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Bootware images

Pauliusp
Occasional Advisor

Bootware images

Hello,

We are in a situoation there an upgrade on a LPU bootware image is needed and I cannot find bootware image files (.btw) anywhere.

We need to update bootware of a LPU (or downgrade) because MPLS LDP sessions are flapping if bootware is in different versions on connected LPUs. We are using HP 10500 switches and the bootware versions are 511 and 518, so we either need to downgrade the 518 to 511 or upgrade 511 to 518. Both 518 and 511 bootware versions are compatible with the software version we are using.

Where could I find the bootware images? They are mentioned in user guides an the bootware upgrade process is very well explained but there are is no link as to where .btw images could be found. 

Maybe some of you have already had this problem?

Thanks, 

Paulius

16 REPLIES
parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Not an expert about HP 10500 but, typically, BootWare image, Boot image and System image can be released as just one .ipe package file the system is able to manage (decompress and use).

If an .ipe file is used, the system automatically decompresses it, loads the .bin Boot image and System image and sets them as Startup Software images.

Typically, the BootWare image and the Startup Software images for the device are released in an .ipe file named main.ipe so you should look for that file if you're planning to upgrade the BootWare image on Active MPU, Standby MPU and/or LPU (As example with the command bootrom update file flash:/new.bin slot 3 supposing the new BootWare image is available as a file named new.bin).

Pauliusp
Occasional Advisor

Re: Bootware images

Hi,

Thanks for your input, I checked once again and the software is usually released as a single .bin file. 

I could try to use the bootrom command with it on a LPU, but what is unclear for me here is how do I know if it will actually update the bootware or downgrade or if I'm just loading the same version of it, because realese notes say nothing about the bootware version.  And why do 10500 manuals write about .btw files. 

And could downgrading the bootware image cause any damage? 

I could try and load the current version file on the bootrom, and I guess it should give me version 511, because it is suported by both 518 and 511, 

parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Reading the Release Notes for HP 10500 Comware 7.10 R2111P06 (Comware 7.1.045 Release 2111P06) of December 2014 I notice that Bootrom versions displayed (display version) are:

  • LPU: Bootrom version 518
  • MPU: Bootrom version 133
  • NPU: Bootrom version 518

while the far more recent Release Notes for HP 10500 Comware 7.10 R7180 (Comware 7.1.045 Release 7180) of March 2016 reports:

  • LPU: Bootrom version 511
  • MPU: Bootrom version 121
  • NPU: Bootrom version 511

That's unclear and confusing (isn't that an higher Bootrom value means a newer Bootrom version?) because the same LPU/NPU Bootrom verions numbered 511 can be found on an older Release Note of May 2013 for the HP 10500 Comware 7.10 R2105 with the only difference on the MPU Bootrom version that was 105 (so older that 121).

It really looks like LPU/NPU Bootrom versions go back and forth randomly with time.

Seems that btw files are generated after an upgrade.

You should read carefully Release Notes for HW&SW restrictions/compatibility and (Upgrade) guidelines...on the latest HP 10500 Comware 7.10 R7180 there is the Appendix B "Upgrading Software" section that explains all the possible upgrading procedures.

As far as I understand it looks like that, once the System Image .ipe file is transferred (let me call it 10500-CMW710-R7178.ipe as example) once decompressed it provides:

  • Comware System Image file: 10500-CMW710-SYSTEM-R7178.bin
  • Comware Boot Image file: 10500-CMW710-BOOT-R7178.bin

The content of the .ipe file can be displayed through the command display install ipe-info ipe-filename.

Also should be possible to diagnose version compatibility issues with the command display version comp-matrix.

It should be possible to extract both 10500-CMW710-SYSTEM-R7178.bin and 10500-CMW710-BOOT-R7178.bin from the 10500-CMW710-R7178.ipe file through the boot-loader command (bootrom is used instead for managing BootWare Image file which, IMHO, could be "contained" in the same 10500-CMW710-BOOT-R7178.bin file --> here it is "For easy software compatibility management, the BootWare image is contained in the Boot image file. The BootWare image is upgraded automatically when the Boot image is upgraded." from the HPE FlexNetwork 10500 Switch Series Fundamentals Configuration Guide for R7178 page 107 Section "Upgrading Software" <- worth reading it).

At this point it's unclear to me if there is a sort of riepilogative LPU/MPU/NPU Bootrom versions Matrix to look at...but, at least, each Release Notes seems to report something about with the strangeness said above.

 

VoIP-Buddy
Trusted Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Folks,

We generally do not make bootrom files available except in extraordinary situations.  Everytime a module or switch boots up the boot code checks the installed bootware version to see if it is "different" than what is contained in the boot image.  If they are different, it will automatically flash the bootware image in the boot file to the module and then reboot to activate that version.

Bootware is at such a low level that I doubt it would have anything to do with MPLS and route flapping.

In regards to the versions that Parnassus shows in his posting, Engineering made major changes that necessitated them building a new branch of source code.  Going from R211P06 to R7180 was a big change.  Based on that, do not compare bootware versions from the former release to the latter.  There are probably significant changes there as well.  They choose to number releases as it makes sense with what they are doing.  We never have any say about that... we find out when you do!

Regards,

David

parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: Bootware images


VoIP-Buddy wrote:

Folks,

We generally do not make bootrom files available except in extraordinary situations.  Everytime a module or switch boots up the boot code checks the installed bootware version to see if it is "different" than what is contained in the boot image.  If they are different, it will automatically flash the bootware image in the boot file to the module and then reboot to activate that version.

Bootware is at such a low level that I doubt it would have anything to do with MPLS and route flapping.


Yep, that makes sense. Since I'm not an expert I can't say nothing about the OP request per-se.


VoIP-Buddy wrote:

In regards to the versions that Parnassus shows in his posting, Engineering made major changes that necessitated them building a new branch of source code.  Going from R211P06 to R7180 was a big change.  Based on that, do not compare bootware versions from the former release to the latter.  There are probably significant changes there as well.  They choose to number releases as it makes sense with what they are doing.  We never have any say about that... we find out when you do!

Regards,

David


I'm surprised to learn that: it's quite uncommon to see Software/Firmware versioning happening that way within the same Software branch (*), no matter the component involved, resulting in a very counter intuitive numbering logic (where the higher version number doesn't always represent the newer or the latest developed).

What is strange is that that way of numbering, if true, is not coherently shared for all Bootrom versions (MPU Bootrom versions numbering looks "time coherent" - so increasing with time and releases - at least up to Comware 7.1.045 R2nnnn, LPU/NPU Bootroms versions numbering doesn't).

(*) = I can understand if we speak about versioning of various high level Software components in different Software Development branches like Comware 5 versus Comware 7 but I didn't expect that within the same Comware 7 (even if R2nnnn is/could be very different by R7nnnn) especially considering how low level is the Bootrom component with respect to all the software is running at higher levels.

parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Bootrom versions apart, for Pauliusp here is the partial content of the latest downloadable software:

Content of 10500_7.10.R7180.zip

|- 10500-CMW710-R7180.ipe (System software image in IPE format)
|- 10500-CMW710-BOOT-R7180.bin (Boot image in BIN format)
|- 10500-CMW710-SYSTEM-R7180.bin (System image in BIN format) |- 10500_R7180_Release-Notes-Portfolio.pdf (Release notes for this version)
...

 As you can see there are the .ipe file and both the .bin files.

VoIP-Buddy
Trusted Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Hi Parnassus!

Engineering doesn't share their decision making process when developing Comware with us.  My best guess is that they had to make some fundamental changes in Comware 7 that necessitated starting a new source code branch for the 10500 and therefore a new version number sequence.

The thing to keep in mind is that Comware is a framework and a basis for all of the Comware family switches.  That said, even though they all run "Comware," there are differences depending on the switch and what features they support.  Comware is tailored for the switch that it is going to run on.  They all do not, or could not, do everything that Comware is capable of.

Every switch therefore has its own branch and numbering scheme.  They all don't run the same version number across the board.  Although there are some switches that are labeled with the same number but because they are different models in different families they are on different source code branches and the binary code IS different.

That said, the final arbitrator of what version of Bootware is needed is the boot startup code.  It will always flash the correct version that that particular version of Comware needs in order to operate.

Don't assume the the switch from R2xxx to R7xxx was the result of a Bootware change.  It most likely was a change in Comware itself.  In the grand scheme of things, I never focus on a Bootware version number.  For most issues, it isn't relevant.

In regards to the base issue with MPLS... there is something else going on that is causing the route flapping.

Hope that helps. 

David

parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Hi David, I agree 100%...personally I don't care (nor I did) about Bootrom version before (I noticed that from time to time Bootrom versions changes - but always in a additive way - also in Comware 5 driven devices...so I know Bootrom exits).


VoIP-Buddy wrote:

Don't assume the the switch from R2xxx to R7xxx was the result of a Bootware change.  It most likely was a change in Comware itself. 

David


Exactly...I didn't assumed that...I know that R2nnnn and R7nnnn are Comware-related numbering...Bootrom versions are another (low level) thing...it's exactly the contrary: Usually we're used to see that a new release of Comware software (within or not the same Software Branch) generally causes a release of new Bootrom versions.

At this point the only evident thing is that within the same Relase (Rnnnn) each Bootrom version numbering is somewhat additive, outside that Release all that numbering can restart...

Very interesting! thanks for sharing.

Pauliusp
Occasional Advisor

Re: Bootware images

Hi, 

Thanks for your help, very interesting to read.

Well we had two same LPU's connected with MPLS and it worked fine for many years. Then one of the LPUs rebooted with no apparent reason one night, so we decided to replace it. The only difference between it and the replacement is the bootware version. After a couple of hours this started happenning: 

LDP/5/LDP_SESSION_UP: Session(, public instance)'s state changed to up.

LDP/5/LDP_SESSION_DOWN: Session(, public instance)'s state changed to down.

LDP/5/LDP_SESSION_UP: Session( public instance)'s state changed to up.

LDP/5/LDP_SESSION_DOWN: Session(, public instance)'s state changed to down.

We ran a test with two LPUs in bootware version 511 and 518 to confirm our suspisions, and we got the same results even with minimal configuration, we repeated the test with LPUs with the same bootware versions, and then MPLS LDP sessions did not flap.

I'm not saying it is 100% the difference between bootware versions causing this, but it seems so. 

Regarding the bootware updates, it does seem complicated. We run a specific version of software across all of our 10500, so I cannot use the newest one. So probably I have to find a boot image in bin format file, where it is in version 511 and test it out. 

But I probably cannot use boot image from cmw 710 on cmw 520, even though as Parnassus posted they are both in version 511

Pauliusp
Occasional Advisor

Re: Bootware images

If anyone would still ever need an answer to this:

To upgrade or downgrade bootware use the bootrom update file flash:/xx.bin slot (0-x) command and reboot the device afterwards. 

Use the .bin software file that is provided by HP in their support website. 

VoIP-Buddy
Trusted Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Pauliusp,

That is not necessarily the case.  IF there is a separate bootrom image it is usually a .btm file.  There is no command to force a bootrom upgrade from a .bin image.  Changes in bootrom version will occur when the switch starts up automatically unless you stop it from happening related to a support issue.

Regards,

David

parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: Bootware images


VoIP-Buddy wrote:

There is no command to force a bootrom upgrade from a .bin image.David


Hi David, can't the bootrom command be used also for managing BootWare Image file (which should be contained inside the Comware Boot Image .bin file) in absence of the .btw file?

 

VoIP-Buddy
Trusted Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Hi!

Not that I am aware of.  Besides, the Bootrom code is really not something you want to play with.  It is checked everytime the switch or module boots up.  They are a pair.  If you make a change, it will get overwritten on the next restart.

In support, we RARELY need to force a change unless due to some extraordinary error.  I've only done it once in many years. 

I really wouldn't worry about this.

Regards,

David

Pauliusp
Occasional Advisor

Re: Bootware images

Hi,

Well the commands I mentioned earlier did change the bootware version and helped me to get them to be the same,

But, as you have rightly predicted, it did not help with the MPLS issue. The config I used for testing is minimal, just bridge aggregation and mpls ldp session. 

I think there is something wrong with the LPUs hardware, because the same config works fine with all other boards and there really isn't many things to be wrong with it. I think HP should test this issue out to see if our case is just a one time thing or it could cause similair issues to other customers as well. Unfortunately, our devices are no longer under warranty, so we cannot register a case. 

VoIP-Buddy
Trusted Contributor

Re: Bootware images

Hi Pauliusp!

I really didn't think that would do anything.  The bootrom code is so low level that it doesn't really have anything to do with network protocols.

Unless my team gets a case, there isn't much I could do to test it.  Besides, I don't have MPLS in the lab so it would be difficult to simulate your setup.  Since it appears to only be an issue with one board, I probably couldn't make it happen in the lab anyway.

If you are saying that you have other boards in the chassis that are the same part number and only one of them is misbehaving, that would sound like an RMA candidate to me.  What is the part number and serial number of the LPU and how long have you had it?  I could look and see what the hardware warranty is.

If it becomes a big issue for you, you could call in and open a per incident case.  The L1 person could tell you what that would cost.  I have no idea what we charge for that.

Regards,

David

Pauliusp
Occasional Advisor

Re: Bootware images

David, thanks for your informative replies!

Yes, I understand that, I'm just wondering if it is a single issue or it is deeper and more people could encounter this if they would be replacing their older lpus with new ones. 

Well we have many boards (JC629A) like this one, it has never been an issue. The only difference between the problematic board and all others is the manufacturing date, which is 2016-03-31 (therefore, the bootware version was different as well) and all other boards are around 3yrs old. The part number is JC629A and SN is CN26F3N004. But the warranty is expired :) 

Thanks for your help, David!