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How to update HPE Nimble dHCI Compute Node firmware

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How to update HPE Nimble Storage dHCI compute node firmware

In my last blog post (HPE Nimble dHCI Intelligent 1-Click Updates: Technical overview), I walked you through the Nimble dHCI Updates feature and showed you how simple it is to update NimbleOS, VMware ESXi, and the HPE Nimble Storage Connection Manager (NCM). At the end of that post, I mentioned that I would create a second article to describe the compute node firmware update. Now the wait is finally over.

In this post, I will review the process of using HPE Smart Update Manager (SUM) to update your server firmware. Although this example is in the spirit of the dHCI solution, it can be applied to any HPE ProLiant 300 Series server.

<note: compute node firmware updates will be fully integrated into dHCI Lifecycle Upgrades in the fall/winter of 2020>

Compatibility Matrix

The first step is to check the Validated Configuration Matrix. The matrix can help you identify which Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) should be applied based on the version of ESXi that you are running.

After you identify the correct SPP to apply, you can download it from the HPE SPP Custom Download page.

Service Pack for ProLiant

By default, HPE has an SPP available that includes all drivers and firmware for all OSs that are supported by the HPE ProLiant system. Because the dHCI solution supports only VMware, we can generate a specific SPP that will cover HPE ProLiant and VMware vSphere®.

Let’s create one that includes HPE SUM:

  1. First, go to the HPE SPP Custom Download page and log in with your HPE Passport account. You should see something like this screenshot: spp1.png
  2. Click the plus sign (+). You must provide a bundle name, a version, and a brief description.
  3. Select ZIP Package, make sure to select the checkbox for Include Smart Update Manager (SUM), and click Next: Select Filters.spp2.png
  4. Next, select the OS that is installed on your dHCI servers. In my case, the OS is VMware vSphere 6.7.
  5. Select Include server components and select everything under Component Categories.
  6. Under Server Models, select only the model that you have. On my side, I have 3 × HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 Server.
  7. After you complete the selection, click Build. Wait for a couple of minutes, and you should be able to download the SPP bundle.

You are now ready to start HPE SUM.

Server Firmware Updates

Let’s get the party started and update our first server:

  1. First, extract the SPP ZIP file (previously downloaded onto a Windows or Linux server) that can reach the iLO IP address of your dHCI servers. In this case, I used a Windows 2016 VM to run HPE SUM.
  2. After you unzip the file, search for a file name called smartupdate.bat.
  3. Double-click the file name to run it. It automatically opens both a command prompt and your default web browser and then redirects you to the HPE SUM GUI.
  4. Click Nodes to add all of your dHCI servers.spp3.png
  5. Click Add node. You can add a full range or add specific IP addresses one-by-one.  spp4.png
  6. Under Node type, select iLO. Under Baseline, you should have only one selection available.
  7. Finally, provide the credentials for an Administrator account that has Recovery Set privilege and click Add.spp6.png
  8. Repeat these steps for each dHCI server.
  9. Select a server and click Inventory. This process scans the server and checks for firmware or drivers that might need to be updated.spp7.png
  10. Click Inventoryspp8.png
  11. In the meantime, you can log in to your VMware vCenter® instance, migrate all of your VMs to other hosts, and put that ESXi server into maintenance mode. 
  12. When you are ready, click Review and deploy the updates.spp9.png
  13. Review the firmware updates that will be applied and click Deploy.spp10.png

In my lab, it took around 30 minutes to update a server, but the length of time varies depending on how many firmware updates need to be processed.

After a few updates are finished, you’ll get a message similar to this one:

spp11.png

At this point, you can reboot the server. The reboot might take longer than usual because some firmware updates might need to be applied. No worries here! You can also open the iLO Remote Console to see what’s going on.

At this point, you have updated your server firmware. Congrats! If you want to make sure that your server is using the latest firmware, you can always restart an inventory from HPE SUM.

spp12.png

You can exit maintenance mode on this server, and migrate your VMs to it. At this point you can move on to the second server.

That’s it.—Simple, isn’t it?

But what if you want to provide a report for compliance? We’ve got you covered there as well.

After 24 hours, log in to HPE Infosight. Click Dashboards and then, under Servers, select Reports.

spp13.png

You can select a report on SPP Compliance by Server.

spp14.png

Click the chart under SPP Compliance by Server to be redirected to this view from which you can download a CSV report

spp15.png

I would really like to hear from you. Are these tutorials helpful? Is there another topic you would like me to cover?

Thanks in advance for your feedback, and until next time, stay safe!

Fred

Technical Marketing Engineer

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About the Author

Fred_Gagne

Fred specializes in HPE Converged Solution and HPE Nimble Storage dHCI solution.