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C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

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Keijo Koivumäki
Occasional Contributor

C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Hi,

I'll do firmware upgrade to a few C7000 -enclosures with Virtual Connect (2 x 1/10 eth and 2 x 4gb fc) -modules.

Present firmwares:

Oa : 2.02
VC eth : 1.16
Vc fc : 1.02

Target firmwares:

Oa : 2.52
VC eth : 2.10
VC fc : 1.32

I think that atleast Virtual Connect -modules shouldn't be upgraded to target firmware at once. What is appropriate firmware steps?

I have used Virtual Connect Support Utility to forced upgrade of eth-modules. Fc-modules is upgraded from gui.
15 REPLIES
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.


ILOs and OA first.

I have not heard about upgrade steps. Just that when VC-FC module prior 1.10 is upgraded a "brief" fabric outage will happen.

Usually updating VC will work different every time =) But I have updated from 1.16 to 2.10. Sometimes it fails and sometimes it even works.

Remember to backup configuration.
Remember to give Kudos to answers! (click the KUDOS star)

You can find me from Twitter @JKytsi
Michael Garner_1
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Unfortunately, Jarkko's recommendations do not correspond with the official HP policy of doing updates. I would recommend reading the following firmware best practices document below.

http://search.hp.com/redirect.html?type=REG&qt=firmware+best+practices&url=http%3A//h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01857420/c01857420.pdf%3Fjumpid%3Dreg_R1002_USEN&pos=1

The recommended installation order is:


Recommended installation order
If the Virtual Connect Ethernet firmware is version 1.34 or later, or you are not using Virtual Connect in your blade enclosures, the following is the recommended installation order based on whether an operating system has been installed or not.
If an operating system has already been installed:
1. Update the blades and the OA first using the BladeSystem Firmware Update Bundles for Windows and Linux.
2. Use the HP BladeSystem Firmware Deployment Tool or HP Firmware Maintenance CD to update any offline only firmware.
3. Use the VCSU to update the VC firmware after all other updates have been applied, servers rebooted, and all firmware activated
If an operating has not yet been installed:
1. Update the OA first using the BladeSystem Firmware Update Bundles for Windows and Linux.
2. Use the VCSU to update the VC firmware after all other updates have been applied, servers rebooted, and all firmware activated.
3. Use the HP BladeSystem Firmware Deployment Tool or HP Firmware Maintenance CD to update all server-specific firmware.

If Virtual Connect Ethernet firmware is older than v1.34:

If the Virtual Connect Ethernet firmware is older than version 1.34, the following is the recommended installation order regardless of whether an operating system has been installed or not.
1. Update the VC firmware first using the VCSU.
2. Update the server blades and the OA next using the BladeSystem Firmware Update Bundles for Windows and Linux.
3. Use the HP BladeSystem Firmware Deployment Tool or HP Firmware Maintenance CD to update any offline only firmware.


Regards,
Michael Garner
HP HPSUM/Firmware CD/PSP Architect
Keijo Koivumäki
Occasional Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Thanks for your help!

->Michael

That was really big help, could you also advise how to operate with fc-modules?

VCSU status ask me to start ftp-server on port 21 when I try to update FC-module, why is that?

Br,

Keijo

Michael Garner_1
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

The reason you need ftp is that the VC pulls the binary image files from an FTP server built into VCSU. When you provide the name of the file on the command-line arguments to VCSU, you are providing osu the local location of the file. VCSU provides an FTP server link so the VC can download the file from the system where you are running VCSU. This was enhanced in later VC firmware versions to also support an HTTP interface, but for older versions like 1.16, the FTP update is the only method available. Because FTP uses port 21, VCSU needs you to open that port in the firewall for the length of time it takes to update the VC. Once the update is done, you can close the port again.

Regards,
Michael
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Those are best practices all right. But the real life of updating VC modules is something else ... I wish good luck
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Bob Firek
Regular Advisor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Michael,

I am in a quandary. Like Keijo I have a C7000 to upgrade the firmware and I've read the HP BladeSystem ProLiant FirmwareManagement Best Practices that you provide a link to and I have read the installation instruction for the VC Firmware version 2.10 and the latest one 2.30. VC Firmare version 2.10 states that it requires HP BladeSystem c-Class Onboard Administrator firmware 2.31 or higher. And for 2.30 OA firmware 2.60 or higher.


