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Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Shanno
Occasional Contributor

Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Hi,
We have several models of proliant servers on our network (40-50 servers of 10-15 different types). I need to perform firmware updates on all of them.

We are running Systems Insight Manager 5.1 with SP1 - Windows. All or servers are Windows 2003 servers. We do not have Version Control agents on the servers.

Is there an easy way to do this? I also need to record what the current levels are and what the new one's will be. How do I go about doing all of this? What is the simplest way?

Please Help!

Thanks
6 REPLIES
ThomasO
Frequent Advisor

Re: Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Shanno

I would say the Version Control Agent is a vital piece of software to run in order to get firmware/driver version information.
And you can use HP SIM to push new versions of both firmware and software (ProLiant Support Packs), etc.

/Thomas
Shanno
Occasional Contributor

Re: Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Thanks for the reply. How could I use HP SIM to push out the sw? I am pretty new at this. We do not run Version Control Agents. I have managed to query some firmware levels of the servers using SMS.

Is it easy to set up Version control and do upgrades through that? Or is there another easy way?

Thanks
Sona
Shanno
Occasional Contributor

Re: Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Also want to check that the "Firmware Maintenance CD" (HP support and drivers page) has all the software I will need for firmware upgrades? Do I need to install anything else - like PSP, Online ROM components, etc? Or does this CD include all the firmware I need for that server?

If I just download the CD then is there an easy way of pushing that out to the servers?

Thanks
Shanno
ThomasO
Frequent Advisor

Re: Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Shanno

I am not 100% sure, but I believe that in order for this to work, you need a Version Control Repository Manager installed on one machine (we have it installed on the HP SIM server itself). This downloads all available updates for your servers (firmware and drivers) based on your selections from HP.com.
You can download it from here http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=397638&prodNameId=3288140&swEnvOID=1005&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=MTX-f440879d571340dfa9d8111451

Once all firmware/drivers are downloaded, you can deploy them from HP SIM console, from Deploy / Deploy Drivers, Firmware and Agents / Install Software and Firmware...

For the Firmware Maintenance CD, it only contains firmware (No PSPs). I don't believe you are able to install to multiple simultaneous servers using this CD as I think you need to boot the server off it (I have not done this before, as we use SIM for this).

/Thomas
Michael Garner_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Shanno,
It depends on the size of your deployment as to which solution you want to use. 40-50 servers is right on the edge between a workgroup and enterprise.

If you intend to have a lot of growth or have multiple data centers of 40-50 servers, then SIM is definitely the way to go. SIM provides a lot of powerful infrastructure management and scales to thousands of servers. SIM does require you to install a Version Control Repository Manager system to pull the latest updates from the hp.com website or to store the firmware components you want to deploy to remote servers. SIM also, for now, requires that you install the Version Control Agent (VCA) on each server you want to manage. The VCA will report through SIM all of the current firmware versions and through the SIM Install Software and Firmware support, you can generate reports of what is currently deployed on each server, set thresholds or reference versions of what you want installed and then deploy them either at that time or via SIM's scheduling mechanisms. There's a lot more to this and its capabilities so I would recommend sitting down with the SIM manual and working through the examples to get a feel for what it can do. The VCRM is available on the Insight

If you plan to stay small, you can still use SIM to pull information about your servers through the agents (including the VCA or the WBEM providers depending on whether you are SNMP or WBEM-based). However, you would probably want to use the workgroup update capabilities from the Firmware CD. The Firmware CD has a utility called HP SUM located in the \compaq\swpackages directory. HP SUM has the capability to deploy to workgroups of servers and will automatically determine which firmware needs to be deployed to the target server depending on the server model and installed hardware. Most firmware updates can be handled by running HP SUM from a workstation in your network and targeting your servers. There are a few types of updates such as Fiber Channel cards, older SATA drives and some MSA controllers that can only be updated by booting to the Firmware CD (which also will run HP SUM in local mode). If you have some of these types of updates, even SIM won't update them for you and you will be forced to boot from the Firmware CD.

As a side note, the VCA uses HP SUM underneath to deploy the firmware so you'll be using HP SUM in either case.

Either way, I always recommend upgrading to the latest firmware at least once every 6-9 months to ensure you're within the support window. HP releases the Firmware CD with the latest firmware updates once a quarter in February, May, August, and November to help with you planning.

Regards,
Michael Garner
HP PSP/Firmware CD/HP SUM Architect
Jan Ophof
Occasional Visitor

Re: Easiest Way to do firmware updates on multiple Proliant servers

Hello,

I'm looking at upgrading the firmware of about 1500 servers. The server fleet consists of HP DL580 G4/G5 and HP DL 380 G4/G5. I assume the way to go is via SIM?

As far as I am aware all the servers already have a Version Control Agent (VCA) installed.
Are all version of the VCA compatible with SIM?

I believe the firmware HP DL580 G4/G5 and HP DL 380 G4/G5 consist of:
BIOS
Smart Array
ILo
NIC
Harddisk
Is this correct?

If so is it possible to update all of the above firmware via SIM?

I believe the hardisks of the G4 servers has to be done offline. Is this correct?

Thanks in advance.
Jan