Configuring Cisco UE Backup and Restore

Cisco UE runs on a hardware module that contains storage media separate from that of the router. The NM-CUE has a hard disk, and the AIM-CUE uses onboard compact Flash for storage. The configuration of Cisco UE AA and voice mailincluding the AA prompts, user greetings, spoken names, and voice messagesis stored on this disk or Flash unit. Backing up the router configuration, therefore, is insufficient to preserve the Cisco UE application configuration in the event of a disaster (for example, a hard disk failure) or to restore the system's operational data after an application upgrade.


A Cisco UE software upgrade reformats the hard disk or Flash unit. To preserve the application configuration and voice messages over an upgrade, you must perform a backup before the upgrade and a restore afterwards.

Cisco UE includes a Backup and Restore facility that uses an FTP server as the backup's destination device. You cannot use Flash or other types of media for backup and restore. You might locate the FTP server anywhere in the network, and you do not need to collocate it with the Cisco UE system being backed up. An FTP server login and password provide secure access to the backup and restore operations.

Backups are invoked manually from the Cisco UE system, using either the CLI or GUI interface. The system must be offline during a backup; therefore, no calls might be active in the system when a backup is being done. After a restore operation, you must restart the application.

Although the Cisco UE system has no mechanism to schedule unattended backups, the backup functionality is available through the CLI. Therefore, it is possible for you to develop a script on another server that automatically (for example, based on time of day) logs into the Cisco UE system's CLI and initiates a backup. If you do scheduled backups in this manner, consider the following:

  • A backup requires the system to be offline, and taking the system offline disconnects all calls in progress. If the backup is triggered by a script where the warnings about call disconnection are not seen (because of a scripted interface), backups during normal daytime system use disrupt the system's operation. Write your script to initiate backup during a time of day when no calls are expected to be active.
  • If any errors occur, ensure that your script includes a notification to an administrator so that the errors can be investigated.

Several aspects important to configuring backups are discussed in the following sections:

  • Specifying a directory path for backup
  • Backing up multiple Cisco UEs in a network
  • Including configuration and data in the backup
  • Configuring multiple generations of backups
  • Determining backup file sizes
  • Determining backup bandwidth
  • Best practices

Specifying a Directory Path for Backup

A backup from a Cisco UE system is done to a configured FTP server. The directory location specified in the configuration cannot be the root path of the FTP system. Figure 14-42 shows a sample configuration in which is the backup path. A value of is unacceptable. To enter the backup server path, the FTP server must be in contact with Cisco UE. This means that the FTP location must exist and that Cisco UE validates the location during configuration entry.

Figure 14-42. Backup FTP Server Configuration


The backup path location is relative to the default FTP path for the user account logging in.

The configuration shown in Figure 14-42 is shown in Example 14-15 in CLI. Note that the password is not printed in either the GUI or the CLI for security purposes. It is strongly recommended that the FTP server user account you use for backups be password protected. Cisco UE does not encrypt the backup files.

Example 14-15. Backup FTP Server Configuration

cue#show backup
Server URL:
User Account on Server: group1
Number of Backups to Retain: 50

Cisco UE logs into the FTP server with the account user ID specified in the configuration. In Example 14-15, this is group1. The backup directory specified in the configuration (CUE-site6) is, therefore, a subdirectory from the home location of the user ID on the server. In this example, the subdirectory is



Backing Up Multiple Cisco UEs in a Network

Backups done from one Cisco UE system have no knowledge of backups or server paths used by other Cisco UE systems in the same network. If multiple Cisco UE sites are configured to back up to the same FTP server, use a separate directory for each site, and name the directories in a recognizable manner. For example, you can use site numbers or geographic tags of sites, as follows:


Using separate, well-named directories is important because nothing in the actual backup file naming indicates what site this backup belongs to. All sites' filenames are the same as those shown in Example 14-16. If multiple Cisco UE systems point their backups to the same directory location on the FTP server, they interfere with each other, and the backup does not succeed. Also, the administrator is unable to tell which backup belongs to which Cisco UE system, making restore operations unsuccessful.

Example 14-16. Backup Filenames

[backup-server]$ cd /home/group1/CUE-site6
[backup-server]$ ls -l
total 40
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 11 19:42 Configuration_1
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 6 19:00 Configuration_2
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 19 11:38 Configuration_3
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 19 12:52 Configuration_4
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 5 17:00 Data_1
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 6 18:58 Data_2
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 13 21:15 Data_3
drwxr-xr-x 2 cue cue 4096 Mar 19 11:38 Data_4
-rw-r--r-- 1 cue cue 5178 Mar 19 13:15 history.log 


Selecting Configuration and Data in the Backup

The router configuration is not backed up or restored; only the Cisco UE application configuration and data are backed up and restorable. Use your normal Cisco IOS methods to back up the router's configuration.

