Cisco UCM: backup to SFTP server

When you install Server!, the installer deploys a very secure (PCI compliant) configuration. Such strong configuration, though, is not compatible with Cisco UCM backups, as Cisco UCM has a very outdated support for the SFTP protocol.

Setting all the protocol options and tweaks by hand, to properly support Cisco UCM, may be painful, as there are so many! But Server! makes it easy by providing a handy drop-down list of ready-made configuration scenarios, including one that is ideal as a Cisco UCM backup target.


You can find the drop-down list inside the “SFTP Advanced” tab in the main section of the Configuration Manager. As usual, please, don’t forget to save your configuration after you apply these changes.

Once the “Cisco UC” option is selected from the drop-down list of scenarios, and the configuration is saved, your Cisco UCM will be able to use Server! as a backup target.

Now that you have properly configured Server! as a backup target for Cisco UCM, you have to properly configure your UCM side too. In fact, UCM has a lot of restrictions in terms of backup settings, and its SFTP protocol support is very narrow, to say the least.

For instance, if you set the backup destination in your Cisco UCM to / (the SFTP server root), the backup will fail, because UCM will try to open a non-existent file, regardless of the server correctly reporting the non-existence of such file. For some reason, the backup process works properly only when the target directory is set to /aliasname/, where “aliasname” is the alias for the UCM instance defined inside UCM iteself. Furthermore such directory (or virtual directory) must exist inside the root of the SFTP server.

For example, if the SFTP server root points to C:\SFTPRoot\ and the aliasname is CUCM, then the directory C:\SFTPRoot\CUCM\ must exist on disk before attempting to perform a backup operation, and the target directory inside UCM must be set to /CUCM/.

One last, but very important detail: many CUCM components tend to use multiple connections, one of which is used as a “control” connection. This “control” connection does not transfer files, therefore it’s subject to timeout. In order to make sure your CUCM backups run successfully till the end, please, make sure to set your session timeout to a value high enough to support this scenario. We recommend not less than 7,200 seconds (2 hours) but some of our customers have reported that values of 21,600 seconds (6 hours) are very common in real-life scenarios.

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