Cisco Nexus IOS Upgrade (Disruptive/Non-ISSU)

This will upgrade from 5.1 to 7.3. Unfortunately because the IOS is so far back, you can’t use ISSU.

Upgrade PATH:
5.1 > 5.2(1)N1(1) > 7.3(1)N1(1)

Keep 5.2 image
Delete 5.0 images (The switch I was working on had these images)
Delete 5.1 image

1. First verify you have enough space:

SW2# dir bootflash:
34419712 Dec 10 14:17:10 2013 n5000-uk9-kickstart.5.2.1.N1.6.bin
34672128 Jan 07 09:21:44 2014 n5000-uk9-kickstart.6.0.2.N1.2.bin
175641212 Dec 10 14:18:14 2013 n5000-uk9.5.2.1.N1.6.bin
238082390 Jan 07 09:21:27 2014 n5000-uk9.6.0.2.N1.2.bin
Usage for bootflash://
1171353600 bytes used
479551488 bytes free
1650905088 bytes total

It’s recommended to keep the kickstart and system images files for at least ONE preview softwre release to us just in case the new images files do not load successfully.

2. After downloading images from, copy images to Nexus switches:

copy scp://kcadmin@ bootflash:n5000-uk9.5.2.1.N1.1.bin
copy scp://kcadmin@ bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.5.2.1.N1.1.bin
copy scp://kcadmin@ bootflash:n5000-uk9.7.1.4.N1.1.bin
copy scp://kcadmin@ bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.7.1.4.N1.1.bin

3. Display impact of IOS before installing:

show install all impact kickstart bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.5.2.1.N1.1.bin system bootflash:n5000-uk9.5.2.1.N1.1.bin
show install all impact kickstart bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.7.1.4.N1.1.bin system bootflash:n5000-uk9.7.1.4.N1.1.bin

4. Install IOS on Primary and then Secondary:

install all kickstart bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.5.2.1.N1.1.bin system bootflash:n5000-uk9.5.2.1.N1.1.bin
install all kickstart bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.7.1.4.N1.1.bin system bootflash:n5000-uk9.7.1.4.N1.1.bin

5. Verify:

show version

6. Delete OLD Images:

delete bootflash:n5000-uk9.5.1.3.N1.1.bin
delete bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.5.1.3.N1.1.bin

This upgrade causes the VLAN database to get wiped out. After the upgrade you will notice the SVI’s showing “protocol-down/link-down” using the command “sh ip int br”. If you look at the “sh vlan br” you’ll notice all the VLANs are gone. Just restore them and you’ll be good.

Backup and Restore the VLAN.dat file:
From Switch to PC:

copy bootflash:vlan.dat scp://username@x.x.x.x/vlan.dat

From PC to Switch:

copy scp://username@x.x.x.x/vlan.dat bootflash:vlan.dat

One more note, if you have FEX’s hanging off the 5K’s. They will need to be rebooted after the 7.1.x . Once they are rebooted, you’ll see them show up.