A Cisco UE backup provides a choice of configuration or data categories or both. Configuration information includes

  • System configuration
  • Voice mail configuration
  • User information and spoken names
  • AA scripts and prompts

Data information includes

  • Voice mail greetings
  • Voice mail message content


License data is not backed up. A backup must be restored to a system already installed with a license of the same type (the same number of mailboxes and for the same type of system, either Cisco CME or Cisco CallManager) that was on the system when it was backed up.

For a large system (many mailboxes and many messages in them), the data information is the bulk of the information to be backed up, and the configuration is small in comparison. The data is also what changes most frequently and what must be backed up daily. Therefore, there is little incentive to back up one set of information without the other. It is recommended that you back up configuration and data daily during a time when no voice calls are likely to be active in the system. Doing both categories together at all times also makes restore operations simpler, because it ensures that the configuration (of mailboxes) and the voice messages (content of the mailboxes) coincide.

Because the system's configuration is part of the backup, it is important to back up from, and restore to, the same system. If a backup is done from Site1 and is restored onto Site2, the Site2 system assumes Site1's identity and all its characteristics, including DNS settings, host name, and IP address settings, which is undesirable.

Although you can choose to back up configuration or data or both, this facility does not provide a selective backup capability. The Backup and Restore feature in Cisco UE is designed as a disaster protection mechanism. Therefore, a backup or restore operation is per system, not per mailbox or per message. It is not designed to facilitate moving a subscriber's mailbox from one system to another as he or she moves between sites. Nor is there any way to restore a message a subscriber accidentally deleted.

Configuring Multiple Generations of Backups

The Cisco UE Backup and Restore facility keeps up to 50 generations of backups (if configured to do so; the default is 10). When a backup is done that exceeds the configured maximum number of generations, the oldest backup is automatically deleted. The number of generations of backups the system keeps, such as 15, is a moving window of the most recent 15 backups done on the system.

There is no date/time stamp in the backup itself or in the filenames used, so ensure that the clock is set correctly on the FTP server where the backups are stored. This way, file time stamps will accurately indicate the date when a backup was done. The backup history on the Cisco UE system does contain a time and date stamp for when the backup was done. Example 14-17 shows sample output for the CLI backup history command. You can find the same information by using the GUI and navigating to the Administration > Backup/Restore > Configuration screen.

Example 14-17. Backup History

cue#show backup history
#Start Operation
Category: Configuration
Backup Server:
Operation: Backup
Backupid: 1
Description: Site 6
Date:  Sun Apr 21 06:42:34 PDT 2004
Result: Success
#End Operation
#Start Operation
Category: Data
Backup Server:
Operation: Backup
Backupid: 1
Description: Site 6
Date:  Sun Apr 21 06:42:41 PDT 2004
Result: Success
#End Operation

If more than 50 generations of backups must be kept (or 50 days, assuming that backups are run daily), this can be accomplished by using a succession of different directories for backups. For example, could be the backup directory configured for the first 50 backup days, and then the configuration can be changed to This lets another 50 backups be stored in the second directory without affecting the ones in the initial directory.

The backup generations are controlled by the history.log file stored in the backup directory, shown earlier in Example 14-16. This file controls the number of backups and which ones should be deleted if the maximum number of generations is exceeded. This file also controls the restore view (in the GUI, navigate to Administration > Backup/Restore > Start Restore) should you select to do a restore. The restore view is built from the current directory configured for backups, so by changing the configuration (temporarily), you can get a view of an older directory and select a restore from there.


Do not move or change individual files within a backup directory (for example, CUE-site6). Doing this invalidates the history.log control file and, therefore, the ability to restore any of the backups from this directory. The entire directory can be moved or copied (or encrypted with an offline utility), but do not perform such operations on individual files within the directory.


Determining Backup File Sizes

The largest contribution in size to a typical Cisco UE backup is the actual voice mail message content. Messages are stored in G.711, which is a 64-Kbps codec, so the size can be calculated as 64000 / 8 = 8000 bytes per second, which is 8 KB per second of recorded voice. This factor applies to mailbox greetings, spoken names, and voice message content.

The components of a Cisco UE system that determine the backup file size include

  • The base system configuration
  • User and mailbox definitions, including spoken names and greetings
  • Voice message content
  • Custom AA scripts and prompts

If the following attributes of the system are known, the backup size can be estimated:

  • AA script and prompt sizes
  • Greeting time per user (in seconds)
  • Spoken name time per user (in seconds)
  • Number of users
  • Total voice mail minutes

All the non-AA information, with the exception of spoken name time, is available from the Cisco UE system, as shown in Example 14-18. You can see the same information in the GUI by navigating to the Reports > Voice Mail screen. Spoken name time can be estimated at 3 seconds per mailbox.

