CUCM upgrade fails due to lack of free space in the common partition

I was upgrading my CUCM cluster over the weekend from 10.5 to 12.5 and I had a nice large window to get everything done, but I fell behind almost immediately because my publisher upgrade wouldn’t even start!

The error stated that the upgrade failed due to lack of free space in the common partition. I checked the documentation, which said it needed 25GB of free space, and yet I had 27GB of free space. I ran the preupgrade check COP file and it said passed, so I couldn’t understand why it was failing.

What Cisco failed to mention, and what I misunderstood, was that the 25GB requirement does not include the 4.1GB upgrade file size. So when I configured my upgrade to download the file via SFTP, it was taking up space in the common partition, dropping it down to 23GB, and then the upgrade failed.

So what are the fixes if you don’t have enough space in the common partition? Let’s review what Cisco recommends:

First, open RTMT and go to the Disk Usage page under the System tab. Near the bottom of the page you should see your common partition listed, along with Total Space (MB) and Used Space (MB). You will have to do some math to determine your free space, keep in mind that despite what google says 1GB does NOT equal 1000MB. 1GB equals 1024MB. This difference will matter when you’re trying to free up space.

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  1. Remove any old device loads: Unused TFTP files such as ring tones, MOH, and wallpapers that may be taking up space can be removed to free up space.

  2. Adjust High and Low Watermarks: This one is actually directly from the upgrade documentation. This reduces the traces and removes old log files that you (hopefully) won’t need. The default low is 80 and high is 85. To adjust, open RTMT and open the Alert Center. Right-click the LogPartitionLowWaterMarkExceeded alert and select Set Alert/Properties. Click next and then adjust the slider down to about 30. Do the same thing for LogPartitionHighWaterMarkExceeded and set it to about 40.



  3. Run the free common space COP tool provided by Cisco: If you’re still hurting for space after the high and low watermark adjustment, don’t worry, there is another Skywalker… uh… you know, another hope. Cisco provides a COP file tool called ciscocm.free_common_space_v1.5.cop that you can run. (Check that version depending on your version of CUCM and what the latest version is, 1.5 is the latest at the time of this writing) What this will do is remove your inactive version of CUCM. BE WARNED, once you run this tool, your current inactive version of CUCM is gone forever and you will not be able to restore it. The good news? You’re about to upgrade anyway, so you don’t need it anymore. Head over to the Cisco downloads website and go to Downloads Home > Unified Communications > Call Control > Unified Communications Manager (CallManager) > Unified Communications Manager Version 12.5 > Unified Communications Manager Utilities > COP-Files.
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  4. Attach the .ISO to your VM as a CD/DVD: An obvious choice that I, of course, didn’t think about, when you are right on the edge of having enough space, but don’t quite have enough, is to install the upgrade from a local source by attaching the .ISO to your VM as a CD/DVD. By doing this, you eliminate the need of the 4.1GB file to download, so once you have 25GB, you actually have 25GB for the upgrade.





  5. Expand the disk space on your VM: WARNING: Do not do this without the assistance of Cisco TAC. There is one more option, and that is to expand the disk space on your VM. I don’t recommend doing this without first opening a TAC case and having the process approved by a TAC engineer. This one could potentially cause problems with your system, so I’m not going to advise this without close supervision.

Happy Upgrading!

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