Before you update the firmware for any endpoint in a Cisco UCS instance, consider the following guidelines and cautions:
Determine Appropriate Type of Firmware Upgrade for Each Endpoint
Some endpoints, such as adapters and the server BMC, can be upgraded through either a direct firmware upgrade or a firmware package included in a service profile. The configuration of a Cisco UCS instance determines how you upgrade these endpoints. If the service profiles associated with the servers include a host firmware package, upgrade the adapters for those servers through the firmware package. In the same way, if the service profiles associated with the servers include a management firmware package, upgrade the BMC for those servers through the firmware package.
Upgrades of a BMC through a management firmware package or an adapter through a firmware package in the service profile associated with the server take precedence over direct firmware upgrades. You cannot directly upgrade an endpoint if the service profile associated with the server includes a firmware package. To perform a direct upgrade, you must remove the firmware package from the service profile.
No Partial Upgrades
We recommend that all endpoints in a Cisco UCS instance be updated to the same firmware release. New functionality and fixes within a firmware release for one endpoint may have dependencies upon the same functionality and fixes within another endpoint. Therefore, a mix of firmware releases can cause performance or other issues during ordinary usage, or may cause the update to fail.
No Server or Chassis Maintenance
Do not remove the hardware that contains the endpoint or perform any maintenance on it until the update process has completed. If the hardware is removed or otherwise unavailable due to maintenance, the firmware update fails. This failure may corrupt the backup partition. You cannot update the firmware on an endpoint with a corrupted backup partition.
Number of Fabric Interconnects
For a cluster configuration with two fabric interconnects, you can take advantage of the failover between the fabric interconnects and perform a direct firmware upgrade of the endpoints without disrupting data traffic. However, you cannot avoid disrupting data traffic for those endpoints which must be upgraded through a host or management firmware package.
For a standalone configuration with a single fabric interconnect, you can minimize the disruption to data traffic when you perform a direct firmware upgrade of the endpoints. However, you must reboot the fabric interconnect to complete the upgrade and, therefore, cannot avoid disrupting traffic.
Do Not Activate All Endpoints Simultaneously in Cisco UCS Manager GUI
If you use Cisco UCS Manager GUI to update the firmware, do not select ALL from the Filter drop-down list in the Activate Firmware dialog box to activate all endpoints simultaneously. Many firmware releases and patches have dependencies that require the endpoints to be activated in a specific order for the firmware update to succeed. This order can change depending upon the contents of the release or patch. Activating all endpoints does not guarantee that the updates occur in the required order and can disrupt communications between the endpoints and the fabric interconnects and Cisco UCS Manager. For information about the dependencies in a specific release or patch, see the release notes provided with that release or patch.
Impact of Activation
During a direct upgrade, you should configure Set Startup Version Only for an adapter. With this setting, the activated firmware moves into the pending-next-boot state, and the server is not immediately rebooted. The activated firmware does not become the running version of firmware on the adapter until the server is rebooted. You cannot configure Set Startup Version Only for an adapter in the host firmware package.
If a server is not associated with a service profile, the activated firmware moves into the pending-next-boot state. Cisco UCS Manager does not reboot the endpoints or activate the firmware until the server is associated with a service profile. If necessary, you can manually reboot an unassociated server to activate the firmware.
When you configure Set Startup Version Only for an I/O module, the I/O module is rebooted when the fabric interconnect in its data path is rebooted. If you do not configure Set Startup Version Only for an I/O module, the I/O module reboots and disrupts traffic. In addition, if Cisco UCS Manager detects a protocol and firmware version mismatch between it and the I/O module, Cisco UCS Manager automatically updates the I/O module with the firmware version that matches its own and then activates the firmware and reboots the I/O module again.
Cannot Upgrade Cisco UCS 82598KR-CI 10-Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
The firmware on the Cisco UCS 82598KR-CI 10-Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (N20-AI0002) is burned into the hardware at manufacture. You cannot upgrade the firmware on this adapter.