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DLU Migration to ELM 9.1 Confusion

Been trying to work with VAR to get some help and guidance for several months.  It seems they are confused as well.  So I will try to keep the post short as possible

Currently we are mixed system in our corp HQ - Mitel SX 2000 PBX and NuPoint Voicemail.  Have been slowing trying to migrate off to Cisco Unified Communications for past 5 years -- we started at CUCM v6.x

Current Cisco installation:

CUCM 8.6.2-20000-2 pub/sub on MCS 7825H3 / MCS 7825I4

CUPS 8.6.4-10000-28 pub/sub in VMware ESXi 5.1.

Just installed (all in VMware ESXi 5.1 hosts).  All are in the 60 day Demo mode.

ELM (standalone)

Unified Connection pub/sub

To be Upgraded:

CUCM 8.6.2 / CUPS 8.6(4) to CUCM 9.1(1)a including IM & Presence on VMware ESXi 5.1 (not quite sure of the process yet!)

In the past we, purchased straight DLUs in the 10 packs when we bought a phone. Cisco changed (several times) the license model and pour VAR suggested we not purchase DLU packs.  So the past few years we have been buying mostly CUWL Standards (also a few Premiums).  The CUWL lics gave us the access to software like Presence/IM and Unity which are the 2 products we need to complate the conversion. 

I have run Cisco's UCT 2.1a Utility against the CUCM 8.6.2 Pub.  It lists a breakout of licenses and counts and says we have 870 Unused DLUs.  It also seemed to miss the couple of CUWL Premiums we had purchased.  The bottom part of the worksheet gives you the conversion of current Licenses to either UCL or CUWL.  I assume that I adjust some counts if needed and send a report to someone / somewhere in Licensing who will send me something to put into ELM.  

So here is the summary list of questions:

  1. I do not clearly understand the difference between UCL and CUWL in this worksheet.  Never understood how CUCM 8.x understands CUWL since you can't assign the license to a USER -- just converted it to DLU counts.  But this may not be relevant to my overall issue posted here.
  2. There seems to posts saying that I should only convert the quantity needed becasue we have to pay for support on all converted lics.  If true, this raises these issues:
    1. Why can't I bring / convert all licenses across to ELM and just save them for when I convert the user to VoIP?  Not fair to us to abandon them because I will not be able to use them immediately and I should not have to start the support "clock" on unassigned licenses.  Cisco only sold DLUs in 10 packs rather than in quantity needed for the device. So we made the decision to have a stockpile of DLUs to cover the license costs of final conversion to CUCM.  With 2000 emplyees, I would like to combine unused lics to "upgrade" an employee to higher CUWL / UCL license so allow a user feature access if needed.  For example, we may want to deploy WebEx. 
    2. These support costs seem to be a mess too.  They seem start individually when license is acquired. We are gong to be "bombed" through out the year when these support / licensing options expire.
  3. What happens if support / licensing on any CUWL / UCL / Device is not renewed in ELM?  Does the phone that user has stop working including any features like voicemail???
  4. Logging on to Product License Portal with my CCO ID shows a list of "Unregistered" PAKs of CUWL.  They appear to be version 8.  Some say Unity Connection - New. Others say Cisco Unified Communications Manger - Partial.  I believe the Partials are the CUWL PAKs I registered for just CUCM portion since I did not have Unity Connection server.  I can not do anything with these PAKs including regisering them with 8.6.2 MCS MAC. How do I get these over to 9.x?
  5. If/when I convert the DLUs into ELM, can I still use the unassigned DLUs in the 8.6.2 CUCM if I need to convert a user to VoIP *before* I upgrade to CUCM 9.1(1)a?  It seems that I will need to follow Bridged Upgrade procedure since I am moving off MCS to VM -- don't need ELM to get confused over licenses installed / used when I finish the upgrade.
  6. Really want to get Unified Connection out of Demo mode since I really do have licenses to use it.  I need to learn it and want to connect it to my current CUCM 8.6.2 and I don't have a timeline yet to complete the conversion of CUCM 8.6.2 to 9.x.  Do I have to convert ALL licenses or can I just get Unity Connection portion activated?

