Upgrade Software Nortel ERS 8600

Here’s a question that I’ve been asked over and over again.

How can I upgrade the software of a Nortel ERS 8600 Switch?

It’s actually very easy and only takes a few minutes (along with a reboot). If you have dual CPUs (8690SF, 8691SF, 8692SF) your going to need to upgrade both CPUs. If your running in a HA (High Availability) configuration you probably shouldn’t be reading this. I’ll assume that anyone with dual CPUs is running them in a standby configuration. I generally like to upgrade the standby CPU first and then upgrade the primary CPU, the switch will fail over to the standby CPU once the primary CPU starts to reboot.

You’ll need a TFTP server to host the software files. I generally use the TFTP server that comes with Linux (CentOS), however, you can use TFTPD32 by Philippe Jounin on Windows XP/2003. Just drop the TFTPD32 files in the same directory with the Nortel ERS 8600 software release and run the executable.

For this example let’s assume that the primary (active) CPU is in slot 5 and the standby CPU is in slot 6. Once you have the TFTP server setup we can telnet into the switch. If you don’t have telnet enabled in the boot.cfg file you’ll need to console up to the switch. You may also need to clean up the /flash/ filesystem depending on which switch fabric you have installed in the chassis. I believe the 8692SF comes with 64Mb of flash memory and a 64Mb PCMCIA card.

Trying 10.1.1.10…
Connected to 10.1.1.10 (10.1.1.10).
Escape character is ‘^]’.

**************************************************
* Copyright (c) 2007 Nortel, Inc. *
* All Rights Reserved *
* Ethernet Routing Switch 8010 *
* Software Release 4.1.5.4 *
**************************************************

Login: rwa
Password: ***

ERS-8610:5#

If your not sure which files you need you should consult the Nortel documentation. You will definitely need the boot (p80b4154.img) and agent (p80a5145.img) files at a minimum. I have daughter processors (SuperMezz cards) in my 8692SFs so I also need that software (p80m4154.img). I also have R cards in my chassis so I need the image for those (p80j4154.dld). I don’t have any ATM cards so I don’t have that software included below. The TFTP server I’m using has the IP address of 10.101.20.1.

Copy software to primary CPU

ERS-8610:5# copy 10.101.20.1:p80a4154.img /flash/p80a4154.img
ERS-8610:5# copy 10.101.20.1:p80b4154.img /flash/p80b4154.img
ERS-8610:5# copy 10.101.20.1:p80c4154.img /flash/p80c4154.img
ERS-8610:5# copy 10.101.20.1:p80c4154.aes /flash/p80c4154.aes
ERS-8610:5# copy 10.101.20.1:p80j4154.dld /flash/p80j4154.dld
ERS-8610:5# copy 10.101.20.1:p80m4154.img /flash/p80m4154.img

We make the configuration changes to the boot.cfg file;

ERS-8610:5# config bootconfig choice primary image-file “/flash/p80a4154.img”
ERS-8610:5# config bootconfig choice secondary image-file “/flash/p80a4150.img”
ERS-8610:5# save config
Save config to file /flash/config.cfg successful.
Save to standby file /flash/config.cfg successful.
ERS-8610:5# save bootconfig
Save bootconfig to file /flash/boot.cfg successful.
Save to standby file /flash/boot.cfg successful.

Copy software to standby CPU and upgrade

With the software now on the primary CPU in the /flash directory we can transfer the software to the standby CPU and upgrade that component. We’ll telnet from the primary CPU to the standby CPU so we can issue our commands. Alternately we could also console up to the standby CPU.

ERS-8610:5# peer telnet
Trying 127.0.0.6 …
Connected to 127.0.0.6
Escape character is ‘^]’
**************************************************
* Copyright (c) 2007 Nortel, Inc. *
* All Rights Reserved *
* Ethernet Routing Switch 8010 *
* Software Release 4.1.5.4 * **************************************************
Login: rwa
Password: ***
@ERS-8610:6#

Now that we’re connected to the standby CPU let’s copy the files from the primary CPU. It’s important to note tftpd must be enabled on the primary CPU in the boot.cfg file; “flags tftpd true”.

@ERS-8610:6# copy 127.0.0.5:p80a4154.img /flash/p80a4154.img
@ERS-8610:6# copy 127.0.0.5:p80b4154.img /flash/p80b4154.img
@ERS-8610:6# copy 127.0.0.5:p80c4154.img /flash/p80c4154.img
@ERS-8610:6# copy 127.0.0.5:p80c4154.aes /flash/p80c4154.aes
@ERS-8610:6# copy 127.0.0.5:p80j4154.dld /flash/p80j4154.dld
@ERS-8610:6# copy 127.0.0.5:p80m4154.img /flash/p80m4154.img

Now that we have the files let’s perform the actual upgrade and reset the CPU.

@ERS-8610:6# boot /flash/p80b4154.img
Are you sure you want to re-boot the switch (y/n) ? y
@ERS-8610:6#

You should wait until the standby CPU upgraded the boot code and then loads the new agent code before doing anything with the primary CPU. It’s also a great idea to confirm that the standby is up and operational before you do anything with the primary CPU.

Now all you need to-do is upgrade the primary CPU

ERS-8610:5# boot /flash/p80b4154.img
Are you sure you want to re-boot the switch (y/n) ? y
ERS-8610:5#

The switch will boot the boot image and upgrade the boot PROM afterwhich it will reboot again and load the new agent code we specified in the boot.cfg file. If you have a standby CPU the standby CPU will become the active CPU. If you don’t have a standby CPU in the switch you’ll just need to wait for the switch to come back online. This should only able about 3 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.