Only third party software would work with Update Manager, which would typically be packaged as a VIB. You'll have to use the HP tools to update the firmware.
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You can apply HP firmware updates online through HP SUM, or through HP's vCenter Insight Control plugin.
Which method is easier - SUM or vCenter Insight Control Plugin? Do they require putting ESXi into maintenance mode? Do they require rebooting ESXi? Can it be automated? Would update manager be involved at all in this or only HP's software?
Update Manager is not involved at all. HP SUM is the easiest method, because it can be launched from the SPP DVD without any further requirements. The Insight Control plugin requires a vCenter server and an HP SIM installation.
Firmware updates are as disruptive as with other OS. They can be done online without entering maintenance mode, but some of them (e.g. server or Smartarray BIOS) will require a reboot to become effective (which is not forced).
Please note that NIC firmware updates are not available as online update components, and must still be applied by booting the ESXi host from the SPP DVD.
OK thanks for the info. Part of the goal here is to not have to visit every ESXi host individuallly. I am running vCenter Server, and SIM is an option. Could I then do all of my online updates for 200 servers, except NIC firmware, from one central point of control? I don't want to have to mount a DVD individually on every ESXi host... thanks!
Yes you can. But the Insight Control plugin requires licensing. And with HP SUM you can also update multiple hosts at once and remotely. You run HP SUM on a Windows or Linux machine and connect to the hosts via network.
Thanks for the response. If you can clarify will be helpful. Am I correct in understanding then that:
- There are two aspects involved in keeping the HP servers running ESXi up to date: 1. Driver updates 2. Firmware updates
- HP Driver updates for HP blades install within the hypervisor and are packaged as VIBs, therefore VMware update manager can be used to apply them online non-disruptively without requiring a reboot
- HP Firmware updates are NOT provided as VIBs, and therefore updating them from a central point of administration involves using Insight Control Plugin for vCenter and may require a reboot
Is this correct?
Most (all?) of the driver updates require a reboot after installation, too.
All driver updates also require a reboot.
And there is a third component requiring updates and these are the HP Offline bundles (e.g. CIM providers for hardware monitoring). But these are also updated through Update Manager.
It is common practice to update all three components together. You will only need a single reboot then and minimize downtime. This method will also ensure maximum compatibility of firmware, drivers and tools.
HP does a pretty good job documenting the dependencies and compatbility. Refer to their recipes available here: