If you run VMware on HP Proliant servers, then you are probably familiar with http://vibsdepot.hp.com. In addition to HP customized VMware ESXi ISOs and software bundles, this site also has what HP refers to as VMware firmware and software “recipes”. The “recipes” list the drivers and firmware that HP recommends running along with a specified Service Pack for Proliant (SPP) and certain ESXi versions. While applying newer firmware and drivers to HP Blade enclosures can be a pain, it’s a good idea to perform these updates 1-2 times a year since each SPP is only supported for 1 year.
In the following example, I used the September 2013 “recipe” to apply updates to HP C7000 Blade Enclosures that were already running ESXi 5.0 Update 2 hosts. There is more than one way to apply these updates, but this is the method I found the easiest.
- Each HP Blade Enclosure was updated one at a time.
- For each enclosure, updates were applied to the Onboard Administrators, and Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet modules, and the blades themselves. (FC switches in enclosures handled separately)
- Performed the steps detailed below for each enclosure.
- Note: If your hosts have FC HBAs, check with your storage vendor as well to see if they support the new HBA firmware/drivers.
- Created new VMware Update Manager (VUM) HP Extension/driver baselines based on the September 2013 HP “recipe” (vibsdepot.hp.com) Reviewed host hardware for each cluster (ie looked at network adapters, RAID controllers, latest offline bundle, etc) to determine the appropriate drivers to include in the baselines.
- Attached the appropriate baselines to appropriate clusters (again based on hardware for each cluster and the “recipe”, and scanned.
- Placed all ESXi hosts in the enclosure to be updated in maintenance mode. (It’s great if you are able to shut down and update all blades in the enclosure at once, but not everyone will have this luxury)
- Suspend alerting for hosts.
- Remediated the hosts in the blade enclosure using the VUM baselines (Host Extensions).
- Used the Enclosure Firmware Management (EFM) feature to update blade firmware. EFM can mount an SPP ISO via URL, where it is hosted on an internal server running IIS. Prior to updating blade firmware, updated the SPP ISO on the IIS server and re-mounted the ISO in EFM.
- Shutdown hosts (which were still in maintenance mode) using the vSphere client.
- Once hosts were shutdown, used the HP EFM feature to manually apply firmware updates.
- After the firmware updates completed (could take an hour), clicked on Rack Firmware in the OA and reviewed the current version/Firmware ISO version.
- Temporarily disabled the Virtual Connect Domain IP Address (optional setting) in the Virtual Connect Manager in order for HPSUM to discover the Virtual Connects when the Onboard Administrator is added as a target (yes, HP bug workaround).
- Ran HP SUM from the appropriate HP SPP from desktop.
- Added Active OA hostname OR IP address as a target, chose Onboard Administrator as type.
- Blade iLO interfaces, Virtual Connect Manager, and FC Switches were all discovered as associated targets by adding the OA. For associated targets, de-selected everything except for the Virtual Connect Manager and clicked OK (the iLO interfaces for the blades were updated along with the rest of their firmware using the EFM, and the FC Switch firmware is handled separately).
- The Virtual Connect Manager may then show as unknown in HPSUM. Edited that target and changed target type to Virtual Connect, and entered the appropriate credentials.
- After applying updates to the OAs and VCs, verified they updated to the correct firmware levels.
- Re-enabled the Virtual Connect Domain IP Address setting.
- Re-enabled alerting.