HP StorageWorks 8/8 – Firmware Upgrade to v7.1.0a 6

Today I had to upgrade some HP StorageWorks 8/8 Fibre Channel switches. These are just an OEM version of Brocade’s E300 series. The switches were running on FOS v6.4.3 and we planned to upgrade to v.7.1.0a. Fortunately you can get the latest firmware pretty easily on the HP website

As far as I know all Brocade switches got two partitions, a primary and a secondary one, which stores the firmware.  The primary partition is the one the system boots from and onto the secondary partition you can download a new firmware at any time. Usually the system keeps them in sync to be able to perform so called high availability reboots. This means that the system will swap partitions, and reinitializes the FOS with the new firmware.

Usually you got two possibilities to upgrade you switch:

  • Web interface
  • CLI

For both methods you can decide if you want to download the firmware from a USB stick (Brocade branded only) or via FTP/SCP.

In this case we upgraded from v6.4.3 to v7.1.0a which skips the v7.0.x release. This doesn’t allow you to upgrade non-disruptively:

“Any 8 Gb/s or 16 Gb/s platform running any Fabric OS 7.0.0x release can be non-disruptively upgraded to Fabric OS 7.1.0a.”

“Any 8 Gb/s or 16 Gb/s platform running Fabric OS 7.0.1x or 7.0.2x release can be non-disruptively upgraded to Fabric OS 7.1.0a.”

“Any 8 Gb/s platforms (other than HP StorageWorks DC SAN Backbone Director Switch/HP

StorageWorks DC04 SAN Director Switch) operating at Fabric OS 6.4.1a or later must be upgraded to Fabric OS 7.0.0x or later before non-disruptively upgrading to Fabric OS 7.1.0a.”

You need to run the “firmwaredownload” command with the “ –s” parameter, which is used to explicit download the firmware only to the secondary partition.


Once downloaded to the secondary partition you have to perform a reboot and as depicted in the screenshot you will need to commit the firmware via the “firmwarecommit” command, or by enabling the “Auto-Commit”.  Whereas the reboot will disrupt FC connections, the commit will only update the secondary partition with the new firmware.

Instead of instantaneously committing the firmware, it’s possible to wait for some days and keep the old firmware on the secondary partition. In case of problems you can execute a “firmwarerestore” to quickly downgrade to the previous version. Otherwise you need to re-run the firmwaredownload with the firmware release you want to downgrade to.

Before starting with upgrade s/downgrades, you might want to check some documents/requirements:

That’s it for today.




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