The Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) is in use at many organisations to integrate data, voice and video applications. It’s a nice product which provides a good balance between security and functionality.
As is often the case however, this sort of product very quickly becomes a critical piece of the infrastructure and consequently needs to be treated as such. It’s therefore important to ensure that the configuration is routinely backed up in a secure fashion in order to recover your system should the need arise.
CUCM allows you to backup the configuration to a location on your network; because there will be credentials contained within the backup, it requires that you transfer the backup using a secure mechanism – SFTP.
Any file transfer server that provides the SFTP protocol is fine to use – some file transfer vendors even publish simple guides on how to configure for their specific software, however the steps to successful implementation are straightforward.
First, create an account on the SFTP server that you will use to receive the backup and set up a folder for it. Even though CUCM allows the use of SFTP, it does not permit connection using an SSH key – you must create a user that has the ability to connect using just a password instead. If your SFTP server has the ability to automatically forward on files to another location, you may wish to set this up at this time.
Next go to CUCM and log into the Disaster Recovery System. From here, select Backup, then Backup Device. This is where you provide the details of your SFTP server. Click on “Add New” and provide a friendly name for your SFTP server. Beneath this, there is an area marked “Select Destination” – here you can enter the SFTP server details, path and credentials. You can also select how many backups you want to keep in the SFTP server – handy if your SFTP server lacks automation capabilities.
Once you have done this, you can schedule the backup. Go to Backup, the Scheduler and click “Add New” to create a new schedule. As you might expect, you can now add the frequency that you want to send the backup to the SFTP server, including the day of the week and time of day. Finally, save the schedule and click on “Enable Schedule”.
Et Voila! Your CUCM configuration is now being securely backed up to your SFTP server.
These SFTP servers are supported and recommended by Cisco: