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Cisco WAN Switching Modules

Field Notice 032398: AXIS Shelf Controller (ASC) Cards Require Firmware Upgrade


Revised March 25, 1998


Products Affected

This field notice affects AXIS ASC Cards.

Problem Description

All ASC cards have an integral hard disk drive (HDD). Cisco has re-designed the ASC card to use a different HDD because the original ASC HDD is no longer being built by the manufacturer. The new HDD requires new ASC firmware (FW). Earlier versions of ASC FW will not work with the new HDD; therefore, when users are replacing failed ASC cards, they will be required to upgrade the FW on the remaining active ASC card (assuming it is down rev) before the replacement ASC card (with the new HDD) can be installed in the shelf. Burning FW on a non-redundant ASC card will result in a traffic outage. (Note: Current stocks of ASC cards with the original HDD have been exhausted.) This problem can be avoided by pro-actively upgrading FW on all currently in-service ASC cards to the latest revision (see Solutions section for more information).

Background

For purposes of this field notice, an ASC card with the original HDD will be referred to as an "Old ASC." The ASC card FW that supports only the original ASC HDD will be referred to as the "Old ASC FW." The ASC card with the new HDD will be referred to as the "New ASC." And the ASC card FW that supports both the new HDD and the old HDD will be referred to as the "New ASC FW" (the new FW is backward-compatible).

Here is a step-by-step explanation of how a user might experience a traffic outage in order to burn new ASC FW. The table below represents the first two slots of an AXIS shelf. The shelf is running with old ASC cards with old FW:

Slot

3

4

Card

Old ASC

Old ASC

HDD

Old

Old

FW

Old

Old

Status

Active

Standby

One of the ASC cards fails for some reason. In this example, we'll assume the ASC card in slot 4 fails and is removed from the shelf:

Slot

3

4

Card

Old ASC

[empty]

HDD

Old

[empty]

FW

Old

[empty]

Status

Active

[removed]

Some time later a replacement new ASC card arrives with a new HDD and new ASC FW. If the new ASC card is installed in slot 4, the active ASC in slot 3 will try to download its FW image to the ASC in slot 4. But because the ASC in slot 4 will not run on the old FW, it will not accept the old FW image and will come up in a "Failed" state.

Slot

3

4

Card

Old ASC

New ASC

HDD

Old

New

FW

Old

New

Status

Active

Failed

Solutions

Pro-Active Solution (Recommended)

Because the new ASC FW is backwards-compatible with the old ASC, Cisco recommends users pro-actively upgrade all of their AXIS ASC cards to the latest FW revision as soon as possible before being forced into the situation described above. The new FW supports both the old and new ASC cards.

It is recommended, but not required, that customers also upgrade the Service Modules (SMs) to the same revision. The new FW revisions are listed in the table below. These FW revisions support both the old and new ASC cards. If an ASC card fails for some reason, the replacement ASC card can be installed immediately without a disruption in traffic.

AXIS Release

New FW

2

2.1.29

3

3.0.09

4

4.0.09

If you are a , you can log in to the Cisco corporate FTP site and obtain the above FW images by directing your browser to (example shown for 4.0.09 image):

ftp://username@ftp.cisco.com/cisco/wan/firmware/axis/4.0.09/ax-fw-4009.tar (for the .tar file)

ftp://username@ftp.cisco.com/cisco/wan/firmware/axis/4.0.09/ax-fw-4009.zip (for the .zip file)

Note: Replace username above with your CCO login.

Swapping Cards Solution

If there is another, working old ASC card available, it is possible to upgrade the old ASC card in the scenario above without a traffic outage. This is explained in the example below. In this example, it is assumed that a stand-by old ASC card is "borrowed" from another, working AXIS shelf and returned to that shelf when the upgrade is completed.

