CUCM Installation FAQ

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Contents

I accidentally installed a COP I didn't want to, can I uninstall it??

No, there is no way to remove COP files, other than doing a fresh install, there is an enhancement bug for this CSCsk79534 Need a feature to uninstall cop file without fresh install

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Why is the option to install CUCM not available when I run the installer??

The most common reason is that you manually created the VM for CUCM, and that you didn't provide the required resources (vCPU, vRAM, HDD, etc.) for the installer to recognize it as a valid platform for the install. You probably are getting only CUC as an option. You need to use the Cisco provided OVAs in order to deploy the blank VM to install CUCM.

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Can I manually create the VM for CUCM??

Yes, you can. But we actually only support your deployment if you use the Cisco provided OVAs for each product, this ensures that all the VM settings are correct for the product to perform as expected.

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What possible HW options do I have to install CUCM??

Well, this will also apply to many other products, so, you might have been referred to this link from some other page.

This also directly relates to the question How do I know if my HW is supported?? in the upgrade section.

What HW options do you have to install a Cisco product??
This has changed a lot over time, in the early beginnings, back to CUCM 3.x and 4.x, we had OEM MCS from IBM and HP, and you had to buy the specific model for the app you wanted to install. I will not cover them in this section, as they're all sold out, and you shouldn't be deploying any new installs on MCSs, I'll cover this only in the upgrades question as that is more feasible to happen.
Virtualization arrived with CUCM 8.0(2a) and we supported only Cisco UCS and some time later, HP / IBM servers due to the fact they had all the support mechanisms we required to assure assistance to customers. And then, we removed the limit for 3rd party servers, and it leveled the play field for all vendors.

The current options are:

  • Cisco UCS (TRC or spec-based)
  • 3rd party servers

All the details about this are here: UC Virtualization Supported Hardware

So, how do you read this page and the tables??, it depends on which option you take.

Let's start with the 3rd party specs on which you will define all the HW config, you'll review all the sections not related to UC on UCS, as I'm writing this down, it should be from #3 to #8 on the above page:

You should be able to tell whether your server is supported, or not, after reviewing the above info.

The most important part of the above is Processors / CPUs, what if you don't find the CPU model you want to buy in the list??
It means it's not supported for Cisco UC, the BU takes some time to test new CPU models, if it's a brand new model that came out last week, you'll have to wait a few months before the virtualization team qualifies it as supported, or not. If it's an older CPU model, and it's not listed, it won't be supported.

Once you determine that it's supported, then you need to look into the specific application you want to use here Unified Communications in a Virtualized Environment. As you click on each one, you'll find a table per version and within the columns, one that reads: UCS or 3rd-party Specs-based on Intel Xeon that's the one you're interested in. Depending on your CPU model and speed, it will fall in either Full UC Performance, or Restricted Performance.
What's the difference between these two??
Depending on the CPU model, and speed, you will be limited to certain OVA options for each UC product. If you have a Restricted Performance CPU, you'll always be limited to using one of the smallest OVAs available which will guarantee good performance for that number of users / devices. If you have a Full UC Performance CPU, you'll be able to use any OVA option.

NOTE Forgot to mention, if you're looking into UC on UCS specs-based, you're pretty much playing with the same rules as 3rd party specs-based, the main difference, is that we will only allow you to choose within a certain catalog of HW choices which pretty much mean you cannot end up with an unsupported UCS.

It's a bit harder with the UC on UCS TRC due to all the different HW options across several generations that have been available. Ideally, all the UC on UCS TRC servers we have sold over the years should show up in here UC Virtualization Supported Hardware, but they don't. Many of the first UCS servers that were sold had some very old CPUs which now are not even mentioned in the link. You can only find reference to those in very old ordering guides.

So, as I mentioned before, as you click on each UC product you will see two: columns Supported Hardware (Latest) and Supported Hardware (Older), how can you tell to which one your UCS server belongs to??

If your server shows up in any of these:
Cisco Business Edition Servers and UC on UCS Tested Reference Configurations
UC on UCS TRC Bills of Material (BOMs)
Then it is Supported Hardware (Latest)

If your server shows up in here:
End of Sale UC on UCS TRC Bills of Material (BOMs)
Then it is Supported Hardware (Older)

Next, under each supported HW you will find the UCS TRC, and 3rd party specs-based, we've already covered the latter, plenty more options when it comes to UCS, we currently have:

  • Small
  • Small+
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra Large
  • 2 x Extra Large

Each UCS will mention under which category do they fall, for example:

  • B440 M2 TRC#1
    2X-Large blade TRC
  • B230 M2 TRC#1
    Extra-Large blade TRC
  • B200 M4 TRC#1
    Large blade TRC

You will need to identify under which size category your UCS falls, once you know that, you should already know which OVA you will use for your deployment, so you need to go to the product page you want to install, and look under the column for your model to determine if you can, or cannot install it.

