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BladeSystem Firmware

Update Procedure
Revision 3.1

The BladeSystem Update Procedure is a step by step guide on how to update the different components
of a BladeSystem enclosure.
BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Contents
Revision History ............................................................................................................................................ 3
Pre-Update Tasks .......................................................................................................................................... 4
Backup OA Configuration and Inventory .................................................................................................. 4
Backup Virtual Connect Configuration...................................................................................................... 5
Download Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO............................................................................................ 5
Order of Updates .......................................................................................................................................... 6
If an operating system has already been installed ................................................................................... 6
If no operating system has been installed ................................................................................................ 6
Updating iLO Firmware ................................................................................................................................. 8
Update iLO Command............................................................................................................................... 8
Onboard Administrator (OA) Update.......................................................................................................... 11
Method 1 ................................................................................................................................................ 11
Updating via the OA GUI..................................................................................................................... 11
Method 2 ................................................................................................................................................ 12
Updating via HPSUM........................................................................................................................... 12
Method 3 ................................................................................................................................................ 16
OA CLI Update Image Command......................................................................................................... 16
Updating Blade Firmware Offline Using the Automatic or Interactive Method......................................... 19
Method 1 ................................................................................................................................................ 20
Mounting iLO Media for Automatic Update....................................................................................... 20
Powering on the Blade........................................................................................................................ 21
Method 2 ................................................................................................................................................ 24
Making a Bootable USB Stick .............................................................................................................. 24
Using the Bootable USB Stick Interactively......................................................................................... 26
Method 3 ................................................................................................................................................ 28
Automatic Update via the OA USB Port.............................................................................................. 28
Method 4 .................................................................................................................................................... 29
Online Updates ....................................................................................................................................... 29
Virtual Connect Update .............................................................................................................................. 35
VCSU Tool and VC Firmware ................................................................................................................... 35
Backing up the VC ................................................................................................................................... 37

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Healthcheck Command........................................................................................................................... 38
Resetvcm Command .............................................................................................................................. 39
Update Command................................................................................................................................... 40
Downgrading Firmware .............................................................................................................................. 46
Pass-thru Updates....................................................................................................................................... 48
Modifying Firmware ISO ............................................................................................................................. 51

Revision History

Version Change

2.7 Clarified where VC updates can be downloaded in VC Tool & Firmware section

2.8 Added Pass-thru updates & vcsu –a update –oe parallel –of parallel options in VC

Update Command section

2.9 Added notes for live VC updates in VC Update Command section

3.0 Added notes on iLO updates in Order of Updates section

3.1 Added new section on how to modify the firmware ISO in section Modifying Firmware

ISO

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Pre-Update Tasks

Backup OA Configuration and Inventory

a) Use the first highlighted “Click here” to save the OA settings. This can also be accomplished
via the OA CLI capturing the output of command “show all”.
b) Use the second highlighted “Click here” to save the OA inventory. This can also be
accomplished via the OA CLI capturing the output of command “show config”. This is a good
reference for a before/after look of what the OA sees after an update if problems are
encountered.

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Backup Virtual Connect Configuration

Use the Virtual Connect (VC) Browser to backup the configuration as shown here. VCSU (Virtual
Connect Support Utility) can also be used to save the VC configuration with this command:

vcsu -a configbackup -i <OA IP> -u <OA user> -p <OA password>

Download Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO


1. Go to http://hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates
At the bottom of the Compatibility tab is the download for the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO.
Note the downloaded ISO is the most recent Release Set as shown in the Compatibility chart.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Order of Updates

If an operating system has already been installed


Virtual Connect Ethernet firmware >=1.34, or no VC

− Update the OA first. (See note below on iLO updates.)

− Update the blades next. (See the section on Update iLO Command before
proceeding.) Before updating blades firmware update OS drivers. For VMware
check for updated network drivers for the ESX host.

− Use the offline Automatic or offline Interactive Modes to update any offline only
HBA firmware (Online mode won’t update all HBAs. Check the Implementors
Guide at http://www.hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates for details.)

− Update VC firmware last using the Virtual Connect Support Uility (VCSU) last.

Virtual Connect Ethernet firmware < 1.34

− Update VC firmware using the Virtual Connect Support Utility (VCSU) first.

− Update the OA next. (See note below on iLO updates.)

− Update the blades last. (See the section on Update iLO Command before
proceeding.) Before updating blades firmware update OS drivers. For VMware
check for updated network drivers for the ESX host.

