Hub Firmware Release 17.11 Post-mortem

Thank you for this. This is far more detailed than most companies would release and I think goes to show the understanding SmartThings staff has for the level of clients that visit this forum.


Interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

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This is day and night above what most hardware companies do.
Providing a little information goes a long way toward instilling confidence in your user base.
Issues happen - it is really nice to know you address them.
Thank you!

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Communication like this is why I LOVE SmartThings and it makes easier to deal with the occasional hiccups.


Wow, most companies say “stuff went bad, your loss, we accept no responsibility.” I just want to say thank you for telling us what happened.

This kind of communication is what all companies need. Much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

and for the 2 hubs that wouldn’t come back on line… I really feel for you, setting up a new hub can be a large headache if you have 100+ devices like I know some do. SmartThings should give you two something special for the trouble.


Why not hold off on the updates until all the issues have been sorted out?


Im clearly one of those HUBS NOT RECOVERED BY REBOOT… My Hub is not going online since a couple of weeks now… Eventhouhg Ive been in contact with the ST Support Ive not been asked to send the HUB…

Thank you. The transparency in sharing this information is exceptional.

The background information also reinforces my belief that this is the best avaiailble home automation system for my needs.

Well done!


Are you telling me I’m one of two hubs that got toasted. I didn’t get a chance to a UPS droffoff today. I’ll make sure and get it there tomorrow.

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It’s kind of scary to know that a bad firmware update roll-out can end up bricking your hub for good. Having to re-do all my configuration on a new hub wouldn’t be my main concern though (since I don’t have that many sensors) but rather the fact that I live in Europe but not in the UK, and Samsung actively refuses to service hubs and sensors still under warranty unless you have an UK or US forwarding address (which I don’t). So I guess my question is: Should my hub get bricked like this, would Samsung actually step in and provide a full replacement service, free of charge, regardless or where I live? Otherwise give me the option to manually defer firmware updates to my hub until I can be reasonably sure that it won’t cause issues (eg. a few weeks later than the rest).

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This is a totally fair question. The short answer is that we won’t know that all the issues have been sorted out until we put the changes to the ultimate test - updating the fleet of production hubs. We put the latest firmware through many, many hours of test internally across development hubs and internal beta users. We then put it through many more hours of tests with a customer beta. And yet issues still come out because a Hub has just the right combination of hardware state + installed software + cosmic radiation + internal dust-bunnies that it triggers some new error state that we hadn’t considered.

The 17.11/17.12 update is unusual in that one of the most complicated updates to date. The reason we want to release it as soon as we can though is that, once it is applied, it will be a significant boon to being able to release future updates in a safe way. We don’t want a “brick” any more than you do, and this is a significant step to getting there. Unfortunately, we need to use the riskier legacy update mechanism one more time on the way to a much better place.


Please keep working with our support team - your offline hub is a v1 hub and was not affected by this issue, which only affected v2 hubs.

Time to go get a lottery ticket? Or is this a sign to avoid chance-based games for a while? :wink:

Not to add to the fear, but this is a risk with every embedded device on the market today. We know how much people rely on their hubs, that’s why we’re pushing technologies like those in this update to further to reduce the possibility of damage.

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Like many others who have already commented here, wow. Thank you for the inside glimpse on what’s happening behind the scenes. Even though I wasn’t affected by the issue with this update, it was fascinating to learn more about how the technology that powers my smart home works. As a tinkerer, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be on the ST platform.


I wish everyone talked to me like this, so refreshing.

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And THIS (insert picture of me beating dead horse here) is why we need to have some sort of migration tool. I’ve always said, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but there should be options to save settings and re-apply them on the new hub.

I do not believe that it is not possible. As a former boss once said, “Anything is possible with the correct amount of resources.” And, that statement is absolutely true. I’m still on a v1 Hub, with a v2 still in the box, because it will be a pain to covert over and I don’t have a complex setup.


I’m going to share a little context to it, do what you will with it.

Right now you’ve said that there are a few cases of “red” lights and other issues which you need to investigate. These are BRICKED hubs, not a small inconvenience. This is something you can solve given time after you analyze the bricked hubs. So it mean delaying the release for a few months, what’s so critical in this release that you can’t wait for a few months to make sure you have a release which doesn’t “brick” hubs.

Bricking hubs is a no-no, I can tell you folks won’t take it in the “spirit” of things especially when you don’t have a migration tool available. I can wait for 2 months until you figure this out rather than “brick” my house and security setup. Give me a way to opt out of this update.

Furthermore, what you don’t realize is that RBoyApps don’t just help out folks on the commmunity, we’re actively partnered with manufacturers and builders to deploy SmartThings hubs into new homes and retrofit existing home backed by RBoyApps. I cant definitely say bricking hubs will cost ST a lot of new customers and reputation. You could lose retail 10 customers but if the manufacturers and installers who’re the first line of support for these new channels start seeing bricked hubs, they will not push the product anymore.

You may want to reconsider the decision to make a full blown release until you can sort out the “critical” issues like stuff that bricks hubs.


I agree!!!


^ THIS ^ x 1000.

You can count me among such “folks”.

The lack of a migration tool from Hub V1 to Hub V2 is barely tolerable, because at least the Customer has the option to (a) defer migration until they can block off a convenient time, and/or (b) stagger their migration a bit at time.

While there are conditions other than a Firmware update that could cause a Hub to fail (and thus, the need for an unplanned whole-home outage until a replacement and very labor intensive manual migration can be conducted by the Customer), anything that increases the risk of a Hub failure is … “unacceptable”.


I really don’t understand how you guys can experiment with us without one.

Seems like you have lost a lot of credibility…