September ESXi HP updates

With the releases of vSphere 5.1, ESXi 4.1 U3 and Windows Server 2012, it’s time for hardware vendors to update their management agents again. HP did so recently and updated their bundles as follows. These bundles are supported for both, ESXi 5.0 and 5.1:

  • HP ESXi Offline Bundle for VMware ESXi 5.x (CIM providers) updated to 1.3
    Added specific HP ProLiant Gen8 servers to the server support matrix:
        HP ProLiant BL660c Gen8 server
        HP ProLiant  DL560 Gen8 server
  • HP ESXi Utilities Offline Bundle for VMware ESXi 5.x (ILO-config etc.) updated to 1.3
    Added support for the following servers:
        HP ProLiant BL660c Gen8 server
        HP ProLiant DL560 Gen8 server
  • HP NMI Sourcing Driver for VMware ESXi 5.x updated to 2.1. Note that this is not intended for HP ProLiant Gen8 servers.
    Edit 09/10/2012: Actually, the actual NMI VIB hasn’t been updated at all. It is still version  2.0.11-434156, which is exactly the same as the previous version. The only thing that changed was metadata in vendor-index.xml of the zip package to include a section to apply to version “5.1.0” too. An already installed hpnmi bundle won’t be updated because of this.
    # esxcli software sources vib list -d /vmfs/volumes/local_datastore_1/hp-nmi-esxi5.0-bundle-2.1-2.zip
    Name   Version        Vendor  Release Date  Acceptance Level  Status
    hpnmi  2.0.11-434156  hp      2011-07-29    PartnerSupported  Installed
  • HP Agentless Management Service Offline Bundle for VMware ESXi 5.x for the new HP ProLiant Gen8 servers updated to 9.2.0
    The following issues have been fixed:
    AMS Static data lost after clearing Active Health System Log
    iLO shows status Other for unplugged NIC port
    AMS crashes when new vSwitch is configured
    cpqSas trap not reported until query is made
    AMS Active Health does not handle iLO reset
    Added support for the following servers:
    HP ProLiant BL660c Gen8 server
    HP ProLiant DL560 Gen8 server
    Added support for the following:
    Memory DIMM status and iLO information for vCenter
    Logging to the OS event log
    cpqHoFWVer support for NIC and SAS controllers
    Added the Update number to the VMware version and build number
  • HP ProLiant Smart Array Controller Driver for VMware ESXi 5.0 updated to 5.0.0-28.0 (never really used this by the way).
    Add support for correctly displaying RAID 1(ADM) mode for logical volumes. Formerly, RAID 1(ADM) volumes were incorrectly displayed as RAID UNKNOWN.
    Remove code that limited the number of external target (array) device connections to 8 array ports. Exceeding 8 ports prevented logical volumes from registering with the driver. Improved code handling paths and targets.

As you can guess from the notes, there don’t seem to be any important fixes or awesome enhancements that would justify a hasty upgrade, so I’ll just wait until our next planned host update maintenance.

You will need to change your HP depot URL to http://vibsdepot.hp.com/hpq/sep2012/index.xml in VMware Update Manager again to make use of these updates via Update Manager. [Update: You actually do not need to do that anymore if you just use http://vibsdepot.hp.com/index.xml. This links all release versions now.] If you did it like me with custom baselines for a concise list of the really relevant packages, the baselines will need to be updated too. And as last time, it’s enough to have only the HP ESXi 5.0 Complete Bundle Update 1.4 package in your extension baseline, since this just the contains the CIM, Utilities and NMI bundles.

HP Firmware Updates

Apart from the updated tools above, there are also a bunch of firmware updates, a few of which I’d like to highlight here:

