Cisco 3850 Switch Stack Upgrade

Introduction

This blog post describes how to upgrade Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Stack Switches using Install mode. The example shows the upgrade procedure for 2 x stack switches upgrading from 16.6.3 to 16.6.8

There are minor differences between the Install and Bundle mode. Bundle mode is the traditional way of upgrading the Cisco devices however, Cisco recommends to use Install mode with 3850 series. You can refer to this Cisco documentation for information: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/switches/catalyst-3850-series-switches/117552-technote-cat3850-00.html

There are 3 main steps for upgrading the switch.

  • Copying the IOS-XE image to the switch
  • Software installation
  • Reboot the switch

Please use switch all option to upgrade all switches in your stack. You must use the new option when you upgrade from Cisco IOS XE Denali 16.1.x, 16.2.x or 16.3.1 to Cisco IOS XE Everest 16.5.1a. (There are packaging changes in the different 16.x.x releases.) Use the auto-copy option to copy the .bin image from flash: to all other switches in your stack.

Another thing to keep in mind would be that, starting with 16.9.x  Smart Licensing model is introduced and you will have to convert the switch licenses. If you are not prepared for smart licensing, then 16.6.8 is the recommended version for Catalyst 3850 and 3650 Switches.

Upgrading to IOS-XE 16.6.8 will not make any changes to the current licenses you have on the switch stack. They will remain the same.

Current version

Switch Ports Model              SW Version        SW Image              Mode   
------ ----- -----              ----------        ----------            ----   
*    1 16    WS-C3850-12XS      16.6.3            CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9 INSTALL
     2 16    WS-C3850-12XS      16.6.3            CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9 INSTALL

Copying the IOS-XE image to the switch

cisco-3850#copy ftp flash
Address or name of remote host [10.10.10.10]? 
Source filename [cat3k_caa-universalk9.16.06.08.SPA.bin]? 
Destination filename [cat3k_caa-universalk9.16.06.08.SPA.bin]? 
Accessing ftp://10.10.10.10/cat3k_caa-universalk9.16.06.08.SPA.bin...
Loading cat3k_caa-universalk9.16.06.08.SPA.bin !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[OK - 450283034/4096 bytes]

450283034 bytes copied in 939.039 secs (479515 bytes/sec)

Software Installation

Upgrading the software is very easy and straightforward. you just need to run a single command.

cisco-3850#request platform software package install switch all file flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.16.06.08.SPA.bin new auto-copy
--- Starting install local lock acquisition on switch 1 ---
Finished install local lock acquisition on switch 1

Expanding image file: flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.16.06.08.SPA.bin
[1]: Copying flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.16.06.08.SPA.bin from switch 1 to switch 2
[2]: Finished copying to switch 2
[1 2]: Expanding file
[1 2]: Finished expanding all-in-one software package in switch 1 2
SUCCESS: Finished expanding all-in-one software package.
[1 2]: Performing install
  SUCCESS: install finished
[1]: install package(s) on switch 1
--- Starting list of software package changes ---
Old files list:
  Removed cat3k_caa-guestshell.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-rpbase.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-rpcore.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-srdriver.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-webui.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
New files list:
  Added cat3k_caa-guestshell.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-rpbase.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-rpcore.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-srdriver.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-webui.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
Finished list of software package changes
SUCCESS: Software provisioned.  New software will load on reboot.
[1]: Finished install successful on switch 1
[2]: install package(s) on switch 2
--- Starting list of software package changes ---
Old files list:
  Removed cat3k_caa-guestshell.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-rpbase.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-rpcore.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-srdriver.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
  Removed cat3k_caa-webui.16.06.03.SPA.pkg
New files list:
  Added cat3k_caa-guestshell.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-rpbase.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-rpcore.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-srdriver.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
  Added cat3k_caa-webui.16.06.08.SPA.pkg
Finished list of software package changes
SUCCESS: Software provisioned.  New software will load on reboot.
[2]: Finished install successful on switch 2
Checking status of install on [1 2]
[1 2]: Finished install in switch 1 2
SUCCESS: Finished install: Success on [1 2]

Reload the switch

cisco-3850#reload

It may take around 10-15 minutes for upgrade to complete. Once the switch is rebooted you can verify the new version.

Switch Ports Model              SW Version        SW Image              Mode   
------ ----- -----              ----------        ----------            ----   
     1 16    WS-C3850-12XS      16.6.8            CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9 INSTALL
*    2 16    WS-C3850-12XS      16.6.8            CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9 INSTALL

Thanks for reading

As always, your feedback and comments are more than welcome