I have a case open with Licensing.  They attempted to call me well outside my office hours despite the fact that I clearly noted them in the case.  They also sent an email about needing to escalate to a Product Manager and I need to provide details I do not have (Cisco Sales Order numbers etc.).  I am assuming that the person who picked up this case is in another part of the world and I am not going to get any timely updates.  I hope there is someone out here who has fought this battle and can shed some light on any of my questions.



1) Yes CUCM you bought as UCL or CUWL but it got delivered back end as DLU so when you go back you have no idead what licensing is on the box, that was the mistake they made in * that is trying to be rectified in UC9 with ELM, so you can actually see what you bought and what you use in the same denomination. You will drive yourself mad trying to get the licensing part of UCT working (the bit at the bottom o fthe page in UCT) as the maths almost never works. But the good news is that Cisco have now set all upgrades as Manual license request so you can ignore that part and just ask for what you think you should have (backed up by the UCT/ELM screen shot). You also need to make sure you have done all the Owner User ID associations to make licenses read correctly too.

2) Yes you will have to pay ESW/UCSS on all licenses you convert, you either ditch the DLU's you paid pay or start to pay ESW/UCSS, customers with a large number of spare DLU's may not like that but that is rule to try and make sure what is in ELM as licensed matches the ESW/UCSS contract. Yes having separate ESW and UCSS with multiple start stop dates is very difficult to manage, I think there may be some changes down the line to help address that.

3) No if the ESW/UCSS runs out and you don't renew the system will carry on working just fine, but you wont have any support or access to upgrades. If you upgraded using 9x3 then your customer will have 3 years in there (note they have to pay the 9x3 on the existing configuration and the converted DLU's up front.

4) Speak to cisco licensing in the manual conversion

5) Rather than convert the un used DLU's you can of course use up the DLU's by adding extra devices and configuration to the 8.6 system, it may be a good idea to do that to make sure the licenses you bought are assigned to the devices you want rather than the generic 6 DLU= 1 Enh license in the conversion process.

6) Again one for Cisco licensing case but I would see no reason you couldn't convert different applications at different times

Hope that helps



Just to add a few things...

For escalation - you can reply to the case for the case owner to escalate the (case for you) to the BU.  (You can send me ( the case # and I can also request the escalation.)

#4,#6 - Under your one licensing case - we can process the registering of unused PAKs for CUC and the issuance of the CUC licenses.

#4 - For CUCM you can register all unused PAKs at this time and install them on your current systems.

#5 - Since you have a combination of DLU and CUWL purchases it would be best to sort this migration out via a licensing case.  For planning purposes now, you can submit your UCT output (run on UCL mode), your upgrade SO#, your UCSS/ESW contract number, and request assistance in determining license counts for your migration.   Once you migrate you would still submit the above information, but also include the output showing the ELM License Usage table which would show final license counts required by CUCM.

Here is a link to a reference document for migration to 9.1 vm:

I have a case open with Cisco Licensing.... they have asked for a SO# *before* they will escalate to a PM.   I don't have one and do not know where or how to acquire this Sales Order #.   We have ESW contract which has several UCSS registered.  That is the number I used in Cisco PUT to get the 9.1.x Installation media.  Our Cisco VAR says that ESW should have everything necessary to upgrade any licenses.   (Our longtime Cisco Account Rep for our area left Cisco and there has been no repleacement hired yet).  We feel we are in the middle of this licensing "mess"! 

When I log in to the License Portal with my CCO ID, there is a list of PAKs that say "Unregistered".  Some say partial.  I can't do anything with any of those PAKs in that portal.  They all are "version 8".    I beleive the Partials are some of the recent CUWL Standards we purchased....  I registered the CUCM piece to our 8.6.2 Call Mgr, but not the Unity licenses.  Because until last week, we did not have Unity Connection system installed.  Our current Voicemail system is a Mitel NuPoint.  We want to transition into Unity.  In the old licenseing, I needed a MAC of a Unity server -- so we never registered *any* Unity pieces of any purchased CUWL licences. 

