CallManager Upgrade Options

There are three ways to perform a CallManager:

  • Prime Collaboration Deployment
  • GUI Installer
  • CLI Installer

Prime Collaboration Deployment

PCD is Cisco’s latest recommended way for upgrading CallManager. Instead of having to manage a SFTP server and login to every node in your cluster, PCD can store and serve the ISO to all the cluster nodes. PCD can control the upgrade not just of CUCM but CUPS too. PCD can also handle the cluster wide switch version.  Finally, PCD can handle COPs too.

So what’s not to like? To start with, progress information is lacking. It can be hard to tell what’s really go on. PCD also isn’t particularly helpful if there’s a problem with the installation. To find out what’s wrong, you have to fire up RTMT and download the install logs files. Also, PCD can’t handle complex switch version configurations. i.e. Switch these subscribers, then these, then these.

GUI Installer

Until PCD came along, the GUI installer in the CMPlatform web interface was probably the installer people used by default. It’s simple and it does the job. The GUI installer has the nice feature that you can watch the installation. This allows you to see the progress of the installer and quickly see what happens if things go wrong.

Its big downside is performance. Its real-time view of the installer can consume CPU on the web browser. And if you have the installer running in multiple tabs, you can kiss goodbye to doing anything else on that computer.

CLI Installer

The CLI installer is the least friendly. (Although the CUCM installer isn’t exactly complicated) It’s accessed by SSHing onto your CUCM server and issuing the command “utils system upgrade”. Its major advantage is performance: From one computer you can SSH into multiple CUCM servers and run upgrades without suffering huge CPU slowdowns. You can also use GNU Screen to start off the upgrades and then logout.

There’s another minor reason for getting to know the CLI installer: Sometimes Cisco releases patches or COP files that can only be installed via the CLI installer. (This is especially true of UCCX)


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