This chapter includes the following sections:
Cisco UCS uses firmware
obtained from and certified by Cisco to support the endpoints in a
Cisco UCS domain. Each endpoint is a component in the
Cisco UCS domain that requires
firmware to function. The upgrade order for the endpoints in a
Cisco UCS domain depends upon the upgrade path, but includes the following:
Cisco UCS Manager
physically located on adapters, including NIC and HBA firmware, and Option ROM
(where applicable) that can be upgraded through firmware packages included in a
physically located on servers, such as the BIOS, storage controller (RAID
controller), and Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC) that can be
upgraded through firmware packages included in a service profile
See the required order
of steps for your upgrade path to determine the appropriate order in which to
upgrade the endpoints in your
Cisco UCS domain.
Cisco maintains a set
of best practices for managing firmware images and updates in this document and
in the following technical note:
Unified Computing System
Firmware Management Best Practices.
This document uses the
following definitions for managing firmware:
firmware running on an endpoint to another image, such as a release or patch.
Upgrade includes both update and activation.
firmware image to the backup partition on an endpoint.
firmware in the backup partition as the active firmware version on the
endpoint. Activation can require or cause the reboot of an endpoint.
Extensions and Capability Catalog upgrades, update and activate occur
simultaneously. You only need to update or activate those upgrades. You do not
need to perform both steps.
Firmware Auto Sync
for FI Cluster
Addition of a
secondary Fabric Interconnect to form a cluster – either as a replacement or a
conversion from standby to HA requires the infrastructure bundle firmware
versions to match. Administrators today manually upgrade/downgrade the
replacement FI to the correct version before they connect it to the cluster.
Firmware Auto Sync allows the users to automatically upgrade/downgrade the
infrastructure bundle to the same version as the survivor FI when the
replacement is added as standby to HA. The software package is the UCS
software/firmware that resides on the FI.
The software package
on the survivor FI should be greater than or equal to Cisco UCS Release 1.4.
The model numbers of the Fabric Interconnects should be same. For example,
firmware Auto Sync will not trigger for a combination of 61XX and 62XX FI
models that are being setup for HA.
With the earlier
implementation, the user would compulsorily configure the replacement FI as
standalone mode if there was a mismatch in the version of software packages.
The replacement FI is manually upgraded/downgraded to the same version of
software package on survivor FI through the usual upgrade/downgrade process.
Then the replacement FI is added to the cluster since the upgrade/downgrade of
the replacement FI is a manual process.
The user is now
given an additional option of synchronization of the software packages of the
replacement FI with the survivor FI along with the current option. If the user
decides to Auto Sync the firmware, the software packages of the survivor FI are
copied to the replacement FI. The software packages on the replacement FI are
then activated and the FI is added to the cluster. The sync-up of the Cisco
UCSM database and the configuration happens via the usual mechanisms once the
HA cluster is formed successfully.
In a UCS cluster
where one Fabric Interconnect has failed, the Auto Sync feature ensures that
the software package of the replacement FI is brought up to the same revision
of the survivor. The whole process requires minimal end user interaction while
providing clear and concise feedback during the procedure.
in Cisco UCS Central
Cisco UCS Central enables you to manage all firmware
components for all registered
Cisco UCS domains.
Cisco UCS domains firmware
Cisco UCS Central, you must enable the global firmware
management option in
Cisco UCS Manager. You can
enable the global firmware management option when you register
Cisco UCS Manager with
Cisco UCS Central. You can also turn global management
option on or off based on your management requirements.
Cisco UCS domains are
categorized into domain groups in
Cisco UCS Central for management purposes. You can
manage firmware for each domain group separately at the domain group level or
for all domain groups from the domain group root.
Cisco UCS Central provides you the option to manage the
Cisco UCS domain firmware
Capability Catalog— One
capability catalog per domain group . All
Cisco UCS domains registered
to a particular domain group will use the capability catalog defined in the
One infrastructure firmware policy per domain group . All
Cisco UCS domains registered
to a particular domain group will use the same Infrastructure firmware version
defined in the domain group.
Host Firmware— You can
have more than one host firmware policy for the different host firmware
components in a domain group. The
Cisco UCS domainsregistered in
the domain group will be able to choose any defined host firmware policy in the
Cisco UCS Central provides you the option to upgrade the
host firmware globally to all
Cisco UCS domains in a domain
group at the same time.
For more information on managing firmware in
Cisco UCS Central,
see the Firmware Management chapters in the
Cisco UCS Central User Manual and
Cisco UCS Central CLI Reference Manual.
The firmware version
terminology used depends upon the type of endpoint, as follows:
Versions in CIMC,
and adapter has two slots for firmware in flash. Each slot holds a
version of firmware. One slot is active and the other is the backup slot. A
component boots from whichever slot is designated as active.
firmware version terminology is used in
Cisco UCS Manager:
- Running Version
version is the firmware that is active and in use by the endpoint.
- Startup Version
version is the firmware that will be used when the endpoint next boots up.
Cisco UCS Manager uses the activate operation to change
the startup version.
- Backup Version
version is the firmware in the other slot and is not in use by the endpoint.
This version can be firmware that you have updated to the endpoint but have not
yet activated, or it can be an older firmware version that was replaced by a
recently activated version.
Cisco UCS Manager uses the update operation to replace
the image in the backup slot.
If the endpoint
cannot boot from the startup version, it boots from the backup version.
Versions in the Fabric Interconnect and
Cisco UCS Manager
You can only
activate the fabric interconnect firmware and
Cisco UCS Manager on the fabric interconnect. The fabric
Cisco UCS Manager firmware do not have backup versions,
because all the images are stored on the fabric interconnect. As a result, the
number of bootable fabric interconnect images is not limited to two, like the
server CIMC and adapters. Instead, the number of bootable fabric interconnect
images is limited by the available space in the memory of the fabric
interconnect and the number of images stored there.
Cisco UCS Manager firmware have running and startup
versions of the kernel and system firmware. The kernel and system firmware must
run the same versions of firmware.