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Your Guide to Upgrading to CUCM 14

  • 10 December, 2021

Article, Cisco, Unified Collaboration

What is CUCM 14

Unified Communications Manager is the heart of Cisco collaboration services, enabling session and call control for video, voice, messaging, mobility, instant messaging, and presence. With Cisco’s new CUCM 14.X version, CUCM has now incorporated Webex Cloud Connected services into its development so it can now integrate with the Webex Admin portal’s features more seamlessly.

You’re probably wondering what happened to CUCM 13.X? That version was reportedly skipped and only used for R&D purposes, similarly to Cisco IOS versions.

In this article, we have given a comprehensive guide on how to upgrade your CUCM environment to 14. There are a lot of changes compared to the previous versions, more specifically is the licensing upgrade method that is now being used.

CUCM 14 Datasheet

Upgrade guide for CUCM 12

The benefits of upgrading to CUCM 14

  • In addition to LDAP, O365 oAuth will also be supported
  • Fully cloud-connected/enabled PSTN support
  • SIP Oauth Support for Endpoints
  • Increased cluster capacity so that more devices can be supported without adding more resources up to 100 000 Devices for mega clusters.
  • Flexibility to move a registered phone from office to home without repeating the onboarding process
  • Flexibility to move between Wi-Fi and LTE networks without dropping an existing call on Cisco Webex apps
  • Operational workflow simplification by managing all certificates from a single portal, with the ability to use a Quick dashboard to view expired or about to expire certificates.
  • AV1 Codec Support
  • Cisco Tomcat Containerization
  • Certificate Regeneration without Service Restarts
  • More Enhanced Accessibility features and Usability in Self Care Portal
  • Headset and Accessories Inventory Downloads
  • Version Independent Licensing
  • Windows 2019 Support for RTMT
  • IM and Presence Failover Enhancement to Nearly Zero Downtime
  • Out of Office Presence Status
Fixed cost Cisco UC upgrade

Video Guide to Upgrading to CUCM 14

Written Guide to Upgrading to CUCM 14

Preparing your VMware ESXi Environment

Check if your VMware hardware specification needs upgrading and modify the appropriate settings in your VMware environment e.g. CPU, RAM and Diskspace which can all be done in your vSphere’s settings. Understand you will need to be on at least ESXi version 6.7. Please see the details.

The quickest way to upgrade your VMware ESXi server is by logging into the vSpheres console, using SSH and putting the install file in your datastore. And finally running the below command based on your datastore location:

esxcli software vib update -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/

Note: Make sure you download the ESXi .zip depot file and not the ISO file.

Note: Changing your CUCM’s ESXi OS from RedHat to CentOS is mandatory before the upgrade which will be explained in more detail below.

Preparing Your CUCM Environment and Licensing

Read this guide and understand the caveats based on the CUCM version you will be upgrading from, pay particular attention to the Pre-upgrade and Post upgrade cop files as these are the most important undertakings that will be most unique to your environment.

For instance I upgraded from 12.X to 14SU1, I had to download and install from SFTP the ciscocm.enable-sha512sum-2021-signing-key-v1.0.cop.sgn and the ciscocm.preUpgradeCheck-00029.k4.cop.sha512 files before beginning my upgrade.

12.X licensing is not supported with 14.X so you will need to upgrade your licensing via the My Cisco Entitlements portal. Select licenses then Version Upgrade and proceed with the upgrade request.

On a separate note, you can click here to download our Cisco Licensing Cheat Sheet.

cucm 14 upgrade

Downloading the CUCM 14 Upgrade files

Access Cisco’s Software Download page, and download the appropriate upgrade files. I had to download three files. The first two files are the pre-upgrade files and the last file is the actual CUCM 14 ISO upgrade file.

