BladeSystem Management Software

Offline blade firmware update using DVD9.10C ISOon multiple servers within the same enclosure - other firmware update questions

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Offline blade firmware update using DVD9.10C ISOon multiple servers within the same enclosure - other firmware update questions

Jean-Denis had a question on updating firmware using the DVD 9.10C and HPSUM:




Till now, I did FW updates on multiple blade servers within the same enclosure  by using an usb key holding DVD9.10C ISO image and connected it to active OA and then used automatic fw update mode.

I know this requires a minimum OA version but I don’t remember what exact minimum version (2.10 ?)


Another stupid question. Is it possible to use ilo virtual media (customer ilo versions are old; most between 1.70 and 1.50) and mount a single DVD9.10C ISO image on a few servers simultaneously in order to complete an automatic mode firmware update on them. I guess this is not supported and will not work. Am I right ?


About online fw update using smartcomponents, I didn’t use them for smartarray, Nics and FC HBA. What happens when doing online flash for these components (will there be some network disruption/ san connectivity issue). What about the smartarray online flash ? These online flashes will not be transparent. Am I right


Also I would like to know what bios/boot image version is contained within the qlogic FC HBA flash component which is contained within the 2010.07 blade firmware release set.




Michael tried to clear things up:




  I’d like to correct some misconceptions in some of the replies to your query and in some feedback I’ve received from the field on the usability of the Firmware DVD through iLO Virtual Media and capabilities of the Firmware DVD in general.  Starting with the Firmware DVD 9.00, we made significant changes to the user experience that incorporated the best of the Firmware CD and FDT into one deliverable. 


  • The Firmware DVD 9.00 and above can be used with iLO virtual media without the issue with the iLO firmware disconnecting the virtual media and hanging the installation.  We altered the boot scripts on the DVD from what was on the CD ISO to check what needs to be updated and only copy the files that are needed for that server into our RAM drive.  This means that even though the ISO image is almost 1GB in size, we only copy over, on average, less than 75MB into the RAM drive for any given installation.  This is even more efficient than the FDT, where everything on the FDT was copied into the RAM drive.  By reducing the amount of information sent over the wire, we actually decreased the network usage for the Firmware DVD as opposed to the FDT.  The FDT had approximately 150MB of information to copy over for its installation.  To accomplish this, we run a report to determine what needs to be updated which takes a little time to run, then only copy over the items that need to be updated.  In our testing, this ended up taking approximately the same amount of time to update a server as the FDT did.  Thus, there is no need to perform separate iLO firmware updates with the DVD as we have resolved the issue that prevented us from using the Firmware CD to update iLO firmware in versions prior to 9.00.
  • In addition to supporting BladeSystem customers, we added support to allow users of all ProLiant servers to use the same process to update their firmware.  This means users who have mixed environments with blades and rack/tower servers can standardize on a common process for updating server firmware for all supported servers and reap the same benefits.
  • We worked with the USB Key Utility team to add support to allow the Firmware DVD to be written to a USB key.  This is not a requirement, but it does allow a user to use the USB key deployment method for all their ProLiant servers if desired.  It also allows a user to add and remove firmware from the DVD, which was not allowed with the original FDT ISO by simply copying and deleting firmware from the \hp\swpackages directory.
  • As part of the enhancements, we modified the text-based FDT update information to provide the same graphical feedback that Firmware CD users had but keep the same automated process capabilities of the FDT.  Thus, once the installation started, better feedback was provided as to what was occurring and what failures were seen.  This meant that users could work with a GUI and not need to know “vi” commands to work through the various log files.
  • A little known capability of the new DVD is that if the iLO Virtual Floppy is mounted, the Firmware DVD will copy log files to it before rebooting the server.  For users who need to keep track of what changed, this can provide log files of all updates that were performed.  For people who are scripting the deployment of firmware updates through the iLO, adding an additional command to mount the virtual floppy will allow them to gather these logs as part of their process.  I believe that this Firmware DVD feature does require an iLO Advanced License to get this to work.  However, I’d have to defer to others who know the licensing of iLO better to confirm this.
  • Another capability of the DVD is that users can boot from the DVD ISO and if a USB key is inserted during boot with new components in the root of the key, they will be picked up and added to the release set.  Thus, critical updates can be added to the DVD contents by placing the files on the root of the key.  Thus, it is not necessary to create a full USB key of the DVD ISO contents in order to perform one-off component updates.  This is not scalable right now as it requires each server to have the USB key mounted in order to pick up the new files.
  • The Firmware DVD ISO can be mounted through the OA and presented to the blades to perform the firmware updates.  This can be achieved by either plugging a USB key with the ISO file (not the broken out content) in the USB port on the primary OA or by placing the ISO file on a web server and accessing it through the OA GUI.  The ISO can be mounted for individual blades and the blades restarted through the OA web interface to perform the firmware updates.  If the ISO is placed on a web server, there is no need to visit the enclosure if you stick with the standard Firmware Release Sets on the DVD as the entire connection to the OA and resulting firmware update deployment can be achieved through a browser on a workstation.



