Rebuilding CUCM from an Export – Common issues and solutions

Here is something that I should have posted few weeks ago, but I have been very busy lately, a sign that the New year took off very strong.

The Scenario

Sometimes your CUCM server is out of any hope, full of bugs and issues after issues, yes I’m talking about CUCM version 11.0 – .0 versions are really hard on Delivery Engineers, because the solution is not as stable as Cisco says it is.

So there are cases were a full rebuild of CUCM is what will be next to save you from further head aches.

What is a CUCM Rebuild

If you remember the Upgrade from CUCM BE5K to BE6K from few years ago, you know what is a rebuild. Take a full Export of the CUCM server, create a freshly installed CUCM and Import that .tar file into the new one.

The Issues that you may find along the way

There may be more issues than the ones I will list on this post, feel free to tell me a bit more about your experience.

Importing using BAT is going to be the biggest of the challenges, but patience will be your friend.

You will find that not all your End Points will import

What to do in this case? – Check on the errors you are getting, some times your decompress your .tar file and check the .CSV for the Phones, you may find that the last Column on the spreadsheet needs to be removed. I have also seen weird issues were there are fields with spaces, and this will be really hard to find. Make sure you use a tool like ASAP Utilities, hands down the best Excel Add-on

Users will not import correctly

Remember that passwords are not in clear text, also if you are using Digest Credentials, you may need to enter a generic Password for this field. Also phone a assignments may not show up and then the import will fail; In this case make sure your endpoints are in the Database so that the Assigned devices can be imported correctly.

Application Users will not be imported correctly

Again issues with the Digest credentials is a common error, in some cases the user will come up but you will need to delete it and re-enter it. Keep in mind that if you are using the same CCMADMIN account, this one will error out all the time, leave it alone. Remember to always Document to the detail any deployment and your will have a good night of sleep, if this is not the case, make sure you know where to change them.

UCCX integration will be gone, if you have one

This one was very fun, I was very relieved that I was working with a veteran UC and Collaboration coworker that new what to do… So the CUCM was not showing the IPCC Extension under the End User, so that meant that the UCCX resources were gone and did not show up at all.
The issue was easily solved by entering the following commands:

run sql select paramname from processconfig where paramname like ‘%nstalled%’
run sql update processconfig set paramvalue=”T”

What other things to be on the look for?

Certificates are important

You may need to remove the ITL file on all the phones, or do a Factory reset (Reset All) on the newer models. Or use the rollback option under Enterprise Parameters, the only problem I have with the last one is that the name will be the same, or not, but this is something that I have not tested fully

This issue and its different solutions are well documented here:
Migrating IP Phones Between Clusters with CUCM 8 and ITL Files

My take

Personally I’m not a big fan of doing these type of upgrades or activities, they seem very drastic in my opinion. However I have to tell you, your CUCM will work very well and you will feel the difference. Also make sure you use caution and plan these ahead.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or need any guidance, I will do my best to respond as soon as possible.

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
With more than 13 years of experience, Andres is specialized in the Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations including Cisco technologies; such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook

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