Virtualization for Cisco Finesse

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Updates to this Page

The following is a list of significant updates to this page:

Date Update
  January 2012    This is the initial version of this page.
  October 2012    Added support for ESXi 5.0

Information for Partners about Finesse Deployments


Before You Buy or Deploy - Considerations for Design and Procurement.

Unified Communications Virtualization Supported Applications

VM-Specific Finesse Hardware Requirements

See Tested Reference Configurations (TRC).

Before you install the Finesse software on any server, you must address the following requirement:

If you are performing a fresh install of Finesse in any deployment, be sure to verify that the virtual machine is also fresh (no previously-installed OS is present in the VM).

Finesse-Specific Details for VMware Requirements

All Finesse servers run on VMs using the Unified Communications Operating System (Unified OS or UCOS).

See Unified Communications VMWare Requirements and Ongoing Virtualization Operations and Maintenance.

  • Finesse ISO or DVD (Note: We strongly recommend that you install Finesse by configuring a DataStore ISO file on the virtual CD/DVD drive of the target VM.)
  • ESXi 4.1 must be installed prior to the installation of Cisco Finesse Release 8.5(3).
  • ESXi 5.0 must be installed prior to the installation of Cisco Finesse Release 9.0(1).
  • Cisco UCS Hardware—Cisco Finesse supports a specifications-based virtualization model. You can use any hardware platform you like (from any vendor) as long as it supports the specifications required for the VM and the OVA template. Also, you can run any other application(s) you like on that same server.
  • Be sure to disable Large Receive Offload (LRO) on the ESXi 4.1 or ESXi 5.0 host.  

VM-Specific Finesse Software Requirements

See Unified Communications VMWare Requirements.

The following software requirements apply specifically to Finesse:

  • Finesse Release 8.5(3) can only be deployed on servers using VMware ESXi 4.1.
  • Finesse Release 9.0(1) and later can only be deployed on servers using VMware ESXi 5.0.
  • The downloadable OVF Templates have the hardware configuration for the Finesse VMs. This is the only configuration supported. Please use the Finesse OVF Appliance to install Finesse.
  • For other third-party software requirements and for a list of approved UCS servers, see the server requirements and version compatibility with Unified CM sections in the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Solution Reference Network Design (SRND) available  at

Finesse-Specific Information for OVA Templates

See Unified Communications Virtualization Downloads (including OVA/OVF Templates).

The Finesse OVA can be downloaded here:

Finesse-Specific Information for Sizing Guidelines

The Finesse Production OVF includes the following settings:

  • 4 vCPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 1 vNIC with static MAC address
  • 1 vDisks: 146 GB (contains aligned partitions for Cisco Finesse application) 

Cisco Finesse-Specific VM Information on Installation, Timekeeping, and Best Practices

Creating the Finesse Virtual Machine

Perform the following steps in vSphere client to deploy the Virtual machines:

  1. Highlight the host or cluster to which you wish the VM to be deployed.
  2. Select File > Deploy OVF Template.
  3. Click the Deploy from File radio button and specify the name and location of the file you downloaded in the previous section OR click the Deploy from URL radio button and specify the complete URL in the field, then click Next.
  4. Enter the name of the VM machine that you are creating and the location where it will be created
  5. Choose the type of deployment (Production or Lab)
  6. Choose the datastore on which you would like the VM to reside - be sure there is sufficient free space to accommodate the new VM, then click Next.
  7. Verify the deployment settings, then click Finish.
  8. Update boot order as per instructions below
  9. Insert the Finesse disk and follow the Finesse installation guide.

Changing the Boot Order of the Virtual Machine

You must change the boot order of the Virtual Machine so that the system boots off the CD/DVD drive for the install.

To change the boot order of the Virtual Machine:

  1. In VMware vSphere Client, power off the virtual machine onto which you deployed the OVA template.
  2. In the left pane of vSphere Client, right-click the name of the virtual machine, and select Edit Settings.
  3. In the Virtual Machine Properties dialog box, select the Options tab.
  4. In the Settings column, under Advanced, select Boot Options.
  5. Under Force BIOS Setup, check the The Next Time the Virtual Machine Boots, Force Entry into the BIOS Setup Screen check box.
  6. Click OK to close the Virtual Machine Properties dialog box.
  7. Power on the virtual machine (The virtual machine boots into the BIOS menu)
  8. Navigate to the Boot menu and change the boot device order so the CD-ROM device is listed first and the Hard Drive device is listed second.
  9. Save the change and exit BIOS setup.

Note: After finishing the installation, consider changing the boot order back so that the Hard Drive device is again listed before the CD-ROM device.

Related Documents

The Cisco Finesse Installation and Getting Started Guide is available from the Finesse page on (

Back to: Unified Communications in a Virtualized Environment

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