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Nimble 0S 2.0 Part 4 : Upgrading an array 1.4.x -> 2.0.7 via GUI


Welcome to this follow up blog in the “what’s new” series.

In this session we will talk about the update from 1.4 towards 2.0.7 software version. Take into account you will need between 30 and 45 minutes to do the upgrade. No hardware tools are required of course. In case of trouble, please contact support at: support@nimblestorage.com or by phone 1.877.364.6253 x2 (US only). Find your local phone number here:http:// www.nimblestorage.com/support/

Good advice from an old man: RTFM. The release notes, yeah… Some dependencies regarding Nimble Windows Toolkit and Nimble Connection Manager can be found here.

Here are the different steps:

1. Verify your current version

Another important check is your current system version. Check the table below to see if you can directly upgrade towards You need minimum. If not, take the necessary intermediate steps.


You can find your current version in the GUI on : Manage > Array : In the middle of the page.

Pic 1.png

If everything is green, you can continue. Don’t upgrade your system with any failed device in place.

2. Prepare your network configuration.

There are new validation rules for Nimble OS 2.0. Here you can find the validation rules :

IP and Netmask Validations:

  • Must have the right format with four integers in the range 0-255 separated by dot (.).
  • If a matching netmask is known (, an IP must not be equal to the network ( or broadcast ( address.
  • A netmask expressed as a 32 bit binary value must have the highest bit set (2^31) and the lowest bit clear (2^0) with the first zero followed by only zeros.
  • The only duplicate IPs that can be specified are:
    Discovery IP may equal Management IP.

Discovery IP may equal Target IP if the Discovery IP is on an iSCSI enabled subnet.

Custom routes may share a gateway.

  • Management and Controller/Support IPs must be on the management subnet (type Mgmt or Mgmt+Data).
  • Discovery IP must be on a configured subnet.

Subnet List Validations:

  • Network address must be of IP address format.
  • Any two subnets must not overlap, e.g. a configuration with and is invalid.
  • There must be exactly one management subnet (Mgmt or Mgmt+Data) and at least one data enabled subnet (Data or Mgmt+Data).
  • Each Data or Mgmt+Data subnet must have at least one of the two flags enabled: allow_iscsi and allow_cluster.
  • Among all subnets there must be at least one with allow_iscsi and at least one with allow_cluster.
  • Each subnet with allow_iscsi enabled must have an IP Address Zone (Netzone) type of Single, Bisect, or EvenOdd, auto-corrected to Single.
  • Each subnet without allow_iscsi must of an IP Address Zone (Netzone) type of None, auto-corrected.
  • Target IPs must reside within the subnet that they are configured for.

I know, this is quite a list but better check it upfront, so you won't be hit by this. Two other remarks :
- Arrays that send Autosupports (ASUPs) with configurations that do not conform with the validation rules will be blacklisted.
- Arrays that do not send ASUPs will fail the update precheck.

3. Check Inter Switch Links

This will be covered in a later session covering “IP Address Zones”: Stay tuned.

4. Allocate Virtual Target IPs for Each Data Subnet.

If you have only one Data subnet, the Virtual Target IP can share the same value as the Discovery IP for the array.

If you would like to use a different Virtual Target IP, or if you have multiple subnets, allocate an additional IP address to serve as an iSCSI target on each data subnet is required. This IP address is called a Virtual Target IP. These Virtual Target IPs will be configured on the array in step 7.

5. Install Nimble Host Software

Install Nimble Connection Management software for supported hosts:

  • Windows – Nimble Windows Toolkit. Check the Nimble Connection Service check box during installation. Windows requires a reboot to complete the installation.
  • VMware – Nimble Connection Services and Path Selection Plugin.

6. Update Nimble OS

Finally you can update your Nimble OS but first download it.

We strongly recommend that you update NimbleOS using the array WebUI Software Download mechanism rather than manual uploading the image from your local PC. If the desired release is not available on the download WebUI, it may be for one of two reasons

  • The release is non-GA and a white-list entry is required
  • The array has been explicitly blacklisted from the release

These blacklist entries are in place in order to protect you from something undesirable happening. If you cannot see the desired release - please contact Nimble Support for analysis and assistance.

