Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cisco UCS 101 - Updating Your Firmware

Hi Friends,

If you've worked with the Cisco UCS you know it is a VERY flexible system allowing you to update and administer it in multiple ways.  Today I thought I'd show you how to update the firmware on your blade's adapters and CIMC Controller.  Remember be careful updating and check with your Cisco representatives or Cisco docs if you have any questions!

So let's get our updated firmware.  To update our firmware, we first have to download the firmware we want off the Cisco site and download it to our Fabric Interconnect(s).  Go to Cisco.com, select Support, and All Downloads.  Click on Servers - Unified Computing.  You'll probably need a username and password to log in.  Next download the software bundles you need.  This will be varied depending on the model, rack or blade, version, etc.  So take a look at the link I provided on "firmware" and it will go into a lot more detail then I will.

Once you've downloaded the firmware you need, it's time to download it to your Fabric Interconnect.  Log into your UCS and select the Equipment tab, click on Equipment, Firmware Management tab, Installed Firmware tab.  Notice I'm already on the running version I want, it just hasn't been applied to all of my blades.  If you're not, click on Download Firmware and point to the location you downloaded the firmware from Cisco.com.

Now remember, there's lots of ways to do things in UCS land, but instead of applying the firmware directly to a blade, I'm going to apply it to a profile assigned to the blade.  Pretty neat huh?  :-)

Find the profile you want to apply the firmware to under the Servers tab and select the Policies tab on the right hand side.  Expand the policy and you can see what version of firmware has been assigned to this policy.

Now we need create a Host Firmware Package to allow this policy to be associated with the new firmware.

Click on the Create Host Firmware Package link, give the new package a name, choose whether to create a Simple or Advanced package and what firmware should be used.  Here I'm only creating a profile for a blade and not a rack server.

Now that you've created the Host Firmware Package, you can apply the firmware policy to your server policy.

When you save the changes you should get a pop up box like this, stating what's going to happen and that a reboot will be necessary.  Make sure to migrate your virtual machines off this ESXi server if you need to.  I'm going to put the machine into Maintenance mode and everything will migrate automagically for me!

When you're ready, click Yes.  Next you should get a pop up telling you the changes have been made.

Under the Firmware Policies you should now see the Host Firmware and Host Firmware Instance on the new version you selected.

Now head back to the Equipment tab, select the server you just applied the new firmware to and select the Installed Firmware tab.  You should notice the firmware is being updated and activated.

When the update has completed the update and activate status will state "Ready" and the new firmware version will be visible in the Running Version column.


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