AXIS Shelf A

AXIS Shelf B

Slot

3

4

Slot

3

4

Card

Old ASC

New ASC

Card

Old ASC

Old ASC

HDD

Old

New

HDD

Old

Old

FW

Old

New

FW

Old

Old

Status

Active

Failed

Status

Active

Standby

First, the failed new ASC card in Shelf A, slot 4 is removed and set aside. The stand-by old ASC from Shelf B is removed from Shelf B and installed in Shelf A, slot 4. The configuration will be as shown below:

AXIS Shelf A

AXIS Shelf B

Slot

3

4

Slot

3

4

Card

Old ASC

Old ASCB

Card

Old ASC

[empty]

HDD

Old

Old

HDD

Old

[empty]

FW

Old

Old

FW

Old

[empty]

Status

Active

Standby

Status

Active

[removed]

Note B: Came from Shelf B.

Now that Shelf A has an active and a stand-by ASC card, both ASC cards can be upgraded to the new FW revision without a traffic outage. Once this is done, the configuration will be as shown below:

AXIS Shelf A

AXIS Shelf B

Slot

3

4

Slot

3

4

Card

Old ASC

Old ASCB

Card

Old ASC

[empty]

HDD

Old

Old

HDD

Old

[empty]

FW

New

New

FW

Old

[empty]

Status

Standby

Active

Status

Active

[removed]

Note B: Came from Shelf B.

At this point, the old ASC card in Shelf A, slot 3 is can be moved to Shelf B and installed as the stand-by controller in slot 4. Note that this will leave Shelf A and Shelf B with swapped ASC cards. If you want to return the ASC cards to their original locations, execute the switchcc command first on Shelf A; then the ASC card in Shelf A, slot 4 can be moved to Shelf B and installed as the stand-by controller in slot 4. In this example, it is assumed that a switchcc is not executed on Shelf A (that is, Shelf A and Shelf B keep their swapped ASC cards).

Once a stand-by ASC card is installed in Shelf B, slot 4, the active ASC card in slot 3 will "downgrade" the FW on the stand-by ASC card. Shelf B is now back to where it was originally (or almost, in the case where ASC cards have been swapped).

The new ASC card is now installed in Shelf A, slot 3. The new FW image and database are downloaded from the active old ASC card in slot 4 into the new ASC card in slot 3. The final configuration is shown below:

AXIS Shelf A

AXIS Shelf B

Slot

3

4

Slot

3

4

Card

New ASC

Old ASCB

Card

Old ASCA

Old ASC

HDD

New

Old

HDD

Old

Old

FW

New

New

FW

Old

Old

Status

Standby

Active

Status

Active

Standby

Note B: Came from Shelf B.

Note A: Came from Shelf A.

Traffic Outage Solution

If no "spare" ASC cards are available, the only remaining solution is to upgrade FW on the single, working old ASC card, which will cause a brief traffic outage on the AXIS shelf. The duration of the traffic outage will vary depending on the major revision of FW running (2.X, 3.X or 4.X) and the number and type of service modules present in the shelf.

Other Information

Visual Identification

The old ASC card with the old HDD can be identified as shown below:

viper.jpg

The new ASC card with the new HDD can be identified as shown below:

callunab.jpg

Command Line Interface (CLI) Identification

To determine if you have an old ASC (with an old HDD) or a new ASC (with a new HDD), you can type dsphdname at the command prompt. The output of this command will be one of the following:

  • Pcmcia Hard Disk: Calluna 260M HD
    
  • Pcmcia Hard Disk: Calluna 520M HD
    
  • Pcmcia Hard Disk: Viper 170M HD
    

The first two HDDs listed above are the new ASC and HDD; the last HDD listed above is the old ASC and HDD.

Boot Code

The new HDD requires new boot code which is loaded into the ASC card at the factory when the new HDD is installed. The new boot code is backward-compatible with old HDDs. Boot code is not copied from active to standby ASC cards the way firmware is, so the problem described in this field alert will not happen with the boot code. The new versions of boot code that support the new HDD are listed below for reference:

AXIS Release

New Boot Code

2

2.1.4

3

2.1.4

4

4.0.04

For More Information

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by one of the following methods:

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