If white-listed your system will see the available update in the Administration Page. An alert will be visible :

pic 2.png

You can also from the main menu, select Administration > Software and check already downloaded packages. If your array has internet access you can download. When your software version is uploaded, click update. Everything will go automatically, and refresh your browser to ensure proper installation.

7. Enable the Automatic Connection Method.

a. In the GUI, go to Administration > Network Configuration and click Modify on the Active configuration.
b. On the Group tab, confirm that iSCSI Host Connection Method is set to Manual with Enable Rebalancing unchecked.
c. Select Automatic under iSCSI Host Connection Method and click Set to Automatic in the dialog box to confirm.
d. Specify (Virtual) Target IPs for each iSCSI-enabled data subnet. These IPs were allocated in step 4.
e. For subnets where Data and Host IPs have been organized into zones (see step 3), specify IP Address Zone type (Bisect or Even/Odd) for that subnet.
f. Click Apply to apply changes to the Active configuration.

Network validations are performed during connections. Any warnings or errors reported must be addressed before proceeding.

8. Configuring Hosts with Nimble Connection Manager Installed.

On Windows and VMware hosts running Nimble host software (see step 5), connections are automatically reconfigured to Virtual Target IPs. This process takes approximately five minutes with active I/O (10,000 IOs). Confirm that all connections have been converted:


a. Open the Nimble Connection Manager GUI.
b. Select a connected target volume and click the Properties.
c. Confirm that the Array Connection Method is set to Automatic.

pic 3.png


a. Open the ESX or ESXi GUI.
b. Select Initiator Properties in the Static Discovery tab.
c. Confirm that all Data IPs have been replaced with Target IPs.

pic 4.png

pic 5.png

Hosts without Nimble Connection Management Software, such as Linux:

Manually reconfigure connections from Data IPs to the Target IP for the subnet. They are automatically redirected to Data IPs on appropriate interfaces.

Note: Failure to set the host to the Virtual Target IP may result in the array breaking the connection to the host on a repeated schedule as the array tries to rebalance the host to a more appropriate IP address. This may cause disruptions to the host.

9. Enable Rebalancing.

a. From the GUI, go to Administration > Network Configuration and click Modify on the Active configuration.
b. On the Group tab, confirm that iSCSI Host Connection Method is set to Automatic with Enable Rebalancing unchecked.
c. Check Enable Rebalancing.
d. Click Apply to apply the change to the Active configuration.

Note: If NCM is not configured on the host, the array may break connections to the host in an attempt to balance optimal connections for the host, or it may suffer a performance impact due to request forwarding from array to array.

10. Reconfigure Replication over Data Subnets.

If you have configured replication over a data subnet using the Nimble Support assisted setting dsd:repl.local_ip_addr_override, contact Nimble Support to replace it with the replication partner setting Replication Network.

11. Merge Groups and Pools and/or Add Arrays.

At this point, the update is complete and the array can now be combined with others to provide greater manageability and performance.

Follow the instructions in the Nimble OS User Guide for merging groups and pools or adding uninitialized arrays.

Note: Automatic iSCSI Host Connection Method and Enable Rebalancing are required to support multiple-array configurations.

Note: Without NCM software on connected hosts, do not use multi-array pools.

So that is the end of this session. It is a rather long one but it is better to be prepared.

Thank you for choosing Nimble.

About the Author



Your final note is about not using multi-array pools without NCM software. What about say a Linux host that doesn't have it. Does this mean that it can't use the pool or that you shouldn't use a pool at all if you have Linux hosts?


Hi Chuck,

You absolutely can use pools with Linux hosts, but because there is (today) no Linux NCM you cannot have multi-array pools - ie volumes distributed across multiple arrays. This is also true for any Windows or VMware host without NCM. Reason being NCM contains a real-time bitmap of how the data is distributed across the systems, and works in conjunction with the arrays to understand exactly which NIC/path/switch/array NIC to go down for the data with the lowest queue depth and latency.

Without NCM, all hosts would talk to a single array, and would then be redirected to another array to fetch the data. Whilst this sounds good in principle, in reality this adds in huge amounts of CPU cycles for said array as well as latency whilst the host has to wait to fetch the data.

Hope that makes sense, let us know if you have any further questions on NCM.

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