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Frequent Contributor

Can we restore a DRS Backup of CUCM 11.5 on a new CUCM 12.5.1?

Can we restore a DRS Backup of CUCM 11.5 on a new CUCM 12.5.1 and vice versa from  CUCM 12.5.1 to CUCM 11.5 ?


Yes that’s correct. There are two partitions on each node in your cluster. On the active side the currently running version, including the database, resides and on the inactive side the version that was in the active partition before the switch version resides, with its database. If you switch between these two you’re loading the data and version for each one of them into the active partition, aka what was the inactive partition becomes the active.

When you initiate an upgrade, from let’s say 11.5 to 12.5, the upgrade process will create a copy of the database from the active side on the inactive and there after do the upgrade of the version on the inactive side. Once the upgrade is completed and your happy with the result you can select to switch version to activate the new version.

Worth noting is that any changes made on the system after the upgrade was initiated will be lost at the time of switch version as the database is copied to the inactive side as the very first step of the upgrade process.

As part of the upgrade process you could also do a clone, not snapshot, of the VMs to have that as a fail safe if something goes horribly wrong with the upgrade.

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Frequent Contributor

@Roger Kallberg  Concise explanation. Unfortunately I dont have a PCD for upgrade.  The switch version feature though OS or CLI is the good choice since it offers a rollback using also the switch version feature to switch to the old version and old database if there are an upgrade issues. Do you agree?

PCD is free of charge, you just need to spin up a VM.

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Yes that would be correct. You can switch back to the old version and the old database.

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Frequent Contributor

@Roger Kallberg  does the clone affect the licensing?

No. It's an offline copy of your VM.

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Ammar Saood

Hi Meddane,


In Cisco UC terms, migration means when you are changing hardware. Upgrade means upgrading/updating the SW on the same hardware. Migration usually requires re-host licenses. 

AFAIK, for migrations & upgrades from 11.5 to 12.5, you have 5 options.

  1. Cisco PCD Tool
  2. Fresh install with Data import V2V
  3. DRS Backup & Restore
  4. Offline/VM migration
  5. Vmware Vmotion

Let me clarify one by one, so you can pick your tools wisely.

  • Cisco PCD Tool -Can do migrates, upgrades, and new installs

If you use PCD Tool, It can perform both. migration and upgrades. very useful if you are changing SW versions, changing network settings, etc. you can also create and schedule a task and it will do all by itself. I always use this tool prior to actual migration window to see if I will encounter any bug during actual migration. Additionally, Source & Destinations cannot be same versions.


  • Fresh install with Data Import (V2V) -Can do both migrate & upgrade
    • Only if your target version is 12.x or 14.x from a specific source releases.

it exports data from source release to an SFTP server and imports on the destination cluster 12.5 or 14. 

Source Release = 10.5, 11.5, 12.5.

Target release = 12.x, 14.x

CLI is used to complete installation with data import.


  • DRS Backup & Restore (can do migrate only)
    • Can restore or migrate to the exact same release.

It mandatory requires exact same version, same network settings, hostname, NTP, & same passwords.


  • Offline/Cold VM migration (can do migrate only)

You power off the old VM. Copy all its data to the new hardware, and power it on. It usually requires re-hosting license. This is suitable if you are changing VMware versions 5.5 to 6.7/7.x etc., or hardware,  without having to fresh-install and then restoring the node from a DRS backup.


  • Vmware Vmotion (can do migrate only)

This may work on some UC applications with caveats. It is extremely useful if you have Cisco UCS chassis with blade servers connected with shared storage pool; vSphere Distributed Storage or SAN and you have vCenter. However, live vMotion migration is not supported.


The best tool to use for CUCM and IMP is Cisco PCD, but it cannot migrate UCCX and Cisco unity connection.


Hope it helps.

Please rate Helpful or click "accept as solution" if this answered your Question.


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Very useful post. However I do think that the part about live vmotion not being supported is AFAIK not entirely correct. It’s listed as supported with caveat.

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Frequent Contributor

@Ammar Saood  thanks for the precious details. Unfortunately there is no PCD. I noticed you didnt mention the switch version feature which performs the upgrade in the same hardware.

So basically it’s an upgrade. Make sure you read below document before the upgrade.


upgrade and migrations guide 

release notes 

readme guide.


And make sure    your swss contract cover all installed licenses. So that you can convert all existing licenses to version 12.x.
if you don’t have a smart account create one, from versions 12 it’s smart license


Make sure you run PreUpgradeCheck COP: It verifies that the system is in a good state to start the upgrade.

And after the upgrade PostUpgradeCheck COP: It verifies that the system is in a good state after the upgrade.


PCD is free  tool, and iso image of PCD can be downloaded from MCE portal.




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Which Cisco Prime Collaboration Deployment version is recommended to upgrade 11.5 to 12.5?

PCD should be on 12.5. Read install upgrade guides and PCD Admin guide.



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Or PDC 14. We're on CRS 12.5 and use PCD 14 for that when we do use it, which is not all that often these days with the improvements in cluster upgrades in especially CM, but also CUC.

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Fresh install with data export is possible with 12.5Su5/14+. It’s not available on rest of 12.5 versions. 

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Roger Kallberg
VIP Advisor

Simple answer, no you can not.

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