− Use offline Automatic or offline Interactive Modes to update any offline only
HBA firmware (Online mode won’t update all HBAs. Check the Implementors
Guide at http://www.hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates for details.)

If no operating system has been installed


This is a corner case for an enclosure that has set offline for quite some time. This proceure doesn’t
apply to new enclosure/blades without an OS since those come in with the current firmware. See
*Note below.

Virtual Connect Ethernet firmware >= 1.34

• Update the OA first (See note below on iLO updates.)

• Update VC firmware using the Virtual Connect Support Utility (VCSU) next.

• Use offline Automatic or offline Interactive mode to update the blades last.

Virtual Connect Ethernet firmware < 1.34

• Update VC firmware using the Virtual Connect Support Utility (VCSU) first.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure
• Update the OA next. (See note below on iLO updates.)

• Use offline Automatic or offline Interactive mode to update the blades last.

*NOTE: Because an enclosure may not have a supported level of firmware on the OA, VC, and blades,
especially if they have sat on a shelf for a while before deployment, HP typically recommends the OA
firmware be updated first. These recommendations are being made because out-of-date OA and VC
firmware can cause issues that prevent blade servers from even powering on. Thus, using the Smart
Update Firmwarea DVD to update the OA firmware should be the first step in updating the enclosure
firmware. The second step should be to update the VC firmware in the firmware update strategy for
enclosures without an existing OS installed.

NOTE: iLO Updates There are several things to consider for the iLO.

1. If the iLO < 1.78 it is a good idea to update all the blade’s iLO before updating the OA. This is to
avoid going from a very old OA to a current OA that has problems understanding the old iLO
version. See the next section on updating the iLO.
2. Another reason to update the iLO first no matter what the version of the iLO is it is a good way
to uncover any problems that may exist with a blade that may require reseating the blade or
cutting power to the blade using the “reset server” command from the OA CLI. See the next
section on updating the iLO.
3. If the iLO < 1.78 the iLO should be updated to avoid problems with the Power Maintenance
Control update. See the next section on updating the iLO.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Updating iLO Firmware


If the iLO < 1.78 it is recommended to first update the iLO before because the Power Management
Control (PMC) depends on having the iLO > = 1.78.

Update iLO Command

1. The iLO can be updated via the iLO Web Administration interface but it is very easy to do
multiple iLOs via the OA CLI. The iLO bin file can be made available to the OA via HTTP,
HTTPS, TFTP, and FTP. To get the iLO update file go to
http://hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates Under the Compatibility tab you will see the
download link for the iLO. Pick the windows link for the iLO bin file. Get into the OA CLI
using ssh or telnet. Your user login must have full Administrator capability for the OA. If
you serve up the iLO bin file via anonymous ftp this is what it would look like using
command:
update ilo (Bay# or all) ftp://adress/ilo#_XXX.bin

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2. Upon completion you will see this result.

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3. Now check the success of the update using this command:

show server info ( Bay # or all)

The updated version of the iLO takes a couple of minutes before it is visible.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Onboard Administrator (OA) Update


The OA can be updated online using one of several methods:

1. Using the OA GUI go to Active Onboard Administrator menu and then to Firmware Update.
2. Using HPSUM
3. Using the OA CLI (This requires the least amount of steps.)

Method 1
Updating via the OA GUI
1. Log into the OA GUI. Go to the Active Onboard Administrator and then to “Firmware Updates”.
The highlighted choice below is used to browse to the OA .bin file to update both the Active and
Standby OA. To get the OA update file go to http://hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates Under the
Compatibility tab you will see the download link for the OA. Download the Windows version to
obtain the .bin file.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Method 2
Updating via HPSUM
1. Extract the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO to your disk drive by mounting the iso via a utility
available from the web such as Virtual CloneDrive, which is free. Click on the autorun.cmd to
start hpsum. Once in hpsum go to the Firmware Update tab and click on “Install Firmware”. On
the next screen click on “Start Inventory”.

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2. Add the OA as a Remote Managed Host and add the credentials.

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3. You do not need to pick a bundle. HPSUM will understand you are doing this offline and will
offer to update the OA.

