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Upgrade UCM, Unity and UCCX 7.x to 8.x to Spec-based VM

I have a customer that is looking to upgrade their existing UCM 7.1 (2 nodes), Unity 7 (single server), UCCX 7.1 Premium (pub & sub), and UCCX AQM (all on MCS appliances) to 8.x versions (and Unity to UCxN). All the servers are located in one facility. They also would like to move to their own VM environment leveraging their own ESX host servers (the spec is confirmed to meet the 3000 different requirements for 3rd spec-based virtualization).

Understanding that several cutovers might be required, what will be the best way to do this while minimizing downtime and in what order?

Thanks in advance!!

Cisco Employee

Wow, this is not a simple question.  Each product has it's own upgrade requirements.  From a CUCM perspective, the upgrade path will be based on server types and if they can run 8.x in order to migrate over to VM.   You will have to review the on line documentation for how to migrate a physical server to a virtual server. 


Dan Keller

Technical Marketing Engineer


We just did exactly what you are describing, but without moving to VMs.  The order is actually pretty simple.  You can start the Pub for Call Manager, primary for UCCX, and Unity all at the same time.  Then you have to finish the Pub on Call Manager since UCCX needs to communicate Call Manager to finish it's install.  You can then finish up Unity, but since we didn't go to Unity Connect I can't really say much about that.  Once Call Manager and UCCX are up and running and you are satisfied with testing you can do the AQM and WFM.

I highly recommend setting up a lab before attempting the upgrade.  You can use the lab to iron out any kinks your config may have during the conversion from Windows to Linux, and you can have you're database guys go through any custom reports and convert the queries to Informix ahead of time.  It really will make for a smoother transition, and if you already have the room in your VM environment, there's no hardware to purchase.

We did the upgrade in one weekend.  Since AQM and WFM required UCCX to be upgraded, then UCCX required Call Manager to be upgraded, you almost have no choice but to do them all at the same time.  Unity could have been done later, but while we were waiting for other stuff to install, we just fired off the Unity upgrade.

Hope this helps.  Good luck with the upgrades!


Cisco Employee


Just to add to what Larry said, you can check out the compatibility information for UCCX here:

You can see that the MCS server compatibility between UCCX 7 and 8.5 is pretty similar. The migration process to VM is relatively straightforward and can be found here:

So, I would recommend an upgrade from UCCX 7.x to 8.5(1)SU4 on the MCS servers (provided you can based on the hardware compatibility from the first link) using the process Larry has described. The same CUCM with the same configuration must be up and availalbe on the upgraded version before you start the restore part of the UCCX 7.x to 8.x upgrade, and then migrating to the same version 8.5(1)SU4 on VM using the process in the second link.

Hope this helps.



If minimum downtime is required best would be parallel build of infra, and cutover each component at a time. Only caveat is the IP addressing, which is sticky in most of the Cisco Voice world. If you have a separate environment which can mimic your prod setup from IP addressing perspective then it would be ideal. You can do one component upgrade in Isolated setup and check its functionality before moving to prod. Only one building deployment makes it easier to manage.


Looks like this post originated before we had Prime Collaboration Deployment (PCD).

PCD migration could help with the UCM piece (P2V, version upgrade, if also readdress old system unaffected).

Need COBRAS for the Unity to Unity Connection with P2V and version upgrade.

CCX still has its own procedure.

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