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11-04-2014 03:51 PM
We're a shop that just recently got a Nimble array and are working on integrating it into our production environment. I've got several volumes in use and connected to our ESXi hosts for VMDK storage, but I'm looking to set up some direct connect volumes. My first goal is to move our Exchange databases to one.
I understand that in order to do this, I need to install the NCM on mailbox server that I want to connect to the volume. I've done this before on 2012 when we were testing with our install consultant, but he said there weren't really any hotfixes that we had to worry about on 2012. The mailbox server is 2008 R2 though, and there are definitely patches listed in the release notes that are required for it. I've been able to download all of these hotfixes from MS, so I can install them whenever, but I'm kind of uneasy installing a large handful of hotfixes on a production critical server. My understanding is that MS releases hotfixes quickly to solve critical issues and then later rolls those fixes out through Windows Update once they've undergone additional testing to minimize the likelihood of causing problems. I did see something in another thread here that indicated that a fully patched 2008 R2 machine should have most of the fixes already, but unfortunately I couldn't find anything linking the hotfixes to Windows Updates that superseded them.
My questions are below:
-Have the required fixes been rolled out via Windows Update, and where can I find this information?
-Does anyone know of any issues that these hotfixes might cause with Exchange 2010 SP2 (or SP3, once we upgrade)?
-Any other relevant advice for a Nimble Newbie? I have gone through the install/operate class, but I tend to learn things better once I've actually done them.
Solved! Go to Solution.
11-04-2014 10:57 PMSolution
Some of the hot fixes may be available in Windows update if they are a part of a rollup but most are on request only via the kb article. Typically they are latest versions of MS iscsi, mpio etc drivers which have the bug fixes.
We have deployed all the NCM required hot fixes to around 60 Windows servers (2008r2, 2012 and 2012r2) which host sql and a handful of 2008r2 servers that host exchange 2010 without any issues. They seem to be pretty rock solid but as always recommend testing a subset of servers first since all environments are different.
I'm not sure of the impact of not installing specific hot fixes but some symptoms I've seen previously are long delays logging into Windows with a black screen, iscsi control panel hanging, clusters losing iscsi sessions and persisting in a reconnecting state and mpio misbehaving.
We've gone through a few Nimble OS and NPM/NCM updates and I have enough confidence now to install them in one hit followed by a reboot (pre prod first, then DR and finally prod). Not one issue so far.
Hope that helps...