Fibre Channel (SAN)

Brocade Fabric OS Target Path Technical Brief

by on ‎07-18-2014 12:51 PM - edited on ‎05-22-2015 03:36 PM by (16,148 Views)
 

Version 4.3a

February 2, 2015

 

Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) Target Path releases are recommended code levels for Brocade Fibre Channel switch platforms. These releases are guidelines to use when trying to determine the ideal version of Brocade FOS software and should be considered in conjunction with other requirements that may be unique to a particular environment. This document is updated on a periodic basis when Brocade has modified or added new Target Path release recommendations.

 

OVERVIEW

 

This document provides guidance for selecting an ideal Brocade® Fabric OS® (FOS) code version for use on Brocade Fibre Channel (FC) switch platforms, and also for selecting optimum versions of code to use when migrating from one version of Brocade FOS to another. These recommended Brocade FOS versions are referred to as “Target Path” releases.

 

The Brocade FOS Target Path release recommendations in this document should be used in conjunction with advice and guidance from your Brocade switch vendor, as well as any special requirements and needs of your particular environment. Always refer to the Brocade FOS Release Notes documentation and carefully review the “Important Notes and Known Defects” information prior to selecting and installing any version of Brocade FOS on a switch.

 

This document will be updated on a periodic, as-needed basis to reflect the latest Brocade FOS Target Path release recommendations. Always check for the latest revision when planning to install a new Brocade FOS release on a Brocade FC switch.

 

DEFINITION OF TARGET PATH RELEASE

 

A Brocade FOS release may be identified as a Target Path release only if it meets the following criteria:

 

  • It is a Brocade FOS version of firmware that was created primarily for stability and reliability, and not for the introduction of new features. This version of firmware may contain RAS (Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability) improvements and enhancements, but it typically will not contain any new software features or support for new hardware.
  • Most of the Brocade partners and OEMs have qualified and support the firmware version or are planning to do so in the immediate future. This makes it an ideal option for customer environments that procure Brocade equipment from more than one vendor.
  • The specified code level (or an earlier patch at the same release level) must be deployed in a sufficient number of end-user production environments for a period of at least three months and must have no known critical issues or defects, including firmware-related issues identified in a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB).

 

Once a specific Brocade FOS code version is identified as a Target Path release, newer patches (that is, releases that vary only with a different letter appended to the release number) that are released on the same code stream can also be considered recommended Target Path releases. In some situations, it may be ideal to select one of the later patch releases in order to pick up a fix for an issue that is applicable to a particular site or environment. These newer patch releases may be formally announced as a Target Path release for that code level the next time this document is updated for new major release designations of Target Path. These newer patch releases may be considered Target Path releases after less than the three months of customer exposure time since patch releases typically contain minimal changes from their predecessors. Because the stability of the major code level release has already been verified, it is unnecessary to wait for this additional field exposure.

 

Note that for FICON® environments, the use of patch releases that are not specifically designated as qualified and supported for FICON is not recommended.

 

The Target Path release designation in no way implies or guarantees that a release will be free of defects or will not contain behavioral issues that could cause an impact in a production environment. However, following the Target Path release recommendations produces the most trouble-free environments for data center Storage Area Networks (SANs) using Brocade switching platforms.

 

Always review the latest version of the Brocade FOS Release Notes for the code level you are loading—as well as the code level you are migrating off of—prior to updating firmware. The Target Path designation is not a guarantee that you will not encounter limitations in upgrading or downgrading firmware levels. Brocade recommends that all customers review the Release Notes documents to ensure a trouble-free migration and production environment experience.

 

TARGET PATH RELEASE DESIGNATIONS

 

The table in this section specifies the Target Path release for each major version or family of Brocade FOS releases, beginning with Brocade FOS v6.2. In general, Brocade recommends running on the most recent major code level that is supported by a particular hardware platform, though it is not necessary to upgrade if you do not require the use of the new features or capabilities introduced in the later major release levels.

 

For some release levels, the Target Path release may contain some exceptions for special-purpose hardware platforms and functionality, such as encryption platforms, extension platforms, or embedded switches. These are called out in Table 1 in the Notes column for each major release level.

 

Table 1. Target Path Releases by Major Brocade FOS Level Major Brocade FOS Level

 

Major Brocade FOS Level

Target Path Release

Notes

FOS v6.2

v6.2.2f

Should be used only for the Brocade 200E and 4G embedded switch platforms, which are not supported with later Brocade FOS major release levels.

FOS v6.3

v6.3.2d

Supported for Open Systems environments.

FOS v6.4

v6.4.3d/e/f/g 1,2

Supported for Open Systems environments.

FOS v7.0

v7.0.2c/d/e

Supported for Open Systems environments.

FOS v7.1

v7.1.1a/b/c

Supported for Open Systems environments.
FOS v7.1.1b or higher is recommended for Brocade Encryption Switch, DCX and DCX 8510 platforms with one or more FS8-18 encryption blades, and switches operating in Access Gateway mode.
FOS v7.2.1d is recommended for 7800 platform switches. There is no v7.1-based code version recommended for these platforms.

FOS v7.2

v7.2.1a/b/c/d1,2

Supported for Open Systems environments.
FOS v7.2.1b or higher is recommended for switches operating in Access Gateway mode.
FOS v7.2.1d is recommended as minimum version for 7800 platform switches

FOS v7.3

TBD

 

 

1 Includes changes to address CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169 regarding Bash Shell vulnerabilities, AKA the “Bash Bug” or “Shellshock” issue.
2 Includes changes to address CVE-2014-3566 regarding SSL 3.0 protocol vulnerabilities, AKA the “POODLE” issue.

