Updating firmware on Avaya TN799DP Circuit Packs

There are tons of documents that describe the firmware update procedures for the Avaya circuit packs and media modules. This document is meant to be simple, and as I often do for these posts, it’s is also written for myself for future reference. I have found that I update firmware just a few months after I’ve forgotten how to do it.

I will assume you know what firmware to load. There’s a hard-to-find matrix on support.avaya.com that will tell you and I’ll include this procedure in a future post. For now, let’s say you have the firmware you want for your card. This post is for the TN799DP (C-LAN) cards but the procedures are similar on other cards as well.

Step 1 – Make some notes

You’ll want to have the following handy – paste into notepad or something:

  • The exact card type including the suffix (TN799DP in my case),
  • The board location
  • The current firmware version. “list config all” will tell you these first three.
  • The IP address of the C-LAN. “list ip-interface clan” will tell you this.
  • The username and password you will use for file transfers. This is temporary – File transfer will get disabled automatically when you’re done so don’t worry about crazy passwords.
  • The exact filename of the firmware.
list configuration all                                                 Page   1

                              SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

Board                                                     Assigned Ports
Number   Board Type              Code     Vintage    u=unassigned t=tti p=psa

01A00    POWER SUPPLY              655A
01A01    IP SERVER INTFC         TN2312BP HW36 FW056 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
01A03    CONTROL-LAN              TN799DP HW01 FW040 u  u  u  u  u  u  u  u
                                                     u  u  u  u  u  u  u  u
01A04    DS1 INTERFACE            TN464GP HW02 FW025 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
                                                     09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
                                                     17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
                                                     25 26 27 28 29 30 31 u
01A05    CONTROL-LAN              TN799DP HW16 FW040 u  u  u  u  u  u  u  u
                                                     u  u  u  u  u  u  u  u
01A06    ANALOG LINE              TN746B  000013     01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
                                                     09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
list ip-interface clan

                                IP INTERFACES

                                                            Skts  Net       Eth
ON  Slot   Code/Sfx Node Name/       Mask  Gateway Node     Warn  Rgn VLAN  Link
--  ----   -------- ---------------  ----  ---------------  ----  --- ---- ----
 y  01A03  TN799  D CLAN_01A03       /24   Gateway001       400   6   n    1
 y  01A05  TN799  D CLAN_01A05       /24   Gateway001       400   6   n    2
 y  01B10  TN799  D CLAN_01B10       /24   Gateway001       400   6   n    4

At the time of this posting, I want those C-LANs to say FW043. Note there’s a special case with C-LANs. I have one at hardware version HW01, and one at hardware version HW16. There are two different version 43 firmware files for these!

Step 2 – Enable file transfer on the C-LAN

From the CLI, type “enable filexfer” and fill out the form. If file transfer is already enabled for the board you want, you may need to disable it and re-enable it. If there are files already on the board, you will need to remove them. You can “list directory board xxxx” to see the files, and “remove directory board xxxxx” to remove them. Then you can disable the filexfer and re-enable it with the password you want.

enable filexfer                                                 Page   1 of   1

                                 ENABLE FILE TRANSFER

                    Login: roger
         Reenter Password:
                   Secure? y
            Board address: 01a05

Step 3 – Transfer the file to the C-LAN

Use whatever file transfer method (WinSCP, ftp, ssh, sftp, etc) to move the firmware file to the card. When it’s done, you can “list directory board xxxx” to make sure the file transferred correctly. Avaya is very good at confirming the file transferred correctly and is appropriate to your card. In my humble opinion, Avaya’s deep roots in telecom have made this process smooth. It’s designed for remote work and verification. Of course now I have jinxed myself and will brick-a-clan tonight when I update my system.

list directory board 01A05

                                LIST DIRECTORY

Board                File/Directory                    Creation       Size  Pro-
Loc                      Name                       Date       Time    Kb   tect
01A05 F:tn799dp-h13-f43-sig.bin                   2014/04/24 15:53:54 4729   n

Step 4 – Start the update

This is the part that affects service. If your C-LAN is serving any phones (“status socket” to see), then you should wait until after-hours. C-LANs serve 400 phones maximum, so you could disable phone registrations on the C-LAN after hours and update the card mid-day if you’d like. If you “change ip-interface xxxxx” you’ll see a parameter called “Allow H.323 Endpoints”. The scary part is you have to set “Enable Interface” to N before you can change that. The first time I did this, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to manage the C-LAN but don’t worry – you are managing it via the G650 backplane so you can disable the interface and still manage the card.

Open a separate command prompt and continuously ping the C-LAN’s IP address.

