BladeSystem Management Software

Blade firmware upgrade order question

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Blade firmware upgrade order question

Kevin needed some firmware update advice for his customer:




My customer has around 25 enclosures they have just finished updating all to OA 3.60 and VC 3.60 as it has taken a year to complete.


They are planning the next update but they have restrictions as some are Itanium some mixed and some Proliant enclosures they have some of the 1GB FC modules so those are restricted to VC3.60


They do not want to go to the very latest as they are a bank and very conservative with updates. So no OA 4.01 or VC 4.10 yet but that means Integrity and mixed enclosures (about 50%) have to stay on OA 3.60 as OA 3.70 & 3.71 isn’t supported on them


They are doing an interim update and a full upgrade from next spring, at that point they will go with OA 4.01 and VC 4.10


To keep to a reasonably small range of versions they want to stay at OA 3.60 for now and use VC 3.75 where they can. The problem they have is updating the blades, which can take months to update and maybe 9 months before they have been able to do all in one enclosure.


The question is:


They want to get the VC out of the way while waiting for the blade availability


BUT can the customer update VC to 3.75 before updating all the blade BIOS and ilo as it is normally completed last or is this a problem with BIOS and ILO versions


Thanks for any info




Info from Lawrance:




You can update the VC from 3.60 to 3.75 even though all the blades are not updated yet.


VC has no dependencies on the BIOS versions of the blades.  If your customer has to upgrade VC, just upgrade VC and OA together but let the blades SPP version drift behind.  The blades can be updated at a later stage which suits the customer’s refresh cycle.  I’m not advocating to neglect the blade servers, I’m just saying that there is no direct dependency for blades that are already in a production state to be updated first before VC/OA can be updated.


The corner case is if they go to VC 4.01 and want to take advantage of the dynamic resizing of the VLANs – this feature requires reasonably up-to-date NIC driver and firmware on the servers, but anyway this is a moot point for your customer, as they are not going to this version anyway at this point in time.  What is the reason for the interim VC upgrade?  If 3.60 is working fine, no need to go to VC 3.75 unless there are some new model servers that they are buying now which requires VC 3.75.


Note that for any new server purchases, e.g. BL460c Gen8 IVY bridge, your customer may need to go to VC 4.10, but I’m still seeking clarification from the VC team whether this is a mandatory pre-requisite before Ivy bridge servers can be inserted into the chassis.




Any other comments?