 

FOS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FICON ENVIRONMENTS

 

For customers with FICON environments, Brocade generally recommends the use of the most recently released version of FOS supported for a particular platform that has been qualified for FICON. Table 2 lists the latest FOS release at each major FOS level that has been qualified for use in FICON environments.

 

Table 2. Recommended FICON Qualified Releases by Major Brocade FOS Level

 

Major Brocade FOS Level

FICON Qualified Release

Notes

FOS v6.3

v6.3.0d

Brocade FOS v6.3.0d is qualified and supported for FICON environments, though it is highly recommended that platforms used for FICON be upgraded to Brocade FOS v6.4.2a or later.

FOS v6.4

v6.4.2a

 

FOS v7.0

v7.0.0d

For FCIP FICON Emulation (XRC, Tape, etc), Brocade recommends FOS v7.0.0c_CVR_381210_33.

FOS v7.1

v7.1.0c

For FCIP FICON Emulation (XRC, Tape, etc), Brocade recommends FOS v7.1.0cc.

FOS v7.2

v7.2.0d
v7.2.1d

For FCIP FICON Emulation (XRC, Tape, etc), Brocade recommends FOS v7.2.0d8 or v7.2.1d
FOS 7.2.1d is recommended as minimum version for 7800 platform switches

FOS v7.3

v7.3.0b

 

 

MIGRATING WITH TARGET PATH AND FICON RECOMMENDED RELEASES

 

The following upgrade paths are recommended for customers who are running older versions of Brocade FOS and wish to upgrade to a Target Path release, in order to avoid the known issues or pitfalls that might exist in some older versions of firmware. If a switch is already running at a major release level that is different from the specific code version recommended in the migration path, simply move forward to the next major release level’s recommended Target Path release, and continue the migration process from there. For example, if a switch in an Open Systems environment is already running Brocade FOS v6.1.0c, the next step in the migration to Brocade FOS v6.4.2a or v7.0.0x would be to migrate to Brocade FOS v6.2.2f.

 

Always carefully review the Brocade FOS Release Notes for both the version of code that you are moving from and the version of code that is being installed, prior to performing the new code installation.


Upgrade path to Brocade FOS v6.4.3d/e or FOS v7.2.1a for Open Systems environments:

 

FOS v6.0.0c → FOS v6.1.2c → FOS v6.2.2f → FOS v6.3.2d → FOS v6.4.3d/e/f/g → FOS v7.0.2c/d/e → FOS v7.1.1a/b/c* →FOS v7.2.1a/b/c/d

 

*Note: FOS v7.1.1b or higher is recommended for Brocade Encryption Switch, DCX and DCX 8510 platforms with one or more FS8-18 encryption blades, and switches operating in Access Gateway mode.

 

For Open Systems environments already running FOS v6.4.2a:

 

FOS v6.4.2a → FOS v7.0.2c/d/e → FOS v7.1.1a/b/c* → FOS 7.2.1a/b/c/d

 

*Note: FOS v7.1.1b or higher is recommended for Brocade Encryption Switch, DCX and DCX 8510 platforms with one or more FS8-18 encryption blades, and switches operating in Access Gateway mode.

 

Upgrade path to Brocade FOS v6.4.2a or FOS v7.2.0d for FICON environments:

 

FOS v6.1.2 → FOS v6.2.0e_upgrade → FOS v6.3.0d → FOS v6.4.2a → FOS v7.0.0d* → FOS v7.1.0c* → FOS v7.2.1d* → FOS v7.3.0b

 

*Note: For FCIP FICON Emulation for (XRC, Tape, etc), substitute recommended releases noted in Table 2.

 

FUTURE TARGET PATH RELEASES

 

Because the very nature of a Target Path release is that it is based on proven reliability and lack of critical issues, it is impossible to predict future Target Path releases. However, based on the very mature qualification process and planned release schedules for maintenance and patch releases, Brocade is able to provide some guidance as to the main code stream and expected timeframe for the next Target Path release.

 

Brocade currently expects the next Target Path release to be designated in mid-2015 for a patch based on the FOS v7.3.1 code level.

 

The future Target Path release level and timeframe are both subject to change without notice.

 

VERSION HISTORY

 

Version

Date Published

Comments

1.0

May 28, 2012

First version

2.0

N/A

Skipped—synchronizing of versioning with Brocade internal documents

3.0

March 6, 2013

Updated with new Brocade FOS v6.4.3d and v7.0.2c Target Path recommendations

4.0

January 10, 2014

Updated with new FOS v7.1.1a/b Target Path recommendations and FOS v7.2.0b FICON environment recommendation. Clarified FICON environment recommendations.

4.1

January 24, 2014

Added FOS v7.1.1c to the list of Open Systems Target Path Releases. Removed FOS v7.2.0b as recommendation for FICON environments.

4.2

July 10, 2014

Added FOS v7.2.1a and v7.0.2e to the list of Open Systems Target Path Releases. Added FOS 7.2.0d and 7.2.0d1 as recommendations for FICON environments.

4.3

January 22, 2015

Updated for v7.2 with v7.2.1d and FICON v7.3.0b recommended release. Added minimum info for Brocade 7800 and Access Gateway.

4.3a

February 2, 2015

Clarified recommendations for 7800.

Comments
by wbolton
on ‎10-21-2015 03:18 AM

There is a later FOS target path TB which is posted to Brocade.com

 

53-1003916-02 , September 29, 2015.

 

Updated with Brocade FOS v7.3.1c as the official Target Path release; also updated with Brocade FOS v7.2.1f and FOS v6.4.3h.