Example 14-18. Cisco UE System Summary

cue#show voicemail usage
personal mailboxes: 40 
general delivery mailboxes: 0
orphaned mailboxes: 0
capacity of voicemail (minutes): 6000
allocated capacity (minutes): 3310.0
message time used (seconds): 2400 
message count: 33
average message length (seconds): 72.72727272727273
greeting time used (seconds): 308 
greeting count: 40
average greeting length (seconds): 7.7 
total time used (seconds): 2708
total time used (minutes): 45.13333511352539
percentage used time (%): 1

You can derive the size of AA information from the file sizes given in the Voice Mail > Prompts and Voice Mail > Scripts GUI screens. Similarly, you can use the show ccn prompts and show ccn scripts CLI commands to see the same information.

You can estimate the backup file size of a particular Cisco UE system with the following calculations (the figures given here are based on Cisco UE release 1.2 and might vary for other releases) and by adding together all the components:

  • Base system configuration: Assume 400 to 500 KB
  • Users and mailboxes: (average greeting time(s) * 8 KB) + (average spoken name time(s) * 8 KB) * number of mailboxes
  • Voice messages: (voice message time(s) * 8 KB) + 5% overhead factor
  • AA: (script + prompt files sizes) + 5% overhead factor

Determining Backup Bandwidth

FTP is a protocol that uses all the bandwidth it can get to communicate between the two systems. The more bandwidth that is available, the quicker the FTP session will be. It is recommended that you insert a quality of service (QoS) policy on the WAN link of the router that carries the Cisco UE backup traffic to regulate the bandwidth available to FTP traffic. As soon as this available bandwidth is determined, and you have an estimate of the backup size for a particular site (using the information given in the preceding section), you can estimate how long a typical backup will take. Cisco UE does not do incremental backups; it does a full backup of all information every time.

If you have LAN connectivity between the Cisco UE system and the FTP server, a typical backup takes 2 to 3 minutes.

Best Practices

The following list provides the best practices for configuring and doing backups on a Cisco UE system:

  • Ensure that the running configuration is written to the startup configuration before a backup is done. From the Cisco UE CLI, use the write command, or from the GUI, go to Administration > Control Panel and click the Save Unity Express Configuration button.
  • Restore onto the same system that was backed up from.
  • If you have to restore onto a different system, it is best to do so on a system that has been newly installed (that is, it has no preexisting configuration) with a license that matches that of the system that created the backup.
  • License mismatches when restoring onto a different system than was backed up from might cause unpredictable results. Backups from a Cisco UE configured for a Cisco CME system cannot be restored onto a Cisco UE configured for a Cisco CallManager system, or vice versa.
  • Do a backup at the end of the business day when users are no longer using the system and incoming calls are at a minimum.
  • Back up both configuration and data daily.
  • Back up each system in a network to a uniquely named directory on the FTP server.
  • Ensure that the clock is set correctly on the FTP server before initiating a backup.
  • Ensure that there is enough disk space on the FTP server for the backups to complete successfully.
  • Do not modify or delete individual files within a backup directory.

Configuring Interconnection with Other Sites

Part I: Cisco IP Communications Express Overview

Introducing Cisco IPC Express

Building a Cisco IPC Express Network

Cisco IPC Express Architecture Overview

Part II: Feature Operation and Applications

Cisco IP Phone Options

Cisco CME Call Processing Features

Cisco CME PSTN Connectivity Options

Connecting Multiple Cisco CMEs with VoIP

Integrating Cisco CME with Cisco CallManager

Cisco IPC Express Automated Attendant Options

Cisco IPC Express Integrated Voice Mail

Cisco CME External Voice Mail Options

Additional External Applications with Cisco CME

Part III: Administration and Management

Cisco IPC Express General Administration and Initial System Setup

Configuring and Managing Cisco IPC Express Systems

Cisco IPC Express System Configuration Example

Part IV: Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Basic Cisco IPC Express Features

Troubleshooting Advanced Cisco CME Features

Troubleshooting Cisco CME Network Integration

Troubleshooting Cisco UE System Features

Troubleshooting Cisco UE Automated Attendant

Troubleshooting Cisco UE Integrated Voice Mail Features

Part V: Appendixes

Appendix A. Cisco IPC Express Features, Releases, and Ordering Information

Appendix B. Sample Cisco UE AA Scripts

Appendix C. Cisco Unity Express Database Schema


Cisco IP Communications Express(c) CallManager Express with Cisco Unity Express
Cisco IP Communications Express: CallManager Express with Cisco Unity Express
ISBN: 158705180X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 236 © 2008-2020.
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