Upgrading Brocade Switch Firmware

This post discusses the process to update a Brocade Fibre Channel switch. You will require an FTP server to complete the process.

Pre-Upgrade Tasks

Before updating the Fabric OS on your Brocade switches complete the following steps:

1 Find the current firmware version and check compatibility. Check the current firmware version by entering at the CLI


Verify the upgrade path from within the Brocade Fabric OS Upgrade Guide which you will find in the Brocade document library. As shown in the table below upgrade between one release is online more than this will require a reboot of the switch.  So check you are happy with your multipathing setup on hosts before continuing.

If you have other switches connected to the switch you are upgrading check for computability in the Brocade Fabric OS Release Notes.


Table showing fabric OS upgrade paths for Brocade switch

2 Backup the Brocade FC switches

3 Run a Brocade supportsave

4 You can also run an errclear to clear all existing stats

5 Check no ports are G ports


Scrteenshot of Brocade switch showing no G ports present

6 Check that no firmware upgrade is already in progress


7 If the switches are in a fabric run the commands below and take a note of the setting.  You will run these commands again after to ensure the fabric is healthy




7 Download the switch firmware from Brocade

8 Extract the Zip file and place it on your FTP server

Upgrading the Brocade switch firmware

1 Connect to the switch with an admin account

2 Enter the command firmwaredownload and follow the prompts.  If you are upgrading from 7.4.x or earlier you will need to use firmwaredownload -s.  firmwaredownload -s just commits the updated firmware to one partition you manually need to commit it to the second.  This can be a useful way of testing an update and reduces the risk of upgrade.  This is the procedure that is covered in this post, once you are happy with the update you will commit to both partitions


3 Follow the prompts:

Enter the IP address of the FTP server

Host IP or Host Name:

Enter a username with access to the FTP server

User Name: anonymous

Enter the location of the firmware upgrade files. In the example below I have copied the upgrade files for v8.1.0 to the root directory of the FTP server

File Name: v8.1.0/v8.1.0c

Select the protocol the FTP server uses

Protocol (ftp | scp | sftp): ftp

Enter the password for the user account you selected


4 You will then see the switch update begin which will take aprox 30mins.

2 switch update progress

You can see all the steps  that were taken taken below

FCSWITCH1:admin> firmwaredownload -s
Server Name or IP Address:
User Name: anonymous
File Name: v8.1.0/v8.1.0c
Network Protocol(1-auto-select, 2-FTP, 3-SCP, 4-SFTP) [1]: 2
Do Auto-Commit after Reboot [Y]: n
Reboot system after download [N]: y
Server IP:, Protocol IPv4
Checking system settings for firmwaredownload...</spanSystem settings check passed.>

Post Upgrade Checks

1 Once the upgrade is running you can check progress using:

 [1]: Tue Aug 15 21:46:28 2017
 Firmware is being downloaded to the switch. This step may take up to 30 minutes.

[2]: Tue Aug 15 21:52:21 2017
 Firmware has been downloaded to the secondary partition of the switch.

2 When the process is finished you can check the switch firmware (Fabric OS) is at the expected version


Appl     Primary/Secondary Versions
FOS       v8.1.0

3 If your switch is in a fabric check the fabric is healthy with the following commands and check against the values you noted earlier




If you ran the firmwaredownload without the -s command, that’s it your done. If not you can let things run for a bit and then you need to commit the firmware to the second partition

Committing the firmware

1 Enter the command below to confirm the primary partition is running the correct level of firmware


2 Next commit the firmware


4 You can view the progress of the update


5 Finally now check that both partitions are running the correct firmware version




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13 thoughts on “Upgrading Brocade Switch Firmware

  1. It should be mentioned here that using Brocade Network Advisor is a MUCH preferred way of doing firmware upgrades.

    1. BNA doesn’t work for me. I can upgrade firmware from the switch using firmwaredownload and point to BNA server to pull, but cannot push firmware from BNA to Switch/ Error message: The server is inaccessible or firmware path is invalid…

  2. How about configuration?, I want do upgrade but ¿there are risk that zones and configuration will vanished?.

    thank you for guidance

    1. There is always a risk with any firmware upgrade. Make sure you have switch backups in place before starting any upgrade work

  3. I plan on upgrading two 6.2.0d switches this upcoming weekend, if I run the upgrade with the -s switch and don’t commit, is recovery just as simple as rebooting the switch?



  4. Very helpful Guide. Where do you obtain the Firmware from? I used to download the FOS from the my.brocade.com/ portal.broadcom.com website but now I am only able to find docs, no firmware.
    Thanks, Felix

  5. Hi Richard, what all pre-requsite are there in terms of compatibility check, can it be added?
    Server FC HBA –> SAN Switch Firmware
    If FC HBA require upgrade, then FC HBA compatibility with SAN Switch?
    My understanding is that below compatibility check should be there, however please share advise

    SAN Switch firmware Storage Firmware
    SAN Switch Firmware Server side HBA firmware
    Server side HBA firmware Storage Firmware

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