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4. If HPSUM has a newer OA version you will click on the box next to the OA and then on Install. In
this example the OA is already up to date with the version of OA available in the Smart Update
Firmware DVD ISO.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Method 3
OA CLI Update Image Command
1. Log into the OA and use the “update image” command. Note that “sync” is used after specifying
the anonymous ftp server. The sync option will update both the Active and Standby OA. To get
the OA update file go to http://hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates Under the Compatibility tab you
will see the Windows download link for the OA. The sync option will update both the active and
standby OA. Use ssh or telnet to get into the OA. Your user must have full Administrator rights
for the OA. The process will look like this.

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2. The process will complete as shown. Note the connection to the OA is dropped after the update.

3. Once the OA has been updated the version can be checked with the “show oa info” command.

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4. The OA firmware version can also be checked via the OA GUI “Rack Firmware”.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Updating Blade Firmware Offline Using the Automatic or Interactive


Method
There are multiple ways to update blade firmware offline:

1. Mount the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO via the iLO Virtual Media and update the blade
offline Automatically.
2. Making a bootable USB stick with the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO using USB Key Util and
update the blades offline Interactively. Requires physical access to the blade enclosure.
3. Copying the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO to a FAT32 formated USB stick and plug into the
active OA USB port. The iso can then be mounted to the blades via the OA’s DVD drive screen to
update the blades offline Automatically. Requires physical access to the blade enclosure.
4. Update the blade online Interactively. This requires an O/S installed on the server. An ESX/ESXi
host can NOT be updated online. It must be done offline with either method 1, 2, or 3.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Method 1

Mounting iLO Media for Automatic Update


1. Go into the blade’s Integrated Remote Console (iLO) and mount the Smart Update Firmware
DVD ISO by clicking on the Virtual Media icon as shown. Use the Image mount.
Note: This method requires a sold network connection between the blades’ iLO and the laptop
this is being run from.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Powering on the Blade


2. Power on the blade using the iLO power button as seen in the previous screen. After the blade
boots you will see this screen showing the boot progress.

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3. Next you will see a screen saying the system is being analyzed.

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4. The next screen will look like this. When the iLO is updated the iLO connection will be dropped.
DO NOT attempt to log back in until after the blade has rebooted. Instead go to the OA “Rack
Firmware” screen to see when the blade has been updated. Trying to get into the iLO too soon
could result in an interrupted update process and possibly a need to replace the blade’s system
board.

The blue UID light on the front of the blade will flash while the iLO is being updated. Once all the
blade updates are complete the UID light will turn off. If it stays on solid then the update failed.
If possible log back into the iLO to see the error.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Method 2
Making a Bootable USB Stick
1. Download the USB Key Utility from www.hp.com/bizsupport or go to www.hp.com and click on
“Support and Drivers”, type in your blade type such as BL460c, download drivers and software,
and then choose one of the Windows operating systems. Here you will find the USB Key Utility.
After installing the USB Key Utility run it.

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2. Create a bootable USB stick from the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO.

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Using the Bootable USB Stick Interactively
3. Using the dongle cable that came with the blade enclosure hook up the USB stick to a blade.
Now boot the blade by powering it on via the OA Device Bays Virtual Power setting. You can also
hook up a display, USB keyboard, and a USB mouse to the dongle. A USB hub will be needed to
hook up all three USB devices. As an alternative you can use the iLO to get to the blade console
but when the iLO is updated your connection will be dropped. Do not log back into the iLO until
after the blade has rebooted or you risk interrupting the update process, which could result in a
need to replace the blade system board. This is what you will see upon boot. (In this example
SmartStart 8.40 was also burned to the USB stick.)

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4. Note the next screen will show automatic as the default choice. To do the update interactively
and pick the items that will be updated use the keyboard down arrow key to get into Interactive
mode. The screens that follow will allow you to pick what will be updated on the blade.

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Method 3
Automatic Update via the OA USB Port
1. Note: OA must be >=2.32 for this to work. To boot a USB stick from the Active OA USB port do
the following:
a) Format a USB stick for FAT 32 file system
b) Copy the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO to the stick
c) Plug the USB stick into the Active OA USB port
d) In the OA GUI go to the “DVD Drive” under Enclosure Settings. Use the pull down for DVD
and you will see the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO. Mount this to the desired blades but
no more than 8 blades at a time or you risk encountering an error. Now power on the
blades via the OA Device Bays Virtual Power setting. The blades will automatically start to
update and once finished will reboot. You can confirm the firmware was updated via the OA
GUI “Rack Firmware” screen.

