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Firmware Upgrade - general questions

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Firmware Upgrade - general questions

I am trying to understand how Meraki handles firmware updates. The documentation on some topics is quite clear, other stuff is a bit difficult to understand. That's why I want to ask a few questions:

 

-Is it true that all devices of the same type (MX, MS, etc.) bound to a network with a template upgrade their firmware at the same time?

-Is it true that firmware updates of all types of devices can only be delayed a certain amount of time but not suppressed totally?

-When trying to set the date of the firmware update to a date two weeks from now the dashboard tells me that  the "Firmware upgrade date must be set in the future". Bug or feature? Or did I overlook something? In this case it concerns switch software ("New firmware is available for this network. However, an update is not scheduled.") The date correlates with the Upgrade window that is set above.

-The dashboard tells me "Upgrades may be staggered...". Is it true that this feature is in BETA? How do I access it?

-For the whole firmware upgrade process: is there any integration in the API planned/already implemented?

 

Any hint or reply is greatly appreciated.

9 REPLIES 9
Kind of a big deal

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

-Is it true that all devices of the same type (MX, MS, etc.) bound to a network with a template upgrade their firmware at the same time? 

 

"When scheduling an upgrade on a template network, all child networks will upgrade at that time within their respective timezones. For example, if a template network is scheduled for an upgrade at 7PM, all child networks will upgrade at 7PM in their configured timezones."

 

"Firmware for templates is managed on a per-template, per-product basis. Scheduling a firmware upgrade on a template will ensure that all networks bound to the template upgrade to the selected firmware version."

 

The way I am understanding that is if you have 10 MX tied to a template, that they will all update to the same firmware version per timezone. The per-product means that you could update MX only and you could do MS at a different time (unless I'm misunderstanding something).

 

-Is it true that firmware updates of all types of devices can only be delayed a certain amount of time but not suppressed totally?

 

This has been my experience, as I've had to push out updates multiple times 30 days out each time.

 

-When trying to set the date of the firmware update to a date two weeks from now the dashboard tells me that  the "Firmware upgrade date must be set in the future". Bug or feature? Or did I overlook something? In this case it concerns switch software ("New firmware is available for this network. However, an update is not scheduled.") The date correlates with the Upgrade window that is set above.

 

This is either a bug, or your simply selecting a date on the wrong month or something. As long as the date your selecting is in the future it should work. It sounds like your seeing this information on the 'General' configuration page. I would go to Org>Firmware Upgrades and configure it there.

 

-The dashboard tells me "Upgrades may be staggered...". Is it true that this feature is in BETA? How do I access it?

 

This might vary per product. Usually switches will perform the upgrade with the 'furthest' switch. So the CORE would be last for example. Access points is a hit or miss in my experience. The upgrade itself has no impact, it is only when the device reboots that there is any downtime. That is unavoidable.

 

-For the whole firmware upgrade process: is there any integration in the API planned/already implemented?

 

None that I am aware of and I would wager they probably won't offer something like that for a while, if ever.

 

Nolan Herring | nolanwifi.com
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Getting noticed

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

Hi Nolan

Thanks for giving me such precise answers to all of my questions, I really appreciate that very much! I have found the Org>Firmware Upgrade page and am already playing around a bit. I let the question on an unsolved state for a little moment, even though you have replied and solved almost all of my questions. Just in case somebody has some more info tho share. I will however put it to solved shortly.

Thanks again
Mat
A model citizen

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

-Is it true that all devices of the same type (MX, MS, etc.) bound to a network with a template upgrade their firmware at the same time?

Devices bound to a template sort of update at the same time, when you schedule them for say 11pm on Saturday, they will update at 11pm on Saturday for their local network time. Meraki will automatically stagger these upgrades in 15 minute intervals to prevent stressing the Meraki cloud.

 

 

-Is it true that firmware updates of all types of devices can only be delayed a certain amount of time but not suppressed totally?

I have never run into a forced update that I can remember. I have delayed updates for several months before, but I generally try to avoid delaying updates at least for very long.

 

-When trying to set the date of the firmware update to a date two weeks from now the dashboard tells me that  the "Firmware upgrade date must be set in the future". Bug or feature? Or did I overlook something? In this case it concerns switch software ("New firmware is available for this network. However, an update is not scheduled.") The date correlates with the Upgrade window that is set above.

I've never had an issue when scheduling an update for the future, so I think this is a bug.

 

-The dashboard tells me "Upgrades may be staggered...". Is it true that this feature is in BETA? How do I access it?

Staggered updates apply to a network, for example if you apply an update to a network with 12 switches it will stagger them so it does not do them all at once.

 

-For the whole firmware upgrade process: is there any integration in the API planned/already implemented?

I am pretty sure there is no API for the firmware upgrade process and I have not heard of any plans for that either.

 

 

Kind of a big deal

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

Is it true that firmware updates of all types of devices can only be delayed a certain amount of time but not suppressed totally? I have an MX running 13.33 because it has issues with the ISP and drops its connection every 20 mins if I upgrade the firmware.

Meraki CMNO, Ruckus WISE, Sonicwall CSSA, Allied Telesis CASE & CAI
Highlighted
Kind of a big deal

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

"Devices bound to a template sort of update at the same time, when you schedule them for say 11pm on Saturday, they will update at 11pm on Saturday for their local network time. Meraki will automatically stagger these upgrades in 15 minute intervals to prevent stressing the Meraki cloud."

 

I don't believe this to be correct.  I've upgraded the firmware for an MX templated network with 200 odd networks.  If the devices were staggered 15 minutes apart it would have taken 50 hours to complete.

 

"Usually switches will perform the upgrade with the 'furthest' switch. So the CORE would be last for example. Access points is a hit or miss in my experience. The upgrade itself has no impact, it is only when the device reboots that there is any downtime. That is unavoidable."

 

I don't believe this to be correct.  All switches in the network initiate the download.  They wait 20 minutes to give all the other switches a chance to complete their downloads, and then initiate a reboot.

 

 

With regard to using staged switch upgrades tool, you select the time to upgrade the network.  Then you use the staged switch upgrade feature to move the upgrade time for specific switches so that they happen earlier than the originally scheduled time.  Any switch not specified in the stage upgrade tool gets done at the originally scheduled time.

Kind of a big deal

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

This article is quite good at explaining the switch upgrade process.

https://documentation.meraki.com/Architectures_and_Best_Practices/Cisco_Meraki_Best_Practice_Design/...

Kind of a big deal

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

Wel there you go - it does mention the 15 minute delay with templates.

"When scheduling a large template to upgrade firmware, the upgrade will automatically stagger into 15 minute intervals. This prevents upgrades from stressing the Meraki cloud by not having all devices download firmware at the same time."

 

I wonder what "large" means.

A model citizen

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

I doubt it staggers every switch at 15 minute intervals. I haven't looked closely enough at upgrades in the past, but I think if there are say 200 networks upgrading at the same time it would break them up into smaller groups of say 50 and do a group of networks every 15 minutes. (please note those numbers are just to help illustrate)

A model citizen

Re: Firmware Upgrade - general questions

@BlakeRichardson "Is it true that firmware updates of all types of devices can only be delayed a certain amount of time but not suppressed totally? I have an MX running 13.33 because it has issues with the ISP and drops its connection every 20 mins if I upgrade the firmware."

 

Mind if I ask what ISP that is?

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