Anyone out there answer why Cisco have jumped from CallManager 8.0 to 8.5?
I'm looking at finally upgrading my last 4 customers away from CCM 4.x. So far all the upgrades I have carried out I have pushed to CUCM 7.1(3) and then 7.1(5) using CUWL-LIC.
Should I look at pushing these customers to CUCM 8 or 8.5 anyone had exposure to these new versions?
If I were to use the User Connect Licensing model instead of CUWL under the top level part number CUCM-USR-LIC I order MIG-CUCM-USR will this give me right to migrate from CCM and Unity 4.x to CUCM 8 and Unity 8, I see there is no reference to Unity version under the top level.
Here's what I would tell you. 8.0 like most dot zero (.0) releases has had more than it's fair share of problems and bugs. The first several releases were almost immediately deffered. All you need to do is read the release notes to see the story there. The jump to 8.5 is cosmetic - in terms of naming convention. 8.5 is just the next versioning in the numbering scheme. So far, I believe 8.5 has shown promise but I don't think you should get into the business of upgrading your customers to the latest versions of any software just because it's out and you can get upgrade rights to it. I still upgrade all of my customers from 4.x to 7.1(3b)SU2 and that has been very stable...IMO, the best of all the 7.x code versions without question. Many that post here would agree. So, if I were you - I'd stay where you are until 8.5 has been public released and vetted by other customers first. In 6 mths or so, maybe you consider upgrading your customer for one reason or another but unless there is a feature you MUST have in a newer release then it's generally best practice to stay where you are until you can determine a reasonably stable version to migrate to.
As for Unity, the naming convention won't follow at all. The products are developed by 2 different BU's at Cisco. So, Unity is 8.0 but I don't foresee a Unity 8.5 coming out to match the CUCM/CUC naming conventions. Different platforms, different development.
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 Not sure why David's post above has been rated 3 stars only. That is unfair - my rating, 5 stars..
In addition to the good info from David above, also consider that CM fiercely competes with CME for what once was small systems, but now with 450 phones supported by CME,, it's not so small anymore.
Considering that CME is now at version 8.1 and have plenty of features lacking in CM, maybe CM marketing wanted a decided bump in numbering.
Expect next CME to be 9.0 and then go to double-digits increases
The numbering was chosen to allow a convergence of multiple applications under the UC 8.5 system release. UCM is just one of many applications in the system release, and feature differences between CUCM and CME certainly didn't play a factor. IOS 15.1(3)T is infact CME version 8.5. To mention a few, the system release includes version 8.5 of CME, CUBE, CUE, CUSP, SRST, SRSV, CUIS, CVP, UCCE, UCCX, CER, CUAE, CUCM, CUOM, UCxN....
Both Unity and UCxN are developed by the same BU within Cisco. Unity Connection is currently Cisco's leading messaging product, and it is benefitting from more development efforts in terms of features and functionality. Because there has not been significant enhancements added to Unity since the last 8.0 release, it didn't make sense to advance its release numbering in the UC 8.5 system release timeframe.
As mentioned the 7.X release is rock solid and where I would go if I were you; your customers will love the improved admin interface and new features. Just as I follow with IOS, I would never want to run the latest version of anything Cisco unless I explicitly absolutely had to or was directed to by TAC. HTH.