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Spirent TestCenter: How to upgrade a Spirent TestCenter Chassis?

Objective/Summary
This KB article is meant to help you through the process about how to upgrade your Spirent TestCenter chassis, either Controller 2 or Controller 3, have in mind the difference between each Controller type, is the Firmware Files you need to download (See Step 3 below)
 
Environment/Versions
 
  • Spirent TestCenter
  • Chassis upgrade
  • Chassis firmware upgrade
  • Controller 2
  • Controller 3
enlightenedNOTE: If you are planning to do the upgrade with this KB article, you may need a Windows Environment.
 
Procedure
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

IMPORTANT: It's highly recommend to you to check out FIRST the following KB article in order::

  1. SOL11304 - What are some of the best practices to follow when upgrading a Spirent TestCenter chassis?.
  2. FAQ11021 - Are there any intermediate releases of Spirent Testcenter I need to go through when upgrading from an older version?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 
This process involves:
 
  1. Verify your Support Entitlement.
  2. Download Spirent Tescenter Software.
  3. Download Spirent Testcenter Firmware files.
  4. Backup your License File
  5. Upgrade your chassis
 

1.- Verify your Support Entitlement:

A current support entitlement is required to use upgraded software.

enlightenedTip: Support entitlement is current if its version date is equal to or later than the software release date associated with the Spirent Test Center upgrade you wish to install.
For example:
• The support entitlement listed for a chassis expires on 7/23/2019.
• The software release date is 9/23/2019. (Image below - right one, explains where to find the Software release date)
Then, we would need to update the support entitlement to be able to use upgraded software.
 
How to look up your Support Entitlement Information?
 
  1. Launch the Spirent TestCenter Application on your computer.
  2. Connect to the chassis that you plan to upgrade.
  3. Go to Tools, License Management in the main menu.
  4. Expand the first chassis listing on the All Features Tab (This chassis is the one you plan to upgrade).
    1. The chassis column displays the name of each license package and Support Entitlement.
    2. The Version column displays the date on which the Support Entitlement became effective (format is YYYY.MM).
    3. The information in the Expiration column indicates that the installed package is a licensed version (Permanent) or a demo version (a date).
  5. Scroll down the list of packages in the Chassis column to the first Support Entitlement entry and compare its Version date with the Software release dated displayed in the lower left corner of the Licensing Management window.

 
​​On the Download page for the Spirent TestCenter files: 
 
 

Valid: Support Entitlement Version is equal or greater than the software release date. Proceed with Upgrade.
Expired: Support Entitlement Version is less than the software release date. Please contact support@spirent.com for assistance.

enlightenedYou may refer to FAQ11564 - Spirent TestCenter: How does Spirent TestCenter determine if a chassis is licensed for a newer version or if the license expired? for more details / explanation.
 

2.- Download Spirent TestCenter Software:

  1. Log in into your Spirent account
  2. Go to the Download page to get the files needed for PC GUI installation (The GUI version you're planning the upgrade to). Make sure you download the one that says:
Spirent TestCenter Application Installer v.XX for Windows.
 
Remember that Release Type: General Release is meant to list the last and current Spirent TestCenter Version files, if you want to download files for other version different than the last one, you need to set Release Type as Archived Release. 
 

 
NOTE:
 
  1. On section: Operating Systems (Point 5 on the image), you can filter by your Operating System, we've manually blurred other options (different than Windows) just for this KB article purposes, since so far there is ONLY GUI available for Windows.
  2. Be aware Windows 64-bit GUI is ONLY available starting from 4.87 release as beyond, other previous version shouldn't be available or supported.
  3. You can launch the download from the "Cloud-Download" Icon behind the File Size and Release Date:
 
 

 
This file download example uses software version 4.87. Of course you can select a different version of software which you may need. It is no different than using version 4.40 / 4.75 / 4.84...
 

3.- Download Spirent TestCenter Firmware files:

  1. Please check your chassis (From the Spirent TestCenter application go to Tools, Equipment Information) for the controller version to download the correct firmware file.
    • This only applies for 11U, 9U, N11U, N4U chassis.
    • If you are planning to upgrade a C1 or C50 chassis, please check next section (2)

NOTE: Be aware Controller HW version column isn't usually the 4th column (As shown in the image, this column has been moved for this example purposes) you should scroll right to find it.
 
  1. Go to the Download page to get the firmware files needed:
    1. If point 1.- on this section shows your controller is HW version 2, you should get Controller 2 files.
    2. If point 1.- on this section shows your controller is HW version 3, you should get Controller 3 files.
    3. If you are planning to upgrade a C1 or C50 chassis you should get "Spirent TestCenter Firmware for Virtual Images, C1, Virtual Controller and C50, vX.XX for Windows on 4.97 version or older" or "Spirent TestCenter Firmware for C1, C50 and 400G Appliances, vX.XX for Windows" on version 4.98 or newer" files, (File name that will be download is something like: Spirent_TestCenter_X.XX_Appliance_FW.zip)
 


You can place the download files wherever path you like, recommend (for best practices) is to create a "Firmware" folder below C:\Users\\Documents\SPIRENT\TestCenter X.XX path if you're going to keep multiple firmware files within the same Local Computer. Be aware this will use local hard-drive resources.
 

4.- Backup your license File

Backup the current license file is always recommended, usually when downgrading / upgrading a chassis, license file remains, however, doesn't hurt to do a backup just in case, follow steps on: FAQ12717 - See Something To Fix? Tell UsPrinter FriendlyEmail Article LinkSubscribeSpirent TestCenter : How do I install and invoke a License on Spirent TestCenter chassis ? 

enlightenedOnce upgrade is done, you can validate the license file is still there (In the GUI, under Tools -> Licensing Manager), if the file is not there, you can go ahead and install the license using the backup file you previously saved and as per Instructions on  
FAQ12717

5.- Upgrade your chassis

  1. REBOOT THE CHASSIS YOU ARE GOING TO UPGRADE.
    • You can easily do it from GUI - Tools - Equipment Information - Chassis Tab -> Right Click on chassis hostname/IP -> Reboot Chassis
  2. Once the chassis firmware  is downloaded (as per Step 3 instructions above), unzip the file on the computer used to connect to the Spirent Test Center.
enlightenedNote: Recommend that the PC and Spirent Test Center Chassis are within the same subnet to avoid unexpected network disruption during the upgrade process.
  1. Find the newly installed Spirent TestCenter application GUI and launch it.
    • Note: You MUST always use the same or the higher version of the STC GUI when performing an upgrade (or downgrade). Never a lower version. For example: if you're upgrading the firmware from 4.75 to 4.87, you MUST use the 4.87 or higher GUI version.
  2. Connect to the chassis you're planning to upgrade.
  3. Once connected to the chassis, go to Tools, then Firmware Management -  Install section (Last Install Type).
  4. Browse to your 4.87 firmware directory, select the chassis then click on INSTALL button, lower right corner.
  5. Firmware Management is where you go to install new firmware for the chassis and modules. Please see example screenshot:
  • Firmware Directory: Directory where you placed the downloaded (and unziped) files.
  • Version: Version that is going to be installed on the chassis.
  • Status: Version that is currently running on that Location (Chassis).
  1. NOTE: Upgrade could take 15-45 minute.
  2. Once it's finished you can insert your test modules one by a time.
 

Product : Spirent TestCenter,Chassis,Chassis