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FW upgrade on OpenVMS Blade cluster.

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Honored Contributor

FW upgrade on OpenVMS Blade cluster.

The latest Itanium Blade F/W upgrade kit for systems running OpenVMS is released as a *.ZIPEXE, actually,


which can be installed as a normal VMS patch kit using "Product Install". This is very nice, (although the requirements are inconvenient, i.e. non-shadowed system disk, etc.).

I just ran the process on a stand-alone system without any issues, and it took ~30 mins from start to finish, including the additional boots required to unshadow, then reshadow the system disk.

So now the real question. I have to plan the firmware upgrade for my Production Blade cluster. I assume that I have to apply this F/W to all three of my production nodes individually, so I suspect I will have to boot each node standalone to do the firmware upgrade.

Has anyone outthere done this yet, and can offer any suggestions or advice?


Honored Contributor

Re: FW upgrade on OpenVMS Blade cluster.

OS Installable Firmware is a fine idea and I'm glad the kits have started to appear.

You have to install it for each system because it is the system that is being updated rather than the disk the system boots from.

You could do by hand what the kit does but that rather defeats the point of the kit doesn't it.
Purely Personal Opinion
Valued Contributor

Re: FW upgrade on OpenVMS Blade cluster.

I had the same problem and have created an extra SAN based bootable system disk which I set via BOOT_OPTIONS and boot from that, one blade at a time. This system disk starts nothing, has VMSCLUSTER set to 0 and even has DECnet startup disabled. Very basic VMS system.

I then reinstall via PRODUCT INSTALL the relevant kit (BL860c or BL870c in my case) and let it roll through the shutdown and f/w upgrade process.

When the blade is re-powered it then re boots off the cluster disk again and it's done.

Then I move to the next node in the cluster.

The important thing seems to be you musy have a fully booted system to work from on a non-shadowed disk. Minimum boot will not do.

Hope this helps.