Upgrade HP C7000 Blade Chassis Firmware

I run multiple HP C7000 blade chassis within my datacentres and keeping the ‘Onboard Administrator’ (OA) firmware up to date is an important task. Each blade chassis has a pair of OA’s to ensure redundancy in a failure event or during upgrades.

The OA firmware can be updated in a number of ways and today I’ll cover some of them. All methods are simple enough with the most important task being to check the notes for the firmware file to see what it is fixing and what potential known issues exist which might preclude you from deploying.

I’m going to make the assumption the blade chassis are configured with ‘Enclosure IP mode’. This means you use a single IP address to access the chassis regardless of which OA is currently active (they work in an active/standby mode).

 

Upgrade firmware using CLI

When we connect to the chassis OA via SSH the system presents us with some basic information including the current firmware version.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
WARNING: This is a private system.  Do not attempt to login unless you are an
authorized user.  Any authorized or unauthorized access and use may be moni-
tored and can result in criminal or civil prosecution under applicable law.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Firmware Version: 4.40
Built: 12/08/2014 @ 03:21
OA Bay Number:  1 
OA Role:        Active

HP BladeSystem Onboard Administrator
(C) Copyright 2006-2014 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.


Type 'HELP' to display a list of valid commands.
Type 'HELP <command>' to display detailed information about a specific command.
Type 'HELP HELP' to display more detailed information about the help system.


BSA-SPC7K2-OA1> show oa info

Onboard Administrator #1 information:
         Product Name  : BladeSystem c7000 DDR2 Onboard Administrator with KVM
         Part Number   : 456204-B21
         Spare Part No.: 708046-001
         Serial Number : OA2ACP1951    
         UUID          : 09OB2BCP1951    
         Manufacturer  : HP
         Firmware Ver. : 4.40 Dec 08 2014
         Hw Board Type : 2
         Hw Version    : A1
         Loader Version: U-Boot 1.2.0 (Aug 24 2011 - 14:22:07)
         Serial Port:
             Baud Rate   : 9600
             Parity      : None
             Data bits   : 8
             Stop bits   : 1
             Flow control: None

 

We can see that currently the OA is running version 4.40. The sharp eyed among you may have noticed the information only lists a single OA while I stated we have two. If we want to see the details for the second OA we can either request the system show us information for all OAs or we can specify using the commands below.

Show all info command – show oa info all

BSA-SPC7K2-OA1> show oa info all

Onboard Administrator #1 information:
         Product Name  : BladeSystem c7000 DDR2 Onboard Administrator with KVM
         Part Number   : 456204-B21
         Spare Part No.: 708046-001
         Serial Number : OA2ACP1951    
         UUID          : 09OB2BCP1951    
         Manufacturer  : HP
         Firmware Ver. : 4.40 Dec 08 2014
         Hw Board Type : 2
         Hw Version    : A1
         Loader Version: U-Boot 1.2.0 (Aug 24 2011 - 14:22:07)
         Serial Port:
             Baud Rate   : 9600
             Parity      : None
             Data bits   : 8
             Stop bits   : 1
             Flow control: None


Onboard Administrator #2 information:
         Product Name  : BladeSystem c7000 DDR2 Onboard Administrator with KVM
         Part Number   : 456204-B21
         Spare Part No.: 708046-001
         Serial Number : OA32AP0464    
         UUID          : 09OB32CP0464    
         Manufacturer  : HP
         Firmware Ver. : 4.40 Dec 08 2014
         Hw Board Type : 2
         Hw Version    : A1
         Loader Version: U-Boot 1.2.0 (Aug 24 2011 - 14:22:07)
         Serial Port:
             Baud Rate   : 9600
             Parity      : None
             Data bits   : 8
             Stop bits   : 1
             Flow control: None

 

Specify an OA info command – show oa info [OA number i.e 1 or 2]

BSA-SPC7K2-OA1> show oa info 2

Onboard Administrator #2 information:
         Product Name  : BladeSystem c7000 DDR2 Onboard Administrator with KVM
         Part Number   : 456204-B21
         Spare Part No.: 708046-001
         Serial Number : OA32AP0464    
         UUID          : 09OB32CP0464    
         Manufacturer  : HP
         Firmware Ver. : 4.40 Dec 08 2014
         Hw Board Type : 2
         Hw Version    : A1
         Loader Version: U-Boot 1.2.0 (Aug 24 2011 - 14:22:07)
         Serial Port:
             Baud Rate   : 9600
             Parity      : None
             Data bits   : 8
             Stop bits   : 1
             Flow control: None

 

At this point we know what version we are running so now it’s time to upload and upgrade to the latest firmware. As we are using SSH we need to specify a location to pull the new firmware file. I have a server with Microsoft IIS running which is then used to host update files and ISO images which can be mounted to the blade chassis. This solution is actually a legacy thing and when I get a moment will be replaced with something else.