Note: If you see a sticker over the USB port on the OA that says “Intended for Future Use”
you need to pull the sticker off. Underneath you will find the USB port. The USB port was
enabled in OA firmware 2.00.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Method 4

Online Updates
1. Extract the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO to your disk drive by mounting the iso via a utility
available from the web such as Virtual CloneDrive, which is free. Click on the autorun.cmd to
start hpsum. Once in hpsum go to the Firmware Update tab and click on “Install Firmware”.
Note: You can only run HPSUM from a server with a like OS as the server that is being updated.
I.e. a Windows server that will be updated must have HPSUM run from a Windows workstation.
A Linux server that will be upgraded must have HPSUM run from a Linux workstation. Currently
only 29 servers at a time can be updated online from HPSUM.

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2. Click on Start Inventory.

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3. The inventory will start.

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4. Add the blade under Manage Hosts task. When asked enter the credentials so HPSUM can log
into the blade host. This will be Administrator for Windows or root for Linux.

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5. Pick the correct bundle.

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6. Review the items for installation.
Note: For Windows you will see drivers in addition to firmware. The Smart Update Firmware
DVD ISO includes the minimum Windows drivers needed for firmware updates. Linux drivers are
not included in the Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO. Also note in the upper right hand corner is
the option to “Reboot System After Installation”. You must reboot for the drivers and firmware
to activate but you can choose not to reboot and do it at a different time. Once you have
confirmed the items to install click on “Done” to continue. Once finished review the status to
confirm success.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Virtual Connect Update


Starting with version 3.X the Virtual Connect (VC) must be updated using Virtual Connect Support Utility
(VCSU). The VC Manager can no longer be used to update the VC starting at version 3.00 and beyond.

VCSU Tool and VC Firmware


1. Go to www.hp.com , click on SUPPORT AND DRIVERS, and enter your model of Virtual Connect.
Here is an example of searching on Virtual Connect Flex 10.

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You can click on one of the O/S links to get the VC bin file. You will also need to download the Virtual
Connect Support Utility (VCSU) from many of the O/S links. You should always use the latest version of
VCSU when doing update. Here is what the VC bin file looks like.

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Backing up the VC
2. First backup the VC configuration. Note: The VCM Domain u ser credentials vcsu asks for after
the initial command must have full Adminstrator capabilities for the VCM domain. This is true
for all vcsu commands. If you are using VC Enterprise Manager (VCEM) this step is not necessary.
NOTE: Any enclosure managed by VCEM must first be put into maintenance mode before
using VCSU!

vcsu -a configbackup -i <Active OA IP> -u <OA user> -p <OA password or *>

Note that * can be used in place of the password so the password isn’t shown in clear text.

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Healthcheck Command
3. After backing up the VC configuration run a healthcheck to confirm all is well.
vcsu -a healthcheck –i <Active OA> -u <OA user> -p <OA password or *>

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Resetvcm Command
4. The results of the healthcheck should look like this. Each module should show Passed and In
Sync. If it doesn’t show a status of In Sync then try this command to sync them.

vcsu -a resetvcm -i <Active OA IP> -u <OA user> -p <OA password or *>

Do not update until the healthcheck passes!

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Update Command
5. Now do the VC update online using the update command. If VCEM is being used the domain
group must be put into maintenance mode first.

vcsu -a update –i <Active OA> –u <OA user> -p <OA password or *> -l d:\vcpackage –we 5

Note: The .bin file was used to upgrade the VC. The .bin file can be downloaded from the web at
http://hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates
 The –we 5 option is needed when doing an online update to delay the booting of the VC
Ethernet modules
 Redundant network and fabric paths needed for online updates
 Ensure NIC and FC HBA drivers are up to date
 Disable HA mode in ESX to prevent failover
 There will be a brief interruption (Up to 12 seconds) as Ethernets fail over when using
redundant Ethernet modules
If items fail to update see items below.

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If you have downtime for the entire enclosure you can cut the update time almost in half by using the
parallel options for Ethernet and Fiber Channel modules. Using these options will cause a reset on the
modules so you MUST have downtime or you will have network or FC interruptions.

vcsu -a update –i <Active OA> –u <OA user> -p <OA password or *> -l d:\vcpackage –oe parallel –of
parallel

 If modules won’t update disable the firewall on your PC.


 If modules still will not update power them off, physically reset the module, and try the update
again.
 If certain modules still won’t update do them one at a time:
vcsu –a update –i <Active OA> –u <OA user> –p <OA password> –l d:vcpackage –b <bay
number> –f health,version –q –vcu <VCM User> -vcp <VCM password>

6. Notice it confirms what modules will be updated.

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7. The progress is shown starting in step 2.

