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Managing AP Firmware Upgrades

Firmware is the software programmed on Instant On APs to make sure the devices run and provide functionality to users. The firmware installed on the Instant On APs is the Instant On software image. When the firmware is upgraded, device performance and functionality is improved through feature enhancements and bug fixes.

Upgrading the Firmware for an Instant On AP or Switch

When an AP or switch is deployed into the network, it joins an Instant On site, which is a group of APs and switches that are configured and managed from a single location. Upon joining the site, the AP or switch automatically syncs its Instant On software image with the software image version configured on the site. Each time the software image is updated on the site, all APs and switches in the site are upgraded to the new software image version.

Instant On Image Server

Every version of the Instant On software image is uploaded and stored in a cloud-based image server that is hosted by Aruba. The image server always contains the latest version of the Instant On software so that you can keep your system up-to-date. See Updating the Software Image on an Instant On Site for more details on updating your APs to the latest version of the Instant On software image.

Updating the Software Image on an Instant On Site

Instant On allows you to control when a software update on the site needs to take place. This is done by configuring a day of the week and time of your preference for the site using the Instant On web application. When a new software update is available, an information alert is displayed with sufficient information of when the update will occur. The Software update page displays the new version number and the What's new: information in the release. The page also includes the scheduled time for the update and the options—Install now or Postpone by a week.

The Postpone by a week option can only be used once to extend the duration of the software update by a week.

To create a schedule for the software update to be installed automatically on the site, follow these steps:

  1. Click the settings menu () icon on the Aruba Instant On header and select Site management from the drop-down menu. The Site management page is displayed.
  2. Click the Software update tab to view the scheduling options.
  3. Select the Preferred day of the week * for the software update to be installed automatically.
  4. Select a suitable Time * from the drop-down menu.

The real-time status of the upgrade is displayed in the Software update page, indicating the software update is in progress. The upgrade is displayed as a progress bar in three stages, Downloading and installing software, Restarting devices, and Update is complete.

The status of the upgrade is simultaneously displayed for each device in the Inventory page and in the following order:

  • Downloading software ​
  • Installing software​
  • Restarting device​
  • Synchronizing​
  • Active

When the software is up-to-date, the page will show the current Instant On software version and the date of the last update.

Verifying Client Connectivity During Upgrade

Instant On APs are automatically rebooted with the new version of the Instant On software image during a software upgrade. When an AP goes down during the reboot, the wireless clients connected to that AP are either moved to another AP in the Instant On site or completely dropped from the network. Though this scenario is expected, keep in mind that a firmware upgrade can cause major disruptions for the clients in your network. This is limited to the time-period that the APs take to reboot, which is 3-5 minutes. We recommend that you schedule this activity for when you don't expect users connected to the network actively.

Upgrade Failure

If a software upgrade fails, the Instant On continues to run the software image version currently installed on the APs or switches. You can continue running the current software image version or the upgrade will be retried at the next time set by the schedule.

Instant On Mobile App Compatibility

Though the Instant On mobile app is backward-compatible with older versions of the Instant On software image, the Instant On software image is NOT backward-compatible with older versions of the mobile app. If the mobile app installed on your device is older than the Instant On software image running on your Instant On site, a warning message appears when you attempt to launch the app.

The mobile app can only be launched if it is updated to the latest version. To update the mobile app, click the app store icon that is available below the warning message.