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Question about CUCM & CME licensing

Level 1
Level 1

Hello All

I know this may seem a strange question but I am struggling to find an answer to it and am hoping this is the correct place to post the question and get an answer.

Our organisation currently has a CUCM cluster. When new phones are needed the organisation buys the phones and the required number of licenses for the phones.

Each of the 3 remote sites has a 2851 running in SRST mode if it looses contact with the CUCM servers.

I know all the theory about CUCM etc but I am new to administering it on a live network. There are a couple of questions which have been asked lately that I am unclear of.

1. There are some plans to add 4 more remote sites to the system, the question has been asked if more phone licenses need to be bought. I have advised that licenses are bought with the phones (depending on the phone model). The phones are new not spares so they need the licenses.

2. If some of the original sites decided to break away from the current set-up and use their 2851 in CME mode will they need to buy more licenses for their phones. I was unclear of the position on this but I did not think it possible to transfer CUCM licenses to CME.

I am sorry if this is rather a basic question but although I have spent a bit of time looking through Cisco documentation on licensing I am still unclear on the answers to these questions.

I would appreciate any help on this


6 Replies 6

Level 4
Level 4


Right - CUCM licenses are not transferrable to CME.  They use a different licensing scheme.  A more common use case we get asked about is the reverse when centralizing and moving from CME to CUCM.  In this case, we allow customers to take advantage of a program called '3&3' to migrate licenses.  You can read more about that here -



Couple of points -

1. I'd like to distinguish between "seat" licenses and "phone" licenses. One applies to the router/IOS hardware, the other applies to the phone hardware. 

2. You mentioned that you have SRST at the branches. The good news is that SRST and CME "seat" licenses are interchangeable - feel free to flip the mode in IOS and you are good to go.

3. Phone licenses travel with the phone. If you were using the phone with CUCM, and you have already paid for the phone license, then nothing more needs to be done when you convert the site to CME.



Just to validate Pt 3, I think we do need to use 3x3 to move from CME to CUCM right? I know we discussed this in another post. The reason being CUCM and CME licensing used to be 200 and at that point one could convert free of charge but since UCL was introduced CUCM was changed to 210(enhanced users) and CCME remains 200 so to overcome the delta, I have been asked to use 3x3. Has that changed again?




You are right, and it has not changed. In #3, I was just focusing on CCM -> CME migration.

For CME -> CCM, 3x3 is required. We have updated this info the CME 9.0 ordering guide as well - taking a bit longer this time to get posted.


Thanks a lot for the update.



Thanks very much for the information

You have clarified just what I needed to know, although I had found quite a bit of info on this, not having dealt with licensing I was a bit unsure that I was giving the correct answers to the questions I was being asked.

You help is much appreciated


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