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UC560 full redundancy?

Hey guys,

We are currently considering spec'ing a job for a customer that has a requirement for some redundancy in their phone/data system.  Currently, we're looking to spec a UC560 with 39 handsets, a couple of wireless handsets, probably a WLC526 and a some LWAPs.  The latter will obviously depend on availability.

I would like to build this system with full redundancy if possible.  Ideally, we would include 2 UC560s so that if one somehow went down, the second would provide failover call and data routing.  Is this possible?



John Platts

I know that there are several problems with configuring full redundancy on the UC560:

  • CCA is not currently capable of configuring full redundancy.
  • You have to have the CME and CUE configuration synchronized between the two routers.
  • HSRP would need to be configured on the two UC560s, and I do not know whether or not HSRP is actually functional on the UC560.
  • Both UC560 units need to be connected to the same ESW switch.
  • The IP address of the backup UC560 needs to be specified in the telephony-service section of the UC560 config
  • The IP addresses on the backup UC560 need to be different from those on the primary UC560. However, the Data VLAN IP address on the backup UC560 needs to be in the same subnet as the Data VLAN IP address on the primary UC560, and the Voice VLAN IP address on the backup UC560 needs to be in the same subnet as the Voice VLAN IP address on the primary UC560.
  • As far as I know, Cisco Unity Express does not support full redundancy.

Thanks for the reply John.

Does anybody else have any other input on the matter?  What are others doing for redundancy besides keeping configurations saved somewhere?  If you had two identical units (one production, one as a backup) with the same software version (let's say 8.0.0), could you theoretically just move the CF card from the production unit to the backup unit if the UC560 hardware had gone down but the CF card was still in tact?

Are there other ways of minimizing downtime in an environment where data and voice communications are mission critical to the point where redundant equipment is preferred?



No, you cannot simply move compact flash cards from one UC560 unit to another UC560 unit. I know that the wr mem command, the copy running-config startup-config, and the CCA save button all save the configuration to non-volatile memory on the actual UC500 unit, and not to the CompactFlash memory. However, the CUE data is stored on a separate removable CompactFlash card on the UC560 unit, and can be moved over on a UC560 unit. The CUE flash memory is not removable or field replaceable on UC520 or UC540 units. However, with the UC500 version of Cisco Unity Express 7.1, included on the UC560, and available on the UC520 and UC540 with the 8.0.0 software pack, you can actually perform scheduled backups of the Cisco Unity Express side.

On the UC500, what you have to do is do a copy running-config flash: to save it, and then use the copy flash: running-config to restore it, where is replaced with the actual configuration file name. This will take care of your IOS and CME configuration, but not your CUE configuration.

Redunancy with UC500 is not Cisco supported.
you can do this with CME on the ISR, with each ISR being primary and backup as a supported solution.

For voice mail, you can have a second CUE module to take new msgs while the primary system is down, then send the voice mail to email so users can't get to it if the primary comes back on line. A SRST voice mail feature is coming to CUE in spring also.

HSRP for data connectivity between the two ISR's is also possible.

For dial tone, you can split analog trunks to ring primary and second unit, with the secondary answering after 3 rings.

T-1, third party hw required to split between two units, or dual T1's, where the second ISR acts as a gateway to the primary.

Hope this helps,

Ron Lewis


Thanks Ron.

So it sounds like the best option at this time would be to backup the Production UC560 on a regular basis and transfer this to the Backup UC560, at least for the proper configuration.  Using CCA, save a running configuration of all equipment, then "restore" that config to the backup UC560.  In the event that something happened to one UC560, you should be able to disconnect from the Production UC560 and reconnect to the Backup UC560 and be off and running, at least from my understanding.  You wouldn't transfer any VM this way, but at least you'd have an operational system, correct?

Thanks for helping with this.


Yes, you would have a fully operational system with periodically backing up the UC560 configuration. Since the UC560 ships with Cisco Unity Express 7.1, you can do a scheduled backup of Cisco Unity Express to a FTP server, and restore CUE from a FTP server if needed. You cannot currently configure scheduled CUE backup in CCA, but this capability might appear in future CCA releases. You will need to use the CUE Web GUI or CLI to configure CUE scheduled backup.

Could anyone provide a sample config for configuring a CUCME router to work with another SRST router?

For ISR configurations, I would suggest the netpro forums.

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