Quick Start Guide to AOS Upgrade

  • 17 July 2020
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Acropolis Operating System upgrades happen across the cluster, one CVM at a time. Here is the next installation of the Upgrade Series as promised to provide you quick tips and tricks to plan and execute your upgrade activities with ease.


In simple words, AOS is the Operating System running on the Controller VMs(CVM) in the cluster and is critical in handling the data I/O from the user VMs in the cluster. AOS can be called the core of Nutanix Hyper-converged infrastructure.


As reference documents, you can check the below Guides:

Note: The above listed documents are for the latest LTS release - 5.15.x (as of 17th July,2020). For version specific documents, navigate to the Documents Section in the Support Portal and check the Prism and AOS Guides by filtering the versions.


Note: AOS upgrades through One click method consists of a graceful reboot of the CVM in maintenance mode, one at a time. This upgrade does NOT reboot the host. AOS upgrade does NOT need any downtime but can be a disruptive if two or more CVMs go down due to an unforeseeable problem, therefore it is strongly recommended to do the upgrade during non-production hours.


Pro-Tip: AOS releases are of 2 types: Long-Term-Support(LTS) and Short-Term-Support(STS). This knowledge Base article clarifies the difference between LTS and STS releases.


AOS upgrades can be done through the Upgrade Software section on the Prism UI. You can either use the one click download method or upload the binaries as required and perform upgrades.


Before you begin:

  • Follow the cluster upgrade guidelines and requirements checklist.
  • Keep in mind Prism central and Prism Element upgrades go hand in hand. Make sure to refer the Software Product Interoperability before planning the upgrades. Check out my previous post on Prism Central Upgrades.
  • Always check the Upgrade Path Matrix to verify if upgrade to the target AOS version is supported in a single jump. In some AOS versions, there may be a possibility that you need to perform a multi-step upgrade to reach the target version.
  • Always make sure to check for cluster stability before starting upgrades on the cluster. Check this post on Communities for a set of generic upgrade specific cluster sanity checkers.
  • Always make sure you run a complete NCC health check on the cluster and look for critical issues before proceeding with the upgrades. It is recommended to run these checks from the latest NCC version.


Pro-Tip: It would be a good idea to keep in mind the End-of-Life timelines for the AOS versions.


Upgrading AOS:

You can upgrade AOS using the Upgrade Software option in Prism Settings.


Note: If you are not able to find the target version in the Upgrade Software panel despite having internet connectivity to the cluster, the target AOS version might not have been qualified for 1-click Upgrade yet. You can use the alternative method of downloading the target binary and metadata files from the Downloads section in Support Portal and then upload it to the cluster using the upload the AOS binary option in the upgrade pane.


Pro-Tip: The AOS downloads page on Support Portal provides binaries for the latest release of the major AOS version series like 5.10.x, 5.11.x, 5.15.x, 5.17.x etc. It is always recommended to upgrade to the latest release of a series as they include bug fixes and latest feature enhancements included. But, due to any particular requirement there is a need for other non-latest versions which are not listed here, please get in touch with our Support Team to get the relevant binaries.


To know the target AOS release details, check out the version Release Notes from the Portal. These documents can be found from either the  AOS documentation section or the Download section from the Portal along with the target release.


Stay tuned for the next post on Nutanix upgrades coming up next week!



Note: The below AOS specific links are for the latest LTS AOS version, 5.15 series (as of 17th of July, 2020). If you are looking for any other versions, explore the Documentation section in the Support Portal as needed.


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