Tag Archives: Cisco

How to upgrade a Cisco MDS SAN switch

Cisco MDS

After a few years of not having had to perform switch upgrades, I had to perform a few firmware upgrades on MDS switches. I decided to write down the steps I had to take:

  • First make sure you have a reachable ftp server somewhere and write down its ip address
  • Log on to the Cisco MDS SAN switch you need to upgrade
  • Make sure the bootflash: has enough available space to hold the 2 new files

# dir bootflash:

4096 Feb 23 14:58:04 2020 lost+found/
26049024 Feb 10 12:57:55 2020 m9100-s5ek9-kickstart-mz.8.3.2.bin
121121564 Feb 10 12:56:47 2020 m9100-s5ek9-mz.8.3.2.bin

Usage for bootflash://sup-local
463962112 bytes used
2894815232 bytes free
3358777344 bytes total

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Cisco MDS CLI commands when checking for defects or signal degradation

Cisco MDS

Checking the environment of a switch:

  • show environment temp = what are the temperatures of the intake(s) and outlet(s)
  • show environment power = are the PSUs still working fine?
  • show environment fan = are the fans still working fine?

Checking for errors and signal degradation

  • show interface fc1/10 counters = show all standard counters for port fc1/10
  • show interface fc1/10 counters details = show the detailed counters for port fc1/10
  • show interface counters = show all standard counters for all ports
  • show interface detail-counters = show the detailed counters for all ports
  • show interface detail-counters | i CRC = show the detailed counters for all ports which contain the text “CRC”
  • show interface transceiver calibrations = show the specs of all SFPs
  • show interface transceiver details = show the specs and power details of all SFPs
  • show interface transceiver details | i “x Power” = show the current Rx/Tx power of all SFPs

Common knowledges dictates that fiber optice patches need to be cleaned with proper equipment to prevent unnecessary signal loss. See this blog post for more details on how and why to keep optic cables clean.

Changing the time of Cisco DCNM

You’ve just deployed the DCNM appliance and you notice that the reports are displayed in the PDT timezone format. How do you change this into your own timezone?

For this you can log on to the command line of the appliance using SSH.

Check if DNS is working by performing a ping to your favorite NTP server.

To edit your timezone settings use your favorite editor (like “vi”).

vi /etc/ntp.conf

# Use public servers from the pool.ntp.org project.
# Please consider joining the pool (http://www.pool.ntp.org/join.html).
server 0.centos.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 1.centos.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 2.centos.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 3.centos.pool.ntp.org iburst

If you want to use your own NTP server, put a hashtag in front of the 4 example servers in the config file and put your own NTP server in.

# Use public servers from the pool.ntp.org project.
# Please consider joining the pool (http://www.pool.ntp.org/join.html).
ntp.mycompany.com iburst

The “iburst” parameter will try 8 times to collect new time info if necessary, instead of the default, which is only once per interval.

To change the timezone, remove the /etc/localtime file and create a new symbolic link to the file you need.

rm /etc/localtime

The list of location files can be found here:


for example “Europe/Amsterdam” would be the file /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Amsterdam. You can simply list the available locations by listing the available files in these folders.

ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Amsterdam localtime

Now restart the NTP daemon:

service ntpd restart

And check the current date and time:

[email protected] etc]# date
Tue Jun 19 13:22:06 CEST 2018
[[email protected] etc]# date
Tue Jun 19 13:26:00 CEST 2018
[[email protected] etc]#

Using putty instead of the default ssh from Cisco device manager


How do I configure Cisco DCNM so Putty starts when I select to go to the command line of a switch?

right click on switch

If you right click on a switch in the overview section in DCNM, you can go to the command line of that switch, but how do you change the default CLI SSH into Putty (or another telnet / SSH capable tool)?

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How to add new members to an existing Cisco smart zone

Cisco MDS

DCNM is down. I love the tool, but the downside is that you forget how to use the CLI. I faced downtime of our DCNM appliance and was forced to use the CLI instead. No big deal actually, but I still want to post the commands to use when you need to add new hosts to existing zones.

First you might want to create a new device alias for the new hosts:

device-alias database
device-alias name server1 pwwn 20:11:00:15:b9:00:00:00
device-alias name server2 pwwn 20:11:00:15:b9:00:00:01
device-alias commit

And then you want to add the new aliases to the existing (smart) zone:

zone name NameOfZone vsan 123
member device-alias server1 init
member device-alias server2 init
zone commit vsan 123

You can commit the whole zoneset now by running:

zoneset activate name ZoneSetName vsan 123

That’s it! there’s not much to it, and can save you a lot of time as well!