Preparing Endpoints for Webex Calling

If you have a DX80, nearly any of the 8800 phones or 7800 series phones you have endpoints needed to register to Webex calling.  The only problem with some of these endpoints, however, can be that they require a minimum version of software to register to the cloud.  As of this writing the DX platform requires at least CE 8.3.4 and the 7800 and 8800 family’s require 11.0 software or later.

In some cases you may have a DX80 still on the Android version of software.  This is not supported.  In fact the conversion process can be somewhat involved a well.  Likewise, without call manager in the mix the upgrade of the 7800 and 8800 phones can be cumbersome.

There is an easy solution to all of this, however!  Cisco offers a cloud service called the Cloud Upgrader located at http://upgrade.cisco.com/.  This system is in essence a cloud hosted TFTP server that will allow the registration and upgrade of these devices.  The process is nearly fully automated with the exception of entering the sites TFTP address, at this time 35.185.22.200, into your endpoints.  If you launch the site with your web browser you can see firsthand the instructions to configure each endpoint with this TFTP server information.  If you would like to checkout a brief introduction to the upgrade site and the process you can check out the video below:

What if I have a LOT of endpoints I need to upgrade?  Well… with some thought you may already have the answer in mind…  Configured a dedicated VLAN with the TFTP server specified in that VLAN’s DHCP scope via option 150.  The VLAN will need to have a clear shot to the internet as well so the phones can establish connectivity.  Of course this also takes some work to implement and you certainly need to be cautious if implementing it on a production network.   When a device boots and get its address information the process begins just like it would with Unified Communications Manager.  The exception, of course, is that the device is registering with a limited featured cloud service that delivers only software updates with no other services such as calling.

As far as the DHCP pool is concerned I have included my DHCP pools information below for your reference.  Updates the network, gateway and DNS information to suite your environment of course.

ip dhcp pool UPGRADE
 network 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0
 default-router 192.168.1.1
 dns-server 4.2.2.2 8.8.8.8
 option 150 ip 35.185.22.200 !the current address of upgrade.cisco.com

I hope you have found this information helpful!  As always feel free to comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

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