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Reloading Cisco routers as part of preventative maintenance procedures

is there any benefits to reloading routers on a scheduled basis?

Does this clean up memory, tables, etc that may slow performance but not be apparent ?

Or if everything is operating normally should we let the boxes run?


I would have to say no. I've seen Cisco routers and switches up for serveral months at a time with no problems or degradation in performance.

I will say when you do reload your router make sure you put in the latest version of IOS and do so during off-peak hours. We reboot our Cisco equipement so infrequently any time for maintenance is needed and well spent.

I have one Catalyst 5509 that has not been reloaded for over 595 days. A route switch module is installed. It has 58 active ports mostly to servers, and 4 fast ethernet connections to other switches.

If it has been having problems, I have not seen them.


Potawatomi uptime is 2 years, 35 weeks, 6 days, 13 hours, 58 minutes

System restarted by power-on

System image file is "flash:c2500-i-l.120-9.bin"

Never had any trouble......

Not applicable

Only in complex routing or services provision situations have I seen a NEED for periodic "cleansing". This does not hold true in an unstable environment, such as during or immediately after an attack, during major restructures, addition of services, etc. Then its a good idea to flush the garbage from your routing, CAM and ARP tables.

During annual Disaster Recovery Test, as well as while rolling out new IOS implementations we do power cycle our core (half at the time) so as to verify failover and operability with the new IOS.

The only service utilization on a router that I've seen that may gain from a periodic reset is those assets associated with PSTN call switching. We've been able to clear multi-interface call trunks, dial-peers and the tables associated with the service faster with a reload that can be accomplished via the standard administrative commands. We reload these routers (3660s) about once every 2 months as a rule of thumb.

The reason here is that individual DSPs can "hang" the LEC D channels may be mis-provisioned, and this clears the DSPs and can help identify issues with the carrier (we all know they never change anything that can cause a problem).

As the other posts have stated, Cisco gear can run for a year or more with no problems. BUT if you are seeing via "show proc mem" or other means that your memory utilization is creeping up, you may want to institute a scheduled reload vs seeing a unscheduled, mid-day, while the CEO trying to get e-mail and the CIO is in video conference, MALLOC Error.