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Upgrading Cisco IOS on stacked switches - 3650/2960

Hi Guys,


I just wanted to ask a quick question regarding the best way to go about remotely upgrading Cisco stacked switches.


Would it be the case that each flash drive would need the new IOS added to it – Then once we are ready to upgrade, we would need to change each switch individually to the become the master (via priority settings) then upgrade it?


If anyone could please provide some assistance with this, that would be great! 😊


Thanks in advance.

VIP Advisor

VIP Expert

here is another good guide for reference :


Note: read the release notes, take the config out of the box, switch reboots so there is a downtime, in case anything go wrong on remote end to make sure someone available connecting console and collect logs.



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Hi Marce and Balaji,


Thank you for the articles this is much appreciated – So it seems that the .tar file is only needed when using a web interface to upgrade the switches and the only difference is having to load the file into each flash memory, as opposed to just one when doing a single switch.


Is there any particular difference when doing the IOS upgrades remotely (Over MPLS) ? Apart from the danger of having a corrupt IOS which could crash the switch.


Please let me know - Thanks!

I have done plenty of upgrades remotely as long as you have taken all the precaution measures. (but some time never knows the situation, so good to have someone who has a console to the device, if needed.)





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Hi Balaji,

Apologies for the delayed response,


Ok great that is reassuring :) in terms of precautionary measures I am assuming you mean the following:

- Checking release notes of the recommended IOS

- Having console access to the device

- Checking Memory 



yes that is correct.


most of the enviroment do not hold prime infra for couple of device for auto upgrade.

personally i have many failures and stuck with PI using auto upgrade (it does not mean, it not work for others)this is my experience.


I love and like the traditional way, not complicated at all.



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Try to automate Switch IOS  upgrade process. Prime Infrastructure Cisco NMS tool has SWIM module which can:


1. Recommend IOS image

2. Run Image upgrade analysis test to validate flash and memory requirement for device.

3. Bulk Distribute Image to stack/non-stack devices alone and validate image md5sum value.

4. If no space left in flash, Prime would perform smart erase clean on old files to claim space for distribution of image.

5. Prime has FTP/TFTP/SFTP protocol option to distribute image.

4. Allows to activate the image parallel/sequentially on switches.

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