Now type “change firmware download 1” and fill out the form. For the source board, use your C-LAN, file server is “none”. The image file name is the exact name of your firmware file including the “.bin” extension. The target board codes is TN799 and the Suffix is DP. Vintage is blank. I never schedule the updates, so I say “n” to schedule. According to my docs, the C-LAN can only be updated from its own file system, so you might as well “Remove Image File After Successful Download” so you don’t have to delete it yourself (this also disables file transfer for you). The target location is the same as the Source Board Location (i.e. itself), and submit.

change firmware download 1                                      Page   1 of   1
                               FIRMWARE DOWNLOAD          Schedule: 1
   Source Board Location: 01a05        File Server: none

Firmware Image File Name: tn799dp-h13-f43-sig.bin
       Target Board Code: TN799   Suffix: DP  Firmware Vintage:
       Schedule Download? n

    Target          Target          Target          Target          Target
   Location        Location        Location        Location        Location
 1. 01a05       11.             21.             31.             41.
 2.             12.             22.             32.             42.
 3.             13.             23.             33.             43.
 4.             14.             24.             34.             44.
 5.             15.             25.             35.             45.
 6.             16.             26.             36.             46.
 7.             17.             27.             37.             47.
 8.             18.             28.             38.             48.
 9.             19.             29.             39.             49.
10.             20.             30.             40.             50.

This is where Avaya confirms the firmware file is complete, signed correctly, and is appropriate for your card. In the past, I have intentionally tried to update with the wrong firmware and I get an Abort code. Anyway, submit the correct filename and then do a “stat firm down 1”

Step 5 – Monitor the update

Now wait. At some point the pings will drop then come back. You can check the status of the update with “status firmware download 1”. The status code will be Pending, Complete, Failed, or Aborted. If failed or aborted – check the documentation for the reason code. If you’re like me, you have tons of PDFs of Avaya documentation in your hard drive. I end up using Google anyway.

status firmware download 1
                            STATUS FIRMWARE DOWNLOAD      Schedule: 1
   Source Board Location: 01A05        File Server: none

Firmware Image File Name: tn799dp-h13-f43-sig.bin
       Target Board Code: TN799   Suffix: DP  Firmware Vintage: 43
       Schedule Download? n
   Start Date/Time: 05/02/2014  00:01    Stop Date/Time:   /  /        :

   Target    Status    Reason              Target    Status    Reason
   Location            Code                Location            Code
 1. 01A05    Pending                    11.

You should see “Pending” for the download state. Soon your pings will drop. It takes a few minutes. In my experience it will take just long enough for me to panic, plus 30 seconds. Not worried, but actually concerned. After 30 seconds of “oh crap I’m going to have to drive the site”, the update completes. I have noticed the HW01 vintage was MUCH slower than the HW16.

If you have a lot of updates and trust the system, you can run these in parallel with “change/status firmware download x” where x is between 1 and 4. So you can have up to four firmware updates running at a time. I’ve done it – it works. And by the time you’re done with the fourth one, the first one is probably done.

 Step 6 – Verify

When the update is done, the “status firm down 1” will blank out. When you “list config” you should see your new firmware version. However, the ping did not come back! I am embarrassed to say I panicked. I did a “busy board” If you disabled the ip-interface then enable it. Type “status sock” and check for registered phones. Phones should move back to it as the CM balances the traffic. you can also disable other ip-interfaces momentarily to encourage phones to move to it immediately.

status socket-usage
                           SOCKET USAGE

                                 Total Registered IP Endpoints: 872
 Registered IP Endpoints with TCP Signaling Socket Established: 872
                                            Total Socket Usage: 00926/02900

Intf         Board Socket      Net    Intf          Board Socket      Net
Type   Loc    Sfx  Usage       Rgn    Type   Loc    Sfx   Usage       Rgn

procr              442/1700    250
CLAN   01A03   D   162/400     1
CLAN   01A05   D   161/400     1
CLAN   01B10   D   161/400     1

 What if the ping doesn’t come back?

Strangely, the ping doesn’t stop when you disable the ip interface. But once the firmware is done loading and the “stat firm down 1” shows nothing and the “list config” shows the right SW version, what if the pings still timeout? Well first, give it a good long time. You really need to panic before the firmware will finish. If that doesn’t seem to work, then “change ip-i xxxxx” and enable the ip-interface. The pings respond? Mine did. If yours don’t, you can try “busy board xxxxx” then “release board xxxxx”. That always works for me. If it still doesn’t work, Avaya would probably recommend pulling the board and re-seating it. There are a bunch of test procedures though. I assume performing a busy/release would Abort if you try it while the firmware is loading, but I don’t want to try. Let me know if you do it.


That’s it. The first time is scary, then it gets easier. Especially since this is done so infrequently that, as usual I start to forget the exact procedures. Good luck all and let me know how it goes. Thanks as always, Roger.


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