New and Changed Information

This document provides a checklist of the documents that you can use to perform an upgrade on your Cisco ACI system. The following table provides an overview of the significant changes to this guide up to this current release.

Table 1. New and Changed Information In This Document



Initial release of document

Initial release of document

Cisco ACI Upgrade Checklist



Check Release Notes for late-breaking information.

Release Notes

Check for faults before going through your upgrade.

About Faults

Review hardware support information for ACI-mode switches.

ACI-mode Switches Hardware Support Matrix

Determine appropriate upgrade path.

Cisco APIC Upgrade/Downgrade Support Matrix

Determine if any virtualization integrations need to be addressed or updated.

ACI Virtualization Compatibility Matrix

Review Cisco ACI upgrade best practices, including:

  • Understand how the encryption backup and passphrase works. If encryption is already turned on but you are not sure what your passphrase is, then you should create or change the passphrase and make a fresh backup.

  • Disable the apps on the Cisco APIC nodes before upgrading the APIC software on those nodes.

  • Verify that the boot variable is set correctly before performing an upgrade.

  • Confirm that the /firmware partition is not filled beyond 75%.

(Optional) Use the StateChecker application (also known as StateChangeChecker) to verify the pre- and post-upgrade states of the system. We recommend that you deploy StateChecker in standalone mode so that it runs outside of the Cisco APIC system.

Review installation notes and usage guidelines, such as:

  • Back up your Cisco APIC configuration before upgrading the software and make sure to store this backup outside the ACI fabric.

  • Review supported browsers for Cisco APIC GUI.

  • Review helpful content available through Cisco APIC GUI, including online version of the Quick Start guide that includes video demonstrations.

Understand firmware management and get important notes.

About Firmware Management

Understand firmware upgrade modes:

  • Upgrade now (upgrade immediately)

  • Schedule an upgrade for later (schedule a maintenance window)

Firmware Upgrade Modes

Understand the workflow to upgrade the Cisco ACI fabric.

Workflow to Upgrade or Downgrade the Cisco ACI Fabric

Understand upgrading the Cisco APIC node and the switch software.

About Upgrading the Cisco APIC and the Switch Software

Verify that you have the correct CIMC version required for the Cisco APIC upgrade.

Determine if an upgrade or downgrade might be blocked due to faults or issues detected in the fabric, and fix those issues before the upgrade or downgrade.

Upgrade the Cisco APIC software:

  1. Download an image.

    The latest long-lived release is populated by default in the Software Download site. Select a different release in the left panel, if necessary.

  2. Upgrade the Cisco APIC nodes.

    Wait until all Cisco APIC nodes are in the Fully Fit state and operational before upgrading the switch firmware.

  3. Upgrade the leaf and spine switches.

  4. Verify all leaf and spine switches are in the Fully Fit state and operational.

  5. Repeat 2 and 3 if you have to upgrade through intermediate releases to get to your desired release.


Once an APIC cluster upgrade has been triggered, you must allow the APIC cluster upgrade to complete before attempting any Target Version rollback. If any APIC in the cluster encounters an issue during the upgrade, you must first resolve that issue and get all of the APICs in the cluster to reach the Target Version that you set. Changing the Target Version while the APIC upgrades are in process is not supported and can produce unexpected results.

Become familiar with troubleshooting steps and understand how to provide relevant troubleshooting information to Cisco Tech Support.


When generating an on-demand tech support policy, we recommend exporting the data collection to an external system by selecting the Export Destination option rather than the Export to Controller option in the Create On-demand Tech Support window.