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HPE Nimble dHCI Intelligent 1-Click Updates: Technical overview

HPE Nimble dHCI Intelligent 1-Click Updates – Technical Overview

As you may have already seen, my good friend Ryan Harris recently released a blog post to share news of our latest and greatest features for HPE Nimble Storage dHCI. One of the key features that we have introduced is ‘Updates’ and we think that option will greatly simplify your day-to-day operations.

In this article, I will provide an overview of the feature, and step-by-step instructions on how to perform updates.

Anatomy of HPE Nimble dHCI Updates

HPE Nimble dHCI simplifies the update process by providing an option that will automatically update NimbleOS, ESXi, and HPE Nimble Storage Connection Manager for VMware (NCM), when that new software is available. The Update feature also allows you to check the version information for your installed NimbleOS, ESXi, or NCM software stack. The real beauty is that everything is driven from vCenter, so you don’t have to navigate between multiple consoles to update each component.

update4.png

When one or more of these components has new version software, the Update feature displays a catalog that contains those software versions. You can select the Update button next to the catalog to install the software.

Before doing anything, dHCI performs pre-checks before each installation. The pre-checks verify connectivity between the storage and the server, and looks for potential problems. There are different pre-checks for the different stack components. As the pre-checks progress, dHCI displays status information to allow you to see the status of the operation. When the pre-checks finish, dHCI displays information about any issues that were discovered.

HPE Nimble dHCI Catalogs

dHCI organizes the required software components into catalogs. It displays the catalogs on the Update Page. Each catalog lists a single version of NimbleOS, ESXi server, and HPE Nimble Storage Connection Manager for VMware (NCM).

The current catalog displays the version information for installed software.

Update2.png

The other catalogs contain software that has been updated since the current catalog was installed. In some cases, all three components have new software versions. In other cases, only a subset of the components have new versions.

Pre-requisite

To get started with this awesome feature, you will first need to update your Nimble array to Nimble OS 5.2.1.

It can be done by logging in to the Nimble web UI and clicking on ‘Administration’ and ‘Software’. You may have to open a case with Nimble Support to get this specific version of Nimble OS available to download on your array.

You will also need to have a vSphere license that includes vSphere DRS feature. vSphere DRS will be triggered during the update process to put your host in maintenance, and move VMs around during ESXi update.

Once you have updated your array, you can log in to vCenter and start using the Update feature.

Updating your environment

Now let’s update your environment!

From the dHCI dashboard, select the Update tab.

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On the Update page, select the catalog that contains the software that you want to use.

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To update vSphere ESXi image, you have to upload the VMware ESXi image for HPE Servers that can be found here. To check which version you need, depending on the catalog, you can hover over the “I” to see the version that is needed. Once it’s uploaded, click on ‘Continue’.

Update5.png

At this point, dHCI performs pre-check to make sure that your environment is compliant.

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After the pre-check, if it's sucessful, you can click Continue. Now, you have to review the EULA and click ‘Agree and Update’. Once you click Update, dHCI will start the process of updating NimbleOS, ESXI and NCM.

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At this point you can sit back and relax!
Behind the scenes, dHCI will update NimbleOS first. Once it’s done, it will start the ESXi and NCM updates.

dHCI triggers vSphere DRS to move all of the VMS of a server to the others, and puts the host in maintenance. After the host is in maintenance mode, dHCI will perform the update. A reboot of the servers will occur during this process. After the update, vSphere DRS will move VMs back to the server. No touch is required on your side so you can spend your time on something that really matters for your business!

Update8.png

That’s it. In a couple of clicks, you have updated your Nimble array, vSphere ESXi and NCM. When you compare the new features to the old way, it’s much simpler, isn’t it?

 

Now you can move on with firmware upgrades of your servers. To do so, you can use HPE Smart Update Manager, which is included in HPE Service Pack for ProLiant. In an upcoming blog post, I will cover this aspect of updating your server firmware.

Until next time  - Thanks for reading my article, and I hope that everyone stays safe and healthy!  

Fred

Fred Gagne, Technical Marketing Engineer

P.S. Have you heard?  Registration for the HPE Discover Virtual Experience is FREE!! Plus, with your registration, HPE will donate $10 to your choice of one of 10 featured causes. Join us and give back to organizations helping people, businesses and communities around the world recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Read more about these organizations and the great work they are doing to support COVID-19 recovery around the world. (Terms and conditions apply.)

Note: This live or on-demand virtual event starts on June 23rd, but once you have registered, you will be able to sign in to HPE Discover and search by areas of interest to build your schedule.

 

About the Author

Fred_Gagne

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