Not to beat a dead horse, but we are a not-for-profit entity so the very idea "abandoning" DLUs that we paid for is annoying. Cisco made the decision of only selling DLUs in minimum quantities of 10. When we bought phones, we would have preferred to buy the minimum DLUs needed to cover the phone(s).  Cisco has changed licensing policies several times since we first install CUCM.  When CUWL first was proposed, I recall being told by Cisco & VAR we needed a minumum number of devices (100 I think) or DLUs to take advantage of some conversion pricing package from DLU to CUWL.  At that time, CUWL really made no sense since all we had was Call Mgr -- why pay for all the access to servers we did not have and would have to pay Cisco to get?  So we went ahead and decided to order 1 PAK of 10 DLUs for each phone spread the cost out until we reached the magic number.  We were seriously considering going down the Microsoft OCS / Lync path (we have MS Enterprise Agreement and some of the CALS required for Lync etc. were grandfathered to us at no cost).  Then Cisco changed CUWL model again -- CUWL now gave you the rights to install the Unified Comm server(s).  Since then, we bought CUWL Std / Premium lics (with UCSS) and installed / deployed CUPS.  Now we want to move forward with Unity Connection.  Anyway, according to the UCT 2a Tool, we have about 849 "unused" DLUs.  This was a capital investestment and it seems we are being asked to possibly abandon them. 

We still have many phones to purchase and it may end up that the 849 spare DLUs are in fact consumed. For example, Can't we bring them all over as say, UCL Enhanced, then "change" them to CUWL Std (cannabalizing multiple UCL lics) as we discover exactly what users need which features?  Also what about adding UCSS to a device after the fact?  

The UCSS issue is a real mess for us -- and I imagine many others. Even with Richard's explanation / views, I don't understand quite how this will work.  Smartnet is a very expensive item in our budget...frankly, we can't afford to keep all our Cisco devices on Smartnet.  To me, UCSS is essentially Smartnet in Unified Comm world (all our v9 Unified Comm servers are/will be virtualized).   Say we keep 50% of the phones on UCSS can someone explain the scenario of what would happen when Version 10 comes out?  Is Cisco going to "force" us to put them all under UCSS before we could upgrade? 

Richard mentioned importance of assigning an "Owner User ID" in our version 8.6  CUCM *prior to migration*.  We are Active Directory integrated so I take this to mean assign their AD UserID to the phone.  Well, for most phones deployed now I do have a User ID assigned.  But, we are a 24x7x365 entity -- a lot of phones are in common areas and used by multiple people across multiple shifts and Public area phones have no ID assigned.  I can't assign a specific "Owner" to a device for that reason and the fact I would need to track employee turnover.  Plus, the 849 "unused" DLU's we have listed -- no way to pre-assign them to anything or anyone.

TIA -- Perry


There are some items in here that Cisco needs to address but as a Cisco partner I will provide my 2 cents

1) Yes digging up old SO can be a pain. If everything is sold through one partner they should have the records. We do as a company and provide that to customers when they need it. If this was sold through many partners then it becomes a challenge. Some orders may go through distributors too. Cisco should be helping you here. They have SAM (Service AM) who can also help. At the end of the day if your rep has left, then there should be another Cisco rep taking his place and supporting you

2) Your un used DLU will not go away. They will be converted at a ratio of 6 DLU to one enhanced. you can even convert them to ENHP at 9 DLU per user. So rest assured your left over DLU will move. Your points are valid on how the licensing changes have caused confusion and buying in packs of 10 when a phone took 4 also caused confusion.

3) The User ID field association is in fact nothing to do with AD. It is the Owner User ID field in the phone page. That’s how ELM decides if the phone is assigned to one user or not. For hoteling phones(there are many threads on this) they will not be assigned and will consume a license based on the model. Existing users who use Ex Mo will be converted at no charge. However I agree that there will be a need to maintain that user to device association for ELM to do the math correctly. Whether the owner User ID field was the right decision is not the intent of my post. That is a topic for other threads that go into it in detail

4) UCSS has always been a muddy area. Many orders have gone through where DLU have been purchased without UCSS. Hence Cisco is grandfathering them one time when moving to 9.1 without caring whether those un used licenses have UCSS. Only when the next renewal happens will you need to commit to the new ESW/UCSS based on what ELM sees. No going back and doing true up unlike MSFT

Anyway my intent here is not defend any licensing scheme but rather provide some points of clarification hoping they can help you out



Srinivasan, Thank you for the reply.  I am just trying to get some questions answered and get a consistent reply.   I want to be able to plan for the the best path forward and not get some sort of sticker shock.  This whole license upgrade process is admittedly convoluted to try and follow. 

