Predownloading an image to an access point

Normally, you need to upload the image to the controller and reset it to upgrade WLC/Aps; this causes the access point to go into discovery mode. After the access point discovers the controller with the new image, the AP downloads the new image, resets, goes into discovery mode, and rejoins the controller. This process is very slow and can require several time.

To minimize network outages, you can predownload an image to the access point from the controller without resetting the access point or losing network connectivity.

The process is simple and be done via CLI or via GUI.

CLI predownload

Check the current release:

(Cisco Controller) >show boot 
Primary Boot Image............................... 8.8.111.0 (default) (active)
Backup Boot Image................................ 8.5.131.0

(Cisco Controller) >

Download the new release to the WLC (in that case 8.10.130.0):

transfer download mode {tftp | ftp | sftp}

transfer download datatype code

transfer download serverip server-ip-address

transfer download filename filename

transfer download path server-path-to-file

If you are using an FTP server, enter these commands:

transfer download username username

transfer download password password

transfer download port port (optional)

Start the file transfer:

transfer download start

Re-check the release:

(Cisco Controller) >show boot 
Primary Boot Image............................... 8.10.130.0 (default)
Backup Boot Image................................ 8.8.111.0 (active)

(Cisco Controller) >

Note: As you notice, the primary boot image is changed to the new release (8.10.130.0), but no upgrade is done to the access point.

To predownload the new image to the access point:

config ap image predownload {primary | backup} {name_ap | all} 

For instance, to predownload the new image from the controller’s primary image to a Cisco access point (named AP-CISCOZINE):

config ap image predownload primary AP-CISCOZINE

To view the current status of the access point:

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image all 

Total number of APs.............................. 7
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Downloading..................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 1
        Completed predownloading........................ 0
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload                                  Flexconnect
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count  Predownload
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------ --------------
AP-CISCOZINE       8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      Predownloading  8.10.130.0     NA               0            
AP03               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP07               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP02               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP08               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP05               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP01               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       

(Cisco Controller) >

After a few minutes:

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image all 

Total number of APs.............................. 7
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Downloading..................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 0
        Completed predownloading........................ 0
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload                                  Flexconnect
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count  Predownload
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------ --------------
AP-CISCOZINE       8.8.111.0      8.10.130.0     None            None           NA               NA                       AP03               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP07               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP02               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP08               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP05               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       
AP01               8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      None            None           NA               NA                       

(Cisco Controller) >

As you notice, AP-CISCOZINE has completed the downloading of the new image into the backup space.

It is possible predownload image to all APs:

config ap image predownload primary all

In that case the output is:

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image all                            

Total number of APs.............................. 7
Number of APs
        Initiated....................................... 0
        Downloading..................................... 0
        Predownloading.................................. 6
        Completed predownloading........................ 0
        Not Supported................................... 0
        Failed to Predownload........................... 0

                                                 Predownload     Predownload                                  Flexconnect
AP Name            Primary Image  Backup Image   Status          Version        Next Retry Time  Retry Count  Predownload
------------------ -------------- -------------- --------------- -------------- ---------------- ------------ --------------
AP-CISCOZINE        8.8.111.0      8.10.130.0     None            None           NA               NA                       
AP03                8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      Predownloading  8.10.130.0     NA               0            
AP07                8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      Predownloading  8.10.130.0     NA               0            
AP02                8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      Predownloading  8.10.130.0     NA               0            
AP08                8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      Predownloading  8.10.130.0     NA               0            
AP05                8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      Predownloading  8.10.130.0     NA               0            
AP01                8.8.111.0      8.5.131.0      Predownloading  8.10.130.0     NA               0            

(Cisco Controller) >

After the predownloading is completed, you can reset the WLC using the command “reset system in | at”; this will cause the APs reload.

GUI predownload

The previous procedure can be done via GUI.

Upload the new wlc image; in that case, the “new” release is 8.5.161.0:

Upload WLC image
Image uploaded

Start the APs predownload:

cisco-wlc-pre-download-via-gui

Verify the predownloading status (move the horizontal scrollbar):

cisco-wlc-pre-download-ap-gui
Predownloading image
cisco-wlc-upgraded-ap-gui
Predownloading complete

It is possible check the AP image status:

cisco-wlc-status-image-gui
AP details

Reboot the WLC

cisco-wlc-reboot
Reboot the WLC

References:

https://www.cisco.com/…/managing_software.html

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