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Entries in IOS (2)


What factors drive a Cisco IOS upgrade?

In order of preference/priority, what factors do you consider in driving an upgrade (or downgrade) with Cisco IOS? If no compelling factors exist, how long would you allow a particular version of IOS to stay running? I’ve seen some switches with uptimes > 5 years.  And when upgrading, how is the specific IOS release identified as the upgrade target?

In order of preference/priority, best practice tends to dictate an upgrade based on these factors:

  • Vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities!
  • Bugs
  • Attaining new features not currently available— new cards/modules have a “first sup ported in” IOS version which could be higher than what you have running
  • Migrating away from retired release trains
  • Matching versions on more recently deployed and similar hardware

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Cisco Embedded Event Manager (EEM) Config Diff Generator

TACACS+ is the preferred method to log CLI commands at any enable level whether performing show command or making config changes.  See AAA and TACACS commands for more information.  There’s open source software if you don’t have or can’t afford Cisco ACS or similar products that can do TACACS and RADIUS.

But for a really cool and rarely used feature, you could have the switch itself run a config diff(erence) on the running-config and startup-config and email the changes or deltas to you!  Code snippet here.

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