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How to upgrade firmware in an HP BladeSystem enclosure

chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

How to upgrade firmware in an HP BladeSystem enclosure

The Firmware Deployment Tool (FDT) can be used to update firmware in a BladeSystem enclosure. It’s original purpose was to update firmware on a blade server prior to an OS being installed. It can also be used to update the firmware on a blade after an OS has been installed by booting it. The FDT does not scale beyond a single enclosure today. To scale the firmware updates, you should use either the full Firmware Maintenance CD, The BladeSystem Bundles for Windows and Linux, or the VCRM/VCA solution today. The FDT contains all the server based firmware (System ROM, iLO, NIC, Smart Array, SAS/SATA Hard drives, QLogic and Emulex fibre channel HBA and a few MSA controller firmware updates). Today, you cannot update the Onboard Administrator (OA) or any network-based devices with the FDT. This will be changing in a future release of the FDT to allow an option for updating the OA and Virtual Connect (VC) devices. The Firmware Maintenance CD contains all the current firmware for all HP ProLiant servers that are still under warranty. There are two options on how to use this CD. The first option is to boot the CD in what we call “off-line” mode. This mode brings up a graphical console using HP Smart Update Manager (HP SUM) that will allow you to deploy firmware updates to the local server. The second option is to insert the CD either on a server or a workstation in what we call “on-line” mode. In on-line mode, an autorun program on the CD will allow you to run HP SUM from the running OS and target either the local server or multiple remote servers, iLOs, or Onboard Administrators at a time. We recommend not using more than 25-30 targets at a time remotely using the Firmware Maintenance CD. The BladeSystem Bundles for Windows and Linux contain almost the same firmware as the FDT, but they only run under Windows or Linux (there are separate ones for each). These bundles contain some drivers out of the PSPs and the firmware from the Firmware Maintenance CD in a grouping that is tested together. The bundles allow the OA to be updated across the network as well as target servers in a single operation. The only drawback of the bundles is they will not update the QLogic or Emulex FC HBA firmware due to limitations with the firmware update process for those devices. Both the Firmware CD and BladeSystem Bundles provide both graphical and scriptable deployment modes. The HP SUM technology behind the Firmware CD, FDT, and BladeSystem bundles will be incorporated into SIM as a new method of deploying software and firmware. This will still allow customers who have invested in the VCRM to leverage that investment but will allow users to access non-host target devices. SIM and the Version Control infrastructure it provides are intended for mass deployment for up to several thousand servers. To net it out, each solution fits a different niche that customers may have: • Bare-metal deployment should use FDT for automated for Firmware Maintenance CD for manual deployment • Updates to existing servers should use FDT for enclosure-level automated deployment • Updates to existing servers and infrastructure should use BladeSystem Bundles or Firmware CD for manual or scripted deployment to workgroup-sized groups of servers • SIM/Version Control should be used for large, enterprise-wide deployment support