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Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

I have taken ownership of a project that Nexus NX-OS switches, specifically 5548; however, I am very new to the Nexus line.

 

Due to the latter, what is the best upgrade path - meaning when should I upgrade this type of switch? Is this something I keep updating when new versions come out or do I just upgrade when I need (1) to fix security issues or (2) new features or (3) bugs.

 

In addition, I noticed there is a 'kick start' image as well. Should this get upgraded as well? What does this feature provide?

 

Thank you

 

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Hall of Fame Expert

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

In addition, I noticed there is a 'kick start' image as well. Should this get upgraded as well? What does this feature provide?

The Nexus series switches come with 2 images, one is the "kick Start" image and the other one is the "system image". When you upgrade or downgrade, you have to do both.

As for when to upgrade, there is really no need to upgrade these switches as soon as new mage comes out. Usually, you upgrade when there is bug in the software, you need a feature that is not supported in the image you are running or there are security holes in the image you are running.  That said, you don't want to let the image on the switch to get too old. So, even if there is no issues with the image you are running, it is a good idea to upgrade once a year or once every 2 years. 

This a just my opinion.

 

HTH

 

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Hall of Fame Expert

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

So, it all depends on how old the version you are running is. Say, you are running 6.x and you want to go to 7.x, you usually can go straight to 7.x but say you are running 5.x or 6.x and you want to go to 7.x, you most likely have to go from 5 to 6 and 6 to 7. So, it all depends. Here is document you can start looking at and learn about path upgrades and how you go from one version to another.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/switches/nexus-5000-series-switches/products-installation-guides-list.html

HTH

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Hall of Fame Expert

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

In addition, I noticed there is a 'kick start' image as well. Should this get upgraded as well? What does this feature provide?

The Nexus series switches come with 2 images, one is the "kick Start" image and the other one is the "system image". When you upgrade or downgrade, you have to do both.

As for when to upgrade, there is really no need to upgrade these switches as soon as new mage comes out. Usually, you upgrade when there is bug in the software, you need a feature that is not supported in the image you are running or there are security holes in the image you are running.  That said, you don't want to let the image on the switch to get too old. So, even if there is no issues with the image you are running, it is a good idea to upgrade once a year or once every 2 years. 

This a just my opinion.

 

HTH

 

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Hall of Fame Expert

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

This is an example:

kickstart: version 7.3(1)N1(1)
system: version 7.3(1)N1(1)

HTH

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Beginner

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

@Reza Sharifi
Understand... thank you. I will double check to see how old I am; however, if it turns out that I am very old in version, and need to upgrade due to security issue... do I have to following the upgrade path in order? Or can I skip big version to the newest? I know sometimes you can do this and sometimes you cannot do this with devices.
Highlighted
Hall of Fame Expert

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

So, it all depends on how old the version you are running is. Say, you are running 6.x and you want to go to 7.x, you usually can go straight to 7.x but say you are running 5.x or 6.x and you want to go to 7.x, you most likely have to go from 5 to 6 and 6 to 7. So, it all depends. Here is document you can start looking at and learn about path upgrades and how you go from one version to another.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/switches/nexus-5000-series-switches/products-installation-guides-list.html

HTH

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Beginner

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

@reza
Thank you for the link - I will look through it today; however, I am sure I will have additional questions.

Also, I was wondering what the function of the IOS and Kickstart perform. I found this thread; however, is this a good example of the functions of the kickstarter and IOS?

Thank you
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Hall of Fame Expert

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

Hi,

There is some good info in this link regarding the Kick start image and why it is needed.

Have a look:

https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/thread/56047

HTH 

Highlighted
Beginner

Re: Upgrading 5k kickstart and System Software

@reza,
That is a great link thank you. Also - I ended up finding the following book last night at a used book store- "NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching: Next-Generation Data Center Architectures 2nd Ed" by Fuller, Jansen, McPherson.

Thank you again.
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