Thursday, December 3, 2015

Brocade ICX: Upgrading to 8.X From A Prior Version And The Affects On LAGs

I came across a stack of 6610s recently that I needed to upgrade to FCXR08010h.bin.  I was coming from FCXR07300f.bin and I was concerned about what it would do to the link-aggregations (LAGs) in the config.  However, I remembered that I had read (and even posted in one of my blog entries) that when you upgrade, the upgrade process will convert for you to the new format for configuration of LAGs.  With that said, I loaded the new firmware onto the stack (which copied automatically to all switches in the stack) and did the upgrade.
I was surprised at two things.
1.  It was still very fast to boot up.  I thought it might take a little time to do the conversion, but it didnt.  It was just as fast as a regular bootup of the ICX6610.
2.  I was surprised that I didnt have to do anything to correct the configuration.  It turned out perfect without any issue at all.  I see pretty regularly when I do upgrades to other vendor equipment where I have to go in and correct some config that didnt get properly converted over.  I see that a lot in the ASA world.  However, in dealing with these LAGs on the Brocade ICX series, I had no issue at all.  Very nice.
One of the things I did for my own comfort was to go and read the migration process that Brocade has posted.  See below, I think its good information when you want to upgrade to the new 8.X code.

I got the following from this location at Brocade's site:

Migrating from a previous release to 08.0.00a LAG or LACP configuration

If you are upgrading from a version of the software prior to 08.0.00a and have either LAGs or LACP configured, the previous configuration will be automatically updated with the new commands to form an LAG that is equivalent to the previous configuration. To accomplish this, the old trunk and link-aggregation commands are maintained during startup configuration parsing, but disabled during normal configurations.
The following are the major differences between in LAG configuration in 08.0.00a and prior releases:
  • A LAG is not created until a LAG is deployed using the deploy command.
  • LACP is not started until a dynamic LAG is deployed.
  • The number of LAG ports can range between 1 and 16 on Brocade ICX 7750, Brocade ICX 7450, and Brocade ICX 7250 devices. For FSX 3rd generation modules, the port range is between 1 and 12. For Brocade ICX 6430, Brocade ICX 6450, Brocade ICX 6610, and Brocade ICX 6650 devices, the port range is between 1 and 8. A LAG is created even if a static or dynamic LAG has only one port.
The following process is followed during the conversion of the trunk and link-aggregation to the new LAG commands.
  1. For any static lag configured using the trunk ethernet stack/slot/port to stack/slot/port command, the following conversion procedure is followed.
    1. A static LAG is created containing the port list specified in the trunk command. This LAG is then automatically deployed.
    2. The lowest-numbered port from the original trunk list is selected as the primary port of the LAG.
    3. The converted LAG is named "LAG_x", where "x" is a unique number assigned by the system starting from 1.
  2. For any dynamic link aggregation (LACP) group configured using the port-level link-aggregate commands, the following conversion procedure is followed.
    1. A dynamic LAG is created by grouping all ports in the original configuration having the same link-aggregation key.
    2. If link-aggregate active/passive is configured originally, the converted dynamic LAG is configured as deployed, otherwise is not be converted because such ports were originally not operating under LACP.
    3. If the original mode is passive, the converted dynamic LAG will be configured as deploy passive . Otherwise active mode is the default.
    4. The timeout configuration set by the command link-aggregate configure timeout will be converted to the lacp-timeout command.
    5. The value of the link-aggregate configure key command is used in the conversion in determining the set of ports that form an LAG, so prior to upgrade the key must be configured on all the link-agg groups. In the new LAG user interface, there is no need for a user to explicitly configure a key. Each dynamic LAG will automatically select a unique key for the system. Hence the original configured key will not be retained.
      You cannot copy configurations to the running configurations from a TFTP server. It is not supported when you upgrade from a software version earlier to 08.0.00a to 8.0 configuration. The configuration must be saved on flash as startup configuration and reload is required without write-memory.
    6. The command link-aggregate configure system-priority is retired and will not be directly converted. This value is currently not in use by the system's LACP protocol processing, and will maintain a default value of 1.
    7. The lowest-numbered port will be selected as the primary port of the LAG.
    8. Port names configured in the original interface configuration will be converted to port names within the LAG.
    9. The converted LAG will be named "LAG_x", where "x" is a unique number assigned by the system starting from 1.


  1. I also did this upgrade from FCXR07300f.bin to FCXR08010h.bin ast week. It went very well. I had only lost my port-name on all the secondary ports.

    Last year, I also upgrade to 8 from 7 and the lags didn't convert like excpect. I loose all the LAGs Config, Don't know why.

    Always backup your configs.


    1. Glad your upgrade went well. The secondary ports loosing their port-name probably doesnt matter since the primary port is really what you would be looking at anyway. Whatever applies to the primary port applies to the others attached in the LAG.


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