Cisco Nexus NXOS Upgrade

I’ve recently completed a series of NXOS upgrades on a pair of Nexus 9372TX-E switches and thought I’d document the process. It should be similar for most other models as well.

In my situation I was going from version 7.0(3)I4(5) to 9.3(4). I wanted to try to use the In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) process, so I checked which upgrade path Cisco recommend using the tool found here. In my case my upgrade path would be 7.0(3)I4(5) → 7.0(3)I4(8b) → 7.0(3)I7(9) → 9.3(4).

Archive current configurations of the affected devices in case of rollback

Switch1# copy running-config usb1:<hostname>.cfg
Switch2# copy running-config usb1:<hostname>.cfg

Ensure there is sufficient space on the bootflash for all firmware images

Switch1# dir bootflash:
Switch2# dir bootflash:

Copy the software from usb to bootflash

Switch1# copy usb1:///nxos.7.0.3.I4.8b.bin bootflash:///
Switch2# copy usb1:///nxos.7.0.3.I4.8b.bin bootflash:///

Confirm current vpc status to ensure everything is in an OK state before the upgrade

Switch1# show vpc
Switch2# show vpc

Legend:
                (*) - local vPC is down, forwarding via vPC peer-link

vPC domain id                     : x   
Peer status                       : peer adjacency formed ok      
vPC keep-alive status             : peer is alive                 
Configuration consistency status  : success 
Per-vlan consistency status       : success                       
Type-2 consistency status         : success 
vPC role                          : primary                       
Number of vPCs configured         : 0   
Peer Gateway                      : Enabled
Dual-active excluded VLANs        : -
Graceful Consistency Check        : Enabled
Auto-recovery status              : Enabled, timer is off.(timeout = 240s)
Delay-restore status              : Timer is off.(timeout = 30s)
Delay-restore SVI status          : Timer is off.(timeout = 10s)

vPC Peer-link status
---------------------------------------------------------------------
id   Port   Status Active vlans    
--   ----   ------ --------------------------------------------------
1    Po1    up     xx 

Perform installation compatibility check on the first switch and then repeat the process on the second switch. In my case the upgrade process could not use ISSU and would require a reboot.

Switch1# show install all impact nxos bootflash:nxos.7.0.3.I7.9.bin

Installer will perform impact only check. Please wait. 

Verifying image bootflash:/nxos.7.0.3.I4.8b.bin for boot variable "nxos".
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Verifying image type.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Preparing "nxos" version info using image bootflash:/nxos.7.0.3.I4.8b.bin.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Preparing "bios" version info using image bootflash:/nxos.7.0.3.I4.8b.bin.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Performing module support checks.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Notifying services about system upgrade.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS



Compatibility check is done:
Module  bootable          Impact  Install-type  Reason
------  --------  --------------  ------------  ------
     1       yes      disruptive         reset  default upgrade is not hitless



Images will be upgraded according to following table:
Module       Image                  Running-Version(pri:alt)           New-Version  Upg-Required
------  ----------  ----------------------------------------  --------------------  ------------
     1        nxos                               7.0(3)I4(5)          7.0(3)I4(8b)           yes
     1        bios     v07.51(02/15/2016):v07.41(10/12/2015)    v07.51(02/15/2016)            no

Upgrade the software on the first switch

Switch1# install all nxos bootflash:nxos.7.0.3.I7.9.bin
Images will be upgraded according to following table:
Module       Image                  Running-Version(pri:alt)           New-Version  Upg-Required
------  ----------  ----------------------------------------  --------------------  ------------
     1        nxos                               7.0(3)I4(5)          7.0(3)I4(8b)           yes
     1        bios     v07.51(02/15/2016):v07.41(10/12/2015)    v07.51(02/15/2016)            no


Switch will be reloaded for disruptive upgrade.

Do you want to continue with the installation (y/n)?  [n] y



Install is in progress, please wait.

Performing runtime checks.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Setting boot variables.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Performing configuration copy.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS

Module 1: Refreshing compact flash and upgrading bios/loader/bootrom.
Warning: please do not remove or power off the module at this time.
[####################] 100% -- SUCCESS


Finishing the upgrade, switch will reboot in 10 seconds.

Upon reboot, vpc will be down. However after a few minutes it will come back up.

show vpc

Repeat the process for the second switch.

Switch2# show install all impact nxos bootflash:nxos.7.0.3.I7.9.bin
Switch2# install all nxos bootflash:nxos.7.0.3.I7.9.bin

After the second switch reboots, confirm vpc is still working.

Switch2# show vpc

And that’s the first upgrade done for the pair. If your case is similar to mine where you need to upgrade several times, you get to now have the fun of repeating the process.