Use jobs to upgrade Citrix ADC instances

In Citrix ADM, you can upgrade one or more Citrix ADC instances. You must know the licensing framework and types of licenses before you upgrade an instance.


ADM performs the following pre-validation checks on the instance that you want to upgrade:

  1. Check for disk space - Clean up disk space to have a sufficient disk capacity for an instance upgrade. Resolve disk issues if any.

  2. Check for disk hardware issues - Resolve the hardware issues if any.

  3. Check for customizations - Back up your customizations and delete them from the instances. You can reapply the backed-up customizations after the instance upgrade.

  4. Policy issues - ADC does not support classic policies from 13.1 version. Before upgrading an instance to this version, migrate classic policies to advanced policies.

    For more information, see Classic and advanced policies.

Upgrade considerations for customized ADC configurations

It is important that both the upgrade changes and your customizations are applied to an upgraded Citrix ADC appliance. So, if you have customized configuration files in the /etc directory, see Upgrade considerations for customized configuration files before you continue with the Citrix ADC appliance upgrade. Following are broad steps that you must perform:

  1. Pre upgrade steps in ADC

  2. Upgrade ADC using ADM. To upgrade, follow the instructions available at the beginning of the page.

  3. Post upgrade steps in ADC

Both the pre-upgrade and post upgrade steps are to be performed on each ADC instance. However, in step 2, to upgrade ADC using ADM, all the vulnerable ADC instances can be selected and upgraded together.

ADC high-availability pair

When you upgrade an ADC high-availability pair, note the following:

  • The secondary node is upgraded first.

  • Synchronization and propagation of the nodes are disabled until both the nodes are upgraded successfully.

  • After the successful high-availability pair upgrade, an error message appears in the execution history. This message appears if your nodes in the high-availability pair are on different builds or versions. It indicates that synchronization between primary and secondary node is disabled.

You can upgrade an ADC high-availability pair in two stages:

  1. Create an upgrade job and run on one of the nodes immediately or schedule later.

  2. Schedule the upgrade job to run on the remaining node later. Ensure to schedule this job after the initial node’s upgrade.

ADC clusters

When you upgrade an ADC cluster, in the pre-upgrade validation stage, the Citrix ADM only validates the specified instance. So, check and resolve the following issues on the cluster nodes:

  • Customization

  • Disk usage

  • hardware issues

Create an ADC upgrade job

To create an ADC upgrade job, do the following:

  1. Navigate to Infrastructure > Configuration job > Maintenance Jobs.

    Create maintenance job

  2. In Create Maintenance Jobs, select Upgrade Citrix ADC (Standalone/High-Availability/Cluster) and click Proceed.

    Select upgrade maintenance job


    To upgrade Autoscale groups, see Upgrade an Autoscale group.

  3. In the Select Instance tab,

    1. Specify a name of your choice for Job Name.

    2. Click Add Instances to add ADC instances that you want to upgrade.

      • To upgrade an ADC high-availability pair, select the IP addresses of the high-availability pair (denoted by the superscript of ‘S’ and ‘P’).

      • To upgrade a cluster, select the cluster IP address (denoted by the superscript of ‘C’).

      Add instances to upgrade maintenance job

    3. Click OK.

  4. In the Select Image tab, select an ADC image from the image library or local or appliance.

    • Select from Image Library: Select an ADC image from the list. This option lists all ADC images that are available in the Citrix Downloads website.

      ADC images

      The ADC software images display the preferred builds with the star icon. And, most downloaded builds with the bookmark icon.

    • Select from local or appliance: You can upload the image from your local computer or the ADC appliance. When you select ADC appliance, the Citrix ADM GUI displays the instance files that are present in /var/mps/ns_images. Select the image from the Citrix ADM GUI.

    • Skip image uploading to ADC if the selected image is already available - This option checks whether the selected image is available in ADC. Upgrade job skips uploading a new image and uses the image available in ADC.

    • Clean software image from Citrix ADC on successful upgrade - This option clears the uploaded image in the ADC instance after the instance upgrade.

    Click Next to start the pre-upgrade validation on the selected instances.

  5. The Pre-upgrade validation tab displays the following sections:
    • Instances ready for upgrade. You can continue with the upgrade of these instances.

    • Instances blocked from upgrade. These Citrix ADC instances are blocked from upgrade because of pre-upgrade validation errors.

      You can review, rectify the errors, and then click Move to ready for upgrade to upgrade them. If you face insufficient disk space on an instance, you can check and clean up the disk space. See, Clean up ADC disk space.

    Pre-upgrade validation report

    • Policy Check: If Citrix ADM finds unsupported classic policies, you can remove such policies to create an upgrade job.


    If you specify cluster IP address, the Citrix ADM does pre-upgrade validation only on the specified instance not on the other cluster nodes.

  6. Optional, in Custom scripts, specify the scripts to run before and after an instance upgrade. For more information, see Use custom scripts.

  7. In Schedule Task, select one of the following options:

    • Upgrade now: The upgrade job runs immediately.

    • Schedule Later: Select this option to run this upgrade job later. Specify the Execution Date and Start Time when you want to upgrade the instances.

      If you want to upgrade an ADC high-availability pair in two stages, select Perform two stage upgrade for nodes in high-availability.