The command we need is ‘update image’.

BSA-SPC7K2-OA1> update image

Invalid Arguments

UPDATE IMAGE { { [ FORCE ] { <url> | FW_ISO } } | SYNC }: Operator or Administrator account privileges are required... "Image" downloads a new flash image from the network and uses it to update the Onboard Administrator's firmware.  If a redundant OA is present in the system, this command will flash and validate its firmware before attempting to flash the active OA. Supported protocols are http, ftp, and tftp. The URL should be formatted as: protocol://host/path/filename. The URL syntax for IPv6 addresses is protocol://[<ipv6 address>]/path/file. If your FTP server does not support anonymous logins, a username and password can be specified within the URL formatted as: ftp://username:[email protected]/path/filename.  Use FORCE to allow downgrading firmware even if settings/passwords may be lost. FORCE can only be associated with the <URL> parameter and FW_ISO parameters. "Update Image sync" will initate a Firmware Sync of the Active and Standby OA. "Update Image FW_ISO" will update the OA firmware using an image on a firmware CD. Enclosure Firmware Management must be configured with a valid ISO URL. See the SHOW FIRMWARE MANAGEMENT command.

Here we will run the full command using a HTTP target.

BSA-SPC7K2-OA1> update image http://bsa-it.bytesizedalex.com/hp/hpoa450.bin

Detected 2 Onboard Administrators, performing redundant flash upgrade

Downloading image from http://bsa-it.bytesizedalex.com/hp/hpoa450.bin...

Preparing to flash redundant Onboard Administrator...

Flashing Standby Onboard Administrator
Standby flash: Done
Waiting for standby to reboot...Done

Flashing Active Onboard Administrator
Active flash:  100%

*** Broadcast message ***
         Restarting Onboard Administrator in 5 seconds...

*** Broadcast message ***
         Restarting Onboard Administrator in 5 seconds...

As you can see the system first upgrades and reboots the standby OA then it proceeds to flash the active OA. If we connect via SSH again and run a ‘show oa info all’ command we should see the new firmware version, in this case 4.50.

BSA-SPC7K2-OA1> show oa info all

Onboard Administrator #1 information:
         Product Name  : BladeSystem c7000 DDR2 Onboard Administrator with KVM
         Part Number   : 456204-B21
         Spare Part No.: 708046-001
         Serial Number : OA2ACP1951    
         UUID          : 09OB2BCP1951    
         Manufacturer  : HP
         Firmware Ver. : 4.50 Jul 24 2015
         Hw Board Type : 2
         Hw Version    : A1
         Loader Version: U-Boot 1.2.0 (Aug 24 2011 - 14:22:07)
         Serial Port:
             Baud Rate   : 9600
             Parity      : None
             Data bits   : 8
             Stop bits   : 1
             Flow control: None


Onboard Administrator #2 information:
         Product Name  : BladeSystem c7000 DDR2 Onboard Administrator with KVM
         Part Number   : 456204-B21
         Spare Part No.: 708046-001
         Serial Number : OA32AP0464    
         UUID          : 09OB32CP0464    
         Manufacturer  : HP
         Firmware Ver. : 4.50 Jul 24 2015
         Hw Board Type : 2
         Hw Version    : A1
         Loader Version: U-Boot 1.2.0 (Aug 24 2011 - 14:22:07)
         Serial Port:
             Baud Rate   : 9600
             Parity      : None
             Data bits   : 8
             Stop bits   : 1
             Flow control: None

 

Upgrade firmware using GUI

The GUI upgrade process is very simple. First we will browse to the OA using whatever browser you prefer. The homepage for the OA will give us some information on the chassis including the current firmware version –

HP C7000 Homepage Info

Once we have logged onto the webpage we can browse to the ‘Firmware Update’ link under ‘Enclosure Information –> Active Onboard Administrator’.

Firmware Update Page

In this instance I will use a URL as I did with the CLI install. I could of course just select a file from my local machine to upload or perhaps a USB drive plugged into the chassis. As ever there are multiple ways of achieving the same thing so go with the best for your environment.

Firmware Update using URL

The system will present a warning – make sure other people aren’t using the system and that you have completed whatever change control process you have in place etc.

Firmware Update Warning Message

Now the system will begin the firmware upgrade process as before with the webpage providing progress bars to help us see where it is up to.

Firmware Update Progress

 

All being well the system will upgrade successfully and you can enjoy whatever new features come with the update or be happy in the knowledge old bugs have been squished.

5 thoughts on “Upgrade HP C7000 Blade Chassis Firmware”

    • Hi,

      As long as the firmware update you are conducting is for the Onboard Administrators (OA) then there will be no disconnection of blades or reboots. The c7000 chassis and OA setup also allows you to perform firmware updates to blades. Obviously if you are leveraging that functionality reboots etc are highly likely. Does that answer your question?

      Reply

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