Keijo OA firmware is at 2.02. Do you still recommend upgrading the Virtual Connect firmware first and then the OA firmware even though the readme indicates the OA should be at either 2.31 or 2.60 depending on VC firmware you upgrade to.

I am in the same boat as Keijo. I have a C7000 to upgrade with:
OA: 2.25
VC eth: 1.32
VC fc: 1.21

I appreciate any help you can offer.

JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

I still insist that when doing VC upgrade, ILO and OA should be the corresponding versions _before_ vc update
Remember to give Kudos to answers! (click the KUDOS star)

You can find me from Twitter @JKytsi
Bob Firek
Regular Advisor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Jarkko,

I don't necessary disagree with you and had intended to upgrade the OA before upgrading VC. But it is pretty hard to ignore the disclaimer in the HP BladeSystem ProLiant Firmware Management Best Practices:

If updating from VC firmware versions before 1.34, the VC firmware must be updated before the OA firmware.

It is in bold and everything. It then goes on to say:

For VC firmware versions 1.34 and later, the update order between the OA and VC is not important.

Which isn't in bold. Of course as my luck runs I have version 1.32. I have to weigh the pros and cons because if this enclosure goes belly up big I will have a lot of angry people trying to harm me. I would like to avoid that at all cost.

Either way I realize that I am between a rock and a hard spot. But I respect your opinion and experience. I'll let you know what I decide and how it works out.

In the mean time any and all thought and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks again.
Michael Garner_1
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Bob,
I spoke with the Virtual Connect developers and they stated that the version listed is the version required in order for all features of the Virtual Connect modules to be supported. They state it is OK to follow the procedures as I previously documented from the Firmware Best Practices. They strongly recommend updating the OA to a supported version as soon as the VC update has been applied so you are able to take advantage of all the VC features.

I have posed the same question to the Onboard Administrator developers and am waiting for a reply from them.

Regards,
Michael
Bob Firek
Regular Advisor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Michel,

Thanks for the reply. So the way I understand it I should:

1 - Update VC 1/10Gb-F VC-Enet Modules (a total of six) from 1.32 to 2.30 since that is the latest version. And then update the 4Gb VC-FC modules from 1.21 to the latest version (I can't remeber off hand what that is now)

2 - As soon as possible, update the OAs from the current version of 2.25 to 2.32 then from version 2.32 to 2.41. From 2.41 to 2.52. I believe that I will have to update the BIOS and iLO on the blades before I can then upgrade to 2.60. But for now I would like to at least get up to 2.52.

Does this sound about right.

Thanks for you help and time.
Michael Garner_1
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Bob,
Using VCSU will update both the VC-Ethernet and VC-FC modules at the same time so there is no need to update them separately. Just download the combined firmware binary image file for VC 2.10 or 2.12 from the web and use VCSU to install it. If you choose to move to VC 2.30, you'll need to update to OA 2.60 to get support for some of the latest Virtual Connect features.

For the OA, you should be able to update directly from 2.25 to 2.52 without making any changes. Be aware that updating to any OA version 2.51 or greater will reflect the PowerPIC firmware and iLO firmware versions in the new Rack Firmware link and will change the status of those servers that are out of date. This means they will be shown needing an update. As you said, doing it as soon as possible after updating the VC is strongly recommended.

Regards,
Michael
Bob Firek
Regular Advisor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

Michael,

Thanks.

Is there a preference between 2.10 and 2.12? Someone said that 2.12 was to fix some bug in Flex-10. I think I'll stick with 2.10 if that was the one that was more commonly use.

Thanks again for your help,

Bob
Adrian Clint
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

There is a newer version of the Blade Firmware deployment CD. This includes the NIC firmware that 10GB NICs need to be supported by VC FW 2.30

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/cd/p1255591055/v56570/bbfirmware-1.62-0.zip
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

"Using VCSU will update both the VC-Ethernet and VC-FC modules at the same time so there is no need to update them separately."

In theory, but have ever tried to do it ??? It will fail FC module updates 9/10.
Remember to give Kudos to answers! (click the KUDOS star)

You can find me from Twitter @JKytsi
Keijo Koivumäki
Occasional Contributor

Re: C7000 + VC, firmware upgrade from very old to new fw.

->Micheal

Do you know, what is source, where ftp server wants to connect?