      Specify the Execution Date and Start Time when you want to upgrade another instance in the high-availability pair.

      ADC high-availability upgrade two stages

      For more information, see ADC high-availability pair.

  8. In Create Job, specify the following details:

    If you schedule the upgrade job, you can specify when you want to upload the image to an instance:

    • Upload now: Select this option to upload the image immediately. However, the upgrade job runs at the scheduled time.

    • Upload at the time of execution: Select this option to upload the image at the time of upgrade job execution.

    For more information on other upgrade options, see ADC upgrade options.

  9. Click Create Job.

The upgrade job appears in the Infrastructure > Configuration job > Maintenance Jobs. When you edit an existing job, you can switch to any tabs if the required fields are already filled. For example, if you are in the Select Configuration tab, you can switch to the Job Preview tab.

Clean up the ADC disk space

If you face the insufficient disk space issue while upgrading an ADC instance, clean up the disk space from the Citrix ADM GUI itself.

  1. In the Pre-upgrade validation tab, the Instances blocked from upgrade section displays the instances that failed the upgrade because of Insufficient disk space. Select the instance that has the disk space issue.

  2. Click Check Disk Space.

    A Disk Space Details pane appears. This pane displays the instances, used memory, and available memory.

    Disk Space Details

  3. In the Disk Space Details pane, select the instance that requires cleanup and do one of the following:

    1. Disk Cleanup - Navigate to the required folders or directories and delete them to free up disk space.

    2. Quick Cleanup - Quickly clear up disk space by deleting multiple folders. In the Confirm pane that appears, select the folders you want to delete, and click Yes.

      Quick Cleanup

    3. After clearing up the disk space, you can check if sufficient disk space is now available to upgrade the instance. In the Instances blocked from upgrade section, click Revalidate.

      In the following example, disk space is available. You can now click Move to ready for upgrade to upgrade the instance or click Next to continue to the next step.

      Validate Cleanup

Use custom scripts

You can specify custom scripts while you create an ADC upgrade job. The custom scripts are used to check the changes before and after an ADC instance upgrade. For example:

  • The instance version before and after the upgrade.

  • The status of interfaces, high-availability nodes, virtual servers, and services before and after upgrade.

  • The statistics of virtual servers and services.

  • The dynamic routes.

Specify the custom scripts to run in the following stages:

  • Pre upgrade: The specified script runs before upgrading an instance.

  • Post upgrade pre failover (applicable for HA): This stage only applies to the high-availability deployment. The specified script runs after upgrading the nodes, but before their failover.

  • Post upgrade (applicable for standalone) / Post upgrade post failover (applicable for HA): The specified script runs after upgrading an instance in the standalone deployment. In the high-availability deployment, the script runs after upgrading the nodes and their failover.


  • Ensure to enable script or commands execution at the required stages. Otherwise, the specified scripts do not run.

  • The diff report is generated only if you specify the same script in the pre-upgrade and post-upgrade stages. So, ensure to select Use same script as Pre-upgrade in the post-upgrade stages. See, Download a consolidated diff report of an ADC upgrade job.

You can import a script file or type commands directly in the Citrix ADM GUI.

  • Import commands from file: Select the command input file from your local computer.
  • Type commands: Enter commands directly on the GUI.

In the post upgrade stages, you can use the same script specified in the pre-upgrade stage.

Custom scripts

ADC upgrade options

While you create an ADC upgrade job, you can select the following options in the Create Job tab:

  • Backup the ADC instances before starting the upgrade.: Creates a backup of the selected ADC instances.

  • Maintain the primary and secondary status of high-availability nodes after upgrade: Select this option if you want the upgrade job to start a failover after each node’s upgrade. In this way, the upgrade job maintains the primary and secondary status of the nodes.

  • Save ADC configuration before starting the upgrade - Saves the running ADC configuration before upgrading the ADC instances.

  • Enable ISSU to avoid network outage on ADC HA pair - ISSU ensures the zero downtime upgrade on an ADC high-availability pair. This option provides a migration functionality that honors the existing connections during upgrade. So, you can upgrade an ADC high-availability pair without downtime. Specify the ISSU migration timeout in minutes.

  • Receive Execution Report through email - Sends the execution report in email. To add an email distribution list, see Create an email distribution list.

  • Receive Execution Report through slack - Sends the execution report in slack. To add a Slack profile, see Create a Slack profile.

Create upgrade job and upload image to ADC

Download a consolidated diff report of an ADC upgrade job

In Citrix ADM, you can download a diff report of an ADC upgrade job. To do so, the upgrade job must have custom scripts. A diff report contains the differences between the outputs of the pre-upgrade and post-upgrade script. With this report, you can determine what changes occurred on the ADC instance post upgrade.


The diff report is generated only if you specify the same script in the pre-upgrade and post-upgrade stages.

To download a diff report of an upgrade job, do the following:

  1. Navigate to Infrastructure > Configuration Jobs > Maintenance Jobs.

  2. Select the upgrade job for which you want to download a diff report.

  3. Click Diff Reports.

  4. In Diff Reports, download a consolidated diff report of the selected upgrade job.

    In this page, you can download any of the following diff reports type:

    • Pre vs Post upgrade pre failover diff report
    • Pre vs Post upgrade diff report

    Download a diff report of an ADC upgrade job