Friday, December 19, 2014

Cisco 6509-E Upgrade

I have been working through a problem with a customer that has involved a lot of people in the IT department.  Ill make this story short and really only relate to the "network" portion of this particular day.  I really want to concentrate this post around upgrading the core switches, which happens to be Cisco 6509-E switches (two of them).

On the first core 6509-E, there were no issues at all.  Both blades upgraded and all was done pretty quickly.  We put the code on a compact flash, changed the boot statement in the config, reboot and all was good.  Things should really always go this good, right?

On the second core 6509-E, there were issues.  First, it did continued to boot up on the old code.  It turned out that we had to format the new compact flash card that we received. It never saw the code on the new compact flash card, so it reverted back to the sup-bootflash.  We formatted the flash card, got the new image on, changed the boot statement again, and we were good to go.  Once we booted to the new code, we noticed that one of the fiber modules wouldn't power up after that upgrade.  Why?  Turns out the new IOS that we put on would not support the old fiber module that wouldn't power up.  This 6509-E was older than the first 6509-E that we upgraded.  So, we got on Cisco and downloaded a different (older than we got, but newer than we originally had) and put it on the second 6509-E.  All things seemed to work fine at that point, with the exception that I had to put the config for that module (the fiber module that wouldn't power up) back in.  It seemed to get deleted out when I had the issues on the module (only one module was affected).  Once I cut and pasted that back in, all was good.

It just goes to show that even though an upgrade should be painless, sometimes it can be painful.


  1. Reminds me of a very similar story about 5 years ago, when I went to upgrade a 6509-V-E. It should have been quick and simple, but nooooo! After working with Cisco through the night, finally got the upgrade finished at about 3 AM. But you know, if technology worked the way it was supposed too, I guess you and I wouldn't have the awesome jobs that we have! I love the daily challenge that my job gives me!!

    1. Yeah, I like the challenge too. But in those 3am nights, ask me then. I might have a different answer. :)


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