify the upgrade by upper management.

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David Hailey
Advisor

So, here are what I would say are the big add on's with upgrading to 8.x and specifically 8.5.  The first is scalability enhancments.  The capacity of Unity Connection increases to 20,000 users per cluster and 250 ports per server (up from 10k and 144 in 7.x).  The second is the addition of Single Inbox or Unified Messaging capabilities for Unity Connection 8.5.  So, with 7.x you could do voicemail only and/or Integrated Messaging.  With 8.5, you can enable Unified Messaging with any mix of Exchange 2003, 2007, and/or 2010 and you can enable voicemail only, Integrated Messaging, or Unified messaging features on a user by user basis...so this is very flexible.  The architecture for UM with Unity Connection is much different than that of Unity so it is de-coupled in terms of dependencies on backend systems such as Active Directory and Exchange.  The last is support for virtualization (i.e., UC on UCS).  Of course, there are other enhancements but these are the big 3.

What I have seen on 8.5 thus far with clients is several bugs which affect failover and are relatively interrelated.  Otherwise, you'd just have to do a bug scrub to identify any other common issues.

If you are looking to justify the upgrade, my advice would be to stay on 7.1 for a while longer UNLESS you specifically need one of the enhancements noted above.  8.5 was officially released in December but didn't really come onto market (i.e., shipping arrivals) until February and is currently at SU1 (i.e., 8.5.1 ES16) and some of the failover bugs are being fixed in a currently unreleased ES20.  8.6 has also been released for BETA trial customers.  So, it is advantageous (IMO) to let Cisco incorporate some bug fixes and mature this code and then consider upgrading possibly this summer or later this year...unless you are pressed to fill one of the gaps as I stated before.  I still think that 7.1(3b)SU2 is the most reliable (i.e., predictively stable) release of Unity Connection at this time.

Hailey

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Here is the most honest answer one can give you.  If you are faced with having to upgrade to a version of 8.0 vs. 8.5 then I'd go with 8.5 hands-down.  I do not recommend the 8.0 release.

D. Hailey

Please rate helpful posts!

View solution in original post

4 REPLIES 4
David Hailey
Advisor

So, here are what I would say are the big add on's with upgrading to 8.x and specifically 8.5.  The first is scalability enhancments.  The capacity of Unity Connection increases to 20,000 users per cluster and 250 ports per server (up from 10k and 144 in 7.x).  The second is the addition of Single Inbox or Unified Messaging capabilities for Unity Connection 8.5.  So, with 7.x you could do voicemail only and/or Integrated Messaging.  With 8.5, you can enable Unified Messaging with any mix of Exchange 2003, 2007, and/or 2010 and you can enable voicemail only, Integrated Messaging, or Unified messaging features on a user by user basis...so this is very flexible.  The architecture for UM with Unity Connection is much different than that of Unity so it is de-coupled in terms of dependencies on backend systems such as Active Directory and Exchange.  The last is support for virtualization (i.e., UC on UCS).  Of course, there are other enhancements but these are the big 3.

What I have seen on 8.5 thus far with clients is several bugs which affect failover and are relatively interrelated.  Otherwise, you'd just have to do a bug scrub to identify any other common issues.

If you are looking to justify the upgrade, my advice would be to stay on 7.1 for a while longer UNLESS you specifically need one of the enhancements noted above.  8.5 was officially released in December but didn't really come onto market (i.e., shipping arrivals) until February and is currently at SU1 (i.e., 8.5.1 ES16) and some of the failover bugs are being fixed in a currently unreleased ES20.  8.6 has also been released for BETA trial customers.  So, it is advantageous (IMO) to let Cisco incorporate some bug fixes and mature this code and then consider upgrading possibly this summer or later this year...unless you are pressed to fill one of the gaps as I stated before.  I still think that 7.1(3b)SU2 is the most reliable (i.e., predictively stable) release of Unity Connection at this time.

Hailey

Please rate helpful posts!

The version of Unity that I am running has a known Bug (see below). After working with Cisco TAC support I was told the only work around was to upgrade to Unity Connection 8.0(0.251) or later. I read the release notes for Unity Connect 8 and 8.5 and found that 8.5 had more goodies. So I figured that upgrading from my current version to 8.5 would be the best solution. Can you recommend a version in between 8.0(0.251) and 8.5 that would be stable and have most of the features?

CSCti74953 UC Dir Handler "Voice Enabled" prevents If caller presses 0 Symptom: If Caller presses Zero operation is not performed

Conditions: UC 7.13 ES 26. When a Directory Handler "Voice Enabled" check box selected, If "0" is pressed the Directory Handler does not perform the "If Caller Presses Zero" selection ;"User with Mailbox" > "Go Directly to Greetings".


Here is the most honest answer one can give you.  If you are faced with having to upgrade to a version of 8.0 vs. 8.5 then I'd go with 8.5 hands-down.  I do not recommend the 8.0 release.

D. Hailey

Please rate helpful posts!

Thank you for the help.

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