3560 Switch IOS selection question

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Jan 23rd, 2009
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We have some 3560 switches that have the ipbase image on them:


I need to upgrade to the k9 image so I can utilize ssh.

My question is regarding the image selection.

On the Cisco download page are two latest releases:

12.2.46-SE(ED) release in july 07

12.2.25-SEE(ED)release in aug 08

It always makes me nervous to jump trains, but I wonder if I am being too cautious.

The only items unique to the image currenlty in the switch are IPv6 stuff and "ISL VLAN" and support for 4096 VLAN ID (don't need).

I do have the router trunked to the switch and several vlans on the trunk, so I am thinking I need the ISL VLAN component.

What is the general rule of thumb for upgrading?

Should you always try to upgrade the the highest image, or stick the the image closest to what is in the switch at the time (even if it is almost two years old)?

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Jon Marshall Fri, 01/23/2009 - 13:30
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It is always a trade off between having an IOS that is stable and works but is becoming slightly out of date and upgrading to the latest and greatest.

You say you have trunk links but are they 802.1q or ISL - if 802.1q don't worry about ISL.

Obviously one of the main reasons to upgrade is for new features or because of bugs in the existing IOS. But even that is not straighforward because if the bug doesn't affect you then no need to upgrade.

I generally upgrade to the latest image that has been in use for a couple of months at least and always check the release notes. I generally would not go for the very latest unless it either

a) fixed a bug i was faced with

b) it ingroduced a new feature i needed


Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 01/23/2009 - 18:02
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Don't know whether there's really a general rule of thumb. For production systems, my preference is to use the oldest version of an IOS that supports the features I need but with the most maintenance to that version.


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