Upgrade Cisco ACS from 5.2 to 5.3

I am in the process of upgrading my ACS deployment from 5.2 to 5.3.  When I first got to this company we had one 3.x ACS Appliance that was woefully unsupported and out of date.  Since I started I managed to purchase two vmware servers with the large deployment license.  So my configuration is this:

Primary Server + Log Collector at the main site

Secondary Server at our remote site

As I read through the documentation for the upgrade and tried to understand Cisco’s convoluted process of actually upgrading stuff, I came to a stark realization.  The DB from 5.2 can be directly imported into 5.3….

I quickly ditched all plans I had to follow Cisco’s cruddy upgrade process and just made sure all of my equipment had both the primary and secondary ACS servers setup.  I then created a brand new 5.3 server and performed all of the necessary patches to get it to the latest and greatest.  After that I exported my 5.2 database then imported it into 5.3.  Once I had done some testing and was sure my new 5.3 was good I then shutdown the 5.2 Primary and swapped the ip to the new Primary 5.3.  I then did the same process for my secondary and then restarted the distributed database.

Much easier upgrade and didn’t require more than 5 minutes of downtime and since I had two ACS’s nothing was missed during the time and no one was denied access to the network.

Thanks Cisco for making at least one thing in life easy and keeping the databases compatible.

3 thoughts on “Upgrade Cisco ACS from 5.2 to 5.3

  1. Joel January 13, 2014 / 6:23 pm

    Hi, just found your page while googling around while being frustrated at Cisco’s convulted and confusing process. I have exactly what you have :

    Primary + Log collector at site 1 (let’s call this one Red, running 5.4).
    Secondary at site 2 (let’s call this one Blue, running 5.4).

    Those aren’t VMs and I can’t easily deploy a 3rd server in my environment as a temporary ACS server while I upgrade.

    Am I understanding (correctly) that all I really need to do is :

    1. Deregister & delete secondary from primary.
    (I now have two independant ACS servers running their own Log Collector services)
    2. Upgrade Blue to 5.5, observe good reboot + services restart.
    3. Upgrade Red to 5.5, observe good reboot + services restart.
    4. Register Blue as a secondary instance to Red.

    I’m getting a headache reading the official Cisco upgrade guide.


    • admin January 13, 2014 / 6:25 pm

      Yup that’s basically what I did. Cisco’s stuff is sometimes enough to drive you crazy.


      • Joel January 13, 2014 / 6:33 pm

        Ahhh thanks for the quick reply. I wasn’t expecting an answer since this article is almost 2 years old 🙂

        Thanks a lot!


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