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EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

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Frank Andrews
Regular Advisor

EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Hi all,

I have a client with an EVA 3000. I believe this EVA to be running 3.028 controller firmware. They are wanting to populate their remaining HDD bays with I believe 300GB HDDs (or whatever the largest current Fibre HDDs are) and they have been told 3.028 firmware won't support these drives.

I believe they will need an upgrade to 3.110 would be the best approach as an upgrade to 4.1 will result in the system becoming "active/active"?

The implications of this are the hard drives firmware will also need to brought up to newer firmware since 3.110 has cetain requirements for minimum hdd firmware.

I believe the approach would be :-

Shut down attached hosts.
Upgrade controller firmware to 3.110
Upgrade HDD firmware using HDD firmware bundle.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? One of my concerns is the HDD firmware, is it safe to upgrade the controllers to 3.110 when the HDDs are below the minimum supported revision? Can the HDDs be upgraded straight to the latest revision using the HDD bundle, even if they are old/original firmware?

Thanks
10 REPLIES
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Hi Frank,

An EVA3000 running VCS 3.028 does support 300GB FC drives. However there are some newer models of drives which might not be recognised...

Upgrading to VCS 3.110 would be the best move. I wouldn't think about a v4 firmware unless you want to spend a lot of extra time investigating all the implications of Active/Active controllers...

Your approach will work fine. You'll just need to ensure that the customer has at least Command View EVA 6 in order to use the drive firmware bundle.

Yes its safe to upgrade the controllers before you upgrade the disks. You may get a few warnings in the logs, but if they are already at 3.028, they probably won't be too far behind. Disks can be upgraded straight up to the latest. I've taken some drives from HP00 to HP04 without any problems...

Cheers,

Rob
Frank Andrews
Regular Advisor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Rob, thanks for the reply.

I've not seen an EVA 3000 for a while, can I assume then that on versions below 4.1 that the controllers operate in Active/Standby? Does this mean that the hosts on this system (which have dual fibre cards) only have one active card at any time? The system is working fine and we have no need/plan to change its operation, I was just interested in how the system behaves with 4.1 compared to 3.028.

I assume it becomes active/active and the risk is that the storage will be presented twice (on windows hosts) if MPIO or securepath isn't implemented?
tkc
Esteemed Contributor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

controllers with firmware 3.xx are running on Active/Standby. you will still see both paths on the o/s even if it's on active/standby.
tkc
Esteemed Contributor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

sorry, my previous statement is meant for hp-ux o/s. but 3.xx is definitely on active/standby.
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Hi Frank,

Yes that's correct. In VCS version 3.x the controllers are Active/Standby. In version 4.x the controllers are Active/Active similar to the EVA4x00/6x00/8x00.

When you move from A/S to A/A, depending on the OS, you have to implement different multipathing software.

Cheers,

Rob
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

> Yes its safe to upgrade the controllers before you upgrade the disks.

It is not only safe - it is how it is done by HP.


> Does this mean that the hosts on this system (which have dual fibre cards) only have one active card at any time?

No, not at all. The terminology is "Active/Passive" and it refers to virtual disk access, not controller operation. Even on a storage array with true Active/Standby controller operation like the MSA1000, both host's Fibre Channel ports are working. (I know the MSA1000 can do Active/Active, finally, but that's not interesting, here).

Both controllers are active and do process I/Os. It is just not possible to do I/O to a single virtual disk through both controller at the same time.

It has to do with the way the EVA manages its caches - one controller owns a single virtual disk, accepts host commands and does the disk I/O. The other controller presents this virtual disk as well - otherwise the host's failover software would not recognize that there are 'standby paths'. If the host tries to do I/O through a standby path, the EVA responds with a "NOT READY" status.

However, the second controller can own a _different_ virtual disk and process host I/O for it.


An EVA with Active/Active controller firmware works a bit different:
a single virtual disk is still owned by a controller, but the non-owning controller can now route I/O requests from the host(s) to the owning one via the mirror-ports.
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Frank Andrews
Regular Advisor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Uwe,

thanks for the info. We won't be upgrading beyond 3.110, so I'm only asking about 4.1 for curiosity. The EVA storage is presented to P-Class blades which of course have dual fibre cards, connected to two fibre switches.

The P-class blades are running ESX Server.

We are currently running 3.028 controller firmware, what would the effect be of running 4.1 firmware on this system?
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Frank,
most likely you would need to change the EVA host port cabeling to conform to the specifications. On some operating systems, you would have to rip and replace the multipath component (e.g. Secure Path -> MPIO).

VMware ESX V2.5.[234] and V3.0.[012] are supported on VCS V4.007.

It might be interesting for some customers to migrate to the free active/active multipath solutions, but unfortunately, this VCS release does not support online disk drive firmware upgrades, as far as I know.
.
Frank Andrews
Regular Advisor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Ok, so if a client is running VCS 4.007 or above, how do they perform HDD firmware upgrades?
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: EVA 3000 Firmware Upgrade

Either by ungrouping a single disk drive at a time, upgrading and then regrouping it (ugg!) or the traditional way of using a 'bulk load' image:
the in-memory VCS software in the controllers is temporarily replaced by the disk drive firmware images and the loader code. But this requires that the whole EVA is down during that time.
After the disk drive upgrade has finished, the controllers reload the VCS code from the firmware cards and perform a normal bootstrap.
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