UCS 2.1 to 2.2 (or 2.1) Upgrade Guide – Using Auto Install

UCS 2.1 to 2.2 Upgrade Guide

Before you Begin

Knowledge

The below points should be noted prior to commencing the upgrade:

· Ensure you have the number for Cisco TAC to hand

· You should be familiar with the CLI and GUI administration of UCS

· The release notes should be read

· The Cisco UCS upgrade guide should be read and understood

· I take no responsibility if you use this guide and have issues.

Cisco Language

Cisco use a number of terms that once understood the process will make more sense.

· Most UCS components have the ability to store 2 pieces of firmware, the “Running Version” and the “Backup Version”. The running version is the version that the component booted from, the other non-active image is the backup image.

· A UCS “Update” process pushes the firmware to the backup slot in the component, the running version is not changed.

· A UCS “Activate” process sets the firmware in the backup slot as active and reboots the component, the start-up version is set as the firmware in the backup slot and the running firmware is switched between the backup slot and the running slot at the time of the reboot.

· Some components can have the start-up version changed to the backup firmware so that next time the component is rebooted it will start with the firmware in the backup slot, but will make no change until the equipment is rebooted.

· Software bundles are required for various components, the Infrastructure bundle is required for all updates then the B series (blade), and C series (rack) are also needed depending on whether the environment contains blade and rack mounted UCS servers.

Traffic Disruption

With this firmware upgrade, you should expect the following data traffic interruptions:

Obtaining Software Bundles from Cisco

Download all the required software bundles, this will include the Infrastructure Bundle, and the B or C Series Bundle.

The software can be downloaded from: http://software.cisco.com/download/

The UCS software bundles are shown below, and the release notes can be found here also:

Downloading Firmware Images to the Fabric Interconnect from the Local File System

Procedure

1. In the Navigation pane, click the Equipment tab.

2. On the Equipment tab, click the Equipment node.

3. In the Work pane, click the Firmware Management tab.

4. Click the Installed Firmware tab.

5. Click Download Firmware.

6. In the Download Firmware dialog box, click the Local File System radio button in the Location of the Image File field.

7. Click Browse and navigate to the location of the file:

8. Click OK

9. Cisco UCS Manager GUI begins downloading the firmware bundle to the FI

10. Repeat this task until all the required firmware bundles have been downloaded to the FI

11. Before continuing it may take a few minutes for the packages to be synchronised to the subordinate FI and unpacked, the status and tasks can be viewed from the FSM tab:

Upgrading the Firmware to Cisco UCS, Release 2.2

With Cisco UCS, Release 2.1, you have the following two options for upgrading the firmware in a Cisco UCS domain:

· Upgrade with Auto Install – This upgrade path requires that the pre-upgrade level of firmware in the Cisco UCS domain be at version 2.1.

This is the easiest and preferred option.

· Upgrade manually – This upgrade path is for UCS domains on older firmware, and is more complicated and the least preferred option.

This guide will follow the Auto Install process.

Upgrading the Infrastructure Firmware

The following set of steps assumes that all service profiles still contain host firmware packages, if this has been changed any new service profiles should be modified to contain a host firmware package.

It is important the steps are completed in order, otherwise the update may fail or traffic may be disrupted.

1. Complete all prerequisite steps and considerations have been checked from section Cautions, Guidelines, and Limitations for Firmware Upgrades on page 2.

2. Obtain the firmware images from Cisco.com and download them to the fabric interconnect.

3. (Optional) Disable Call Home – A large amount of nonsensical alarms can be generated, if this could be an issue for a monitoring solution Dimension Data recommend you disable Call Home prior to the update, and re-enable it once the update is complete.

a. In the Navigation pane, click the Admin tab.

b. On the Admin tab, expand All > Communication Management > Call Home.

c. In the Work pane, click the General tab.

d. In the Admin area, click Off in the State field.

4. Verify the Ethernet Data Path

a. SSH to both of the the FI’s

b. Connect to NXOS with the command “connect nxos”

c. The command “show int br | grep -v down | wc –l” will show the number of active Ethernet interfaces, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

d. The command “show platform fwm info hw-stm | grep ‘1.’ | wc –l” will show the number of MAC addresses, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

5. (Only on FC attached storage) Verifying the Fibre Channel End-Host Mode Data Path

a. SSH to the FI

b. Connect to NXOS with the command “connect nxos”

c. The command “show npv flogi-table” will show the number of active FC logins, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

d. The command “show npv flogi-table | grep fc | wc -l” will show the number of servers logged into the fabric interconnect, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

6. To commence the Auto Install update, In Cisco UCS Manager, choose Equipment > Firmware Management > Firmware Auto Install, click Install Infrastructure Firmware

7. Select the Version from the drop down menu, and click Upgrade Now tick box, and click OK

8. This process can take some time and the subordinate FI will be rebooted as part of this process, once complete we will be prompted to reboot the primary FI by the flashing Pending Activities box, beforehand we need to verify the Ethernet Data Path to ensure that our hosts have re-established the connection to the network on the subordinate path, to do this we run the commands we ran in Verify the Ethernet Data Path on page 6 and confirm the values match the values in Verify the Ethernet Data Path on page 6.

9. (Only on FC attached storage) Verifying the Fibre Channel End-Host Mode Data Path and confirm the values match the values in Step 5

10. Acknowledge the reboot of the primary fabric interconnect on the User Acknowledged Activities tab of the Pending Activities dialog box.

a. Click the Pending Activities icon to open the dialog box,

b. Click the User Acknowledged Activities tab

c. Click Fabric Interconnects

d. Click Reboot Now

e. Click OK. Cisco UCS Manager immediately reboots the primary fabric interconnect. You cannot stop this reboot after you click OK.

Upgrade the server firmware

1. In Cisco UCS Manager, choose Equipment > Firmware Management > Firmware Auto Install, click Install Servers Firmware.

2. Review the Prerequisites and click Next

3. Select the required firmware version for both B and C series (if in use) and click Next.

4. Click on the host firmware policy, or select the root to update all servers, including those that do not have an associated service profile.

5. On Host Firmware Package Dependencies page, review the list of servers to be updated as selected in the previous step, and click Next.

6. On the Impacted Endpoints Summary page, review the list of servers that will be reset by this upgrade.

7. Wait for all the servers in the Cisco UCS domain to complete their upgrades.

8. (Optional) Enable Call Home – If you disabled Call Home before the upgrading the firmware, enable Call Home.

4 Comments

  • Sean says:

    After you do the server upgrades will they reboot automatically, or are they also user acknowledge? I don’t want to use auto install and take down my environment.

    • BK says:

      Hey Sean,

      This will depend on your Maintenance Policy, I would suggest you change the default to User_Ack, and also create a new one called User_Ack to avoid future confusion.

      The auto install works in 2 parts, the first does UCS-M, FEX’s, FI’s then the second part will do the blades, so you could still do the blades manually if you wanted. But I have run this numerous times with no issue.

  • Jaacostan says:

    Hi BK,
    i have a query. what will happen if my update doesn’t performed successfully? What could be the back up/Rollback plan?
    will the UCS automatically roll back to the previous firmware version?
    please help

    • BK says:

      It depends what went wrong, you can always change back to the older version, but if you have an issue just call Cisco TAC. I have only ever had an issue once in a very old version of UCS (1.3) that caused an outage due to an upgrade and that bug is resolved now. Most of the time if a component update fails you can re-ack that component, and it will work fine. However calling TAC is your best course of action.

Comments are closed.