HP


Updating a (DatacCore) ProLiant server using HP SUM

Today I had to do some maintenance updates on a customer’s Datacore SAN which is based on HP ProLiant servers. Some days ago I read about a tool called HP Smart Update Manager which comes as standalone tool or even better, integrated with the “Service Pack for ProLiant” bundle. By the way the Service Pack for ProLiant seem to replace the old HP Smart Update CD/DVD.

A cool feature is that the tool not only updates drivers and firmware, it also updates /deploys the HP System Tools like the HP System Management Homepage or the new HP Smart Storage Administrator.

However I downloaded the latest version of the full SPP ISO and put an extracted copy on the files on to the C:\ drive of both DataCore servers. To launch SUM navigate to:

<SSP folder>\hp\swpackages\hpsum.exe

There is no installation needed, the tools is instantly ready to go.SUM1SUM2

At this point you can choose between the local repository inside the SPP or even connect to the online repository. In addition to that you can configure some of the components that will be installed on the system, like SNMP settings, IP bindings, etc.

Then you can head on to provide some proper credentials for your localhostSUM6

The next step is to select the desired components/bundles. By default all components are selected but there are some bundle you may won’t upgrade. For example the HP Storage Fibre Channel Adapter (storport) drivers.SUM8

The reason for this is that they will replace all the DataCore FC-HBA driver installed on the HBAs.

FC_drivers_HP

In case this happens you will need to re-install/rollback to the DataCore FC drivers

DCdriverUpd FC_drivers_DC

But sometimes it can be useful to go through this procedure. I’ve checked the release notes of the HP FC drivers which also include a firmware upgrade:

9.1.10.27

This driver loads firmware version 5.06.05.

However if you selected all desired components you can hit the “Install” button and all components will be deployed. I guess it’s needless to say that this will require at least one reboot. After the first reboot there were still two components waiting for an update, so you may want to run the SUM a second time. SUM11

If needed the SUM can generate a simple report which shows the version of the installed competes which can be really handy to get an overview across all components. The report won’t list the FC HBAs as long as the DataCore drivers are installed.

In the end I have to say that the updates went really smooth and I only can encourage you guys to give it a try.


Veeam Backup & Replication v7 – New features and my thoughts

These days Veeam revealed the last features for v7 of their Veeam Backup & Replication solution, which in detail can be found here

A quick overview of the features:

  • Built-in WAN Acceleration (copy backup files including GFS)
  • Backup from Storage Snapshots with HP storage (StorVirtual & StoreServ)
  • Virtual Labs for replicated virtual machines
  • Virtual Lab for Hyper-V
  • Tape Support
  • Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint
  • Enhanced 1-Click Restore
  • Full vCloud Director support

In my opinion the most features are self-explanatory and I don’t like writing about technical features I haven’t tried yet. To get a first impression of the features you should really take a look at the videos from Veeam on the countdown page. Of course I will write about the features as soon as I get my hands on v7.

Everyone is tweeting, blogging, whatever about it, but why is there such a hype? Let me try you answer this question from my personal point of view.

In the last couple of months I had several appointments with customers who bought or who are interested in buying a Veeam product and as far as I can tell really, nobody has been disappointed thus far. For me as system engineer it’s nice to see how happy you can make an admin with a data protection solution, especially if he’s completely new to all that virtualization technology. And not only them. I really like to work with the products. The look and feel is top notch and I prefer to achieve my goal without tons of settings, which I need to look up to know what are they are good for. Keep it simple and that’s what Veeam still does.

Yes it’s not an enterprise class backup solution which is able to back everything up and which is able to leverage hardware & APIs from multiple vendors. It’s a purpose built solutions and that’s absolutely ok. I’m sure with the new features they will be able to attract more of those customers who can’t waive backup to tape and the GFS principle or those who don’t want to support multiple backup tools for different purposes. Also the HP + Veeam combo can be a tiebreaker.

Don’t get me wrong, yes there are also other solution out their especially from those vendors who provide solutions to the backup market for quite some time which fit better in some cases.

But as storage & Virtualization enthusiast I love having fun at work and not to be frustrated. That’s why I’m really looking forward to more cool projects based on Veeam v7.

 


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.

firmwaredownload

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.