  • The Service Pack for Proliant which can be used to boot servers for firmware updates was updated to version 2012.08.0. The release notes and content updates can be found here.
       Added support for new HP ProLiant Gen8 servers and options
            HP ProLiant BL660c Gen8 Server
            HP ProLiant DL560 Gen8 Server
            HP ProLiant WS460c Gen8 Server (offline firmware only)
            HP Smart Array P721m Controller
            HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 560SFP+ Adapter
        Updated to HP Smart Update Manager 5.2.0
             UNC name for repositories on Microsoft Windows® systems
  • Virtual Connect Flex-10/Flex-Fabric Firmware was updated to 3.70. Check the Release notes for a complete list of fixes, enhancements and known issues.
  • HP Blade System Onboard Administrator was updated to version 3.60. Excerpt from the revision information:
    Previous versions logged transient network link status changes for the OA, servers and interconnects.
    OA 3.5x firmware versions track cumulative fan communication errors during continuous OA uptime.
    Hardware Support for:
        HP ProLiant WS460c Gen8 Workstation Blade
        HP ProLiant BL660c Gen8 Server Blade
        HP Virtual Connect Flex-10/10D Module for c-Class BladeSystem
    Firmware Additions
     Enclosure Firmware Management (EFM) allows administrators to define a single firmware baseline (SPP version) for the G5, G6, G7 and Gen8 Server Blades in a c-Class enclosure.  The administrator can have the firmware updated to the baseline on server insertion, during a pre-defined maintenance window, or manually.  The Onboard Administrator maintains logs of the EFM firmware updates, and reports on compliance with the established baseline
    The OA IPv6 setting on the Enclosure TCP/IP Settings Page->IPv6 Settings tab now enables IPv6 traffic for all the devices in the enclosure (IPv6, RA, DHCPv6).
    New SHOW HEALTH CLI command provides a summary of the health/status of all components in the enclosure.
    A new warning message, “Mixing different power supply models is not supported. The power supply in bay #X must be replaced with the proper part number.”, is issued and the Power sub-system is degraded when different types of power supplies are mixed in c3000 enclosures.
    With previous versions of the OA, packet flooding conditions on the management network could cause the OA to stop processing incoming packets.  Once triggered, this condition would persist until the OA was restarted.  The current version of the OA is more resilient to this condition, and will resume normal packet processing once the packet flooding conditions have cleared.  HP continues to strongly recommend that OA network ports be separate from your production network.
  • ILO2 Firmware was updated to 2.12.
  • ILO4 Firmware was updated to 1.10 with seemingly a lot of fixes.
  • HP Emulex-based CNA (e.g. G7 Blades NC553i LOMs) firmware updated to 4.1.450.7. Let’s see how long it’s gonna take until this one is superseded by another update.
    Added support for the following operating systems: 1. RHEL 6.3
    1. SR IOV: Unable to ping IPV6 from DUT VF to Peer VF
    2. Running ethtool with BE3 takes longer than expected after cable pull
    3. FAT_CFG_SNAPSHOT command timed out
    4. Out of Order CQEs
    5. Data integrity Issue noted during short duration cable pulls
    6. W2K8 graceful shutdown failed under B120i with NC552
    7. BL460c Gen8 with 554FLB Unable to PXE boot
    8. 1Gb LOM ports in Windows do not come back up when switch is power cycled
    9. RSCN is not generated by switch when a driver restarts
    10. 7 second delay in GET_CARD_ATTRIBUTES command
    11. BE3 read sfp ioctl returns bad data on twinax cables that BE2 returns good data with
    12. 554FLR FCoE Path Multipath Recovery Fail SLES11 sp1 x64
    13. Out of order Abort completion and IO completion CQE
    14. Received CQE_EXT_INVALID_RPI in abort completion of ELS command
    15. Correction to OCSD to prevent DMA conflicts with LPFC driver
    PXE BIOS 1. PXE issue on Gen 8 blades hang at gPXE prompt when set for one time PXE boot.
    UEFI iSCSI 1. EFI: CHAP name only accepts 6 to 10 characters 2. EFI: iSCSI name is case sensitiveKnown Issues
    There are no known issues for this release.
    I wonder about that last statement though. So just unknown ones, huh.

Update 25/09/2012: I just noticed how VMware also released a new be2net driver version 4.2.327.0 for ESXi 5.1 a few days after the initial 5.1 release. The driver contained in the 5.1 base image is 4.1.255.11. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any info on this new driver yet.

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6 thoughts on “September ESXi HP updates

  1. Pingback: alpacapowered

  2. Pingback: vSphere 5.1 Generally Available « alpacapowered

  3. Thanks for the article. I am rolling out ESXi 5.0 (HP provided image) in my shop, and I have run into a few bugs with ESXi, for which VMWare has provided patches for. However, they are telling me that I should only use HP’s patches. Do you install any VMWare-specific patches along with your HP VIB updates? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    • There are no HP (or any other vendor) specific patches for ESXi components. Basically, everything HP and other hardware vendors do with their custom ISOs is grabbing the general vanilla release by VMware, adding in a few separate packages and maybe replace some specific drivers with updated versions (like a newer be2net driver, which is just what VMware provides as a separate updated driver on their site anyways). They do not touch any of the VMware-VIBs like esx-base or the likes.

      So I have no idea what “they” (who?) are referring to with “HP patches”, unless this is about HP updates to their own offline bundles, only available from HP obviously.
      So yes, I’ve always used the one and only “default” ESXi patches provided by VMware on HP systems and never had problems. What you described sounds like a major misconception or misinformation to me.

      Go ahead and happy patching.

      • Thanks for the reply. I did speak with both VMWare and HP. HP said they indeed patch their own VIB’s, and VMWare patches their own. HP said that I will be fully supported/good if I use Update manager to patch my custom HP-provided ESXi image, with HP value-add patches, and VMWare-provided patches. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: January (or Febuary?) HP ESXi updates | alpacapowered

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