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Cisco Meraki Firmware FAQ

Centralized deployment and management of firmware upgrades is one of the benefits of the Cisco Meraki platform. This article outlines how firmware upgrades are handled on the Meraki platform, and covers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the topic of firmware upgrades.

Firmware Overview

Cisco Meraki strives to minimize the administrative overhead of its systems. One of the ways this is accomplished is by centrally managing the software upgrade process. Firmware upgrades are released periodically to licensed organizations in a manner that is minimally disruptive to administrators and users.

For a Meraki device to upgrade to the latest firmware, the device simply needs to be connected to the Internet to reach the Meraki cloud. The firmware upgrade window can be specified on the Network-wide settings page for an MR access point network or on the Alerts and administration page for an MX security appliance or MS switch network.  If an upgrade is scheduled, the network administrators will receive an email notification approximately two weeks prior to an upgrade. Administrators can choose to reschedule the upgrade for up to one month, or perform it manually via the Dashboard on the same page where the firmware upgrade window is configured. If no further action is taken, the upgrade will be scheduled within the firmware upgrade window specified by the network administrator(s).

The device's local status page shows whether an upgrade is in progress. The length of time required to download the new firmware will vary depending on internet speed at the site. When the firmware has downloaded and the upgrade is complete, the device will reboot. 

The device will continue to function and serve clients while downloading the new firmware, though clients will be disconnected when the device reboots.  After the reboot, the device will ensure that internet connectivity and cloud connectivity are still working properly.  If they are not, it will revert to the previous firmware.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does the upgrade process work?

Cisco Meraki devices have two memory partitions that store the old and new firmware in parallel. While the new firmware is downloading, the device continues normal operation on the old firmware. Once the new firmware has been successfully downloaded, the device will reboot and the new firmware will be loaded. If the new firmware fails to load, the device simply reverts to the old firmware.

How long does a firmware upgrade take?

The upgrade process generally takes under 11 minutes on wired devices with a fast Internet connection. Approximately 10 minutes or less for the firmware to be downloaded, and about 1 minute for the device to reboot and assume normal functionality. It may take a few minutes longer for various elements of dashboard to update and begin displaying live data.

Note: For networks with larger numbers of devices sharing an Internet connection, this process can take longer, as all devices must download the new firmware.

Are my devices up to date?

The easiest way to see if a device is up to date is by looking at the device details page in Dashboard. Under the Status section, refer to the line for Configured firmware. This should read "Up to date".


 

The location of the status Status section in Dashboard will depend on the specific device:

MX Series Security Appliances

  1. Navigate to Security appliance > Monitor > Appliance status.

 

Z1 Teleworker Gateways

  1. Navigate to Teleworker gateway > Monitor > Appliance status

 

MS Series Switches

  1. Navigate to Switch > Monitor > Switches.
  2. Click on the name of the desired switch.
    Note: Unless manually configured otherwise as part of a case with Cisco Meraki Support, all switches in a network will be running the same firmware version.

 

MR Series Access Points

  1. Navigate to Wireless > Monitor > Access points
  2. Click on the name of the desired access point (AP).
    Note: Unless manually configured otherwise as part of a case with Cisco Meraki Support, all APs in a network will be running the same firmware version.

 

If a newer firmware version is available, the Configured firmware field will indicate that an update is available and provide a link to where it can be scheduled:

 

How often are upgrades done?

Firmware upgrade are deployed periodically by Cisco Meraki to all customers in a series of batches. These periodic updates are designed to maximize the availability of new features on the most stable firmware available, while minimizing the amount of downtime required during the year to perform the upgrades. At least a week prior to the periodic upgrade, all administrators configured to receive network alerts will receive an email informing them of the change and a notice of the upgrade will also be posted in Dashboard.

When will my devices be upgraded?

Periodic upgrades will be scheduled to occur beginning at the Upgrade window time specified in Network-wide > Configure > General > Firmware upgrades.

 

If an upgrade has been scheduled, any applicable network administrators will receive a notification 2 weeks prior to the scheduled upgrade. It can also be found under the Firmware upgrades section listed above.

 

How do I get the latest firmware earlier?

Navigate to Network-wide > Configure > General > Firmware upgrades. in Dashboard for the device(s) in question.

If an upgrade is currently scheduled or available for this network, options will be available, in the Firmware upgrades section, to schedule as planned, reschedule to an earlier/later date, or perform the upgrade immediately.

Where can I see what version I have and a list of features/changes?

At this time, Cisco Meraki does not publish firmware version numbers or specific change logs. However, the What's new? link, in the Firmware upgrades section mentioned above, can be used to view a summary of new features and changes the upgrade would provide. For more information about available features please consult our documentation, contact your Cisco Meraki sales representative, or Cisco Meraki support.

How can I track the progress of an upgrade?

When a device is in the process of upgrading, its progress can be tracked on the local status page. On the Overview tab, refer to the Firmware section. This will display a green check mark once the upgrade is complete.

If I schedule an upgrade on my template network, when do the child networks upgrade?

When scheduling an upgrade on a template network, all child networks will upgrade at that time within their respective timezones. For example, if a template network is scheduled for an upgrade at 7PM, all child networks will upgrade at 7PM in their configured timezones.

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Last modified
12:40, 17 Mar 2016

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