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Firmware Updates - Best Practices

 
kishanb
Occasional Contributor

Firmware Updates - Best Practices

Hello All & Greetings.

I am working ona bunch of HP c7000 class Enclosures and various blades - but mostly BL460cG1 & BL460cG6. I would like to know the 'Best Practices' to do the following:

1. Upgrading the OA, Virtual Connect firmware in a production environment.
2. Upgrading the various firmware for the bladeservers (iLO, Power, etc.)

Thanks,
Kishan
4 REPLIES
Viveki
Trusted Contributor

Re: Firmware Updates - Best Practices

Hi Kishan,

Please see the c-class bladesystem firmware compatibility matrix:

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/blades/components/c-class-compmatrix.html

First check your blade BIOS/firmware levels, update if necessary. This may require blade reboots

From Best practices guide:

Offline Updates
The following instructions can be used to update the firmware on an individual server using the HP Firmware Maintenance CD

1) Download the HP Firmware Maintenance CD from the HP website. Links to the latest versions are posted on the BladeSystem Compatibility Chart web pages and can be accessed through the http://www.hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates URL. The file will be called firmware-.zip.

2) To extract the ISO image, open Windows Explorer and double-click on the ZIP file and copy the ISO image to a directory on a USB key or network hard drive. For Linux users, simply unzip the ZIP file using the "unzip firmware-.zip" command.

3) The easiest way to update a server blade using the HP Firmware Maintenance CD ISO image is to place it on a USB key and insert it into the USB port on the front of the C3000 enclosure or on the rear of the C7000 enclosure.

4) Browse to the HP BladeSystem Onboard Administrator web interface and login using the OA administrator credentials.

5) Click on "Device Bays"Â to pull up a summary of all blades in the enclosure

6) Check the box beside each blade that needs to be updated

7) Click the "DVD" tab and select the "Connect to FW*.iso" option in the pull down menu where the "*"Â signifies the version, date, and pass number of the HP Firmware Maintenance CD ISO file that was extracted in step #2.

8) Check the box beside each blade that needs to be updated again if they are deselected during the DVD connection step.

9) Select the "Virtual Power" tab and select the "Momentary Press"Â option. After confirming the popup for power change on the blade(s), the blades should power down if they were already powered on or power on if they had already been powered off. In the event they are powered off by step 9, repeat this step again to power the blade(s) on.

10) Use the remote console to browse into each blade and drive the installation process by following the steps as outlined in the "Using HP Smart Update Manager (HP SUM) in GUI mode". Some screens such as the "Source Selection"Â and "Select Installation Hosts"Â will not be displayed in offline mode.

NOTE: The iLO firmware must be deselected if the Firmware CD is being executed in offline mode to prevent errors that could occur when the iLO Firmware is updated and the iLO virtual media and remote console is reset. It is best to update the iLO firmware online first using the HP BladeSystem Firmware Update Bundles, then use the HP Firmware Maintenance CD in offline mode to flash offline-only firmware such as the QLogic, Brocade and Emulex FC HBA firmware.

NOTE: Please use the HP BladeSystem Firmware Deployment Tool for an automated way to perform these steps. The HP BladeSystem Firmware Deployment Tool also does not have the issue with iLO Firmware updates disconnecting the media since the FDT copies all the files from the iLO Virtual Media to a RAM drive on each server before initiating the firmware update process.

NOTE: Reboot the server once the firmware updates have completed successfully to activate all the software.

NOTE: In some rare instances, the Firmware Maintenance CD may not boot with some 3rd party external Fiber Channel storage attached. In the event this occurs, it may be necessary to disconnect the external storage for the duration of the update process and reconnect it afterwards.

NOTE: As an alternative, the HP Firmware Maintenance CD can be burned to a physical CD and placed in an external CD/DVD drive connected to the SUV (Serial-USB-Video) cable for the individual blade that needs to be updated.
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: Firmware Updates - Best Practices

There is also a document available

HP BladeSystem ProLiant firmware management best practices General overview

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01857420/c01857420.pdf
Remember to give Kudos to answers! (click the KUDOS star)

You can find me from Twitter @JKytsi
8i5
Advisor

Re: Firmware Updates - Best Practices

The compatibility matrix is a good idea but poorly executed. Until only a few days ago there was no mention of OA versions 2.52 and 2.60, instead it showed 2.41 and 2.51. At the same time HP support was recommending to us to upgrade our enclosures to the latest version 2.60 when we experienced an issue, otherwise they refused to support us at all.

Now that the matrix shows OA versions 2.52 and 2.60, the download page shows the HP BladeSystem Online Firmware Bundle for Windows/Linux version 1.60 which only support 2.52!

Come on HP...if you're going to create tools like this then please keep them up to date and in sync with your releases. Otherwise don't withhold support from your customers.
Jonas Back_2
Super Advisor

Re: Firmware Updates - Best Practices

I agree. HP - make it right. It says in the compatibility matrix that if you want to run 2.52 or 2.60 - you should run iLO 1.79.

But in the HP BladeSystem Online Firmware Bundle for Windows 1.60 - iLO 1.78 is included.

I wonder if we could stick to the normal Firmware CD (now 8.60) and HP PSP (now 8.30) so we can have the same update process for all our ProLiants, no matter if it's blade or rack.

HP, comments on this?