How to upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware in HPE using vcsu

To upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware you can either use smartupdate or vcsu. In this article I will show you the steps to upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware using vcsu.

How to upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware in HPE using vcsu

 

What is VCSU utility?

The HPE BladeSystem c-Class Virtual Connect Support Utility enables administrators to upgrade VC-Enet and VC-FC firmware, and to perform other maintenance tasks remotely on both BladeSystem c-Class c7000 and c3000 Enclosures using a standalone command line utility. When the utility initiates a firmware upgrade process, VCSU performs an automatic health check, and then all modules are updated at the same time. The utility displays a message indicating that an update is in progress and the percentage completed. After the module firmware updates are complete, the utility activates all of the modules.

 

Overall Restrictions

There are certain restrictions which must be considered before you perform any upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware. These restrictions can be collected from the VCSU User Guide depending upon the vcsu version you plan to use.

To access the VCSU User Guide, navigate to "Hewlett Packard Enterprise Information Library"

  • Select "BladeSystem" under "Products & Solutions"
  • Select "Virtual Connect for c-Class BladeSystem" under "Models / Subcategories"
  • Next download the respective Virtual Connect Support Utility document

 

Download Virtual Connect Firmware Binary

To perform upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware you need access to the VC binary file. You can download the VC binary file from the official HPE page. Under "Revision History" you can check the set of different Virtual Connect Firmware available and choose one accordingly. Download the binary file and keep it locally on the system using which you wish to perform upgrade/downgrade virtual connect firmware.

 

Download Virtual Connect Support Utility

You can use Windows Or Linux to perform upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware. Accordingly based on your environment you can download vcsu for Linux or Windows host. Navigate to "Revision History" tab to get the various vcsu utility version.

 

Upgrade Virtual Connect Firmware

If you wish to upgrade multiple HPE Virtual Connect Firmware in parallel then read: Step-by-Step guide to upgrade multiple HPE VC firmware with SUM

To upgrade the virtual connect firmware you can use below syntax:

 vcsu -a update -i <IP> -u <USER> -p <PWD> -l <FILE>
 [-f <FORCE>] [-vcu <VCM USER> -vcp <VCM PASS>] [-oe <ORDER>] [-of <ORDER>] [-q] [-we <DELAY>] [-wf <DELAY> ] [-cp <CFG PASS>] [-s <PORT>] [-e <PORT>]

Here,

    IP    = IP Address of the active Onboard Administrator in enclosure

    USER  = Name of the Onboard Administrator user with Administrator
            privileges to access all enclosure interconnect bays

    PWD   = Password of the Onboard Administrator user
            Use * to prompt for password

    FILE  = Full path to Virtual Connect package file

    FORCE = OPTIONAL. Comma separated list of one or more of the following:
            version: Allow update of same firmware version
            health: Allow update of Degraded or Failed modules

 VCM USER = Name of Virtual Connect Manager user with Domain privileges
            Required if Enclosure is in a Virtual Connect Manager Domain
            N/A if Enclosure is not in a Virtual Connect Manager Domain

 VCM PASS = Password for Virtual Connect Manager user

    -q    = OPTIONAL. Specifies firmware update to not prompt for
            confirmation prior to update, and to use the default answer
            for the confirmation ('YES')

    ORDER = OPTIONAL. Specifies the order that modules will be activated
            -oe = VC-Enet Activation Order
            -of = VC-FC Activation Order

            parallel = All modules will be activated at once
            odd-even = Backup module is activated first. Force failover
                       of VCM is done and then primary module is activated.
                       Then modules in odd bays are activated and finally
                       modules in even bays are activated (Enet Default)
            serial   = Backup module is activated first. Force failover
                       of VCM is done and then primary module is activated.
                       Then remaining modules are activated one at a time
                       starting from the lowest bay number (FC Default)
            manual   = Modules will be updated but not activated

    DELAY = OPTIONAL. Delay in minutes between activations of bays
            -we = VC-Enet Delay
            -wf = VC-FC Delay
            Default is 0 or no delay. Maximum is 60 minutes

 CFG PASS = OPTIONAL. Password for Config Backup and Support Dump
            Encryption of Virtual Connect Manager Domain. Only used
            in Virtual Connect 3.00 and later
            Mandatory if the Virtual Connect domain is in FIPS mode

 PORT     = TCP Port for VC-FC Updates
            -s = First port in allowed range. Default: 1024
            -e = Last port in range. Default: 65535

In the below example I will perform firmware upgrade on my HP VC Flex-10/10D Module of the Virtual Connect from C7000 Enclosure. Here my Virtual Connect Binary file is available at /tmp/test/vcfwall475.bin and my existing VC firmware version is 4.62