1) Have gone back to VAR for this SO number everyone is asking for.  But I don't know why Cisco / Global Licensing does not have them in the first place if it was from previous sales orders.

2) I plan on converting all DLUs in the final conversion to v9.  Was just concerned over the suggestions that we abandon them because the UCSS issue.

3) The Owner User ID field in the Phone "Device Information" definitely ties into AD.  So I still don't quite understand how this works with ELM and where we have many users who could be using this device / DN.  We are in Healthcare, so many caregiver staff could be using the phone over the 3 shifts.   There is only one DN assigned to the phone == for example, 3rd Floor Nurse Station.  The end result is that neither the phone or the number are associate to any specific person.  With staff turnover, I can't keep going back to continually update the phone / Owner IDs.  So how does ELM handle this? 

4) I am sure Cisco has an intent for UCSS that will end up costing more $$  .  Right now, it is pretty much a mess.  There is no way to associate a UCSS to a specific user license.  At the moment in v8, you register UCSS to the ESW contract!   Using MSFT terms, UCSS seems to be Cisco's version of a Systems Assurance contract -- the right for users to upgrade to current version.  No one has been able to explain to me what happens in the scenario if we only have 50% of licenses covered with a UCSS and v10 is released?  What incentive is there to even buy UCSS *now* when one does not know what features v10 has over v9 that we would find as a "must have"?   Cisco not going to let us upgrade unless all users in ELM have current UCSS??

Some VARs have told me that it is Cisco's intent is that every user will need a UCSS -- that would be crazy in our business as we have many more users than phones.  We pay MSFT "Trueup" CALs based on number of devices -- not # of users!  Never thought I'd admit to undertanding MSFT licensing better than Cisco! 

The Global License PM in the TAC case I have did end up sending me a few v9 Lics for the "unregistered" PAKs I see in the Licensing Portal.  But the DLU numbers don't seem to add up and still waiting for an explanation.  Getting answers seems to take forever which just leads me to believe there is still a internal uncertainty! 


Yes it is true that you need a license for every user and therefore you will need ESWand UCSS for that number of users. Yes microsoft do give you the option of licensing based on the number of devices or the number of users whichever is more effective for you. You can do the same to some extent with Cisco. 

But one thing that may be in your favor is that if those extra users just have EM profiles and nothing else then you no longer need to license those users as of 9.1(1a) (previously was Ess license $40 - doesn't make logical sense to me since we are supposed to now be licensing users not devices, but there you go may help you out.

What will happen if you only have 50% of your users covered in v9 and you try and go to v10? ..... don't think anyone knows right now but you would certainly be out as far a compliance goes against Ciscos rules, how or if that will be enforced I wouldn't know.

In you question 3 regarding the Owner User ID, if the phone is just dedicated to an area eg your 3rd floor Nurse Station and that phone has a DN assign that various people use then you do not need it to allocate an Owner User ID to it, in this case CUCM and ELM will see this as an unassigned device and ask for a user license based on the phone type eg 7942 would need an ENH license. It is also worth mentioning that the users that share the phone would not need separate licenses ot any licenses at all, they would only need licenses if they had EM with SNR or softclients etc.



Hi Perry,

If you contact me directly with your case number I can investigate and esclate the case.


I Appreciate all the replies as all have been helpful. Our VAR has entered a config under Cisco's Drive for 9 program and I am waiting the final $ costs - most will be for UCSS.

THere are some aspects of the licensing that are confusing. We have many public space analog phones. We are going to try VG224s but not sure of the license - UCL Essential per port or CUWL Pros that cover 10 devices?   Other phones are at nurse stations which have any different people that would use the phone.  So I have questions to VAR on license by phone or does it need to be by user?

Thx --- Perry

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