Other comments or questions? WHat have been your experiences using the 9.10C update DVD?

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Re: Offline blade firmware update using DVD9.10C ISOon multiple servers within the same enclosure -

Aditional input from Jean-Denis:




Thanks Dan


I’m not confident with scripting

Using this method can the RIBCL user_login be either an OA user having at least operator privileges or has it to be an ILO local  defined  user ?

For what belongs to the update mode here we use by default the  “automatic fw update mode” which will update all firmware components on the targets.

Is the automatic update checking for the BP*.xml file contents in order to decide which components will be used.

 What happens if a new version of firmware has been added to the ISO within the hp\swpackages directory but without  being added to the FRS bp*.xml file for linux.

Is there a possibility to open an IRC on one target while it is booting from the iso image and then select interactive fw update mode, if for some reason we would like to exclude some latest updates available on the iso (for exemple, deselect a fc hba update for a specific server)




Dan had some scripting info:




Example XML Script for http mount as mentioned in the last bullet of Michael’s email below.



  <LOGIN USER_LOGIN="adminname" PASSWORD="password">

  <RIB_INFO MODE="write">

    <INSERT_VIRTUAL_MEDIA DEVICE="CDROM" IMAGE_URL="http://ip.ip.ip.ip/path/filename.iso"/>










SSH to the OA in the chassis and then run one of the following:

HPONCFG ALL << |                Applies to All blades in chassis. | is the termination charachter

HPONCFG 1 << |                      Applies to Bay 1 only

HPONCFG 1-8 << |                Applies to Bays 1 through 8

HPONCFG 1,2,9,10 << | Applies to Bays 1, 2, 9 and 10

Then paste script in from above (with proper URL in place.  I recommend IP Address of Web server instead of DNS name as you won’t need working DNS)

After that just type | on a line by itself and hit enter.

On next reboot the blade will attempt to boot from the http hosted ISO once.



The other way to do this if you already have an OS on each blade (with iLO Driver and HPONCFG utility installed) is to package up XML script above and a simple batch file to execute HPONCFG /f Firmware.xml.

Send this package to the server with whatever the customer’s existing Patch management tool is and flag the custom package as requiring a reboot.

The script runs and then the Patching tool reboots the server.

Server reboots to the http hosted ISO and patches most of the firmware and then reboots automatically.

Because the script says BOOT_ONCE, the machine now boots back up to the original OS


The benefit here is it doesn’t matter which chassis the server is in since the script is executed via the host OS.




And then Monty chimed in:




The instructions shown use the OA CLI hponcfg command to access the iLO – the username and password fields in the RIBCL are placeholders and can contain the exact text shown below, as the OA will be using Single Sign On based on the user bay permissions to send these RIBCL commands to the iLO.




Other comments or suggestions?