# vcsu -a update  -i 10.43.142.118 -u HPadmin -p Passw0rd -l /tmp/test/vcfwall475.bin -vcu HPadmin -vcp Passw0rd -q -oe serial -we 5

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 HPE BladeSystem c-Class Virtual Connect Support Utility
 Version 1.14.0 (Build 11)
 Build Date: Oct 10 2018 21:08:42
 Copyright (C) 2006-2018 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Development LP
 All Rights Reserved
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following modules will be updated:

===============================================================================
Enclosure   Bay  Module             Current Version       New Version
===============================================================================
SGH709YY1B  1    HP VC              4.62                  4.75
                 Flex-10/10D        2018-01-26T07:20:40Z  2018-12-03T17:07:27Z
                 Module
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SGH709YY1B  2    HP VC              4.62                  4.75
                 Flex-10/10D        2018-01-26T07:20:40Z  2018-12-03T17:07:27Z
                 Module
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During the update process, modules being updated will be temporarily
unavailable. In addition, the update process should NOT be interrupted by
removing or resetting modules, or by closing the application. Interrupting
the update or the modules being updated may cause the modules to not be updated
properly.


The following modules were updated successfully:

======================================================================
Enclosure   Bay  Module                    New Version
======================================================================
SGH709YY1B  1    HP VC Flex-10/10D Module  4.75 2018-12-03T17:07:27Z
SGH709YY1B  2    HP VC Flex-10/10D Module  4.75 2018-12-03T17:07:27Z

Total execution time: 00:34:16

VCSU log file is available at the following location: /root/vcsu-7143.log

 

Downgrade Virtual Connect Firmware

With VCSU you can downgrade virtual connect firmware to a previously installed and running version of VC. Ideally to downgrade virtual connect firmware it is recommended fro, HPE to delete/destroy the existing VC domain and then perform VC downgrade but with later vcsu versions this can also be done without destroying the VC domain. But this has it's own set of restrictions.

Read the below set of restrictions thoroughly before proceeding with downgrade of Virtual Connect firmware

 

Restrictions

The following restrictions apply:

  • You must be running VC version 3.70 or higher to perform a downgrade.
  • You cannot downgrade to a VC version lower than version 3.17.
  • A previous upgrade must have been performed on the configuration using VCSU 1.7.0 or higher.
  • All servers in the domain must be powered off.
  • Multiple, consecutive firmware downgrades are not allowed.
  • You can downgrade only to the version previously installed and running on the primary module.
  • The VC configuration, including physical connections, uplink port connections, and module positions in the enclosure, must be identical to the target downgrade configuration.
  • The VC credentials must be the same before and after the downgrade. After the downgrade, you cannot change the password for the account used to perform the downgrade.
  • The primary E-net module must be in the lowest bay number.
  • If the primary VC module DIP switch is set to FIPS mode, VC firmware cannot be downgraded to a non-FIPS capable version.
NOTE:

The list of restrictions may vary depending upon the VCSU version. The above list is for vcsu-1.4. It is recommended to check the respective VCSU User Guide.

For example:

# vcsu -a update -i 10.43.142.118 -u HPadmin -p Passw0rd -l /tmp/test/vcfwall462.bin -vcu HPadmin -vcp Passw0rd -q -oe serial -we 5

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 HPE BladeSystem c-Class Virtual Connect Support Utility
 Version 1.14.0 (Build 11)
 Build Date: Oct 10 2018 21:08:42
 Copyright (C) 2006-2018 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Development LP
 All Rights Reserved
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following modules will be updated:

===============================================================================
Enclosure   Bay  Module             Current Version       New Version
===============================================================================
SGH709YY1B  1    HP VC              4.75                  4.62
                 Flex-10/10D        2018-12-03T17:07:27Z  2018-01-26T07:20:40Z
                 Module
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SGH709YY1B  2    HP VC              4.75                  4.62
                 Flex-10/10D        2018-12-03T17:07:27Z  2018-01-26T07:20:40Z
                 Module
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During the update process, modules being updated will be temporarily
unavailable. In addition, the update process should NOT be interrupted by
removing or resetting modules, or by closing the application. Interrupting
the update or the modules being updated may cause the modules to not be updated
properly.

The following modules were updated successfully:

======================================================================
Enclosure   Bay  Module                    New Version
======================================================================
SGH709YY1B  1    HP VC Flex-10/10D Module  4.62 2018-01-26T07:20:40Z
SGH709YY1B  2    HP VC Flex-10/10D Module  4.62 2018-01-26T07:20:40Z

Total execution time: 00:38:27

VCSU log file is available at the following location: /root/vcsu-5136.log

Just use the older VC firmware binary file with "-l" option and VCSU will automatically start the VC FW downgrade.

 

Lastly I hope the steps from the article to upgrade or downgrade virtual connect firmware in HPE using vcsu was helpful. So, let me know your suggestions and feedback using the comment section.

 

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