Act Now: Important CUCM 8.5 Licensing Update


October 16, 2017

IT environments using Cisco Unified Communications Manager 8.5 or older versions will need to act quickly to update their voice system deployment before November 30, 2017. After that date, the process of upgrading to a newer version is going to become significantly more difficult and more expensive.

Cisco will no longer convert your Device License Units (DLUs) into the current licensing scheme, nor will Cisco provide pre-migration review support or migration support in general. Customers will need to scrap any licenses they’ve already purchased and redeploy CUCM at a more recent version from scratch.


Change in License Schemes between CUCM 8.5 and 9

When CUCM was released, Cisco was operating under a very different licensing scheme than they currently use for CUCM 9–12. At that time, Cisco sold licenses in the form of DLUs, which operated much like credits or points. Companies would purchase a bundle of generalized DLUs and spend them to acquire a defacto license for a specific phone or other device. Different devices would then in turn require a different number of DLUs to operate based on how advanced the device model was. Think of it like currency. Each phone or device had a certain cost in DLUs to acquire an individual license for that device.

The DLU system was designed to provide consumers a customizable approach to acquiring their licenses, but Cisco eventually moved away from this strategy. CUCM 9 – 12 follow a tiered licensing system called User Connect Licensing. Customers purchase a licensing tier, and from there can then acquire licenses for a variety of devices. This system is based on devices assigned to users.

To bridge the gap between these two licensing schemes, Cisco offered the option to convert any existing DLUs into the tiered system. That conversion service will be discontinued as of November 30th, so it is imperative that businesses using CUCM 8.5 or older versions upgrade as soon as possible to recoup their investment in DLUs.


CUCM 8.5 End of Support — July 2017

This news should not be too big of a surprise. Cisco declared End of Support for CUCM 8.5 in July 2017, and the product was officially retired in all respects from the Cisco catalogue.


After November 30th

After this hard deadline, customers will need to determine how many users they have and licenses they need. Then, they will need to purchase new licenses one of two ways:

  • Purchase brand new licenses through their partner.
  • Purchase upgrade licenses through their partner.


Mindsight Is Standing By

Mindsight is ready and able to assist in the transition from CUCM 8.5 to a newer version of the software. We can aid in converting DLUs, migrating licenses, and upgrading the software. Our engineers possess advanced Cisco certifications and Mindsight’s standing as a Cisco Gold Partner speaks to our expertise with Cisco solutions and our ongoing relationship with Cisco Systems. You don’t want to be left with useless DLUs for your voice system and an obsolete version of Cisco Communications Manager.

Contact Mindsight today to discuss the best course of action for your business.

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