  1. ciscocm.enable-sha512sum-2021-signing-key-v1.0.cop.sgn
  2. ciscocm.preUpgradeCheck-00029.k4.cop.sha512
  3. UCSInstall_UCOS_14.0.1.11900-132.sha512.iso

The CUCM 14 Upgrade Procedure


Once you have upgraded your ESXi infrastructure to 6.7 or above, as always we will be starting with the Publisher. Note your VMware image will need to be in a powered-off state to perform this change because you will be modifying the VMware hardware settings and changing the OS from Redhat to CentOS so make sure you adhere to your organizations change control policies.

Shutdown your CUCM server by accessing it via SSH and entering the command utils system shutdown

cucm 14 upgrade


Access the CUCM Virtual machine in vSphere, Edit your VMware hardware settings according to the VMware specification mentioned above and change the Guest Operating system from RedHat to CentOS, see below figure.

cucm 14 upgrade


Once the Publisher is powered back up, make sure you have copied your CUCM upgrade file to your VMware datastore and selected your upgrade CUCM 14.X file from Local CD/DVD in the CUCM virtual machine. Remember to select connect at power on!

cucm 14 upgrade


Turn off the TFTP service on the Publisher Access Cisco Unified Serviceability -> Control Centre Feature Services -> Select TFTP and stop the service.

cucm 14 upgrade


Install the upgrade file from CUCM OS Administration -> Install/Upgrade and Select the Source to be either DVD/CD or Remote File System and click next. I selected DVD/CD and put the ISO file in the local Datastore of the CUCM VMware image. If you select Remote file system you will need to perform the installation using an SFTP server which takes significantly longer!

cucm 14 upgrade
cucm 14 upgrade

Select the CUCM 14.0 upgrade file you placed in your VM’s datastore and select next.

cucm 14 upgrade

Next, you will be asked if the system should automatically reboot after the installation. Select an option based on your company’s change control policy. I typically always select Do not reboot after the upgrade and reboot the Server manually after the installation using SSH and entering the command utils system switch-version.

cucm 14 upgrade

The installation script will now run which can take between two to three hours depending on your database size. Always periodically check the Installation log below to see if any errors have occurred. Once the script has finished. You will receive a “System upgrade was successful” message.

cucm 14 upgrade
Fixed cost Cisco UC upgrade


Next, you will need to reboot the server and switch the version of CUCM using SSH and enter the command utils system switch-version

cucm 14 upgrade


Once the Publisher is powered back up, turn on the TFTP service. Access Cisco Unified Serviceability -> Control Centre Feature Services -> Select TFTP and Start the service.

cucm 14 upgrade


Next check the replication between all servers is good using both Unified Reporting and Cisco’s RTMT (Real-Time Monitoring Tool).

Access Cisco Unified Reporting -> System Reporting ->  Database Status Report -> Generate a new report. Check all the servers have a replication status of 2.

cucm 14 upgrade


Verify that your server has upgraded to the correct version by accessing CUCM OS Administration -> Show -> Software -> Verify the Inactive and Active version should reflect your software version numbers.

cucm 14 upgrade
cucm 14 upgrade

In RTMT, Choose CallManager -> Service-> Database Summary. Again check all servers have a replication status of 2.

cucm 14 upgrade

Final note...

If I was to compare the overall experience of this upgrade versus upgrading to CUCM 12, this was more time-consuming. This was due to the need to upgrade my VMware environment, install the two pre-upgrade files, and put in a request to upgrade the licenses on the My Cisco Entitlements portal.

Additionally, VMware’s hardware was required to be in a powered-off state to perform the modifications. With several additional reboots before and after the upgrade. This inevitably increased the organisations change control window.

It’s also worth mentioning that there was a need to wait for replication status between the Publisher and the Subscribers to update in RTMT.

Apart from this, the upgrade went quite smoothly. If you need additional assistance in upgrading to CUCM 14, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can either email me directly,, or reach out to us by clicking the button below.

Get some assistance

Need some help upgrading to CUCM 14? Reach out to us today and we’ll arrange for you to speak with our Collaboration expert.