Upgrading the Controlling Bridge and Bridge Ports Extenders

Periodically, there will be software upgrades for the controlling bridge (CB) and bridge ports extenders (BPEs).

The CBs run ExtremeXOS software, while the BPEs run VPEX software that is either packaged with the ExtremeXOS software or provided as a separate modification file. The different image files are distinguishable by their file extension:

For complete information about how to perform a software upgrade, see the Software Upgrade and Boot Options chapter.

There are two methods for upgrading BPEs:

Automatic Upgrading

Upgrading automatically uses .lst files, so that the CB and BPEs are upgraded together to ensure that all hardware is up-to-date.

When the upgrade is performed, the CB is upgraded (requires a reboot), and when the BPE boots up, it performs a version check. If the BPE image is up-to-date, the BPE progresses to the operational state. However, if the BPE image needs to be upgraded, the BPE retrieves the software image file from the CB, upgrades itself, and then reboots.

Starting with ExtremeXOS 30.5, an improved version of automatic upgrading is available for MLAG/redundant CB configurations. You can reboot each CB sequentially, rather than rebooting both simultaneously, avoiding the loss of network connectivity. To use automatic upgrading, ensure that:
  • Both CBs are running the same ExtremeXOS and BPE xmod version.
  • ISC connectivity is present (required for information exchange between CBs during upgrade).
  1. Ensure that automatic upgrading is enabled (default behavior). Use the show vpex command to see if automatic upgrading is enabled. If not enabled, use the enable vpex auto-upgrade command to enable it.
  2. On the first CB, install the .lst image. After installation, reboot the first CB.
  3. After the first CB has finished rebooting and has synchronized all of the slot and ring information, on the second CB, install the.lst image, and then reboot it.


If you do not have automatic upgrading enabled when using redundant CBs, and a BPE image upgrade is needed, you must reboot both CBs simultaneously. Simultaneous reboot is required because sequential rebooting (waiting for each to come fully operational before proceeding to reboot the other) maintains BPE connectivity. Because the BPE does not re-attach, it is not upgraded if needed.

After an upgrade occurs, the log shows messages similar to the following indicating that the BPE has been upgraded:

08/04/2017 17:57:25.69 <Info:HAL.Card.Info> Slot-1: VPEX BPE slot 100 Active image VER
08/04/2017 17:53:44.52 <Info:HAL.Card.Info> Slot-1: Upgrading VPEX BPE slot 110 image from ver to
08/04/2017 17:53:43.70 <Info:HAL.Card.Info> Slot-1: VPEX BPE slot 120 Active image VER

Manual Upgrading

For manual upgrading, you update each CB and BPE image individually in a “rolling” fashion.

To manually upgrade:
  1. Upgrade ExtremeXOS on your first CB using .xos image file (install image, and then reboot); do not install xmod.
  2. For redundant CB topologies, repeat 1 for each redundant CB.
  3. Install the xmod on each CB, and then reboot each BPE one at a time, using reboot slot BPE slot on the master CB, allowing the upgrade and initialization to complete for each BPE before proceeding to the next.


    To determine which CB is the master, use the show vpex ports {ports_list} command. The switch with the M flag is the master CB.


    Rebooting a BPE tears down the connection to any additional BPEs that are cascaded from that BPE, so proper redundancy planning is required.