Upgrading WLC

This post is about upgrading operating software on Cisco WLC 2106.

Scenario 1

Upgrading without pre-downloading IOS on AP.

Note: you can check the current WLC image settings using GUI: Commands -> Config Boot

Starting position

The example starts with following settings:
Primary Image 7.0.240.0 (default) (active)
Backup Image 7.0.252.0
// default – will be used at next restart; active – running now

Download new IOS

Download new IOS (7.0.116) using FTP server.

Download IOS on WLC

The operation is safety (the new image takes place the backup image). When the operation is finished you will get the following information.

New IOS downloaded

Check the current state and reboot

Go to Commands -> Config Boot and check the current settings.
Primary Image    7.0.116.0 (default)
Backup Image    7.0.240.0 (active)

You can now reboot the system:

Reboot

AP upgrade

When rebooting is finished you can validate Operational Status of APs which should be “downloading” (they upgrade IOS now).

AP upgrade

You can also validate the WLC settings again:
Primary Image 7.0.116.0 (default) (active)
Backup Image 7.0.240.0

WLC settings sc 1 end

Scenario 2

In this scenario we will download a new version of operating system on WLC but we will pre-download it on AP before restart. In comparison to the previous scenario we will use CLI this time.

Starting position

Check current WLC configuration:

(Cisco Controller) >show boot
Primary Boot Image............................... 7.0.116.0 (default) (active)
Backup Boot Image................................ 7.0.240.0
(Cisco Controller) >

Verify AP (ap name is ap01) image:

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image ap01

Total number of APs.............................. 1
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 0
        Completed predownloading........................ 0
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------
ap01               7.0.116.0      3.0.51.0       None            None           NA               NA
(Cisco Controller) >

Verify and adjust current transfer image settings on controller. Then download new image on WLC.

(Cisco Controller) >transfer download start

Mode............................................. FTP
Data Type........................................ Code
FTP Server IP.................................... 192.168.0.101
FTP Server Port.................................. 21
FTP Path......................................... ./
FTP Filename..................................... AIR-WLC2100-K9-7-0-116-0.aes
FTP Username..................................... cisco
FTP Password..................................... *********

This may take some time.
Are you sure you want to start? (y/N) N

Transfer Canceled

(Cisco Controller) >transfer download filename AIR-WLC2100-K9-7-0-252-0.aes

(Cisco Controller) >transfer download start

Mode............................................. FTP
Data Type........................................ Code
FTP Server IP.................................... 192.168.0.101
FTP Server Port.................................. 21
FTP Path......................................... ./
FTP Filename..................................... AIR-WLC2100-K9-7-0-252-0.aes
FTP Username..................................... cisco
FTP Password..................................... *********

This may take some time.
Are you sure you want to start? (y/N) y

FTP Code transfer starting.

FTP receive complete... extracting components.

Executing backup script.

Writing new RTOS to flash disk.

Writing new Code to flash disk.

Executing install_rtos script.

Writing new Code to flash disk.

Executing install_code script.

Writing new APIB to flash disk.

Executing install_apib script.

Executing fini script.

FTP File transfer is successful.
Reboot the controller for update to complete.
Optionally, pre-download the image to APs before rebooting to reduce network downtime.

(Cisco Controller) >

Note, that the previous commands:
1. Delete the backup image (even if it was set as default and/or was in active state)
2. Setup the current primary image (before downloading) as a backup image
3. Setup new image (downloaded) as a primary image.
4. Do not change the default image setting- it the default option pointed to the primary image it will point to the primary image; if the default option pointed on the backup image it will point to the backup image. The default image setting can be setup by config boot command. Notice that the description of that command is not precise because it says about “active” image but is should say about “default” image (actually “active” means “active after next reboot”).

(Cisco Controller) >config boot ?
primary        Sets the primary image as active.
backup         Sets the backup image as active.

This command configures which image (primary/backup) will be used after WLC reboots (default option).

Verify the current state

(Cisco Controller) >show boot
Primary Boot Image............................... 7.0.252.0 (default)
Backup Boot Image................................ 7.0.116.0 (active)

Pre-download the new image on AP

Pre-download the new image on AP.