You should be able to tell whether your server is supported, or not, using the above guidelines.

Now, as I initially mentioned, in an ideal world, you should see every single UCS TRC that has been sold there, but that does not happen. I've seen questions on some weird UCSs, and when you looked into the specs, they were pretty much Generation 0, or 1 of UCS TRC. Some had very old CPUs from 2008 or 2009, and those CPU models are not listed here Processors / CPUs, if you cannot find the UCS model anywhere in the page, and the CPU model is not listed, it's safe to assume those are no longer being supported for any recent version of UC apps. You will need to look into buying new HW.

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I don't like / have ESXi in my company, can we use other hypervisor for Cisco UC??

Not at this time, AFAIK the BU is still investigating other options to support other hypervisor options in future releases, but we still need to consolidate the products on ESXi, look into over-provisioning, supporting other ESXi features, etc. Before other hypervisors will be looked into.

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I bought a UCS TRC, but I want to use another RAID option, Can I?? Will that affect my support??

The TRC, is precisely a TRC, because the BU and product teams tested a very specific HW and settings for the products to guarantee performance. When you buy a TRC, you're buying a platform with Cisco approved and guaranteed performance for Cisco applications. Deviating from any of the published configuration requirements from the TRC you bought, means you will lose the UC on UCS TRC support level, and fall into a UC on UCS Specs-based support (see UC Virtualization Supported Hardware)
You will also be responsible for testing and making sure your RAID selection complies with the IOPS requirements for the apps you will install on it.

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Should I buy a TRC?? Or look into 3rd party specs-based??

Well, ask yourself this: How experienced am I, my partner, or my customer in virtual environments??
If the answer is, Well... we're going to build our first virtual environment, you should be buying a TRC. A TRC is a guaranteed performance platform on which you will only need to plan what applications you will install.
If the answer is, You kidding me?? We have 6 years of experience using ESXi, before Cisco approved virtualization!! (I'm not even sure ESXi has been around for that long, but you should get the idea). Then you can do either, we assume that anyone that chooses the 3rd party specs-based option have more than enough knowledge to go through this page: UC Virtualization Supported Hardware and tell in a heartbeat, whether their servers are supported, or not, based on the requirements outlined in the page.
VERY IMPORTANT Cisco does NOT qualify any 3rd party server for virtualization, that is either the partner's, or customer's responsibility to do so.

Seasoned virtualization engineers may choose a TRC, or bundle like the 6K / 7K because of the price. Another alternative for them might be a UCS on UCS specs-based on which you tweak the basic config from a TRC to suit your needs / preferences, but you should know very well what you're doing.

From my point of view, depending on your virtualization knowledge, you should go:

  1. None to minimal = UC on UCS TRC
  2. Minimal to medium = UC on UCS specs-based
  3. Medium to expert = 3rd party specs-based

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Can I install 3rd party apps in CUCM??

No, 3rd party apps cannot be installed in any of our Linux appliances, that's the reason all of our COPs and ISOs are signed, to verify they are Cisco released files

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I just finished installing my CUCM cluster and have some configuration done, what should I do next??

CONFIGURE YOUR DRS BACKUP!!! I really cannot stress enough this point, you have NO IDEA how many cases I've seen of people with a PUB down situation, and no backup. Even if you don't have a "professional" program to do this, at the very least, have a PC, or server, with SFTP and enough space to keep 1-2 backups. This should be a best practice everyone who works on this knows, and makes sure all of their customers have in place, trust me, this will save you a lot of time, effort, and headaches.

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I'm not able to add a new CUCM SUB on 10.5(2)??

There might be many reasons for this, besides the regular checklist:

  • DNS issues
  • Adding SUB to System -> Server
  • etc

A hot issue right now is: CSCus35964 Subscriber fresh installation fails with CUCM Version 10.5(2)

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How can I install s SUB if I don't have the fresh install media??

If you have the fresh install media for the base version, let's say 10.5 and you're already on an MR, you can start the installation with the fresh install media of 10.5, and choose the option to install a service pack during the install to do this

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Can I mix different releases of CUCM in the same cluster??

No, you cannot, such scenario should only be found when you're doing upgrades. But having some servers on 10.5, and others on 8.6, is definitely not supported.

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Why does my devices reset when I add a new SUB in my cluster??

Such behavior is explained in the following "bug", and I use the quotes, because itself says that is is not a bug, I consider the behavior to be WAD, so, be very careful of the time when you install a new SUB in your cluster.

  • CSCub12922 Add new subscriber to existing 8.6+ CUCM cluster cause all device reset

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Contact:
Any comments, questions, suggestions, contributions, etc. please send them to javalenc@cisco.com. Please make sure the subject is formatted "UC FAQ <anything else>" as I'll have rules in my mail to match them, otherwise, they'll end up in my spam folder.

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