This article will show how to configure CallManager Express (CME) for the IP phone firmware upgrade process. Upgrading your Cisco IP phones is generally a good practice, especially when upgrading your CallManager or CallManager Express version, as it will ensure all new options and features supported by your CallManager/CME system are also available to your IP phones.
Upgrading your Cisco IP phone firmware is a very simple process, however special consideration must be taken into account when upgrading to the latest firmware.
If the Cisco Unified IP phone is currently running firmware earlier than 6.0(2) on and you want to upgrade to 8.x(x), you must first install an intervening 7.0(x) load to prevent upgrade failure.
Cisco recommends using the most recent 7.0(3) load as the intervening load to avoid lengthy upgrade times.
If the Cisco Unified IP phone is currently running firmware 6.0(2) to 7.0(2) and you want to upgrade to 8.x(x), you can do so directly. However, expect the upgrade to take twice as long as usual.
Step 1 – Download the Appropriate Firmware
To download Cisco IP Phone firmware from Cisco.com, a valid Cisco CCO account is required. In most cases, the firmware file name is something similar to the following: cmterm-7945_7965-sccp.9-2-1.tar. From the file name, we can understand that this is firmware version 9.2.1, for Cisco 7945 and 7965 SCCP IP phones.
Step 2 – Upload Firmware Files to CallManager Express Flash Storage
Next, the firmware must be uploaded and unpacked on our CME router. For this, we’ll need a TFTP server running on a workstation, plus access to the CME router. From the CME prompt, we instruct the router to download the firmware and unpack it onto our CME flash:
When complete, the system’s flash should contain all 8 files as shown above.
Step 3 – Configure The CallManager Express TFTP Server to Serve the Firmware files & Setup DHCP Server (option 150)
Now we must configure CME’s tftp server to ‘serve’ these files so that the IP phones can request them. This is done by adding the following commands to the router’s configuration:
We also must ensure there is a valid DHCP server running with option 150 set to CME’s IP address. When the IP phone boots up, it will look for a DHCP server that will provide it with an IP address, but also expect to find DHCP option 150 which designates the CME the phone should try to register with:
ip dhcp excluded-address 10.0.0.1 10.0.0.15
ip dhcp pool Firewall.cx
network 10.0.0.0 255.255.255.0
dns-server 10.0.0.1 184.108.40.206
option 150 ip 10.0.0.1
The above configuration excludes IP address ranges 10.0.0.1 to 10.0.0.15 from being handed out by the DHCP server. It also creates a DHCP scope named Firewall.cx and configures various self-explanatory parameters including the critical DHCP option 150, which represents the CME the IP phone should try to register to.
Step 4 – Configure CallManager Express to Use New Firmware Upon Next IP Phone Bootup
The final step involves configuring CME to use the new firmware and instruct IP phones to download it. This is done by issuing the following commands under the telephony-service section of CME:
The load command is followed by the phone type and associated firmware (.load) file. Notice we do not add the .loadof the filename at the end of the command.
The create cnf command instructs CME to recreate the XML files that will be used by the IP phones to download all necessary network parameters and force it to check its firmware and begin downloading the new one.
This completes our article on configuring Cisco CallManager Express for Cisco IP Phone Firmware upgrade.
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