(Cisco Controller) >config ap image predownload ?
primary        Predownload an image to a Cisco AP from the controller's Primary image.
backup         Predownload an image to a Cisco AP from the controller's Backup image.

NOTE: the primary/backup referes to WLC primary/backup image. The AP will always pre-download the new image as its backup image

(Cisco Controller) >config ap image predownload primary ap01

NOTE: you can check if the image is still predownloading:

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image ap01

Total number of APs.............................. 1
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 1
        Completed predownloading........................ 0
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------
ap01               7.0.116.0      3.0.51.0       Predownloading  7.0.252.0      NA               NA

(Cisco Controller) >

Note: when the process is finished:

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image ap01

Total number of APs.............................. 1
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 0
        Completed predownloading........................ 1
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------
ap01               7.0.116.0      7.0.252.0      Complete        7.0.252.0      NA               NA

(Cisco Controller) >

There is a console log from AP:

Image 7.0.252.0 not found in flash, predownloading.
examining image...
extracting info (295 bytes)
Image info:
    Version Suffix: k9w8-.124-23c.JA10
    Image Name: c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10
    Version Directory: c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10
    Ios Image Size: 4915712
    Total Image Size: 5079552
    Image Feature: WIRELESS LAN|LWAPP
    Image Family: C1240
    Wireless Switch Management Version: 7.0.252.0
Extracting files...
c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/ (directory) 0 (bytes)
extracting c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/info (295 bytes)
extracting c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/7101.img (131328 bytes)
extracting c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/6701.img (131328 bytes)
extracting c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10 (4647355 bytes)
extracting info.ver (295 bytes)
New software image installed in flash:/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10
archive download: takes 80 seconds

New backup software image installed in flash:/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10
Reading backup version from flash:/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10done.

User Access Verification

Swaping AP image

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image ap01

Total number of APs.............................. 1
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 0
        Completed predownloading........................ 1
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------
ap01               7.0.116.0      7.0.252.0      Complete        7.0.252.0      NA               NA

(Cisco Controller) >config ap image swap ap01


(Cisco Controller) >show ap image ap01

Total number of APs.............................. 1
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 0
        Completed predownloading........................ 1
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------
ap01               7.0.252.0      7.0.116.0      Complete        7.0.252.0      NA               NA

(Cisco Controller) >

This is CLI log from AP:

ap01#show boot
BOOT path-list:      flash:/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10/c1240-k9w8-mx.124-23c.JA10
Config file:         flash:/config.txt
Private Config file: flash:/private-config
Enable Break:        no
Manual Boot:         no
Enable IOS Break:    no
HELPER path-list:
NVRAM/Config file
      buffer size:   32768
      Mode Button:    on
Radio Core TFTP:
ap01#

Note: this step (swaping AP image)  is actually optional. If you don’t do it and reboot WLC then the AP will also reboot and the AP find out that it has already proper image pre-downloaded and will use it (the pre-downloaded image will be also setup in config path as the AP default). It is log from AP in such sitation:

*Feb 20 09:35:02.678: %CAPWAP-5-CHANGED: CAPWAP changed state to JOIN
*Feb 20 09:35:02.788: %SYS-5-RELOAD: Reload requested by CAPWAP CLIENT. Reload Reason: Required image found in backup.
*Feb 20 09:35:02.792: %LWAPP-5-CHANGED: CAPWAP changed state to DOWN

Safe and reboot

---------------- -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------
ap01               7.0.116.0      7.0.252.0      Complete        7.0.252.0      NA               NA

(Cisco Controller) >
(Cisco Controller) >
(Cisco Controller) >save ?

config         Save current settings to NVRAM.

(Cisco Controller) >save config

Are you sure you want to save? (y/n) y


Configuration Saved!

(Cisco Controller) >
(Cisco Controller) >reset system

Are you sure you would like to reset the system? (y/N) y


System will now restart!

Scenario 3

This scenario shows how to run Backup image on WLC.

Starting Position:

wlc backup image 1

If we select Backup from Config Boot Image option and apply/save changes and then reboot the WLC we configuration will look like this:

wlc backup image 2

The AP’s will reboot and download/run Backup (active) image from WLC.

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