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How do I perform a mass firmware upgrade on APC network enabled products?

Issue
How can I upgrade firmware on multiple APC Network Management Cards at one time or in an automated fashion?

Product Line

  • Network Management Card 1 (NMC1) - AP9617, AP9618, AP9619
Devices with an embedded Network Management Card 1 include (but are not limited to): Metered/Switched Rack PDUs (AP78XX, AP79XX), Rack Automatic Transfer Switches (AP77XX, Environmental Monitoring Units (AP9320, AP9340, NetBotz 200)
  • Network Management Card 2 (NMC2) - AP9630/AP9630CH, AP9631/AP9631CH, AP9635/AP9635CH
Devices with an embedded Network Management Card 2 include (but are not limited to): 2G Metered/Switched Rack PDUs (AP86XX, AP88XX, AP89XX), Certain Audio/Video Network Management Enabled products.
Environment
  • All serial numbers
  • All firmware versions, unless otherwise noted

Cause
A user may wish to automate the process of upgrading firmware on Network Management Cards or devices with an embedded card to save time, especially with large quantities of devices.

Resolution

Users can upgrade the firmware on individual Network Management Cards via a couple of different methods, specifically
  • FTP
  • SCP
  • XMODEM
  • InfraStruXure Manager (discontinued product)
  • StruxureWare DCE/InfraStruXure Central
  • Firmware Upgrade Utility (the executable is included with the firmware when downloaded)
  • USB (if available)

In some cases, a user may have multiple devices that need to be upgraded. The user can upgrade each device individually. However, this may prove to be time consuming.

Therefore, the user has two options to perform a mass upgrade of firmware.
  • The first, InfraStruXure Manager, is a discontinued item that monitors APC network-enabled devices. A feature of the InfraStruXure Manager is the ability to perform mass firmware upgrades. Please reference the User Guide for the InfraStruXure Manager to perform the mass firmware upgrade. InfraStruXure Central/StruxureWare Central/StruxureWare DCE is InfraStruXture Manager's replacement and offers this feature as well.
  • The second, the Firmware Upgrade Utility which is included with all currently downloaded firmware for Network Management Card 1, 2 and 3
  • devices as well as those that embed one of these model cards. You can obtain the latest firmware via the Software / Firmware Download site.

    Download the firmware to your local computer. An example of the firmware that you download will appear as “apc_hw02_aos374_rpdu374.exe”

    Once downloaded, you can run this file and it will automatically launch one of two executables, depending on which firmware you have downloaded.

    exclamation markNOTE: Certain applications have requirements for a firmware update can be applied. Please refer to the particular application's documentation to ensure a mass upgrade can be performed on the device with no other requirements. For instance, the g2ats application has important requirements outlined in Knowledge Base article FA156178 that must be followed before a standalone or mass upgrade can be done.

Network Management Card 1 devices

Once you execute the firmware file .exe, you'll be prompted to extract the files to a chosen location or directory.

Once extracted, the executable will attempt to run the upgrade. Simply close the command prompt windows that open. Locate the directory that the extracted files were saved to. In this directory, you should see a file named “iplist.txt”. Open this file in a text editor. The contents on the iplist.txt should appear similar to:

;SystemIP=168.192.0.1 (the IP address of the device you wish to upgrade)
;SystemUserName=username (the username of the device you with to upgrade)
;SystemPassword=password (the password of the device you with to upgrade)

In order to upgrade multiple devices, you must edit this text file. You will have to create login parameters for each device you wish to upgrade. (APC recommends no more than 10 devices at one time).

exclamation markNOTE: Any lines in the iplist.txt file starting with a semicolon will be ignored.

An example of this file with multiple devices is below. (Actual device parameters may appear differently based on user preferences):

SystemIP=192.168.1.1
SystemUserName=apc
SystemPassword=apc

SystemIP=192.168.1.2
SystemUserName=apc
SystemPassword=apc

Once you have entered the login parameters for each device, make sure to save and exit the file.
Next, locate the “upgrd_util.exe” file, also located in the same directory that you extracted the firmware files to. Double-click on the “upgrd_util.exe” file and the mass upgrade will begin.

exclamation markNOTE: In NMC1 Upgrade Utility v1.2 or higher, a username or password longer than 11 characters will be truncated. Thus, you will need to change the password to 11 characters or less to use upgrd_util.exe. This could be modified using a mass configuration first, outlined in Knowledge Base article FA156117.


A menu should appear with the following options:
1. Use parameters in configuration file.
2. Enter parameters for single upgrade.
3. Exit firmware upgrade tool.


Choose option 1.

The firmware upgrade will now begin. The executable will attempt to upgrade all devices listed in your IP list. If any errors are found, the upgrade will continue on to the next device.

Network Management Card 2 and 3 devices

Locate the directory that the extracted firmware files were saved to and in this directory, open the file named devices.txt manually in a text editor. The contents on the devices.txt should appear similar to:

; Firmware Update Device File for Network Management Card X Devices
; Auto-generated on: 1/31/2022 11:41:07 AM

;[Device]
;Host=0.0.0.0
;Protocol=SCP
;Port=22
;Username=apc
;Password=apc

Remove the ";" symbols from the [Device] line and below, then enter the appropriate configuration for each device that will be upgraded. For example, if two devices will be upgraded with the IP address 192.168.86.245 and 192.168.86.246, it should look like:

[Device]
Host=192.168.86.245
Protocol=SCP
Port=22
Username=apc
Password=apc
Language=

[Device]
Host=192.168.86.246
Protocol=SCP
Port=22
Username=apc
Password=apc
Language=

Once the configuration is complete, make sure to save and exit the file. (APC recommends no more than 10 devices at one time). After launching the NMC upgrade utility, the tool will automatically detect the presence of a devices.txt file, select "Start Update" to proceed:

NMC update utility with a valid devices file.

Once the upgrade is complete, you will be required to close the executable/command prompt window.

If you have any questions on this process or experience trouble, please contact APC Technical Support. Before calling, please have the following information available:
  • Firmware that you downloaded.
  • Which method are you using?
  • Device model and serial number that you are attempting to upgrade
  • What type of error do you receive when attempting to upgrade?
  • How many devices are you attempting to upgrade?

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