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Your Guide To Upgrading To Cisco Unity Connection 12

  • 8 January, 2019

Article, Cisco, Networking

What is Unity Connection?

Cisco Unity Connection is a robust unified messaging and voicemail solution that provides users with flexible messaging access options. Cisco Unity Connection lets users access and manage messages from an email inbox, web browser, Cisco Jabber, Cisco Unified IP Phone, smartphone, or tablet. Unity Connection even provides flexible message access and delivery format options, including support for voice commands, speech-to-text transcription, and even video greetings.

What are the benefits for upgrading to Unity Connection 12.0

Upgrading to Unity Connection 12 brings several benefits including:

  • Support for Linux’s new CentOS
  • Support VMware Sphere 6.5
  • Support for the latest wideband audio codec Opus. Check out the benefits by referring to RFC 6716 (https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6716)
  • Supports more TLS versions such as TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 for secure communication across various devices.
  • Support of OAuth 2.0 for faster Jabber SSO logins
  • Cisco Smart Software Licensing support where licensing can now be managed in the cloud without the need for PLM and PAKs.

For an extended list please click here.

Preparing your VMware environment before the upgrade

1.

Check first if your VMware spec needs changing and modify the appropriate settings in your VMware environment e.g. CPU, RAM and Disk-space which can all be done in your VSphere settings. See here.

Note: Changing the OS from Redhat to CentOS is mandatory.

2.

Read the below guide in its entirety and understand the caveats based on the Unity Connection version you will be upgrading from and too as there are additional files that need to be installed to support the upgrade. Pay particular attention to the pre-upgrade and post-upgrade tasks as these undertakings will be most unique to your environment.

See here.

Downloading the Unity Connection 12.0 upgrade file

Access Cisco’s PUT (Product Upgrade Tool) and Submit the upgrade software request. What’s really neat about this tool is you can state what version you are upgrading from and to, which makes for significantly less reading. See here.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

The Unity Connection 12.0 upgrade procedure

1.

As always you will be starting off 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 UCM server by accessing it via SSH and enter the command utils system shutdown

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

2.

Modify your VMware hardware specification according to the VMware specification mentioned above and change the Guest Operating system from Redhat to CentOS, see below figure.

Select the CentOS in the General Options of your Unity Connection Image.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

Select the location of the Unity Connection upgrade cop file from your local Data store or use SFTP when your server has booted up which will take significantly longer.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

3.

Install the upgrade file from UCM 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 UCM VMware image (see below fig). If you select Remote file system you will need to perform the installation using an SFTP server which takes significantly longer!

 

Note because I was upgrading from 10.5 I had to install an additional file before to support the upgrade called ciscocm.cuc_upgrade_12_0_v1.2.k3.cop. Make sure you understand your migration path, see below table.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

4.

Install the upgrade file from Unity Connection 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 UCM VMware image (see below fig). If you select Remote file system you will need to perform the installation using an SFTP server.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade
cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

Select the Unity Connection 12.0 upgrade file you placed in your VM’s datastore and select next.

cisco unity connection 12 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.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

The installation script will begin which usually takes between two to three hours depending on your database size. It’s a good idea to periodically check the installation log shown below to identify if any errors have occurred. Once the script has finished. You will receive “The system upgrade was successful” message.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

5.

Next, you will need to reboot the server and switch the version of Unity Connection using SSH and entering the command utils system switch-version

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

6.

Once the Unity Connection Publisher is powered back up verify that your server has upgraded to the correct version by accessing UCM OS Administration -> Show -> Software -> Verify the Inactive and Active version should reflect your new software version number.

Note: Also check that all your locale language files are still present if not, you will need to download locales that you had on your previous version.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade
cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

7.

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

Access Unity Connection In RTMT, Choose Unity Connection -> Port Monitor->Select Start Polling. Access your voicemail, leave a voicemail or dial into a Call Handler and Check that ports are coming up on the systems.

cisco unity connection 12 upgrade

Final note

The overall experience of this upgrade was generally straightforward except for deciding on the additional file you have to install before you can system can support the upgrade also the reboot order which was due to the fact that VMware hardware had to be modified in a powered off state which evidently increased the change control window because another system reboot had to take place after the upgrade!

And lastly, the need for getting familiar with the new Licensing model called Smart Software Licensing where licensing is now being managed in the cloud without the need for PLM and PAKs. Check here where numerous questions have been answered.

To find out how to upgrade to Cisco UCM 12.0 please click here.

This is the second part of a series of articles we will be releasing over the next few weeks regarding upgrading of various Cisco platforms. Stay tuned! You can click the bell icon at the bottom right of this page to be notified of when they are released.

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