Upgrading to a Newer Release of the STM

Upgrading to a Newer Release of the STM

Terminology and Acronyms

AR – Available Rate
BITW – Bump in the Wire
CAC – Call Admission Control
DPDK – Data Plane Development Kit
DPI – Deep Packet Inspection
EFC – Egress Flow Class
EMAP – Egress Policy Map
FACL – Flow Access Control List
FR – Fixed Rate
HE – Host Equalization
HMAP – Host Policy Map
IFD – Intelligent Flow Delivery
IFC – Ingress Flow Class
IMAP- Ingress Policy Map
NPE – Network Performance Enforcement
P2P – Peer to Peer
QoS – Quality of Service
STM – Saisei Traffic Manager
TR – Total Rate
VoIP – Voice over IP
VM – Virtual Machine a software based virtual Guest or virtual appliance
Hypervisor – a hardware abstraction layer enabling multiple VM guests share the resources of a hardware platform, generally an X86 COTS server.


The Saisei Traffic Manager platform™ is a highly distributable advanced real time network controller and real time application monitor. This provides application visibility, policy control and advanced traffic engineering for customers looking to control their business applications through advanced network intelligence to provide deterministic levels of QoS. The patented flow engine provides real time policy based feedback loop to application traffic to ensure business policies are enforced. The NPE is a high capacity traffic manager designed to manage traffic flows to ensure desired performance and quality for all key business applications.

The software package is released as a TGZ file for bare metal installations and for use during upgrades or as and OVA file for initial ESXi hypervisor installations.

This document will concentrate explicitly on the requirements and steps for upgrading an existing NPE system.

As a prerequisite it is expected that the reader of this document has an existing Saisei Support account and has downloaded the latest release in the TGZ file format.

Software Upgrade

For those who have not already done so there is the requirement to log onto the Saisei Support system and download the latest version of NPE operating software in the TGZ format.

This file then needs to be loaded onto a system, PC or Laptop that has direct access to the NPE to be upgraded.

The first step is to log into the GUI of the NPE device using IP-address:5000, in Releases 6 and older a window similar to the following will be displayed: -

From this window it is necessary to open the file manager window located under the “System” option in the upper right corner of the display, the options are as follows: -

Double clicking on the “install_images” folder will result in the following window being displayed: -

If using Release 7.0 or newer the GUI configuration has changed and uses a multi-tab format as follows: -

As shown above the user must select the “System” tab followed by the “File Manager” tab and finally double click on the “install_images” folder to open it which results in: -

With the file manager window open to the “install_images” folder all that remains is to select the “Upload” option shown above.
This will now open a local file browser window on the local PC or Laptop, use this window to browse to the location the TGZ file was saved after downloading from the support site: -

Double click on the desired file and an upload will begin and a progress bar will be displayed: -

When complete the file will now be useable for the upgrade.

It is worth mentioning at this point that the NPE retains two software partitions, one named “Current” and a second named “Alternate” the idea here is that the system boots and runs the “Current” partition and therefore when an upgrade occurs it is the “Alternate” partition that is upgraded ensuring that any system failures that may occur during the upgrade have zero impact on the ability of the system to run.

With the file successfully transferred to the NPE the file manager window can be closed.

Prior to performing the actual upgrade which involves extracting the archived files from the TGZ file it is essential that the NPE being upgraded has direct access to the Internet as part of the upgrade process may be to collect and install selected Ubuntu updates from the central repository. This process will require the DNS Nameservers to have been defined in the /etc/network/interfaces file as well as any “Proxy” configuration that may be required which will be site dependent. The update process utilizes both HTTP and HTTPS connections which must be accounted for in any Proxy configuration if used.

With the TGZ file now copied to the NPE it is now necessary to SSH to the system to initiate the installation process and login as the base Ubuntu User. After logging into the NPE it is best to switch to root mode using the “sudo su” command which may or may not ask for the user password again.

Once logged in the user must navigate to the install_images directory which is located at “/etc/stmfiles/files/install_images” as shown next: -

In this directory execute the following command “tar zxvf filename.tgz” as follows: -

This command will unpack the TGZ file and create a new directory with the same name, this name encodes the release details and in this example we are loading an Ubuntu 14.04 Release 6.0-6159 – 6159 indicates the build number which can be cross referenced with the Release notes, in this case the build number corresponds to version 6.0.9.

The tar command will display its progress as follows: -

The next step is to “cd” to the newly created directory and execute the install shell file using the command “./stm-install.sh” as shown below: -

Once the installation begins the SSH window will begin scrolling through the necessary steps to install and update all necessary components into the “Alternate” directory.

The installation process may take several minutes to complete depending on the Internet link speed available and the number of updates required by the new version of software.
Upon completion a status message will be displayed indication success or failure: -

At this point the new software has now been loaded into the Alternate partition and is available to be run, prior to switching over to a new version it is recommended that the user makes sure that the desired configuration is saved in the Alternate partition and the best way to do this is to save the running configuration to both partitions.

For Release 6.0 and older this is achieved by selecting the “running” entry in the Navigation Pane of the GUI and using a rick mouse click open the pull down menu to select the “Save as” option and “Both” from the second pull down menu.

A brief “Save Success” window will be displayed upon completion.

From Release 7.0 onwards the save operation is performed after selecting the “Flow Command” tab followed by selecting the “running” entry in the Navigation Pane of the GUI and using a rick mouse click open the pull down menu to select the “Save as” option and “Both” from the second pull down menu.

It is also possible to save the configuration by selecting the “System” tab followed by the “Reload” tab and finally the “Save Partition” drop down list as follows: -
At this point the system is ready to be switched to the new software and to do this in Releases 6.0 and older the user must once again open the “System” menu in the upper right corner of the GUI and this time select the “Restart” option: -

A new window will now open listing the options, it will default to the “Current” Boot partions as seen next: -

Change the “Boot Partition” to “Alternate” and hit OK – there is no need to select a Boot Configuration as the system will always boot the default_config.cfg file which is the name of the file created during the “Save As” sequence above. The system will display a countdown window and then reload, the reload may take several minutes depending on the hardware in use and the size of the saved configuration file.

During the reload the system pointers for Current and Alternate are swapped making the Alternate prior to reload Current and vice versa.

There is no need to close the browser at this point as it will restart it’s sessions automatically, verification that the new version of software is running can be obtained from the system menu again, this time it is necessary to select the “About” option: -

Which displays: -

If for some reason the new version appears not to operate correctly the user may revert to the older software by repeating the previous few command i.e. Select the System menu and “Restart” and select “Alternate” as the Boot Partition and then OK which will once again place the old software in the Current Partition and restart to that version.

To restart the a system running Release 7.0 and later select the “System” tab followed by the “Reload” tab and finally the select the “Boot Partition” and finally hit the “Restart stm” button as follows: -

Verifying the running version is achieved by selecting the user pulldown in the top right corner as shown below: -

Which results in: -