Within the Collaboration practice here at NetCraftsmen, we always emphasize proper planning as being a major key to the success we’ve had on various projects over the years. CUCM upgrades are a prime example as there are a number of things to consider before getting started…you may have to look at hardware compatibility, version dependencies with other UC applications, change windows, end user communications…you name it. One thing that is often overlooked is that firmware revisions can and often do change between versions of CUCM (major or minor). In some cases, it might be OK to just let the firmware upgrade coincide with the CUCM upgrade. In others, you may want to avoid being the engineer that accidentally upgraded (or downgraded) all of the phones during a CUCM upgrade. In either case, you can (and should) plan accordingly and here are some basic considerations:
- The ReadMe file and/or Release Notes for each CUCM release typically contains a listing of the default firmware revisions included with the software. In other words, this is what the Device Defaults will be set to in the upgraded release.
- You should compare the firmware revisions in the upgraded release to the existing device defaults. Often you will find that the CUCM upgrade will introduce updated firmware revisions; however, it is also possible that you are running a later release than what is specified as the default in the CUCM upgrade for a specific device type. Focus on the device types applicable to your environment and note all applicable changes.
- If you’d prefer to continue using the existing firmware, you’ll need to verify compatibility with the CUCM upgrade release. If the existing firmware version is compatible with the CUCM upgrade release then you’ll need to modify the device defaults as part of the upgrade process. The same consideration goes for situations where you may be running a later release than what is specified as the default in the CUCM upgrade.
Note: Instead of modifying device defaults, another option is to use BAT to hardcode desired firmware revisions on the phones
- If you’d like to go ahead and upgrade the firmware to the default revisions in the CUCM upgrade, then you should check the applicable release notes for each new firmware version. If you are running outdated firmware, you may find that you cannot directly upgrade to the target release.
- In some cases, you want to upgrade to a later release than what is specified as the default in the CUCM upgrade (e.g., you find there is a bug in the default firmware revision that you’d like to avoid). Again, you’ll need to modify the device defaults as part of the upgrade process (or use BAT – see above).
- Whenever possible, I recommend scheduling firmware upgrades in advance of a CUCM upgrade. This isn’t always possible but is generally my preference (particularly in larger environments).