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New Member

Firmware Updates

How often does Cisco recommend I update my network equipment's firmware rev. We have Catalyst 6500,3500 and 3700 series switches and 2600 series routers.

Cisco Employee

Re: Firmware Updates

Generally the triggers for upgrades are:

1) You need a defect fixed that's resolved in a more current release

2) You need a new feature that's been added in a more current release

3) You add new hardware to a modular chassis (6500 in your example) that's not supported in your release, but IS supported in a more current release.

Generally I don't advocate upgrading just to upgrade.

I WOULD advocate ensuring as much as possible that you have common releases across your platforms. The more diverse your image versions are, the more difficult it is to narrow down possible issues.

I once worked assessing a customer that had 250 routers with a spread of 70 different releases of IOS. Ouch.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Firmware Updates

I would add having gone EOE (end of engineering) as a sign that you may have ridden that particular image for your money's worth.

In general, for like platforms within an enterprise, I advocate delineating the varying images you may be running and having a good reason (e.g. one of those Jason articulated) for whatever diversity you may have. A measure of your network's health is, I contend, the breadth (or narrowness, if you will) of that diversity.

Jason, step in if I misspeak, but isn't that one of the measurands a Cisco NetAudit uses?

Cisco Employee

Re: Firmware Updates


Yes you are very correct. An image going EOE (End of Engineering - no more fixes from developers), EOS (End of Sales/Support) is also a very good reason to upgrade.

PSIRT advisories or images getting deferred - I take that as opportunities to review - maybe it's time to upgrade, maybe not.

The Cisco Advanced Services (the team I'm in) NetAudits do have similar leading practice check-points.

New Member

Re: Firmware Updates

Thank You for your input. I was thinking this way as well but needed it confirmed by someone more in the know.