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Target Path Selection Guide for NetIron OS

20 November 2019

This document provides guidance for selecting an ideal Extreme® NetIron® code version for use on Extreme CES/CER, XMR/MLX, and MLXe router platforms and guidance for selecting optimum versions of code to use when migrating from one version of Extreme NetIron OS to another. These recommended Extreme NetIron versions are referred to as “Target Path” releases.

The Extreme NetIron Target Path release recommendations in this document should be used in conjunction with any special requirements and needs of your particular environment. Always refer to the Extreme NetIron release notes and carefully review the closed defect list before selecting and installing any version of Extreme NetIron OS on a router.

This document is updated on a periodic, as-needed basis to reflect the latest Extreme NetIron Target Path release recommendations.

Definition of a Target Path Release

An Extreme NetIron release may be identified as a Target Path release only if it meets the following criteria:

  • The release is an Extreme NetIron version of firmware that was created primarily for stability and reliability and typically does not contain new major software features. This version is not used for support of new hardware. This version of firmware may contain reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) improvements and enhancements.
  • 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 or pervasive issues or defects.

Once a specific Extreme NetIron 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 as safe as the designated Target Path release. 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 also be formally announced as the Target Path release for that code level, and in some cases, they may be designated as a Target Path release after less than the three months of customer exposure time. Because patch releases typically contain minimal changes from their predecessors, it is not necessary to wait for this additional field exposure.

Always review the latest version of the Extreme NetIron release notes for the code level that you are loading — as well as for the code level that you are migrating from—before updating firmware. The Target Path designation does not guarantee that you will not encounter defects or that there are no limitations to upgrading or downgrading firmware levels. However, following the Target Path release recommendations produces the most trouble-free environments for customers using Extreme routing platforms.

Target Path Release Designations

The following table specifies the Target Path release for all product families of Extreme routing platforms. In general, Extreme recommends running the most recent major code level that is supported by a particular hardware platform, although you do not need to upgrade if you do not need 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 specific platforms and functionality. These exceptions might be called out in the table when applicable.

Note: There will be more recent versions of NI code that provide additional functionality. Customers who wish to deploy these latest features and who cannot wait for a Target Path designation on that release level should, as a general recommendation, use the latest release available.

Customers who do not have an immediate need for the latest features should follow the provided Target Path recommendations, selecting the latest Target Path release that provides the level of functionality required.

Target Path Releases by Major Extreme NetIron (NI) Level
Major Extreme NI levelTarget path releaseNotes
NI 6.0NI 6.2.00dAll patches released after the listed Target Path release on the same code level are also considered Target Path releases. The recommendation for new upgrades is to always select the highest patch on the Target Path code stream.
Future Target Path Releases

Because a Target Path release is based on proven reliability and a 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, Extreme can provide some guidance as to the main code stream that the next Target Path release is likely to be in.

Extreme currently expects the next Target Path release to be a patch based on NI 6.2. The future Target Path release level and timeframe are both subject to change without notice.