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8. The progress continues in step 3.

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9. Success!

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10. Check the firmware levels via the OA GUI using “Rack Firmware” link. Also, log into the VC
Manager and confirm the VC Manager can talk to all the VC modules. (Log into VCEM if using it.)
If it can’t there will be a ? next to each module. If that is the case follow the instructions shown
when drilling down into the Ethernet module. This will show you how to get the VC to log into
the OA again.
11. One final check can be done by running the vcsu –a healthcheck command again to confirm
everything looks ok.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Downgrading Firmware
To downgrade the current revision of firmware fall back to an earlier Smart Update Firmware DVD ISO
or load the individual component you wish to downgrade to. If you are doing the downgrade online
using HPSUM place the Windows or Linux version of the individual component firmware into the
hp/swpackage sub directory where the ISO was extracted to. Whether you pick Windows or Linux
depends on the OS of the workstation where you are running HPSUM from. If the downgrade is done
offline with a bootable USB stick place the Linux component in the hp/swpackages of the USB stick. (The
Windows version of the individual component will not work if put on the USB stick.)

Before getting to the screen shown here make sure you do not pick a specific bundle when given the
choice. HPSUM will recognize the individual piece of firmware you copied into hp/swpackages if you do
not pick a bundle.

When running either online or offline interactively you will get to a screen like this that shows what
version of the firmware is installed and available. Click on the “Installation Options” on the right hand
side and click both boxes as shown. Note here the Smart Array has an earlier version available.

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Click on the item you wish to downgrade as shown in this example for the Smart Array. CAUTION!
Always be aware of the dependencies the piece you are downgrading has with the other BladeSystem
pieces. Check dependencies at http://hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates under the Compatibility tab.

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BladeSystem Firmware Update Procedure

Pass-thru Updates

If you have Ethernet or Fiber Pass-thru devices in your Interconnect Bays use this procedure to update
them. One word of caution! This is not an on-line update. You must plan on a reset to the Pass-thru
modules when you are updating them.

After the OA has been upgraded you will have the latest Pass-thru firmware because it is included with
the OA update. From the OA CLI it is an easy process to update the firmware. In this example 2.4.3 is the
current version and 2.10.3 is the new version.

First look at the current version Pass-thru firmware from the OA CLI using the update show command.

OA -> update show

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Now update the firmware in the Pass-thu using the update command. The same syntax is used for both
Ethernet and Fiber Pass Thru.

OA -> update device icbay 3a

Do the same for the other bays using Pass-thru.

OA -> update device icbay 4a

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Finally, confirm the updates show as the current version.

OA -> update show

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Modifying Firmware ISO


The contents of the ISO can be modified to customize the installation. You will need a tool that can
mount an ISO, modify it, and recreate it. In this example UltraISO is used. UltraISO requires you purchase
a license to allow you to edit a large ISO.

You can also modify a USB stick made with the USB Key Utility in much the same manner except you will
be modifying the USB stick itself, which means a utility like UltraISO is not needed.

Note: If you modify the ISO you could be taking it out of what was tested with the Release Set. In this
example the external storage vendor didn’t support the latest Emulex update so a modification was
necessary.

1. Mount the Firmware ISO using UltraISO. Find the xml file that is for Linux Blades and extract it to
a location so you can edit it with WordPad.

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2. This is the xml file you should edit as seen by clicking on the xml file. Notice how it is for Linux
and Blades.

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3. In this example the Emulex FC firmware will be changed to a release the storage vendor
supports. (The current version provided with the release set was too new for the storage vendor
so the file was edited to the previous version.) Find the line that shows the current version,
which is CP014480 and edit it to be the previous version. The previous version is
CP013352.scexe.

Edit this line to read CP013352.scexe.

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4. Delete the original bp000913.xml file and drop in your edited bp00913.xml back into the ISO.

5. Find the Emulex update you are changing and delete it. CP014480.scexe is the one that came
with the Release Set. Note: Always modify the .scexe since offline updates are done using a
Linux kernel. All .exe files are for online Windows updates, not offline updates.

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6. Drop in CP013352.scexe so the ISO will use this update for the Emulex.

7. Go to menu item File -> Save As to save your modified ISO. The ISO can now be used to update
blades. It will put on the Emulex firmware provided in CP013352.scexe.

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