the old fashion way: boot it with a floppy disk.
Or the modern version: boot it with a cdrom or USB flash disk.
Either way, your system manufacturer should have instructions if they provide BIOS updates.
Hello ESXi Experts:
We are considering the move to ESXi and along with that directly, we are also looking to resolve the BIOS update problem. It is a signifigant problem.
Anyone who has more than a few hosts is probably working through this in a number of ways, or is simply not doing it at all.
Using ESX Classic, one may simply run a linux flash bios installer script. We could do this across many systems easily, no need to boot into some special boot enviornment, from a floppy disk or from CD. Making use of the service console within ESX classic, it was very easy to keep hundreds of machines up to date.
As you read this please let me konw how you flash your ESXi servers? How big is your enivonrnment?
I'm specifically interested in those of you dealing with hundreds and thousands of of ESXi Servers (tens of thousands of VMs).
If you have less than 250 ESXi servers, the problem is really quite different.
Please let us know how you do this, or if you simply do not do it.
Using ESX Classic, one may simply run a linux flash bios installer script.
This has change on ESX 4.x
Most of this tools does not work anymore (on Dell system for example they can work only if you start in troubleshooting more and then switch to init 1).
For this reason I prefer management tools to handle this, or live CD solution.
A flexible solution is keep a bootable USB key with DOS, but not all upgrade tools are available also with DOS.
Do u guys have any central mgmt tool for hardware like HP SA/SIM, openmanage... maybe u can leverage those to help with the bios upgrade...
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the USB with DOS is flexibile when you have a few servers.
I have 1000 ESX servers to update. A USB dongle really is not workable for us.
At the moment i see only a custom solution as possible.
Adjust the PXE server to address each server
Flag the servers for BIOS updates
Have those server reboot.
Boot to a linux distro.
update the various firmware on the box.
reboot back to ESXi.
This is signifignantly slower and is way more overhead than ESX Classic for me.
Shame on you VMware.