How to upgrade Cisco Nexus 1000v for vSphere: VSM and VEM?

By | April 22, 2015

Last weekend, I did an upgrade of Nexus 1000v at my customer site and I decided to share how to perform it smoothly ūüôā

There are two main upgrade phases as follows:

  1. Upgrade the VSMs.
  2. Upgrade the VEMs.

There are some prerequisites for upgrading VSMs:

  • Check the Upgrade Guide ūüôā
  • Save all changes in the running configuration to the startup configuration, to be preserved through the upgrade.
    copy running-config startup-config
  • Perform a VSM backup. (for example snapshot or clone but restoring the VSM VM from a snapshot may require some care)
  • Optional: Save a backup copy of the running configuration in external storage.

    copy running-config scp://path

    copy running-config scp://root@192.168.203.111/Nexus/config/

It is possible to upgrade Nexus VSM via ISO or kickstart and system images. In this post I will use the second option.

Upgrading Cisco Nexus Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM)

    1. Log in to the active VSM via SSH or VM console.
    2. Copy the Cisco Nexus 1000V kickstart and system images or the ISO image to the active VSM by using a transfer protocols: ftp:, tftp:, scp:, or sftp. If you use Linux machine, the easiest way is using scp protocol. If you have Windows machine, i recommened you a free and opensource tftpd server. I used tftpd server because my customer didn't have any machine with Linux running on it. To copy kickstart and system images via tftp please run the following command:

      copy tftp://IP_address/kickstart_file bootflash:kickstart_file vrf management

      In my case:

      copy tftp://192.168.203.111/n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin bootflash:n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin vrf management

      copy tftp://192.168.203.111/n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin bootflash:n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin vrf management

    3. Check on the impact of the  upgrade for the kickstart and system images. Very useful step to be sure that upgrade can be done successfully.

      show install all kickstart bootflash:name_of_kickstart system bootflash:name_of_system

      In my case:

      Nexus-Tokyo# show install all impact kickstart bootflash:n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin system bootflash:n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin
      Verifying image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin for boot variable "kickstart".
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Verifying image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin for boot variable "system".
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Verifying image type.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Extracting "system" version from image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Extracting "kickstart" version from image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.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  non-disruptive         reset
      2       yes  non-disruptive         reset
       
      Images will be upgraded according to following table:
      Module       Image         Running-Version             New-Version  Upg-Required
      ------  ----------  ----------------------  ----------------------  ------------
      1      system          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
      1   kickstart          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
      2      system          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
      2   kickstart          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
       
      Module         Running-Version                                         ESX Version       VSM Compatibility       ESX Compatibility
      ------  ----------------------  ----------------------------------------------------  ----------------------  ----------------------
      3          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)        VMware ESXi 5.5.0 Releasebuild-2638301 (3.2)              COMPATIBLE              COMPATIBLE
      4          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)        VMware ESXi 5.5.0 Releasebuild-2638301 (3.2)              COMPATIBLE              COMPATIBLE

    4. Perform the upgrade by following commands:

      install all kickstart bootflash:name_of_kickstart system bootflash:name_of_system

      In my case:

      Nexus-Tokyo# install all kickstart bootflash:n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin system bootflash:n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin
      Verifying image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin for boot variable "kickstart".
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Verifying image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin for boot variable "system".
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Verifying image type.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Extracting "system" version from image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Extracting "kickstart" version from image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.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  non-disruptive         reset
      2       yes  non-disruptive         reset
       
      Images will be upgraded according to following table:
      Module       Image         Running-Version             New-Version  Upg-Required
      ------  ----------  ----------------------  ----------------------  ------------
      1      system          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
      1   kickstart          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
      2      system          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
      2   kickstart          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)          5.2(1)SV3(1.3)           yes
       
      Module         Running-Version                                         ESX Version       VSM Compatibility       ESX Compatibility
      ------  ----------------------  ----------------------------------------------------  ----------------------  ----------------------
      3          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)        VMware ESXi 5.5.0 Releasebuild-2638301 (3.2)              COMPATIBLE              COMPATIBLE
      4          5.2(1)SV3(1.2)        VMware ESXi 5.5.0 Releasebuild-2638301 (3.2)              COMPATIBLE              COMPATIBLE
       
      Do you want to continue with the installation (y/n)?  [n] y
       
      Install is in progress, please wait.
       
      Syncing image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9-kickstart.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin to standby.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Syncing image bootflash:/n1000v-dk9.5.2.1.SV3.1.3.bin to standby.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Setting boot variables.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      Performing configuration copy.
      [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
      l Supervisor Module Model Nexus1000V
       
      Module 2: Waiting for module online.
      -- SUCCESS
       
      Notifying services about the switchover.                                                                         [####################] 100% -- SUCCESS
       
      "Switching over onto standby".

    Upgrading Cisco Nexus Virtual Ethernet Module (VEM)

    There are two possible ways to upgrade VEM on ESXi hosts:

    1. Using VMware Update Manager.
    2. Using ESXi CLI (Manually).

     
    To upgrade VEM manually please follow the below steps:

    1. Log in to the ESXi host via SSH.
    2. Upload VEM to the datastore connected to the ESXi host.
    3. Enter host into maintenance mode.
    4. Run the following command:

      esxcli software vib install -v /path_to_the_VEM_vib

      In my case:

      esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/SVC_datastore/cross_cisco-vem-v172-5.2.1.3.1.3.0-3.2.1.vib

    5. Repeat steps 1-4 for all ESXi hosts.

     

    I hope that above instructions are useful for you ūüôā

3 thoughts on “How to upgrade Cisco Nexus 1000v for vSphere: VSM and VEM?

  1. Victor

    Hi ,I want upgrade cisco nexus 1000v .the reason for this is we are upgrading ESXI 6.0 . and vmware view enviroment from 5.1.2 to Horizone 7

    Cisco nexus 1000v VSM 4.2(1)SV1(5.2) to 5.2(1)SV3(2.5)..

    Please advice if we can do this upgrade by different phase.Can i resotore snapshot back without any issue?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *