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Multi-enclosure VC Domain / Firmware Upgrade

Trusted Contributor

Multi-enclosure VC Domain / Firmware Upgrade

Jeff had a firmware upgrade question:




Hello PDL users,


I have a question that I need some help on.  I have a customer who has a VC domain with three enclosures stacked together.  We have finally been able to talk about firmware upgrades.  I have no problems with single enclosure VC domains but not a lot of experience with multi-stacked enclosure VC domains.


In reading the release notes for VCSU 1.5.2 on page 15, the bay parameter states:

Enclosures in a Multi-Enclosure Domain have all modules updated regardless of the BAY parameter.


So, according to this statement it seems that it is an all or nothing firmware revision upgrade.  The original plan was to take one enclosure offline at a time and perform the upgrade.  We are planning to go to the latest release set 2010.10, I would like to hear some feedback to see if other users have experienced issues / problems in relation to this firmware set with multi-stacked enclosure VC domains?


As a follow-up question, I know the customer will ask and I do not have an answer to yet.  What would be involved in deactivating a multi-stacked domain and going back to three single VC domain groups?  Can anyone comment on this or have a procedure on what should be done?





Gary also chimed in:






                My suggestion would be to use the odd-even or manual module activation options in the VCSU.  That way you will not lose all connectivity to the enclosure.  If you go the manual route, the customer will need to power off and on the modules to invoke the new firmware but they can do it so that they do not lose both paths to an enclosure.




Jeff replied to Gary's response:




Gary, Thanks for the response.


That was my first thought was as well.  Go ahead and do the updates with the ‘manual’ parameter switch and then at night during a maintenance window power-cycle each single module one at a time.  So we are looking at updating the OS / drivers, then the server firmware, then the OA, and lastly the VC modules.


The customer has asked what would it take to de-activate the single multi-stacking VC domain down to three single VC domains.  The customer is running VMware as the OS.  The VMware cluster spans across all three enclosures and they really have no need or concern for moving profiles between the enclosures.  They will Vmotion the guest off to another server, then put the host into maintenance mode for any service related needs.  This will then allow them to mange each enclosure as a separate domain.




Steve had a good answer:




To deactivate (and then re-deploy) an enclosure you need to do the following;


  1. Shutdown all servers in that enclosure
  2. Unassign all profiles from that enclosure
  3. Remove any links from that enclosure that are included in a SUS or vNet
  4. Go to VCM and remove the enclosure from the domain
  5. Log back in to that enclosure (using toe tag password) and create a new VC domain, profiles, networks etc. (this step can be shorten considerably by scripting the new domain).


Regards, Steve....




Other comments or your experiences?