Installing CUCM on VMware

Posted: November 24, 2015 in Communications
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Hi there, long time no “see”. Hope you guys are doing great.

From now on, we will start a new series on OUR articles. We will cover the most robust calling processor: Cisco Unified Communications Manager – CUCM.

We will be using the Cisco Unified Call Manager Express – CUCME – to make integrations with CUCM, configure and administrate CUCM, integrating CUCM with other communications systems such as: Cisco Unity Connection, CUCM IM & Presence and so on.

But what is mandatory to accomplish that? Yes, it is exactly what you have thought: Installation.


So, let’s get started.

Nowadays, a lot of systems are being virtualized. Why that happens, you may ask. The main reason that happens is because of: Cost savings, Faster server provisioning, Improve disaster recovery and the list of advantages goes on and on. You can make a Google Search (why not a BING Search 🙂 ) and you will read more about virtualization.

We will be installing our CUCM on VMware. This is what I will use on this LAB:

  1. VMware Workstation v. 11.1.3
  2. GNS3 v. 1.3.11
  3. c3725-adventerprisek9-mz.124-15.T7.bin (IOS – not iOS 🙂 – which we will use on GNS3…GNS3’s Routers don’t come with an IOS, this is why we need at least one for now)
  4. CUCM .ISO file (I’m using CUCM 9.1 version)
  5. Mozilla Firefox

I won’t be providing any of these software. They can be found on the vendors sites for download. The IOS for GNS3 can be found on the Web, just make a Bing Search and you will find them.


The recommended system requirements for CUCM 9.1 virtually installed are:

2 of vCPU, 4GB of vRAM, 1x80GB of vDisk and 1 vNIC.

We are going to install it with 2GB vRAM.



Let’s start by installing our CUCM.

  1. Open VMware Workstation, press CTRL+N and choose Typical (recommended):


  1. Select the second option on the next menu: Installer disc image file (iso) and then browse and select the .ISO file:


  1. Choose Linux and select Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Note: CUCM platform is based on Red Hat.


  1. Type a proper name for the VM



  1. Set the disk size to 80 GB and choose one of the options for how VMware will handle with the Virtual Disk.


  1. Before we click Finish, there is something we have to do on our virtual hardware, so, click on Customize Hardware:


  1. Set the memory to 2GB at least, and set the cores per processor to two (2)




It’s all set up for the installation. We can now Finish and start the VM for installation.

1. We will be asked for a Media Check, this way the system can recheck the requirements for installation so that we don’t lose time finding only later that something is missing.

I recommend you guys to choose “YES” instead of “NO”, but you are free to choose the best option for you.

Note: Mouse is not supported here, so you can use the “TAB”, “SHIFT+TAB”/”ALT+TAB” and “ENTER”/”SPACE” keys to navigate on the menu.

media check

2. Wait until you get the confirmation of the system that you are ready to go with the installation:


If you have error messages on the above screen, revise the requirements and double-check the steps to make sure you have done it in the right way.

3. Let’s select the product we want to install, which is CUCM


4. Confirm installation of CUCM


5. On the next screen you can choose either if you want to use the Setup wizard now for the configurations or you can configure later. I have selected “Proceed” with the Wizard


6. Choose “No” on the next screen as we are not going to apply any upgrade patch for now


7. Click “Continue” on the following screen and then select your Timezone:



8. Click “Continue” on the following screen for NIC Speed and Duplex, select “No” for the MTU size (we will keep the default value of MTU) and choose “No” for the DHCP as we don’t have any DHCP Server running.




9. Insert your Network Configurations, mine can be found on the following image


10. Choose “No” on the next screen as we won’t be using DNS for now


11. Add the credentials you want to use for the “ADMINISTRATOR Login*”.


12. In order to the system generate a security certificate, we will have to fill the information asked on the next screen


13. Select “Yes” on the next screen as this is our first node


14. Add your NTP Server IP Address on the next screen


15. Set the “SECURITY passwords**”


16. Select “No” on the next screen as we won’t be using SMTP for now


17. Set the “APPLICATION credentials***”



Quick Quiz:

We have seen the following on our configurations: ADMINISTRATOR Login, SECURITY Password and APPLICATION Login. What is the difference between those three?


Administrator account username and password

During installation, you must create an Administrator Account username and password to log into the following areas:

  •  Cisco Unified Operating System Administration interface
  •  Disaster Recovery System Administration interface
  •  Command Line Interface (CLI)

The Administrator login must start with an alphabetic character, be at least six characters long, and can contain alphanumeric characters, hyphens, and underscores.

If you lose the Administrator password and cannot access the system, you can recover the Administrator password in Cisco Unified Communications Operating System Administration.

If you need to reset the Administrator password, use the CLI.

Application username and password

During installation, you must create an Application User user ID and password to sign into the Cisco Unified CM IM and Presence Administration interface.

If you need to reset the Application User password, use the CLI.

Security password

During installation, you must specify a system security password. This password is used to secure communication between cluster nodes. In the Post-Installation deployment wizard, which displays the first time you sign in to Cisco Unified CM IM and Presence Administration, you must reset the security password to be identical to the password used on the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM) publisher server.

Check more at Cisco Documentation


That said:

18. Finish the Wizard



After we finish our Wizard we might get errors because of NTP Server being inaccessible.


NTP Server is required for the installation to proceed, without it we will not be able to proceed with the installation.

This is the error we get when the NTP Server is not accessible.

NTP Server Error.jpg


Quick Quiz:

NTP – Network Time Protocol

Is a networking protocol for clock synchronization between computer systems over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks.

GNS3 – Graphical Network Simulator

Is a graphical network simulator that allows you to design complex network topologies. You may run simulations or configure devices ranging from simple workstations to powerful Cisco routers.


Note: If your Virtual Machine has access to the Internet, you can use a public NTP Server. There are so many you can use, just make a Google Search and you will find them.

But, for my case, I didn’t use any public NTP Servers.

I configured a Router on GNS3 as my NTP Server and here I integrated VMware with GNS3 so that my CUCM Server can communicate with this Router:

19. Integration of VMware and GNS3

 a. First Select “Settings” of the CUCM Virtual Machine. Go to “Network Adapter” and on the “Network Connection” choose “Custom” and select one of the 2 network adapters that VMware installs on our Computers (VMNet1 and VMNet8). I have used VMNet1


b. Go to the selected network adapter through Control Panel and configure the Network parameters.

Note: Remember we used the following IP address as our GW when we were configuring CUCM network parameters? Exactly, we will be using this IP address on this network adapter


c. Open GNS3 as Administrator, press “CTRL+SHIFT+P” for Preferences, go to “IOS Routers” and click “New” so that we can add a new IOS for the Routers. Browse and select your image



d. Add your new “Router” on GNS3 and add the “Cloud” by drag-and-drop


e. “Right-Click” on the Cloud, select the Network Adapter we configured on our CUCM Virtual Machine (the same we configured on Control Panel as our GW).


f. Link your Router with the Cloud and then make the proper NTP configurations on the Router then test the connection from your Router on GNS3 to the CUCM Virtual Machine


As we can see above, I can reach the CUCM Server, all I have to do is configure this Router ( as my NTP Server and test on CUCM:


Once this is done, the system will begin the installation of CUCM.

Have in mind that this installation process takes around 2 hours to finish. The duration of the installation may depend also on your hardware.

As this takes time to finish, go relax playing a game, drink a coffee or something else you like.

I relaxed playing Age Of Empires: Castle Siege as I like this game. 🙂


Once the system finished installing, you will see a screen like this (it will be a little bit different as, unfortunately, I toke the screenshot after I have restarted the CUCM Server…but that doesn’t matter, it’s not relevant):


The above screen is the confirmation that the CUCM Virtual Machine has successfully finished installing.

We can now go to the Browser and try to access the Server. Have in mind that there are some services that take some time to start up even after the Server is up and running, so give it some minutes and try accessing.

20. Accessing to CUCM



There is a “problem” I detected once I click on “Cisco Unified Communications Manager”. Firefox gives me this “error”:

a. Firefox error


To by-pass this security check, open a “New Tab” on Firefox and go to this URL



Click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!” and on the search box, type this “security.ssl3.dhe_rsa_aes_” and you will get the following results:


By default, those values are set to “true“. Double click on both to set them to “false


No need to restart the browser and now we can click on “Cisco Unified Communications Manager”.

Type the “APPLICATION Credentials” and you are done with the installation.




So, this is it….its over…for now.

Next article will be the basic configurations on our CUCM server and we will register a couple of Phones.


Any doubts, you can post here your comments as it can be somebody else’s doubt or you can send me an

See you soon….

Don’t forget the motto: EVERYONE TEACH ONE



Cisco Learning Network Store

Warm regards,

Edson Vuma

  1. edsoncongolo says:

    Reblogged this on The HomeWork and commented:
    After almost a year, another classic article from Edson Vuma, good job
    i recommend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] hope you guys have completed the installation of CUCM on your environments from our previous […]


  3. […] hope you guys have completed the installation of CUCM on your environments from our previous […]


  4. […] On this article I won’t be showing how to install Cisco Unity Connection as it is actually the same process as installing CUCM, which we already covered. […]


  5. F-X says:

    Great Post !
    Any idea where can I get the CUCM ISO file? I would like to mount a LAB with this information.



    • Edson Vuma says:

      Hi F-X,

      Thanks for reading my blog and for giving attention to my first article of the Unified Communications series.
      Regarding to the .ISO file, kindly check on Cisco Website / forums where you can find at least .ISO files for DEMO and then you can use them for your LABs.

      Warm regards,
      Edson Vuma


      • DIGVIJAY SINGH says:

        sir, thanks to you that i completed the installation of cucm on vmware. I would be obliged if you help me resolve this problem. I have created a cluster consisting of a publisher and a subscriber along with tftp. I have enabled the publisher to act like subscriber to register ip phones and i want the ip phone to be registered on the subscriber by default. But the problem is that they are getting registered on the publisher and not on the subscriber. How can I troubleshoot this?


  6. Hi Edson – I have been following your article to link my CUCM 10.5.2 on GNS3 1.3.11 using a router 3745… Does it need any Loopback adapter to configure ?? I am not able to establish connection between my CUCM and router.

    Appreciate your help..!!


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